This cultured almond recipe makes a nice, mild, spreadable vegan cheese with a bit of tang and a subtle, musky flavour reminiscent of goat cheese. This cultured almond base is intended to be combined with other ingredients and cultured further for the more complex, solid cheeses later in this Vegan MoFo series. However, it can be salted and eaten on it’s own with bread or crackers.
Video Tutorial for Vegan Cultured Almond Cheese
I used rejuvelac made from wheat berries in this particular cheese because it has a musky kind of scent that makes the cheese take on goat-cheese-like characteristics. However, feel free to use any kind you like.
You’re going to need three ingredients:
– raw almonds
You’re also going to need:
– a large glass jar/container of some kind
– a blender of some kind
Of course, your cheese will turn out smoother if you use a high-powered blender. But don’t be discouraged if all you have is a bullet/immersion blender/regular ol’ cheapy blender. You’ll just have to add more rejuvelac. You can culture the cheese just the same, then drain the excess water by wrapping the thing in cheesecloth and letting it drain in a colander.
Note that if you have chlorinated tap water like me, you’re going to want to de-chlorinate it before using. You can let a pitcher sit out for a couple hours and the chlorine will dissipate. Or, use boiled water that has cooled to room temperature.
As we’re fermenting stuff at room temperature, it’s super important to work with all clean, sterile equipment. Be aware of cross-contamination (especially when tasting).
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 cup or more rejuvelac ( I used wheat-based rejuvelac for it's musky characteristics)
- a pinch of salt
- Soak almonds for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.
- De-skin the almonds. Discard the skins and rinse the skinned almonds.
- Combine the almonds and a pinch of salt in your blender.
- Add about a quarter cup of rejuvelac and start to blend on a medium speed setting.
- Increase the blender speed as the almonds break down. Add more rejuvelac as necessary to keep the mixture blending. You may need to pause the blender and tamp the ingredients down. Continue until the mixture is very smooth.
- Transfer the almond mixture to a clean glass bowl. Using a clean utensil, take a bit to taste. It should taste bland, just like raw almonds.
- Cover and let ferment at room temperature for a day or two. Taste it to test flavour development. It will develop a mild tanginess and take on a milky, yogurt-y flavour. It will get stronger as it ferments.
- After that, it's ready to use! Combine it with more salt to taste and feel free to add herbs and spices. Or, use it as a base in other more complex vegan cheese recipes.
- Store this almond culture in the fridge until you're ready to use it. It will continue to ferment slowly so keep tasting to keep track of flavour development.