Posted by: karascrumbs | February 10, 2012

Raw Almond Cheese

I said I had a good Valentine’s Day recipe for you and here it is.  I know it’s a few days early, but this is a multi-step/multi-day process, so you need to plan ahead and get started early.

When I think of Valentine’s Day desserts, I think of chocolate, strawberries, cheesecake, and red velvet anything.  My first intention was not to try and recreate any of those things.  However, being in the mood to try making “cheese” and then getting a random idea to make cheesecake with the cheese is what produced this recipe.  And it just happens to be a great dessert for Valentine’s Day and just in time.

When I could eat cheese a few years ago, I can’t say I was a huge cheese lover.  However, I was a huge cheesecake lover (especially from the Cheesecake Factory: peanut butter and red velvet were my favs).  Originally I never thought of making cheesecake with homemade cheese.  I just thought of spreading it on crackers and veggies.  So I find it kind of weird that I wanted to try making this “cheese”.  I’ve seen recipes that use cashews to make cheese, but I never saw any that used almonds.  Until, that is, I decided to do a google search, and low and behold, there are tons of recipes out there for using almonds to make cheese.  Who would’ve known?  So the “cheese” is not an original recipe, but the cheesecake is.  Most of the recipes I read called for either probiotic powder or rejuvelac(sprouted grains).  I take probiotics, so I could have used the probiotic powder, but I didn’t really want to waste a pill on this “cheese”.  I then also decided that for the first time, I would try making the cheese without anything added.  So I left both of those things out.

Once I made the cheese, I wasn’t a big fan of eating it plain.  It was at that point that I thought a cheesecake or dip would be a good idea.  I knew using coconut butter would make it creamier and would harden, so I mixed the two together.  And what I got was a delicious cheesecake replacement.  Honestly, it turned out better than I expected.  I made half of the cheese batch into plain cheesecake and half into pumpkin cheesecake; both are equally yummy, but depends on what mood you’re in.  I never thought to do almond butter, but now I wish I had.

Raw Almond “Cheese”
1 cup raw almonds, soaked, drained, blanched, and peeled (see below for instructions)
1/4 tsp. salt
cheesecloth
strainer
food processor

First, soak the almonds in 1 cup of water overnight or for 8-12 hours.  Then drain the almonds, but reserve the soaking liquid.

Blanching: pour boiling water over the almonds and let sit for two minutes.  Drain and rinse the almonds with cold water to cool them off.

Peeling: after blanching, you should be able to pinch the almonds and have the skins pop off.  Some will be easier to skin than others, but they need to be peeled.

Add the peeled almonds and reserved soaking liquid to a food processor.  Process until very smooth.  You don’t want any chunks in your cheese.

Add the almond mixture to a strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Set the strainer over a small bowl.  Put a piece of cheese cloth over the mixture.  Add a plate or other weight on top of the mixture.  Let this sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours to ferment.  After it has fermented, you will have “cheese”!  You can now remove the cheese from the strainer and flavor it any way you wish.  You could add spices and herbs, dried fruit and nuts, or just leave it plain.  Store the cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

               

Plain Cheesecake
1 batch of almond cheese (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup of coconut butter, melted
1/16 tsp. stevia powder
vanilla, optional
berries for topping

Mix all ingredients, except berries, together and put into a serving dish.  Store in refrigerator to harden.  Top with berries prior to serving.

I did not want a crust, but you could easily mix up a simple almond flour and oil crust and put it into the pan before you pour the cheesecake in.


Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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Responses

  1. Yumm. Wow, never imagined making cheesecake from almonds. Need to get some almonds to try this out.


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