OK – I must admit – one of the hardest things to give up has been cheese – I loves me some cheese. Probably because I am craving it because of this darned allergy – but still – LOVE IT! So I am endlessly looking for alternatives! Here is a DELISH vegan alternative – you are gonna love it!
- 1 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
Put the almonds in a bowl of room temperature water; allow to soak for 24 hours, then drain and rinse. Purée the almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water until very creamy in a blender, 5-7 minutes. Make sure you stir it and reblend several times – the first time I tried this I had almond chunks left in the final outcome. Place a triple layer of cheesecloth over a strainer and spoon the cheese mixture into it. Bring up the ends of the cheesecloth, twist the top and squeeze slightly to remove some of the excess liquid. Allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours. Preheat oven to 200. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Turn the cheese out onto the parchment and shape it into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Bake for 1 hour, 30 minutes, until the top is firm and dry. Cool, then chill. When ready to serve, place the cheese on a plate. Top with additional olive oil and sprinkle dried herbs of your choice over it – basil is nice as is thyme and savory. Good protein, delicious and pretty easy – happy cooking!