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How Do You Live Without Cheese?

 

Written by Nicole Myers,  our  Superhero Student In Transition. 

GuestBloggerI stopped eating dairy 4 years ago.  If you asked me 5 years ago I would have said that would never happen.  I thought vegans were a little too out there for my liking and I LOVED my dairy in whatever form it came.

That all changed when I discovered the wonders of almond milk.  Once I had my hot little hands on this amazingly smooth, creamy, delish dairy substitute I was hooked and I knew I could kiss dairy goodbye.  For as long as I can remember dairy hasn’t left me feeling top notch.  I am sure you can imagine what happens to your insides and outsides when a food doesn’t agree with you and yet you keep on eating it.

Now that I am feeling oh so fab I have started having a lot of fun finding new ways to come up with old favorites.  Often the first thing people say when they hear I am vegan is “I could never ever do it, I just cant live without cheese!”

At first I bought almond milk in the giant drinking boxes until Meghan introduced me to the oh so wonderful nut sac. I love my nut sac and still get the giggles every time I milk it.

Then I got into making my own almond cheese; it is as easy as making your own milk and I have won over more than a few of my dairy loving friends.  It does take a bit of planning ahead because the almonds need to soak, but I promise it is well worth the wait!  This cheese has the creaminess of a ricotta and the sharpness of a feta.  Completely delish fresh out of the oven on some homemade crackers and right at home spread on a sandwich if that is your thing.  Dollop some on your veggie tortilla pizza and you will be in heaven.


Nicole's Cheeseless Almond Cheese

1 cup almonds
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
½ cup water
1 1/4 tsp sea salt

Optional:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried)

Directions:

  • Cover almonds with water and let soak for 24 hours.
  • Drain and rinse almonds.
  • Puree almonds, lemon juice, 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt and water in blender/food processor until really creamy.
  • Place a triple layer of cheese cloth in a mesh strainer over a bowl and spoon mixture into it.  Bring the sides together and fasten with a twist tie.
  • Chill for 12 hours.
  • Place in pan (about ¾” thick) and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.
  • You can serve right away warm or chill in the fridge.

Optional:

  • Combine 1/4 cup olive oil with herbs and warm until heated through.  Allow to cool and drizzle over cheese.

Question Of The Day: Which food did you think you could never live without? What new food has taken its place?

Check out these interesting cheese factoids from our Superhero Therapeutic Nutritionist, Josh Gitalis. Ever wonder why cheese is yellow?

27 Responses to “How Do You Live Without Cheese?”

  1. I used to be a major cheese fanatic until I realized that it was one of the primary causes of my acne. Now I rarely eat the stuff. It's surprising how easy it was to completely cut cheese out of my life. I don't replace it with fake cheeses though because there is really no substitute for the real deal. If I'm craving it, I will eat it in really small amounts.
  2. Deborah said…
    Very cool! I'll definitely be trying this. Thanks for sharing. Have you tried making your almond milk in the Hurom juicer? It's soooo easy and no need to strain through a nut sac! I just soak mine for a few hours then pour the water off and add to the juicer with water. I use 1 cup of almonds to 4 cups water. You get your pulp where the veggie pulp usually comes out and your milk in the other container. It's like magic :-) xoxox http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9rcnhivGkM&feature=related (this is where I first found out how to do it)
    • Josh said…
      Great suggestion Deborah. I will try this!
    • Andrea said…
      Greeeat, another expensive kitchen appliance for me to want. :)
  3. Sara Best said…
    Love this! Thanks so much for the great idea and recipe! I got the results of a food allergy/sensitivity blood test yesterday and it turns out that my body reacts to all forms of dairy. Not really a surprise since I've known for a while that I feel like junk when I eat it (I just love it so!). So, starting tomorrow I'm on a strict dairy-free diet and I'm feeling a little panicked. I love cheese! Reading this post gives me hope for a still cheezy future ;)
  4. Wow... I've never thought of baking it! I usually use the nut pulp left over from making nut milk for my cheeses!! :) It works out well! How long do you think this would last?
  5. Nicole said…
    I will be asking for a hurom juicer for Christmas this year :) I will definitely try making milk in it, thanks for the suggestion!
  6. Peace said…
    Fancy! I soak almonds and peel off the skin. Shall I peel off the skin for this recipe?
  7. Andrea said…
    Great post! It's two posts in one! I love the almond cheese idea. I stopped consuming orange cheese years ago when the reality of what it was hit me. I occasionally dabble when it's in front of me. I still have this attraction to free food, as if my inner university student never left. I've got to stop that. I finally just did my blog post about food sensitivities and the tests that I had done in mid-May. It'll probably be published on Thursday. Tomorrow's is about something seasonal and healthy.
  8. Carmen said…
    Dumb question, but the picture at the top of this page, is this what the cheese looks like after you bake it? If so, that's unbelievable, I have to try this recipe.
  9. mel said…
    Hi, I was wondering what is the point of putting the cheese into a nut bag to drain, when some of the oil, salt and lemon also drains off with it? I just made a batch and it isn't creamy, I added extra water to blend but it still has tiny grains. Will see how it turns out tomorrow after chilling for 12 hours.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Interesting. I suppose it does depend how creamy you want it. I actually make mine fermented and let it set in the fridge for 6 days to make it more solid.
      • mel said…
        I tasted it today, it is soft like a cream cheese, and tastes good. The only thing I would say "spoils" it is the rough, grainy texture that sticks on the tongue after swallowing. Thanks for the tip, I'll leave it a few more days and see if it changes. [the next batch I might try mixing in some oil at the end, it won't be a hard cheese in a certain shape but hopefully it will be smoother :)]
        • Meghan Telpner said…
          I have found cashews and macadamia nuts make really smooth cheese options too.
  10. Celeste said…
    I'd like to make the vegan cheese with almonds for the first time. Is it possible to use Almond Flour in place of the blanched almonds? Isn't it the same thing?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      It's not the same thing. Almond flour typically has some of the fat removed.

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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