Dairy, such a delicious food group. One that I was reluctant to give up! I was certain that dairy wasn’t causing me any troubles! I was determined that dairy wasn’t causing me any troubles…but ya know what? Dairy was causing me troubles! I finally came to terms with this fact several months ago and I have been feeling even better! One of the main improvements I have seen since giving dairy the axe is that I hardly ever get a headache. I hate headaches more than I loved dairy. Dairy free wins!
Now don’t get me wrong, I was missing some dairy! Sitting at dinner one night with my family, serving them up yummy slices of my grain free pizza, I began feeling these awful feelings toward the cheese on said pizza. Some serious cheese envy and a lit bit of a pity party to go along with it was definitely happening! Sad but true. I sat looking at my pieces of pizza, all naked with no cheese, totally missing out on the fun of pizza night.
Whenever I would stop at my local health food store I found myself wandering over to the dairy free cheeses and reading through labels. I could not find one cheese was okay for me to eat. Are you feeling my pain? If you are in the same boat, I am certainly feeling yours! Empathy is beautiful!
The next day I set about to right this wrong! This cheese injustice was going to end! I was going to figure out how to make my own cheese! My first few attempts were disappointing. I had successfully created cement bricks and balls of slime. Great. My naked pizza was becoming more and more appealing (perspective is a good thing)! Being one who doesn’t give up easily I forged on and came up with a dairy free cheese that my cheese loving family prefers on their pizza now! I may have danced through my house shouting my own praises at this victory! Maybe. It is possible.
Cue the music…..
I present to you….a recipe for dairy free cheese that you can slice, shred and melt!
Isn’t she pretty! I call her Ms. Pacman!
This almond cheese is great in any dish that you would use mozzarella cheese in. After is sets for a few hours you can cut the cheese wheel into wedges and freeze them! We keep a couple cheese wedges in the fridge and the rest in a bag in the freezer. You can’t ever have enough cheese on hand!
Now while I do shout the praises of my recipe, I am gonna tell ya…..I don’t love to eat it on it’s own. This cheese baby is best when paired with some good companions! Pizza is my favorite!
If you cannot eat almonds I also enjoy making cashew cheese. Simply swap the almonds for cashews…your welcome!
Nutritional yeast is my favorite way to give food a cheese flavor without dairy. It is like little flakes of cheesy goodness, except it’s nutritional yeast! This can be a little hard to find, so ask an employee at your local health food store and they can point you in the right direction. I also order mine from nuts.com..they are a great resource for nuts too. You never saw that coming did you!
To start your cheese masterpiece, you are going to need to soak your almonds in water for 4 hours or longer. Once your nuts have had their spa time..it’s time to put them to work!
I gotta be honest, I don’t even blanch my almonds for this. I just plop em in the Vitamix with the rest of the ingredients (including my homemade coconut milk) and walk away. Leaving the skins on means you have to listen to a loud blender for a little bit but the trade off is totally worth it in my book. You can use blanched almonds if that is your preference also!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup (or more) of nutritional yeast flakes
- 2t garlic powder
- 3 cups coconut milk (see my recipe for coconut milk)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup gelatin (I use Great Lakes grass fed gelatin)
- ½ cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 3 to 3½ T fresh lemon juice
- Soak the almonds in a bowl with 4 cups of water for at least 4 hours. Overnight works too! Once the almonds have soaked, drain the water and rinse.
- Place your almonds in a Vitamix or other high powered blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy. The blending time with vary depending on the blender you use. I usually need to blend for about 5 minutes.
- Lightly grease the bottom of a 9" cake or pie pan. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your pan and line your pan. Pour your cheese mixture in and smooth the top. Allow to set for several hours in the fridge before cutting. This cheese can be sliced, shredded and melted!
- *Tips: If your cheese seems too thick in the blender you can add a little more water or coconut milk. Start with really small amounts or you will have cheese soup! Also, adding more or less lemon juice and nutritional yeast flakes is a great way to find a flavor you love. Do some taste testing to see what you like best!