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Almond Cheese (Base Nut Recipe)

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This is a great base cheese.  I say base because you can add your flavors and spices, making it perfect for you palate and needs.  This recipe is from the raw culinary school I attended.  Living Light Culinary Art Institute.  The magical ingredient used to make a raw cheese taste cheesy is the probiotics.  There are other techniques in making raw cheeses but probiotics offer the easiest.  You will find probiotics at your local grocery store in the cooler section.   Most recipes require anywhere from 1/4 to 1 teaspoon.  You will need to open the capsules and tap out the powder.  Keep the open bottle in your fridge.

Yields: 2 cups (6-8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds: hot soaked in water for 5 minutes, so you can pop the skins off
  • 1 cup water, may need more
  • 1/4 tsp probiotic powder

Preparation:

  1. Blend the almonds, water and probiotic powder in a high powdered blender, adding more water if necessary to achieve a smooth, creamy texture.
  2. Select a pint-size or larger strainer ( a plastic berry basket works great) and line it with cheesecloth, allowing several inches of the cloth to drape down around the sides.  Set the strainer on top of a shallow baking dish, and pour the nut batter into the cheesecloth.  The baking dish will catch the liquid as it drains from the cheese.  Fold the excess cheesecloth over the top of the cheese and place it in a warm location to ferment for 8-12 hours.  Taste test at this point, if you want the cheese flavor stronger, continue the fermenting process up to 24, 48 or even 72 hours.
  3. After about 2 hours of fermenting place a weight on top of the cheese to help press out more of the excess liquid.
  4. After the cheese has fermented to suit your taste, season it to your liking and store in a sealed glass container in the fridge for up to one week.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines.  The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements.

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49 thoughts on “Almond Cheese (Base Nut Recipe)

  1. Connie Fletcher says:

    Just a quick question. Will any nut (cashew) work? This looks and sounds wonderful, and I just purchased a New Chapter probiotic (love New Chapter!!!) I really want to try this!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Connie,
      Cashews and macadamia nuts would work great with this as well. I hope you give it a try and keep me posted! amie sue

  2. Soraya says:

    Can I use Rejuvelac instead of probiotic powder?

    • amie-sue says:

      Soyaya, you bet you can. Maybe try 1/2 – 3/4 cup of rejuvelac in the recipe instead. Let me know how it turns out if you make it! Have a great day. amie sue

  3. Sarah Meinel says:

    I am curious about the “warm location” requirement. Would this be something like near a sunny window or on top of a fridge? I have a yogurt maker, but I suspect it gets too warm for true “raw” purposes. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  4. carla says:

    what can i use for season besides salt?

  5. Denise says:

    What brand is the best for the Probiotic capsules? There are so many out there…

  6. Sheree says:

    Hi Sarah I’ve never tried to make nut cheese before but have been dying to give it a go, I soaked my almonds for 12 hours then realised you only said for 10 min in hot water :-( . Was wondering if that was still alright I have used a probiotic and have it in cheese cloth on the bench but my real question is, is it suppose to have a fermented smell to the cheese is that normal or should I throw it out and try again. I’ve watched utube videos on nut cheese’s and every one says how lovely it smells mine does not lol thanks from sheree

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Sheree,

      This was a post I did a long time ago, and I have better learned to write recipes out in more detail now so I made a few adjustments in the nut instructions. You were right in soaking the almonds for that period of time. I didn’t indicate in the recipe how long to soak them initially. The 10 minutes was referring to the stage of just removing the skins. The cheese will get a fermented smell to it… to some it might be a lovely smell, to others it might not. hehe Don’t throw it out, it is just fine. Your nose might not enjoy that smell. The main thing is the taste. Continue to ferment for the appropriate time and then taste it. The longer it sits out, the stronger that aged cheese taste will take place. Putting the cheese in the fridge slows that process down. I hope this helps, amie sue

  7. Sheree says:

    Sorry I ment to say Amie-sue sorry for the name mix up from sheree

  8. Lesley says:

    Would homemade milk kefir made from the grains work as the probiotic? I always have some so it would be easy. Thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Lesley,

      I haven’t tried kefir in nut cheeses, but I am guessing it would work just fine. I would need to further research it to know for sure. amie sue :)

  9. Deborah Peoples says:

    Hi Amy! At which point during the fermentation process should I add the flavors? Such as peppers, garlic, seasonings, etc.? Thank you!

  10. Deborah says:

    Thank you! So, is this a soft cheese? Can I mix in the flavors and will it re-set? Or do the flavors just cover the outside of the cheese? I’m going to try this recipe today, we are all excited to taste it. We haven’t bought real cheese in eight months!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Deborah, this cheese is more on the soft side than firm. You can add the seasonings towards the end, shape and let it set a little longer. The longer it stays on the counter, the stronger the “fermented cheese” taste. Once in the fridge, it slows that process down. I hope you all enjoy it!!! Keep me posted. Have a great day, amie sue

  11. Brandi Brickell says:

    Does this cheese melt or is it a firm cheese

  12. Michelle says:

    I made this yesterday and added fresh rosemary, basil, himalayan salt and granulated garlic. It was AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

  13. Brittany says:

    Hi Amie-Sue, Thanks for the fantastic website! I have not tried any raw dishes yet (aside from basic things like salsa and salad!), but I am yearning for this raw cheese. I found “The Complete Book of Raw Food” at Goodwill and thought that was a pretty awesome sign to change my diet. Anyway, I am curious about the fermentation process- there is a recipe in the book that does NOT call for propiotics OR rejuvelac- but to let the mixture sit and ferment in a warm place for a day or so. Won’t this allow yeast to feed on the cheese mixture, much like a sourdough bread starter? I have heard not to eat raw yeast as it will continue to grow in your tummy (perhaps more thruthful than the watermelon-growing-in-your-tummy theory!). Does the day or more long fermentation process with probiotics or rejuvelac, as in your recipe, give yeast enough time to enter the cheese mixture to make it dangerous? In any case I am excited to dive in to the raw diet, and you have given me a wonderful place to start! Thanks for any help you can offer about yeast in fermentation!

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  15. Robyn says:

    Hey! Love this site by the way! Quick question: Is there any nutritional value in the almond shells themselves? If so, how can I put them to use? Or should I just chuck them?

  16. Robyn says:

    Also, I just read the “season to taste” comes after the fermenting, but I accidentally put some salt in it when it was all in the blender, is this ok?

  17. Tracy Tomak says:

    I have a need for rice cheese in this clean and healthy eating that I have been on since April. Do you have anything like that? A co-worker just gave me your website and I am sharing it with my support group. Any help would be appreciated.

    • amie-sue says:

      A rice cheese? Please expand. :)

      • Tracy Tomak says:

        I have been on the Fast Metabolism Diet for over 4 months, and one of the “cheeses” that are allowed is a brown rice cheese. They sell this in health food stores, but would love to make my own. The one I have in my fridge is a “pepper-jack rice cheese”. I was wondering if you had anything like this up your sleeve to share. I would love to not have the added preservatives in my food any longer. Thank you.

        • amie-sue says:

          Hi Tracy, I am sorry to report that I don’t have any “cheese” recipes that are rice based. Can you do nuts or seeds? amie sue

          • Tracy Tomak says:

            Yes, we are allowed nuts and seeds as well as nut and seed cheeses, but only on 3 days of the week. There are 2 days that rice is allowed, as well as rice cheese. I guess because rice needs to be cooked, it wouldn’t be considered “raw”. Duh, didn’t think of that. Thank you for your answers, and I will be trying many of your recipes.
            Tracy – Tucson, AZ

            • amie-sue says:

              Good morning Tracy,

              Tucson… how is Tucson doing? Too bad that we didn’t meet while we were living there. :) That information helps me understand a bit more now. Thanks. :) I haven’t made any cheeses with rice, I only actually have a few recipes with rice and I bloom it rather than cook it. I hope though that you find some recipes here on my site that can help through your journey. Blessings and keep in touch. amie sue

  18. T. Jones says:

    Hi there Amie Sue,

    If I decide to use Rejuvelac instead of Probiotic powder, would I use the same measurements.

  19. Jeani says:

    Amie~Sue, you are on my list of people that “I would most like to meet”. You are right up there with, in no particular order, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Matthew Kenney, Eric Clapton, John Sandford, Alissa Cohen, and Bela Fleck. That’s an incomplete list, but they are all people who make my life better.
    Anyway, I made this in order to do the ricotta for the Living Lasagna that I am serving to some friends for a holiday lunch this Friday. It is just in the stage of going into the strainer. In the picture, your cheese looks silky, like mascarpone. Mine doesn’t look like that, but it feels and tastes smooth. I scraped the very last little bits of it out of the blender, and put it on a raw cracker with some shaved red pepper and cucumber, a little sprinkle of Herbamare, and it was scrumptious!! Almost cream cheese-ish. Thank you, AGAIN.
    OK, the wretched job of peeling almonds was hard work, so I need a nap now, until it’s time to put a jar on the cheese. :~)

    • amie-sue says:

      I am honored Jeani… thank you so much for sharing. You made my day. :) Maybe we could go on a tour together… and meet all those amazing people. hehe I actually enjoy popping the almonds out of their skins. That sounds a little demented. haha I find it therapeutic. :) I hope you love the lasagna. Please keep me posted if you would. I always love hearing how the recipes goes for others. Have a blessed holiday. Merry Christmas. amie sue

  20. Irene says:

    Hello Amie Sue,
    I am in the process of making this cheese using hazelnuts. After an overnight in the nut bag, it does not taste fermented. Maybe the room was not warm enough. So i will let it ferment a bit longer but am worried about it going bad. Any thoughts???
    Many thanks, irene

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Irene,

      Happy to hear that you trying out the cheese recipe. :) Under #2 in the preparation I indicate that the fermenting process can take up to 24, 48 or even 72 hours. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer, you will learn that the warmer the weather is the quicker your nut cheeses will ferment. If it has only been overnight… be patient and keep testing it over time. It will get there! Have a blessed weekend, amie sue (keep me posted!)

      • Irene says:

        Hi Amie-Sue, thanks for your reply. Yes, you did write how long it could take, but seems i rushed through. :)
        I did not wait so long and so i will be serving fluffed nut mash, which is much nicer than it sounds. It is more like a spreadable, soft cheese

        • amie-sue says:

          As long as it tastes good Irene! Next time try going a bit longer so you can experience the difference and health benefits of fermented foods. Have a great weekend. amie sue

  21. Yvonne says:

    Hello! Thru a posting on Facebook I have recently been introduced to this new way of preparing food. I have been reading through many of your recipes but don’t know where to start without purchasing a lot of equipment.
    Can you direct me to a few easy ideas for a beginner?
    Also, a lot of the additives are new too…but I want to add this to our organic lifestyle so thank you for including other webs,etc.
    Do your ever include the nutrional values for a recipe..ie. fiber content, sugar, carbs, fat?
    Excited to get started! Thanks for giving me hope!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Yvonne,

      Can you let me know if you have any of the following tools in the kitchen? Food processor? High-speed blender? Dehydrator? This will help me in helping you. :)
      For the most part I don’t include the nutritional values. I honestly just don’t have the time. You can plug the ingredients into online calculators though if this is important for you.

      I look forward in hearing back from you. Blessings, amie sue

      • Yvonne says:

        Hi Amie Sue!
        Here are a few things I already have in my kitchen:
        Food processor-check!
        Vitamix-check!
        Blender-check!
        Kitchen aid mixer with lots of attachments-check
        I realize a dehydrator is vital so I have been researching on/ off switches, watts, degree ranges, hours it stays on, glass doors vs. solid doors, brands….it’s a bit overwhelming.
        But, with what I own…can I get started on something simple?
        We eat a variety of foods ….not picky eaters except when it comes to preservatives and sugar in our food.
        Thank you for responding so promptly.
        I am so excited…a new world I didn’t know existed!
        Yvonne

        • amie-sue says:

          Good day Yvonne,

          Oh dear, you are well set so far! :) Awesome. I do recommend a dehydrator for sure. It will allow you explore so many other foods such as crackers, raw breads and other items that benefit from some dehydration. But everything comes in time. :)

          If you are new to raw and with not have a dehydrator… I would start with trying out some of the raw breakfast recipes that I have shared. There are many porridge like recipes that would be wonderful to test out. http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/breakfast/. Also, read these following recipes http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/dressings-dips/ to get some ideas with sauce, etc.

          Let me know what you think of some of those and as you begin your new journey, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions along the way. Have a blessed afternoon! amie sue

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