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Dairy Free Vegan Cheese: Savoury Ricotta

March 27, 2015



I've called this savoury ricotta because that's the nearest 'real' cheese this style resembles. It might be fairer to call it a cheese dip or spread, but it has the soft, spreadable consistence of ricotta or creamy cheese, with the slightly grainy texture of ricotta.

This is the basic recipe from which the different styles of cheese I made came from, the method is the same if you use almonds or cashews. I found the cashews to have a smokier flavour which I think suits the mozzarella and cheddar style cheeses, I used the smoother, sweeter almonds for this ricotta, and for the feta styles.



Have a read of my post 'Adventures in Vegan Cheese: Introduction' for some explanation of ingredients and tips if this is your first time making dairy free cheese!


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups / 170g blanched (skins removed) almonds
1 1/4 cups / 310ml almond milk (unsweetened)
6 heaped table spoons of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of finely minced garlic
1 tsp salt
juice of half a lemon

Method:

This basic spread is exceptionally easy to make, as long as you have the right ingredients, done the prep and have a great blender.

You need to soak the almonds to make them soft enough to blend to a smooth paste. The best way to do this is over night at room temperature. Pop the nuts into a bowl and cover with fresh filtered water then cover and pop in a cool place. There is nothing in the nuts that would cause the to spoil, or go 'off' in a room temperature environment overnight, it will actually allow them to soften more than if they were kept in the fridge.



Once soaked and soft, drain the nuts well and press dry paper towel to get rid of excessive water. Tumble them into the food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend.

Yep, that's it.

This basic spread/ricotta style cheese really requires no extra prep than this. The efficiency of yoru blender will dictate the time it takes to blend to a smooth paste, it took me about 5 solid minutes of blending, stopping every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl and ensure everything was well mixed.

Once smooth this will keep in the fridge for as long as your almond milk would have done- approximately 7 days from opening the almond milk.

It can also be frozen to keep longer- just leave in the fridge over night to defrost.

I love it spread on grainy, wholemeal toast and topped with fresh pesto as a great lunch bite or after noon snack!

You can also make a sweet version of this ricotta style cheese- the recipe for which will be up on the blog in the coming weeks so check back soon!










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