Posted on: by Alistair
Ayurvedic science is not a big supporter of replacing real food with faux products (fake meats, fake milk, etc). This is mostly due to the amount of processing that occurs when food is modified to create a texture or taste that is not natural for that food.
However, when the ingredients and the production methods are simple, there is no surprise for our digestion. For example, although almond and rice milk are a liquid version of the base ingredient, we can still easily assimilate them because our digestive enzymes know what to do with it. With too much processing, our body loses the ability to completely digest the “food” and we increase the Ama in our bodies.
With this in mind, and for those of you in search of an alternative to regular cheese, here is a method to create almond cheese without creating a food that will confuse your digestion.
The all natural ingredient list:
- Leftover blended nuts from making almond milk
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Make Almond Milk
- Follow the directions for making almond milk. The leftover blended nuts from the almond milk becomes the main ingredient for our almond cheese.
- Ferment It
- Place the blended nuts in a strainer, cover it and put it somewhere warm – perhaps in an unheated oven with the light on. Leave it to ferment for 12 to 24 hours depending on outside temperature and humidity – when it smells funky, it’s done.
If you strained all the water off when you separated the milk from the blended nuts then add a little before you set it aside to ferment. Without enough moisture the fermentation won’t occur and you’ll be left with a very bland and rather unappetising cheese.
This step gives it a cheesy whiff and makes it marginally easier to digest (but can aggravate Pitta).
- Oil It
- Add the oil, lime juice and salt to the fermented “cheese”.
I wasn’t sure this step was necessary at my first attempt but it makes for a much more appetising and Vata pacifying cheese. The unctuous result is also good for adrava Pitta (dry Pitta).
If you’d prefer a drier cheese then modify the amount of oil. Ayurveda is clear on how important oil is for our nervous system so don’t make the mistake of reducing the oil so as to produce a lower calorie cheese.
- Mix It
- The best way to make certain that everything gets mixed in properly is to use a blender. Mixing it by hand can leave some of the oil separated and significantly affect the taste.
Also, at this point it’s not possible to overblend the cheese so make you’ve combined everything well before you’re done.
Spoon the cheese into a container with an airtight lid and seal. Store the container in the fridge and the cheese will last for a week to ten days (less if you’re particularly hungry).
A delicious result…
Almond cheese from “cooked” almonds is ideal for Vata while raw almond cheese is best for Pitta. Kapha should limit eating any cheeses especially in the colder months, however, they can be a little less restrictive with this one as it’s lighter and less congestive.