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By now you’ve heard of most of the non-dairy cheeses, whether they’re made from soy, coconut, or perhaps cashews. But what about almond cheese? What does it taste like, what nutrition does it have to offer, and what options are out there?
Benefits + Nutrition of Almond Cheese
Almond cheese is lactose-free and suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. Some brands are also vegan, but you can also make a vegan version at home with just a few ingredients.
Additionally, it’s plant-based so it’s lower in saturated fat compared to dairy. Being made from nuts, it’s a source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, calcium, and unsaturated fats.
Some vegan cheese products are fermented, while others are simply pressed into a shape. Those that are fermented can offer additional benefits in the form of natural probiotics that can help support your gut health.
As for the flavor, almond cheese can be fairly tangy. It has a crumbly and creamy texture that makes it a pretty good all-purpose cheese.
Note that not all store-bought almond cheeses are vegan as some still contain milk protein. Plus, almond cheese isn’t intended for people who have almond or other tree nut allergies.
How to Use It
Almond cheese can be used in all the same ways you would use conventional cheese or other non-dairy options. Many brands of almond cheese come in shreds, rounds, and spreadable cheese.
Try almond cheese in these ways:
- Layered onto sandwiches and in wraps
- On salads and in bowls
- Mixed into pasta dishes
- Sprinkled onto pizzas
- In quesadillas and burritos
How to Make It: Basic Steps
Almond cheese is fairly easy to make. If you’re looking for vegan almond cheese, making your own is also an option as there aren’t a ton of vegan almond cheese products available commercially.
To start, you’ll blanch the almonds, which requires allowing them to soak in boiling water for a few minutes and then rubbing the skins off of them. Next, place them in a bowl of cold water and leave them in the fridge for 24 hours.
After they’ve soaked, drain out the water. Add your blanched almonds to a food processor along with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and water. Some recipes may also add flavors like miso or nutritional yeast. Remove your cheese blend from the processor and squeeze the excess liquid through a piece of cheesecloth.
Wrap it in the cheesecloth with a rubber band and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight. This helps provide more shape and texture.
Once your cheese is done taking shape in the fridge, unwrap it and enjoy. It should last for up to 2 weeks.
If you don’t have any cheesecloth, try these.
Best Almond Cheese
There aren’t very many brands making almond cheese in the US, so it may not be that easy to find at the store. But if you’re not super excited about making it at home, here are some of the brands to look out for.
- Lisanatti Almond Cheese (note that this is lactose-free but NOT dairy-free as it contains casein)
- Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese
Almond cheese is one of many non-dairy alternatives to try if you just can’t imagine eating certain dishes without some sort of cheese (like me). While there aren’t many brands making it, there are a couple, though it doesn’t appear that they are all vegan. Instead, you might consider making almond cheese at home.
Curious about what other food trends we’re seeing in 2023 and beyond? See this post!