March 11, 2015

Almond Cheese aka Fromunda Cheese

I spent some time with some vegans this weekend. If vegans are anything, they are completely dedicated to making their food taste good. I suppose they do that so they don't also miss out on the joys of a delicious, comforting meal while still maintaining their moral ground of not eating animal byproducts. I dig it, I could totally get on board with it if I had a personal chef who prepared my food for me. To be vegan, at least a healthy one, takes dedication, time, and commitment.

While I was there I spoke with one of the girls about making nut cheese, it is something I have been wanting to do for awhile because dairy does not quite agree with my skin. They just don't play well together so I gave up dairy in most forms with the exception of cheese. Cheese is its own food group in my world. Anyways, after some talking with her I was feeling froggy. I went home and promptly dumped some almonds into a bowl to soak.

Almond cheese requires you to soak the almonds for 24 hours. I should have taken this as an indication of how frustrating they would be to work with, but alas! I did not. So last night, my beloved Tuesday night was spent peeling almonds. You got that right folks, peeling almonds.

After nearly 2 hours of peeling, I finally had 1 cup full of almonds. I put all of my ingredients into my Ninja blender and blended the shit out of them. I had to get out a spatula and keep scraping the sides every 4.2 seconds because it would just launch the almond bits to the sides and not chop them any further.

 I use fresh lemon juice because I don't like chemicals in my food so I prefer to just make most things instead of buying a convenient, time saving, money saving bottle. Dammit, I need to reevaluate my life choices.

After what felt like an eternity, I gave up and scraped the mixture into a food processor... where I had to do the same thing. Eventually, I got this ricotta like cheese substance.

I tasted it and much to my surprise, it was not completely foul. What it was though is extremely garlicky! I don't know what it is about vegetarian and vegan recipes calling for so much raw garlic, but dammit it is a strong flavor. My dear Poopyschunffkins once made a vegan ravioli that he spent 4 hours making only to ruin it with raw chopped garlic. Be careful with the stuff. He is still disappointed about that failure.

So there you have it, my ball of cheese that is currently wrapped up and getting firm in my fridge. I plan to eat it on Friday night with some rice crackers or possibly make a grilled cheese sandwich with it and some home made bread.

1 cup of organic, raw almonds
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon parsely
1 teaspoon raw minced garlic, because face it - you're not making out with anyone ever again
4 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Soak almonds for 24 hours (if using cashews or macadamia nuts, soak for 6 hours), peel the almonds, mix all ingredients in your blender or food processor until it resembles ricotta cheese. There you have it, a giant ball of nut cheese, also known as fromunda cheese.

The calorie count on this entire ball is about 880 calories. Next time I make this I will not use almonds, I will not add chopped raw garlic, and I might mince the rosemary more. The herbs on this could use some testing, I am going to try sun dried tomatoes and basil next time.