I love cheese, but sadly it doesn’t love me. My quest for making my own cheese started quite a while ago. I wasn’t really adventurous enough to try to make it myself, as I thought it would be too hard to make until I went to a raw food cooking class with a friend and we saw just how easy it was to make cheese with nuts. Feeling more confident with how easy it was to make my own nut cheeses at home, I started experimenting – different types of nuts, raw, dehydrating it for a harder cheese, different flavours, etc.
One day Bella was eating some boursin with crackers when the thought struck me that I could try to replicate the flavour. I used to love eating boursin as well. It’s a cheese that has a special place in my heart as one of my dearest friends, who lived in France and now lives in the USA, got me ‘hooked’ on it back in the day. We ate it on every occasion I can remember.
With Bella my taste tester I recreated the flavour of boursin. I found almonds to be the best nut to use, however, you could also use macadamia or cashews if you prefer. You can buy organic or pesticide free, or, just good ole’ almonds.
The cheese is light and soft like boursin and has the garlic herb flavour as well.
I call this flavour variation, Al’s Cheese, as it’s the most made flavour in the Francis household. I have not put a time in the recipe, as it takes a few days by the time you soak the nuts then let it sit with the probiotics for 24 hours. I buy my probiotics from the fridge section in a health or organic food shop – the brand I get is Micro Genics, Probiotic 8 which is dairy and gluten free.
- 1 cup raw Almonds*
- 1 cup Water
- 3 Probiotic Capsules
- ¾ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt (or Sea Salt)
- ½ teaspoon Dried Parlsey Flakes
- ½ teaspoon Dried Chive Flakes
- Soak the cup of almonds in a large mixing bowl filled with filtered water and pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt) to activate the almonds.** You roughly use 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water.
- The next day - drain the almonds from the water and rinse well then peel off the skins (this is time consuming and tedious but trust me well worth it). You can use paper towelling or a tea towel and rub the almonds between the towelling....the skins come off easy this way. If your using organic almonds, they are a little harder to remove the skins, but still do-able. If you brought blanched almonds just rinse well then go to the next step.
- Using a blender, add 1 cup water and all of the peeled almonds then blend until smooth.
- Add the probiotic by opening the capsule and pouring the powder into the almond/water then blend again to mix well.
- Place a colander or sieve in a mixing bowl or a cheese mould*** and line it with either a muslin cheese cloth or nut bag and pour the thick mixture into the cloth/bag. Make sure you use a mixing spoon to get it all. Cover the mixture with the cloth or secure the bag.
- Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from cloth/bag by putting pressure /weight on it. I usually use a jar full of something.
- Set aside for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours remove the cheese from the cloth/bag and put it into a clean mixing bowl.
- Add garlic powder, salt, parsley and chive flakes and mix well with a spoon.
- Spoon the cheese into a jar, or, using a cookie cutter you place the cookie cutter on grease proof paper and spoon in the cheese pushing it down til it's full.
- Refridgerate til cool then eat.
- It should last for up to 7 days (if you don't eat it all by then).
** Activating almonds is purported to release their toxic substances and nutritional inhibitors. I myself find I don't get abdnominal pains when they are activated.
*** I use a feta cheese mould, but I have used a sieve lined with muslin cloth over a mixing bowl.
I use a feta cheese mould and use my jar of Kefir as the weight for 24 hours.
We eat this cheese with gluten free crackers (shop brought or home made), on bread, on a roll with bacon and egg, in a salad, or on strips of raw zucchini then rolled up. If I’m not making the cheese to take somewhere or for a party I put the cheese into a glass jar. I love recycling glass jars – this is a small olive jar that it the perfect size for Al’s cheese.
In future posts I post a YouTube Clip on just how easy it is to make Al’s Cheese.