Almond Cheese (raw, GF, vegan)
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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.
Ingredients: Yields: 2 cups (6-8 servings)
- 2 cups raw almonds, soaked and skins removed
- 1 cup water, may need more
- 1/4-1/2 tsp probiotic powder
- After soaking the almonds, drain, rinse and discard the soak water. Do not use this in the recipe.
- Blend the almonds, water and probiotic powder in a high powdered blender, adding more water if necessary to achieve a smooth, creamy texture. Use the least amount of water possible though.
- 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.
- After about 2 hours of fermenting place a weight on top of the cheese to help press out more of the excess liquid.
- 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.