Making Cheese from Almonds

I got my Mother Earth News (MEN) October/November 2013 issue in the mail today and, as usual, I hid in a found a secluded place to read the pages from cover to cover.  Inside is an article about tree nuts – Page 20 – and about making your own Almond milk!  Wow – this was great timing as I recently was able to harvest about four cups of shelled almonds from our volunteer tree out back!  The crows got most of the nuts.  I got the ones on the ground that they dropped – shell intact, of course!  You can read my previous post about wrestling the almonds from the rats first, then the crows, HERE.

How to make cheese from almonds

Blanched almonds soaked for 24 hours in water in the refrigerator.

 

On page 21 there are instructions on how to make the almond milk, but also a blurb about the fact that you can turn any nut “into milk, which may then be transformed into cheese, yogurt or ice cream.”    Holy cow – cheese from almonds!  Are you kidding me?

A quick google search for “cheese made out of almonds” brought up several sites!  Apparently, when you make cheese out of almonds is very similar in taste to feta cheese.  Okay – I’m in!

How to make cheese from almonds

Blend in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.

I found three recipes that I wanted to follow – all very similar – and decided to try a combination of the three.  The website at Maple Spice had a Baked Almond Feta that sounded wonderful – but the best part was the step by step tutorial.  A bit too much garlic and salt for me, however.  Then on About.com I found a recipe that I felt had the right amount of salt, but didn’t call for any garlic, and I do like some garlic.  At Rawmazing I found a recipe that seemed just right, but it wasn’t cooked.  So, I ended up using the recipe from Rawmazing, decreased the amount of water to 1/2 cup like the Maple Spice recipe because I added in some garlic, then baked it at 300 degrees for 40 minutes as suggested at About.com!   Whew!

How to make cheese from almonds

Draining the almond cheese. I didn’t have cheesecloth, so I improvised and used a coffee filter in a small colander.

The results?  Well, pretty darned amazing……. considering.

You see, I had to “wing it” with a couple of items.  I didn’t have any cheesecloth, so I used coffee filters instead.  Luckily this worked.  And then my oven broke.

Yes – as the oven was preheating to 300 degrees, I heard a large pop – something like a champagne cork being set free.  My hubby heard it also.  Since I have several wine bottles on my kitchen countertop

How to make cheese from almonds

This was the almond cheese after draining. This is the way it was supposed to go into the oven!

and also some of those decorative peppers and whatnot in vinegar jars here and there, we searched around to see which bottle lost it’s seal.  They all appeared to be intact.  But just when I decided to turn my attention back to the cheese making process, I noticed that my oven digital display was blank.  Oh No.  Rats!  Dear hubby went to the breaker box and, sure ’nuff, it had tripped.  When he flipped it back on this allowed af poltergeist to entered into the soul of my oven.  On it’s own, it started to lock the oven door, like it was going to do a clean cycle, the beeper started beeping constantly (and wouldn’t stop) and strange numbers were flashing on the digital display!  Holy smokes!  We tried hitting the cancel button, hubby tried flipping the breaker again, nothing worked.  🙁

how to make cheese from almonds

Here is the almond cheese “baking” on our barbeque grill! Not the best situation, but sometimes you gotta “go with the flow”!

So, since we were having smoked, grilled pork chops for dinner, I figured I could cover the cheese with foil and let it bake in the bbq.    I really didn’t have any other options at this point!  I watched the dial on the bbq and tried to keep the temperature inside as close to 300 degrees as possible, which wasn’t too difficult.  But after the 30 minutes or so at about 300 degrees, and when the top began to get a golden color, I pulled the cheese out of the bbq to let it cool off.

How to make cheese from almonds

Here is the final result! I’m sure it would have been better if I could have cooked it in a regular oven, but I think it turned out fine, considering the circumstances! It was even a bit crumbly but still moist – like feta!

How did it taste?  Well, the first taste was a bit like hummus with garlic in it.  Not bad, but not really cheesy.  However, I let it set in the refrigerator overnight and the next evening made pizza with it.  You know the old saying that “most things get better with time”?  Almond cheese is one of those things.  After 24 hours the almond cheese was a bit more “creamy” and the garlic taste had mellowed out a bit with less “bite” – kind of like feta cheese!  Kinda

The pizza was really good.  I used a homemade whole wheat bread

How to make cheese from almonds

This pizza was really yummy! Pizza sauce, sausage, olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and almond cheese!

crust, put on some tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes (from my backyard) artichoke hearts (I wish had come from my backyard) black olives, a little bit of italian sausage, and the almond cheese.  Both hubby and I decided this pizza was a winner!  Without the sausage this would have been totally vegan and totally delicious!

So I got braver and decided to make some stuffed shells with the rest of the ground italian sausage, artichoke hearts and almond cheese.  Wow – you would never know that this was not cheese from a mammal!

how to make cheese from almonds

Stuffed shells with almond cheese. I will definitely make this again!

The repairman came out the next day.  Yes – the next day and on time!   Unfortunately his estimate to repair the oven (oven temperature sensor blew up, which fried the electronic control panel) was ridiculously expensive – especially since our oven was already 9 years old!  So, that afternoon we went oven shopping, and thank goodness a model very similar to our old one was on clearance (last year’s model).  We got the new oven for less money than it would have cost to repair our old one!

I think my next experiment will be to make some almond milk ice cream!   Wish me luck!

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39 thoughts on “Making Cheese from Almonds

    • Really not hard at all. The longest time it takes is for the almonds to soak! Then all you do is give the ingredients a whirl in the blender, give it a few hours to drain in the cheesecloth, then bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes! The hands-on time is actually very minimal. The soaking and draining is what takes time – so plan to start making the cheese a day ahead of the time you need it!

  1. What a novel idea! I never knew you courld make cheese like this from almonds! When my almond tree starts fruiting (nutting?) I might have to see about giving this a go. Thankyou so much! I love this!

    • I had no idea either! That’s why I love my MEN magazine – they always have interesting articles! Of course, this cheese doesn’t melt like dairy cheese, so no grilled cheese sandwiches here. 🙁 But, for someone who is lactose intolerant it would be great! Thanks Ms. Yub.

    • Hopefully your oven doesn’t konk out like mine did! This is great tasting – just don’t use it on a recipe where you want it to melt all over or you will be disappointed. In the stuffed shells I made, the consistency ended up more like a ricotta cheese, I suppose because it was kept moist by the tomato sauce. It was delicious! Let me know how yours turns out!

  2. Love it. Had no idea you could make almond milk, never mind cheese. I have heard of people making almond flour if they have a gluten intolerance, but this really extends the usefulness of nuts. thanks for sharing!

    • I had never heard of this before either. I have tried almond milk – the kind you get from the grocery store – until I saw how much sugar was in the milk! Gak! Since I don’t have lactose intolerance, I went right back to dairy milk. But then came this recipe. I was thinking that if I ever got into a situation where I did not have dairy milk (SHTF scenario?), at least I could still enjoy some pizza or perhaps lasagna! Hahaha. I’m not really a “prepper”, but the thought did cross my mind! Thanks for stopping by, Carol.

    • You are certainly welcome, Hannah. Of course, this wasn’t my invention. I purposely left out the entire ingredient list so that you can choose your own recipe from the links I posted – or just google for yourself!! I am one of those people who like to “wing it” when I cook and will frequently blend 2 or 3 different recipes to get what I want! Right now I am in the middle of making some almond milk blackberry ice cream and will post that tomorrow! Wish me luck on this one!

    • Hahaha! That is hilarious! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! Almost like trying to figure out where the “nugget” piece is on a chicken! Yes, we were very lucky with the new appliance. The salesman was the best! When we told him what had happened and that we didn’t want to pay too much because would be selling our home within the year (to start building up on the future homestead) he directed us right over to the one we ended up buying, which was last year’s model – half price! Nice guy!

  3. I am curious– I have had to turn to Almond milk for my milk ( I cannot have cow dairy, rice or soy milk and I haven’t been able to find a source for goat yet) and I cannot get past the almond taste of it. It doesn’t matter what I use the milk for– it taste likes almonds to me. Hubby enjoys it but he doesn’t get that almond taste. I love almonds but after using the milk it has kind of turned me off. Does this cheese have that similar undertone?

    Thank you for sharing on A Humble Bumble’s Healthy Tuesday Blog Hop. I hope you will join us again next week!
    Kerry from http://www.countrylivingonahill.com

    • Okay – so this is what I have found out during my research. If you make your own almond milk and use only fresh almonds (most “raw” almonds in the stores are actually pasturized) then the taste isn’t as strong as the stuff you buy in the store. When I made the cheese, there is enough garlic and other ingredients in it that I do not taste the almonds – at all. I made ice cream today with almond milk and put in a very ripe banana, and the icecream had a very strong banana taste. I could barely taste the blackberries I put in, much less the almond milk. I am going to try it again with just almond milk and see what happens. So, bottom line – try making your own almond milk with raw almonds and see what you think. The standard recipe is 1 cup of almonds per 2 cups of water, which makes a milk similar to 2% cow’s milk. If you want thinner milk, like 1%, use more water. If you want thicker milk (like whole cow’s milk) use more almonds. Let me know how this turns out for you!

  4. Vicki this is so interesting. I have made cashew milk before but this is very different and sounds so healthy. I must look up the recipe.
    I am visiting from A Delightsome Life 🙂

    • Jeanette – thanks for stopping by! I have never made cashew milk before, but I hear it’s good! I decided to experiment with almonds because it’s what I had. Until I read the article in MEN about almond milks, cheeses and butters, I had no idea this could be done! An hour or so researching this on the internet brought so many good recipes, ideas and tips, so I decided to dive right in. I’m glad I did!

  5. Following from Friendship Friday at Create With Joy.

    We have about 10 black walnut trees in the yard. I may have to see if this works with walnuts … if I can get enough of shells opened before my arms tire out. Wait, I have kids! Oh boys….;)

    • Hahaha! But black walnuts are almost impossible to shell – I have even seen where people rig up troughs that they put the walnuts into and then drive over them! But it’s all worth it because black walnuts are the best! Good luck!

  6. Visiting from Freedom Fridays! So excited to try this. Hubby has been without cheese for 2 years now and I can’t wait to get some new recipes going with this! Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh, your hubby will be so pleased! Of course, don’t be disappointed – it won’t melt like dairy cheese! But, it is a good alternative to use on pizza or lasagna or maybe even tacos (though I haven’t tried the cheese in a taco yet). Have fun experimenting with this!

    • If she likes garlic, she will like this. Just don’t judge it the first day. It mellows out over time in the refrigerator! Let me know how it works out for you!

    • It was very good! A nice substitute for cheese – especially when baked! Really good mixed with some sundried tomatoes, basil and olives, then spread on crusty bread and browned just a bit under the broiler!

  7. I’ve heard of almond milk ice cream, but not cheese.

    I’m sorry to hear about your stove. Each time a celluloid or whatever that thingy is has broken on the stove, my dh has fixed it. The part costs $80! I think if our stove broke again, we’d probably replace it. It’s about 8 or 9 years old.

    • Isn’t it funny how these things happen when you least expect it??!! In the end, however, we were really lucky – no, blessed – that a new stove cost less than the repair would have! As far as the cheese….. I had never heard of anything such as that before either! When I found those recipes, I just had to dive in! Thanks for stopping by, Barb!

    • Thank you so much, Angie, for featuring this post! You really should try this because it is surprisingly good – after a day in the refrigerator!

  8. Do you have to let it set any in the fridge before baking? I am wondering if I can use coconut oil instead of olive oil? I might add some nutritional yeast also for a bit of a cheesy flavour.

    • I don’t know about the coconut oil, but, why not try it? I like to experiment a lot in the kitchen and have just as many flops as I do successes, so I would be willing to try this. I think the yeast might be a good idea also! As far as putting it in the fridge, I don’t think you have to, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt it. If you try these variations and have success, please come back and let me know! I would love to report your variations and would certainly give you credit!

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