meatless monday: make your own (vegan, simple) cheese

Cheese: no longer just an offering from goats and French guys in Pyrenees caves, or chemists from the Kraft company. We now can make our own vegan, soy-free cheese at home! This recipe via GreenWala seems simple enough, and I like that I learned something about palm oil (don’t use it!). Add your own fresh herbs and high-quality olive oil to impress your generally unimpressed friends at your next cheese + wine party.

vegan cheese: made from blanched almonds

Vegan “Feta”
1 c. organic blanched almonds
3 tbsp. + 1/4 c. good olive oil
1/4 c. organic lemon juice
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 clove organic garlic, peeled
Organic fresh herbs, your choice (basil, chives, rosemary, herbes de provence…)

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with three inches of cold water. Soak for 24 hours. In a food processor add all ingredients except 1/4 c. olive oil and the fresh herbs. Puree for 6 min., stopping every minute to scrape down sides of bowl. Place in strainer with three layers of cheesecloth. Allow to strain overnight in the refrigerator. Squeeze out excess moisture and remove cheesecloth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 200 F. Place cheese on baking sheet and form a six-inch round nearly an inch think. Bake for 40 min. Cool then chill. Place remaining oil and fresh herbs in a saucepan and heat but do not boil. Drizzle herbed oil over cheese and serve with fresh vegetables, crackers or bread.

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