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Homemade nut cheese

Whenever I see a food that looks AMAZING, I can’t.get.it.outta.my.mind until I get my fix. It happened recently when a green smoothie -I’ve been thinking about the blended salads I used to make so often!- and again when I read Gena’s post about nut cheese. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had nut-based cheese -it’s particularly incredible with this raw onion bread- but when I was big into my raw kick, it was a favorite snack. I scoured our Whole Foods looking for some, and even though I had no luck, I DID find goat cheese string cheese sticks. I put them in my cart and decided to glance at the price tag. $12! Derp. Back on the shelf they went, haha.

Since they didn’t have the nut cheese in stock, I decided to make my own.

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And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll get into goat string cheese making, tooโ€ฆ. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s what I did:

(supplies: high speed blender, cheesecloth, large bowl, lemon, nuts of choice -cashews, macadamia nuts and almonds all work well- and seasonings)

I soaked 2 cups of cashews and 1 cup of almonds overnight.

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In the morning, I peeled the almonds -on life’s PITA list I’d rate it quite high, but it’s worth it- and added the almonds to a blender with the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1/2 cup of water.

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Blended it up, and then poured the mixture into some cheesecloth in a bowl:

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I did the exact same thing with the soaked cashew mixture, but left the flavors fairly basic. The only thing that went in was 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, juice of 1/2 lemon,1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 cup of water. I thought it would be fun to do a sweet cheesy mix with the cashews, so I wanted my base to be plain. (Note: you can also blend probiotic powder like acidophilusย into your nut cheese mixture to get probiotic power you’d find in traditional dairy cheeses. Of course, talk to your doc before trying any new supplements.)

After the cheese mixtures drained for about an hour in the cheesecloth, I packed each one tightly to remove as much mixture as possible.

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Then, the fun part: adding the flavors!!

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I split the cashew mixture in half, and made a lavender-honey cheese as well as a berry variety. For the berry, I added chopped dried cranberries and orange zest. For the lavender-honey, dried lavender and a drizzle of local honey were absolutely perfect– this was my favorite flavor.

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The almond cheese was destined for spice city with chopped fresh basil, rosemary, dried oregano, dill and pepper.

Once all of the cheese were flavored, I molded them into flat disks and put them in the dehydrator to harden a little bit (at about 105 degrees). They had a sleepover in the dehydrator, and are perfectly tangy and decadent today. I have a couple of good vegan friends that I CAN’T WAIT to surprise with these little treats. (If you don’t have a dehydrator, no worries. You can store them in the fridge as is, or put in the oven at the lowest setting with the door slightly ajar to create a “rind.”)

Have you made homemade cheese before? What’s your favorite type?? Please let me know if you give this a try!!

xoxo

Gina

More of my favorite vegan treats:

This INSANE chocolate tart

Red velvet macaroons

Cool ranch kale chips

BBQ zucchini chips

-The best chocolate chip cookies

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39 Comments

  1. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on July 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Oh yum! I had never even heard of nut cheese until this past week when my cousin was telling me about it. I don’t know if I’d have the patience to make my own cheese, but maybe one of these days I’ll have to give it a whirl. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on July 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

    You make the most amaznig looking foods! I wish I knew half of what you do about cooking! I am really trying to learn but you make it look so easy ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Crystal@TheFastFitRunner on July 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Although the entire process covers some time, it looks like this is fairly simple. I had actually been wondering how difficult (or easy) this was. Doesn’t seem bad at all. I am going to give this a try soon. Would the Almonds work the same if you got all natural almonds without a shell?

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

      i think they would! just make sure they’re not roasted or salted.

  4. Elizabeth M. on July 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I’ve heard of making nut cheeses like this a few times now, now I really want to try it! I don’t do well with dairy and I feel like these would be fantastic. I also have a ton of raw almonds.

  5. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on July 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Oh this is so cool! I’ve never made or tried nut cheese before, but it sounds amazing!

  6. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie on July 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Omgeeee such a fabuolus treat! I neeeeed to try to make nut cheese!

  7. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on July 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Ohh what a delicious eat! I had no idea you could make them yourself at home! YUM!

  8. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on July 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Interesting combo. I’ve never heard of nut cheese before. I bet I would be a fan of the salty combo.

  9. Caitlin on July 8, 2013 at 11:37 am

    This looks so good! But don’t have a fancy enough blender- boo!

  10. Amanda on July 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Omg, $12 for cheese sticks! I would have put them back on the shelf as well! But goat cheese sticks sound so good!

  11. Ksenija @ Health Ninja on July 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I never thought nut cheese would be so easy to do yourself at home! That will surely be one of my next foodie experiments – I do also have some dried lavender sitting in my cupboards for months, since I never knew what to do with it. So thanks for the inspiration ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Kelly @ KellyRunsforFood on July 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    That looks amazing! I’m too scared of how I could mess that up to try making it myself, but maybe I’ll get up the nerve to try!

  13. Lindsay on July 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this awesome tutorial! I’ve been wondering how to make nut cheese for awhile. I’m excited to give them a whirl, and the lavender honey one sounds especially amazing!

  14. Sara Christensen on July 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for the tutorial- Are you thinking of trying any other flavor combinations?

  15. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats on July 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I have never made cheese…or even thought of making it! The lavender honey one sounds soo good though!

  16. Eating 4 Balance on July 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    This is totally fun!! I love making vegan cheeze sauce from Oh She Glows and this looks spectacular as well. Have you used it in any way other than just as a dip for crackers? I’d really like to find a homemade cheese alternative for topping on pizzas.

  17. Sarah on July 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Ain’t nobody got time for dat! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Jenni on July 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve never made homemade cheese before. Not gonna lie–the reason for this is pure laziness. It just seems like so many steps to do when I can go buy some instead. That sounds so bad! Haha. Making food at home is always the better (and often healthier!) way to go. Your cheese looks delish. It’s amazing what nuts can accomplish. What would we do without them?!

  19. Nicole on July 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Clearly I’m not vegan because I’ve never even heard of nut cheese! Sounds yummy!!

  20. Christine (The Raw Project) on July 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Looks wonderful! I’ve tried a few nut cheeses, but it’s been too long since!

  21. char eats greens on July 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    This is seriously on my list of things to do soon because I just scored big on raw cashews at the grocery store (they were 50% off for some reason, so I snagged the last 3 bags). Nut cheeses are something I’ve wanted to attempt for a while now, and I think it’s about to happen VERY soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Kelli @hungryhobby on July 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    This looks so much easier than I thought and the possibilities are endless! Putting this one on the recipe bucket list

  23. Emily on July 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Lavender honey ‘cheese’? I had no plans to make nut cheese any time soon, but you may have just changed that…. In to this Thursday’s shopping list folder this recipe goes!
    Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Susan on July 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    So I told my husband about nut cheese and he said “I’ve got some nut cheese right here for you, baby.” Yeah, so now I am too grossed out to eat it.

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      ummm i wish i could say i didn’t hear a comment like that while making the cheese hahah

      • Susan on July 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Lol!

  25. Rachel Williams on July 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I am super lactose intolerant so I would love to try this!

  26. Maureen on July 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    How can you make something that should be so hard to do look SOOOO easy?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m starting to think I need to try making this nut cheese.

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      it wasn’t hard at all! let me know if you try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Fit Missy on July 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Great idea!

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen on July 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I’ve never made nut cheese before, but I bought a lime cherry almond one at my farmer’s market back in September and it was so good! I definitely want to try making my own now that you’ve posted this.

  29. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on July 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    I have been dying to make nut cheese for years but don’t have a dehydrator! ๐Ÿ™ Can I be one of the vegan friends that you gift a delicious nut cheese round to?? haha. ๐Ÿ˜›

  30. Renee on July 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I absolutely NEED to try this… I’ve never made cheese before but my boyfriend and I keep talking about how we want to try it sometime. These are ingredients that I usually have on hand to. So excited!!!

  31. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on July 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

    BABE I AM SO IMPRESSED!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, so impressed! I actually have a dehydrator here with me at home and should really start using it!! This would be the perfect place to start I think ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE CASHEWS and would love love love to make my own nut cheese!

  32. Hannah @ Sprints and Scones on July 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Oh my goodness, THANK YOU! I have reached obsessive levels about wanting to make my own cheese, and this looks like the simplest variety. Can’t wait to try it out!

  33. Andrea on July 10, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Oh my gosh….can’t wait to try this! I’m vegan and I’m a bit freaked out by all the fake ‘cheeses’ out there. Finally, a substitution with real ingredients!

  34. Mari @ Food for Life on July 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I have never heard of nut cheese before. This is definitely on my recipes to try list!

  35. Noella on December 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    This is such a cute and helpful site! We are making nut cheese as a project in our school and we had so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚ We all tried each other’s recipes and they were all so good. Can’t wait to keep making more!!

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