I found an AMAZING recipe for vegan Herb & Garlic Almond Cheese on the CookingWithPlants YouTube channel. I’ve keeping this one in my back pocket for a few weeks now and finally tracked down some blanched almonds so I could give this recipe a try.
You could also make this cheese with cashews but I wanted to try an almond cheese since I haven’t experimented with those yet. The results were really great! The cheese was nice and firm enough to slice without being too mushy, but it was also creamy and easy to spread. You could also melt this cheese, but if you ask me that defeats the point of adding the agar-agar powder and pouring it into molds. There are plenty of melty/saucey vegan cheese recipes out there. I was excited to try this one because it was sliceable and on the firmer side. And it turned out exactly how I imagined!
I was having an intense cheese-craving and I knew I needed to make a nice fresh vegan cheese with some crispy toasted baguette slices to go with it. So that’s what I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon doing.
As any fellow vegan or lactose-intolerant person knows, sometimes you just can’t resist that craving for a GOOD cheese… A realistic, edible-on-its-own, “fancy” kind of cheese. You know what I’m talking about. Daiya has its purpose, but it does NOT fill that void in my life where delicious, tangy, creamy, fresh cheese used to be. Nut cheese does.
Check out the recipe for this herb & garlic almond cheese on CookingWithPlants website or YouTube channel. Anja has some amazing cheese recipes for you to browse through and try for yourself. Her videos are really relaxing for some reason too, she really seems like a genuinely calm and friendly person that would be chill to hang out with.
The gist of the recipe is this:
- Put all your ingredients in a blender and process. There aren’t too many ingredients but you will need agar-agar powder and tapioca starch. (These are basic ingredients for most other vegan cheese recipes too so you might as well stock up. If you can’t find either of these locally, just buy them from the internet.)
- Boil in a pot or pan 5-10 minutes to activate the agar and thicken the cheese.
- Pour into molds and set in the fridge ~30-60 minutes.
- Remove from molds and roll edges into a mixture of spices or almond meal if desired. (Original recipe calls for herbs mixed with paprika, I used herbs mixed with almond meal instead. I think hemp seeds would make a good crust as well!)
Easy-peasy! Trust me, anyone could make this and you would NOT regret having a couple little wheels of this stuff in your fridge for when a snack craving hits. For me the recipe made enough to fill 3 small ramekins.
Daiya cheese and other store-bought processed vegan cheeses are wonderful for pizza, tacos, scrambled tofu and other stuff, but when it comes to making an actual nice cheese board for lunch (you know, like when you’re heckin craving a Nuts For Cheese cheese board and charcuterie plate from Glassroots vegan restaurant in London, Ontario but you’re living 200km away in downtown Toronto), you’re better off making your own cheese. (Or buying Nuts for Cheese wedges. That works too. Definitely do that.)
(And if you thought that other picture was enough of a cheese board for me, you clearly don’t know how much I love a good cheese board… I ate this entire plate and half the cheese wheel myself and only shared one little baguette crisp with Mr. Spoon who, by the way, gave a solid thumbs-up for this recipe!)
Try this almond-based vegan cheese recipe and let me know what you think! I love the herb and garlic twist to this cheese and it really has a great texture. Leave a comment if you try this one, or another of Anja from CookingWithPlants recipes.