Vegan nut cheese – Irresistible dairy free nut cheese made with almonds, so versatile it even grates just like conventional cheese.
This vegan nut cheese is so foolproof and ever vegans and dairy free person dream come true made in the comfort of your very own homemade with a small amount of ingredients.
When started my food blogging adventures I initially made this vegan cashew cheese recipe with some baby carrots to dunk in the dip. How this current nut cheese differs from the one I previously uploaded is the use of agar agar plus the use of almonds to boot.
What is vegan nut cheese?
In short vegan nut cheese is a cheese that is safe for the lactose intolerant and those omit all animal produce from their diet.
It varies. You will find commercial manufactured vegan cheese is made from soy protein for that shiny, slick and rubbery texture.
Oils that turn to a solid i.e coconut or palm oil are used to yield that solid/block structure. Other ingredients such as thickening agent like agar gar, nutritional yeast and creamy nuts (cashew, almonds, macadamia) are common ingredients.
What is agar agar?
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.
For this recipe you will need a saucepan to start the nut cheese process. The saucepan is need to boil the water ready to stir in the agar agar.
The agar agar need to dissolve (our thickening agent). From there you will add the water along with the listed ingredients to a high speed blender.
Can you freeze this cheese?
Yes, in fact the I do recommend freezing the contents once it has been pureed. Also for longevity, keep the store the solid cheese in the freezer for nest results.
The taste and texture
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.
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 the time.
Can you use alternative to almonds?
Yes, some people prefer to use cashews or macadamia nuts. If you are allergic to nuts, according to my research you can use seeds i.e pumpkin, sunflower instead. There are other options out there to suit your dietary needs.
Notes and tips
- Vegan nut cheese does not melt but grates only
- To extend the life of the cheese, store in the freezer, use and re-freeze.
- Once frozen it take roughly 10 minutes to thaw out and ready to use.
Vegan nut cheese
- 1 cup of almonds soaked for 4 hours or overnight
- 1 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of agar agar powder or flakes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp 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**