May 01, 2010 by

How to make Almond “Cheese” (Fermented & Peppered)

Raw Almond Cheese
Inspiration: It’s raw and fermented and I was inspired by a recipe for “Herbed Almond Cheese” in the new book Becoming Raw which I’m reviewing for alive magazine. I then read several blogs about making raw nut ‘cheese’ and also credit this one about cashew cheeze for more inspiration.  Fermented ‘cheezes’ are sure to please raw foodists, vegans, and those who are lactose intolerant. And, while providing the same satisfying protein hit as dairy cheese, they won’t replace the creamed dairy flavor and fatty mouth feel of the real deal. Don’t expect it to taste the same — fermented Almond Cheeze is refreshingly light, and rivals goat cheese or chèvre for its…  um… “tangy-ness”.  It is a gratifying alternative for those of us who take joy in preparing and eating healthier foods. Experiment with seasonings to find your best fit.

Raw Fermented Almond Cheeze

Cuisine: Thermomix
Recipe type: raw, vegan

Ingredients
  • 290 g. raw almonds (organic is best of course) soaked for 8-10 hours, drained, rinsed and skinned (see tips below about removing skins)
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 tsp. light miso
  • ½ tsp. probiotic powder (I use Udo’s Choice, see tips below)
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp. dried garlic powder (see tips below)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes (see tips below about gluten-free)
  • 10 g. organic cold-pressed flax oil
  • black or other peppercorns and/or cracked pepper
  • coarse salt

Instructions
  1. Put soaked, skinned almonds in Thermomix bowl with water, miso, and probiotic powder. Blend for one minute on speed 8.
  2. Line a colander or strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl to collect liquid as it drains. Put blended (almond meal) mixture into cheesecloth and overlap with extra cheesecloth. Place a small plate and weight on top. Allow this almond meal to ferment in a warm (not hot) place for 12-24 hours. (Less time is needed in warmer weather.) I put mine in the oven with just the light bulb turned on for 24 hours. (See tips below for more about fermenting.)
  3. Once fermented, do the following: put garlic powder, nutritional yeast, ½ tsp. salt and nutmeg into dry Thermomix and whiz 5 seconds on speed 8.
  4. Add the flax oil and the fermented almond ‘cheese’ and mix gently for 5 seconds on REVERSE speed 1.
  5. Press into molds (use a bowl, container, or mini cake pan) and refrigerate. After about four hours (or more), gently remove from molds and coat the rounds with a mixture of peppercorns and ground salt. (Depending on what type of pepper you are using, you may want to loosely grind peppercorns with coarse salt in Thermomix before doing this.) Keep wrapped in parchment paper or butchers paper in fridge for up to 5-6 days.
  6. Serve as you would cream cheese or goat cheese. Consider blending with more healthy flax oil and minced fresh garlic or herbs to make a healthy dairy-free veggie dip as shown in photos. (Corn chips anyone?)

Notes
how to skin almonds: drain almonds and rinse well. Pinch the almonds one at a time to easily slip off the skins. Much more easily done, than said. Truly easy. If using both hands, you can pinch about 3 almonds per second. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes once you get going. If the skins are resistant (I’ve yet to experience this) all you need do is cover them with water heated just below boiling point and soak for 2 minutes, drain, rinse, and start pinching.
about probiotic powder: this is needed for the fermentation process. You’ll find pro-biotic powder in natural food stores and in some countries, in the vitamin section of regular grocery stores. I keep a supply of Udo’s Choice probiotic capsules in my fridge for health purposes and for adding to the Thermomix yogurt recipe. For making almond cheeze, I simply open three capsules for using in the recipe. (This probiotic is gluten-free.)
about garlic powder: as a rule, I always use fresh garlic, but for this recipe, the fresh garlic is too strong. I tried it with fresh, and have to say, garlic powder is better here.
about fermenting the ‘cheese’: according to the original recipe, the best indication that your ‘cheese’ has properly fermented is to give it the olfactory test and watch for a change in aroma. “Unfermented cheese does not have much aroma at all; properly fermented nut cheese will have a distinct, cheeselike smell.” Also watch for slight bubbling or rising on the surface.
about gluten-free: check to make sure your nutritional yeast and probiotic powders are gluten free — most of them are, so it should not be a problem. You can omit the yeast flakes if necessary, but not the probiotic. want even more tips? click the small photos below for additional notes.

click photos for notes

Raw Nut Cheese Recipes

See 27 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. avatar
    Jo (Quirky Cooking) 3 May 2010 at 1:31 am (PERMALINK)

    Sounds great – I’ll have to try it! Someone was just telling me about the cashew cheese they make, but I’d rather use almonds, so this will be perfect! Thanks you :)

    Author
  2. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 3 May 2010 at 1:32 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Jo – I look forward to reading more about this on your blog! Cheers,

    Author
  3. avatar
    Tebasile 3 May 2010 at 6:09 pm (PERMALINK)

    Yummy !!! Thank you for your version Helene :-)

    Author
  4. avatar
    Tebasile 4 May 2010 at 11:52 am (PERMALINK)

    Which blend of Udos did you use Helene?

    Author
  5. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 4 May 2010 at 12:02 pm (PERMALINK)

    Thanks for asking, I’m sure your question will help other readers too — The probiotic capsules I keep on hand are Udo’s Choice Adult’s Blend. (The reason I didn’t specify this earlier is because I didn’t think it is critical to the success of the recipe, which type of probiotic is used.) Hope this helps. I hope we will hear about how you personalized this recipe for your family :)

    Author
  6. avatar
    A Canadian Foodie 15 May 2010 at 6:19 am (PERMALINK)

    Hi, Helene!!!
    Gorgeous new recipe format. Honestly, I have never heard of probiotic capsules. I imagine I could get them at a Health Foods store. I will have to look up their properties to answer my question… why are they in the recipe? What do they add to it. This is a very imaginative and ingenuous recipe idea. It looks gorgeous. Is it a healthier choice than cheese filled with nuts – or just a more moral choice? Truly, I wonder. I see I have more to investigate here since my last visit. So, I will be off – BUT – if you are able to install a plug in so I could subscribe by e-mail – I would be here with every new post. I use my e-mail daily – and don’t get to my google reader or rss feeds nearly as often as I should.
    Big hug,
    Valerie

    Author
  7. avatar
    A Canadian Foodie 15 May 2010 at 1:08 pm (PERMALINK)

    Am I blind – or what? I think I did not re-look for the sign up by e-mail for new posts as I had already investigated your site thoroughly – and it wasn’t there. So easy to see. I have now signed up. Phew. NOW, I will not miss a post!
    :)
    Valerie

    Author
  8. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 16 May 2010 at 2:46 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Valerie: Thanks for stopping by and visiting… I know how busy you are! I think you’ll find most of your questions about probiotics are addressed in the section of “Tips” just below the photos which also contains links to more info. Cheers, H.

    Author
  9. avatar
    Tebasile 22 May 2010 at 8:03 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Helene,

    Your cheese is ready and sooo good. Thanks again :-)

    Author
  10. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 22 May 2010 at 8:24 pm (PERMALINK)

    I’m so glad you tried it and shared your results here! This “cheeze” is not for every taste, but for those who make healthier lifestyle choices it’s a fun, tasty alternative that is so easy with Thermomix.
    Best wishes,
    H.

    Author
  11. avatar
    Tebasile 22 June 2010 at 10:46 am (PERMALINK)

    Hi Helene,
    I thought first, I made too much almond cheese, since my family wouldn’t try it. I had it in my cheese drawer in the refrigerator and forgot about it. 6 weeks later: This ripened cheese is divine. I wish you could taste some :-)

    Author
  12. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 22 June 2010 at 11:26 am (PERMALINK)

    I too, wish I could try it! Sounds great Tebasile. I haven’t tried letting it ripen that long, as the original recipe I adapted from recommended eating it sooner, rather than later. As with so many other great ‘discoveries’… a little “mistake” had led you to a better thing! Thanks for sharing this improved cheeze idea with us — is your family eating it now that it’s aged???

    Author
  13. avatar
    Tebasile 22 June 2010 at 12:43 pm (PERMALINK)

    Of course not, I’m hiding it :-). At least you can see some pics here:
    http://tebasileskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/06/thermomix-blogger-helenes-raw-almond.html

    Author
  14. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 22 June 2010 at 12:55 pm (PERMALINK)

    Thanks Tebasile! I hope Thermomix fans will follow your link because it’s a lovely post with great cheezy presentation — it made me want to make this recipe again right now!

    Author
  15. avatar
    Elisabeth 1 December 2010 at 11:11 am (PERMALINK)

    When you say “press into molds” does that refer to specific cheese molds? If so, where can one acquire such a mold?
    Thanks!

    Author
  16. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 1 December 2010 at 11:21 am (PERMALINK)

    Great question Elisabeth — thanks for asking. You can use anything as a mold… small bowls or containers etc. I use the small spring-form pans more often used for making cakes or tarts. Just look around your kitchen, for a size and shape of container that appeals to you. Hope this helps!

    Author
  17. avatar
    Staci 16 December 2010 at 7:41 am (PERMALINK)

    Wondering if commercial almond milk can be used in this recipe?

    Author
  18. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 16 December 2010 at 9:48 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Staci — It’s the blended almond meal we’re after here, so the commercial milk won’t do. Sorry to say, but I’m not even sure how that would ferment, given the pasteurization laws in different countries etc. Thanks for your question… I have now modified this recipe to make it more clear to others.

    Author
  19. avatar
    lsteward 31 December 2010 at 3:04 pm (PERMALINK)

    I bought almond cheese from Whole Foods to use while I was dieting. I have some unopened, sealed packages still in my refrigerator. It’s been over 6 months. Are they still good? I don’t notice anything growing on them and as I said, they are completely sealed.

    Author
  20. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 31 December 2010 at 11:00 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Isteward: This sounds like a question best answered by the cheese manufacturer ;-)

    Author
  21. avatar
    Jesse 5 December 2012 at 7:27 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hello Helene,

    I was just wondering if you thought that this would also work by substituting Coconut oil in instead of flax seed oil. I am going to try this on the weekend but figured I would see what your thoughts were first.

    Author
  22. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 5 December 2012 at 9:30 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Jesse — the oil is there to smooth out the texture and for ‘mouthfeel’… so I think coconut oil would work fine for this. But… The ‘but’ is that the coconut oil will impart flavour whereas the flax oil is more (but not completely) neutral. You may find that the coconut flavour is just fine,– especially if adding a lot of extra seasonings — or you may prefer to go with a more subtle oil choice. Your taste-buds will decide ;-)

    Author
  23. avatar
    Alice 23 October 2013 at 11:01 am (PERMALINK)

    HI there,

    I bought in bulk almond flour a while ago – I haven’t used it since due to realising it was high in oxalates! Does fermentation significantly reduce its oxalate content? And can almond flour be used in this recipe instead of whole almonds?

    Thanks

    Author
  24. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 25 October 2013 at 4:09 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Alice — I’m afraid I’m not going to be very helpful… I think you are more knowledgeable on this subject than I am. I will have to do some research on the question of oxalates… I’ve not made this recipe with almond flour and have doubts about whether it would work.

    Author

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