Friday, November 29, 2013

Almond Cheese equals Yum.



This week I've been playing house. Which is good. Because playing house usually means cooking. 

It's been wonderful to not answer phones or emails, to take time off from life and just...sit. 

From where I'm sitting at the kitchen counter I can see the chickens scratching for worms, the dogs lazing on the lawn and the cows sitting under a tree. 

So while life moves at a slower pace, I decided to try and make Almond Cheese. 

Turns out it's pretty easy. And tastes nice too. Remember, however, it won't taste like normal cream cheese as it's not dairy. But I do think it's a great alternative for those who can't tolerate dairy.  


Almond Cheese






Place 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Put aside for 2-4 hours or until the almonds just 'pop' out of their skin when you give them a squeeze. Soaking the almonds is also supposed to 'activate' them and make them easier to digest while releasing more nutrients. 










Blend the almonds in a food processor, or Thermomix, with 1/2 cup water, 3tblsp olive oil, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch or two of sea salt. If you don't have sea salt, normal salt will do. 

At this stage you can also add some herbs or a clove of garlic for taste. I tend to use the garlic that comes in a tube in the refrigerated section with fruit and veggies. I also like to add some rosemary that also comes in those handy-dandy tubes. Whoever invented those needs a big hug!

This may take up to 5 minutes so don't stress and try and hurry up the process. 








Once the mixture is blended until lovely and smooth, place it in some muslin or cheese cloth. Give it a gentle squeeze or two to remove moisture. 

Place the bundle in a colander with a bowl underneath to catch any liquid that may drain out. Leave it in the fridge over night. 









The next day, open the bundle and place it smooth side up (upside down) in an ovenproof bowl. This then goes into a 180C oven for around 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 

I've opened the one I just made so you can see the creamy white texture inside. 

All you need now are some crackers or celery to spread this cheese onto. The crust can also be eaten so don't waste it. 

Enjoy. 




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