Irresistible dairy free nut cheese made with almonds – totally versatile
This nut cheese recipe is the prelude to a number of cheesy recipes which I have in store for you. Also, I have a confession to make, I originally discovered this vegan nut cheese last year but only recently submitted this version on the blog.
When I initially made nut cheese I did this vegan cashew cheese recipe with some baby carrots to dunk in the dip. How this current nut cheese differs from the one I uploaded last year is the agar agar plus the use of almonds, though you have the liberty of switching to cashew nuts instead.
Unlike the previous submission which bears a creamy consistency, the variation is more solid almost like the firm blocks of cheese you see stocked up in the supermarket.
Agar agar is the vegan’s answer to gelatine, made from dried seaweed, it comes in the form of powder or flakes. The great thing about agar agar is it’s versatility, you can use it to mould jelly, custard, as a thickener in soup, just about any recipe that requires emulsifying.
The texture of the cheese is very much like you’re regular store brought made from cow’s milk. Again this is courtesy of the agar agar, don’t miss this step. The cheesy flavour derives from the nutritional yeast which is a dried deactivated yeast full of B vitamins.
Prior to sourcing dairy free alternatives I had no idea what nutritional yeast was, I’m so glad I did some digging around on the internet only to find it, it’s my savour and always fully replenished in my pantry
Did I mention that the dairy free cheese grates and slices too? Oh yes it does! Don’t believe me, I couldn’t help but share this picture of the grated cheese sandwiched between some bread. The only downfall with this cheese is it’s lack of ability to melt, as it grates the texture remains unchanged.
I tried making a vegan pizza and became elated by the prospect of chewing on a slice of glooey gluten free pizza, you know the type that stretches? Well that didn’t quite happen, it was quite funny at time.
Enough of my rambling, let’s have some fun with this dairy free cheese.
Update **For longevity freeze on the day the nut cheese is made. Thaw out before using, it doesn’t take very long to thaw out (10 minutes or so). I have recently discovered that freezing the cheese makes it less fragile to hold when grating. Use what you need then re-freezer and repeat**
- 1 cup of almonds (soaked for 4 hours or overnight)
- 1½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of agar agar powder (or flakes)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp himalyan pink salt
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer, as the heat level is reduced stir in the agar agar.
- Continue to stir for 5 minutes, during this time the agar agar will have dissolved. Once dissolved the water should begin to thicken a little.
- Add the remaining ingredients together with the water and pour into a blender.
- Blend into a smooth consistency.
- Update **For longevity freeze on the day the nut cheese is made. Thaw out before using, it doesn't take very long to thaw out (10 minutes or so). I have recently discovered that freezing the cheese makes it less fragile to hold when grating. Use what you need then re-freezer and repeat**