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Fermented Nut Cheese


Now, if this were back in the day and my blog was still called Making Love In The Kitchen, and I still got a kick out of referring to my nut milk bag as a My Nut SackI might be inclined to crack a few 12-year-old-boy-jokes about nut cheese. But we've all grown up, right? Nothing funny about nut cheese! Only awesomeness worth celebrating.

Like many of you, I gave up dairy long ago. It definitely isn't the power food group government agencies like us to think it is, but moreover, for many of us, it contributes to digestive upset, inflammation, skin problems and all around phlegmyness. A cute combo for sure.

When I gave up dairy, I wasn't interested in hopping on the fake cheese (aka Teese) bandwagon. I didn't want to eat cheese made out of a cocktail of starches. I definitely didn't want cheese made out of soy. And so I opted to go without, and splurge only once in a while on a raw, lactose-free, organic cheese when it could be found.

Until now. Now I have the best option ever. I DIY-ed it up and make my own creamy and delicious fermented nut cheese. This is, by far, the best alternative I've ever enjoyed.

Fermented Nut Cheese Gluten Free toast

What's really awesome about this dairy-free, grain-free, starch-free, protein-rich cheese option is that as we're soaking and then fermenting it, it's incredibly easy on the digestive system in terms of breaking it down. As an extra bonus, the fermentation process further fuels the health of the gut. It's winning all around.

Making this cheese does take some planning as it takes about one week from start to finish.

You begin by soaking your nuts for 6-8 hours and then give them a good rinse. You then blend the nuts up with a probiotic and some water, or a fermented culture (details in the recipe). This mix is then transferred to a nut milk bag or cheese cloth and put in your dehydrator on low for 24hrs, or you can let it sit on your counter for 36 hours. This is the initial fermentation period.

Once it's ready (and you know it's ready as it's dry to the feel on the outside and when you pull it in half, the middle has a yeasty smell like freshly baked bread). That's the fermentation magic in action. This is your cheese base and you can then decide how you want to flavour it.

Awesome Nut Cheese Flavour Combinations

  • Lemon and dill
  • Turmeric and nutritional yeast
  • Cranberry
  • Fresh basil and balsamic vinegar
  • Thyme rolled in pistachio
  • Cinnamon and organic dried cherries (that's what I used for this one)

Fermented Nut Cheese

I added the cherries and cinnamon and mixed them into the cheese.

Nut Cheese Preparation

I then scooped the mixture onto a sheet of unbleached parchment.Nut cheese mixed

This gets rolled up to form a log shape.Aged Fermented Nut Cheese Recipe

Once your cheese is rolled, it's time to age it. Take the parchment wrapped cheese and stick it in an airtight container (or wrap it in plastic wrap) and store it in the fridge for 4-6 days. This will dry it out slightly, make it firmer and also concentrate the flavour. Once you've aged your cheese, swap out the parchment for a fresh, dry piece and this should keep in your fridge for 4-5 days.

Dairy Free Nut Cheese

To get this texture, I used 1 cup of cashews. If you want a cheese with a firmer texture, I'd recommend equal parts cashews and almonds. Macadamia nuts also make a great cheese!

Fermented Nut Cheese Dairy Free

I enjoyed this cheese on a slice of gluten-free bread. I drizzled honey on top and sprinkled with hemp seeds.

You should know that when you are taking on fermentation projects there is no guarantee of success. The littlest thing can change everything and fermentation is always a little bit of an experiment. In most cases, you'll want to watch out for mould fur, and it is a fine line.

Fermented Nut Cheese


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 1 cup

A simple dairy-free, vegan fermented nut cheese recipe.

  • 1 cup of nuts, soaked (almonds, cashews, and/or macadamia recommended)
  • 1 acidopholous probiotic capsule + 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp pickle brine, kombucha or rejuvelac
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • herbs/flavours of choice

Make It Like So
  1. Soak your nuts for 6-8 hours and then rinse.
  2. In your high speed blender or food processor, combine nuts with probiotic and water, or brine. Mix until smooth.
  3. Transfer to your nut milk bag or cheesecloth and dehydrate on low for 24 hours or set on your counter for 36 hours.
  4. Once fermented, transfer to a bowl and mix in your flavourings of choice. Taste and adjust seasoning, but keep in mind that the flavour will become stronger as the cheese ages.
  5. Transfer to a sheet of parchment and roll into a log shape. Store in your fridge to age for 4-6 days wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in an airtight container.
  6. Once it's ready, transfer to a fresh sheet of parchment and enjoy within 4-5 days.

I hope you try this one. Please let me know how it goes for you and what flavours you craft up!

46 Responses to “Fermented Nut Cheese”

  1. J said…
    When the pulverized nut mix is in the nut mylk bag, do I have to squeeze out the water first before airdrying? Or leave the water in and air dry?
  2. Emily said…
    Tastes amazing! How long will this keep for?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Emily, once it has dried it will keep in your fridge for 4-5 days. Enjoy!
  3. Han said…
    I was wondering if it's possible to use a probiotic capsule that has more than just acidophilus? Like a multi-probiotic?
  4. Rebecca said…
    Any ideas for a gal without a nutsac? Can't wait to try once I figure it out
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Rebecca, you can use cheesecloth, or you can buy a nut sack online or at your local health food store!
  5. Mary-Anne said…
    Just a question about leaving it on the counter after the excess water is squeezed out, do i leave the mixture covered or uncovered?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Mary-Anne, thanks for your message! You can leave the mixture in the cheesecloth uncovered.You'll know when it's ready when the mixture is dry to the feel on the outside and when you pull it in half, the middle has a yeasty smell like freshly baked bread
  6. Annette Helmuth said…
    If I leave my almond fermenting on the counter without probiotics will it naturally ferment? Also I left hulls on😧
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I have never attempted this but my concern would be that it would get mouldy before it ferments.
  7. Barb said…
    Would it work with walnuts rather than the three you mentioned?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      You can make this with a variety of nuts and seeds. Cashews, almonds and macadamias have a neutral flavour, which is why I like them. Walnuts will work for sure - it will just have a strong walnut flavour. So ensure you are a walnut lover or are serving this to walnut lovers. :)
  8. Nicole said…
    Hi! Interesting recipe. Are you concerned about pathogenic bacteria when left at room temperature for 36 hours? You have water activity, protein, a neutral pH. Thanks!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Fermentation has a long history and fermented foods are generally safe to eat if cultured in the right conditions. I've found that with all fermented foods, I can usually tell either visually or through smell if something has gone off. And when in doubt, throw it out. But in my experience with this recipe, 36 hours is fine.
  9. Deb said…
    I would like to use the almond pulp left over from making my almond milk. Will that work as well?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I've never tried this, but I don't know if that will work. A big part of the consistency of the cheese comes from using the whole nuts - and with almond pulp everything has been squeezed out except for the fibre. There are lots of other ways to use almond pulp though - more inspiration is here:
  10. Louisa said…
    Hi I was wondering what I can use instead of the rejuvelac or Kombucha. Apparently the rejuvelac is made with grains and I don't have Kombucha, unless I use store bought Kombucha. I use to make Kombucha, but stopped because I cannot eat sugar or the because of the caffeine.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Louisa. You can use the probiotics as directed in the recipe - it's either probiotics OR rejuvelac, pickle brine or kombucha, not all of them.

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