Almond Feta

Here is a recipe for almond feta cheese that makes it easy to get the great flavor of feta without the dairy.

Now, I am not opposed to dairy, per se, but my son has a life-threatening allergy to cow’s milk, so it is not an option for him.  This is one of his favorite things that I make with our raw almonds and boy, was he thrilled when I made it again today!

This recipe is a slight modification from one found on Diet, Dessert and Dogs, a sugar-free and gluten-free blog.  I admit that I am quite envious at times of the great detail that she can go into in sculpting beautiful desserts.  That went out the window for me once about a year ago when I had to rethink my limitations.  Well, in truth I do that daily, right?

Anyhow, I still get goat and sheep feta for myself at Costco sometimes as I seem to be tolerating it well, though they do not always have it.  For my son, this version will have to do.  And it’s quite good whether baked or not.  In fact, until today, we never baked it.  We just ate it as is.  Again–limitations!  And when it gets gobbled up without going through all the extra effort, then I typically don’t go to the extra effort!

Here is a photo of the finished product (nicely shaped and baked this time :-):

Homemade Almond Feta Cheese Recipe

Now quickly, before you go on to the recipe, I need to explain my main alternation to the recipe.  First of all, clearly the color of my “cheese” is more pink than white.  That is because the original recipe called for blanched almonds.  Now, I could certainly have done that to enhance the color of the finished product, to make it look more like feta, but in order to blanch almonds, you need to boil them, which causes them not to be raw anymore.   And yes, I know that almost all almonds in the U.S. are not raw, but I coordinate a large purchase of raw almonds in the early winter months every year so mine (and other lucky almond buyers’) are truly raw.  Even if your almonds are labeled “raw”, they almost certainly are not.  (By the way, if you live in West Michigan, you are welcome to join us this year and there may be some left this year yet if you are quick!)

In any case, to keep the enzymes intact in my soaked and dried almonds, boiling them is not a great option, and since the recipe tastes great without blanching, I am all for saving the time and effort.  I am sure that there is a slight variation in the taste, but I think the nutrition boost and time savings counteract any gain there.

So–here is the recipe:

 

This would be great spread on Focaccia Flax Bread, plain or served as a sandwich with grated carrots on it or served with fresh vegetables.  Yum!

Linked to Monday Mania and April in the Raw.

Comments

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  1. This is such an interesting recipe! Thanks for posting it. I just bought some almonds today and now I’m thinking they are probably not truly raw (Costco).

    • Rachel,
      No, they are not raw. In fact, if I were you I would take them back. The ones at Costco (yes, I verified it with them :-) ) have been pasteurized with PPO (propylene oxide), a probable human carcinogen.
      If you’d like some of the truly raw ones we may have extras or I can still order more perhaps.

  2. Adrienne,

    I bought almonds from you a year ago. How do I tell if they are still good? They have a brown outside covering. Does this stay on? I want to soak them overnight to make the feta cheese tomorrow.

    Thanks,

    Jen

    • Hi Jen!

      Could you tell me where you had them stored? I would just taste one and see how they are. If they were in the freezer they are certainly fine. If in the fridge, probably fine. One other almond purchaser had them out of the fridge and she said hers were fine, but that’s not where I recommended to keep them :-). Regarding the covering, as I mentioned in my post, I just left the covering on, but you can take it off if you’d like by blanching.

      Let me know if you need anything else!

      • The skin pops right off after soaking. No need to blanch. I just eat the skin (I believe it is high in fiber), and the dogs love it too.

        I’m just baking this “cheese” right now. It tastes good raw, looking forward to seeing what it’s like baked…and what my dairy free 4 year old thinks.

  3. I just saw this link to your post via my stats page–sorry I never knew about this before! And thanks for the mention. :) Your cheese looks great (and so pretty baked!) ;) I love it “raw” OR baked, either way. Of course desserts are another story. . . I just take time for them, whether I really have it to give or not!

    • Hi Ricki!
      I actually had come across your blog about 2 years ago when I discovered that I had candida. I really have enjoyed several of your recipes but time has been short so I haven’t been experimenting as much! I am not sure what you are apologizing for, though….that you didn’t see my link to your blog? No worries, whatever the case! I saw you on wholeapproach.com as well. I hope your health is good.

  4. Thanks, Adrienne. Yes, I meant because I hadn’t seen this. I like to say “thank you” when someone makes reference to my blog! I don’t always get the info, though, unless there’s a pingback or trackback sent. Thanks for asking about the candida–yes, it’s much better (about 95% back to where I was before). :)

  5. sharon metzner says:

    I live in Grand Rapids, MI. I am interested in being included in your bulk order for raw almonds. Do you also order other kinds of raw nuts?

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Sharon Metzner

    • Hi! Sharon, we order sometime around October or November. There are other nuts available at that time as well.

      I also have a co-op out of my home were we get nuts as well and other items. You can contact me through the Contact Me page and I can get more details to you.

      Look forward to hearing from you!

  6. Being dairy sensitive, I gotta try this recipe! I never ate Feta cheese before I found out I was sensitive to dairy, but this might spruce up those sometimes boring meals.

  7. Adrienne. . . California Almonds say this about their almonds: “No additives or other ingredients. Just the best tasting nonpareil almonds (no shell) in a 1 pound clear package.

    It is required by law that almonds grown and sold in the United States must be pasteurized. The almonds we sell are pasteurized by H2O Express with dry steam. The almonds are put into a sealed chamber where the temperature, pressure and steam are controlled by a computer system. The almonds are not cooked. They will sprout when you soak them in water. We also randomly test for taste and sprouting. http://caalmonds.com/

    Would these pass the Adrienne Almond Test?

    • Hello Vernon. So you yourself sell almonds? I am totally fine w/ them if they don’t have the PPO on them. I must say that I am puzzled about how they can sprout if they are pasteurized. Can you shed some light on that for me and my readers? There are almonds that I used to buy that were steamed but they have PPO now. There are also flash frozen almonds in a health food store here, but they are a fortune. Interested in hearing more.

  8. No. . . I don’t sell almonds, just looking for a good solid healthy Pacific Coast source. I have ordered from them. All went well. I will contact California Almonds with some questions. I will ask them about your ‘sprouting after steaming’ puzzle, and verify if in fact they do not PPO their almonds. Can you think of any other questions?

    • Looks like you asked everything. I checked and their prices are pretty good. I sent off a question to a “really raw” almond person to see what their thoughts are on this. Very interesting.

  9. I called California Almond. Talked with Mike one of the owners. He says, “No PPO!, and the Dry Express Steaming process does not damage the enzyme and that they do indeed sprout. They are family owned.” If one wants to call with more questions, here is the number 888-521-7020. It is a sales line, but generally an owner will answer and they appreciate questions. I look forward to making the Almond Feta Cheese.

    • That is very interesting. So it appears that they steam them to take care of any bacteria issues, but the enzymes remain intact. I’ll have to look into it. I am very happy w/ my totally raw almonds, however, and it appears that the issue w/ the salmonella outbreak was a dirty processing equipment issue. But this is a nice option. Thanks for the info.

  10. Almond Feta. . . Incredible! But first of all, surprising. I never thought this dish would be this good, and I never even baked it. Adrienne, now I understand why until recently you never got around to baking it – it was “gobbled up”. Did you find baking it to be useful?

    • Thanks, Vernon! I am so glad you enjoyed it! You know, it’s funny – we haven’t had this in awhile and my son was asking me why not :-). I don’t even remember baking it and his memory is typically so good – he said that he thinks we did and that it was good. I can’t believe I don’t recall – now I guess I’ll have to give it a run :-). Do you ever use nutritional yeast? I haven’t in years but am thinking about getting some again and trying some other “cheese” recipes.

  11. Yes, it was very good; and yes I use Nutritional Yeast – on popcorn. Speaking of popcorn, I made the Popcorn Herb Spice (without Lavendar). It is something I may have to develop a taste for. But. . . I do like Nutritional Yeast on popcorn. Sorry, I don’t have a recipe for you to make NY cheese. I mostly stay away from dairy; it helps me snore, so I look forward to your adventure and magic in developing some Nutritional Yeast Cheeses.

    • Sorry about the popcorn. You may like the other one better (special seasoning). I really like that one and it you mix them together it’s great too. Now that I’ve had the other one I don’t like the Herbes de Provence as well, but boy did we like it at first. I think we like either. I have a fruit dip I hope to post soon, but I have to work on a family project tomorrow so not sure when I’ll get it posted. A little too much going on here :-).

  12. Adrienne,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. It is so good. I am just beginning with Gluten-free/casein free cooking and my son wants cheese so bad. This recipe really helps. Great in Greek Salad.

    Just a tip that it is not necessary to boil the almonds to remove the brown skin. After soaking them it slips off really easily just squeezing them between your fingers.

    Thanks again,
    Frances

  13. This recipe looks great! Im in south Texas and don’t have great resources when in comes to anything “raw” or organic. I and curious about the almonds you buy. Im unfortunantly too far away to be in your coop, but I didn’t know if it was something I could somehow get down here.

    • Hi! Did you see the Just Almonds ad in my sidebar? They are good for sure. I have sent the across country before. Email me and maybe we can figure something out :-).

  14. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! I’m thinking of adding some Mediterranean herbs to the “cheese” making it into crumbles and dehydrating for a little while to remove some of the moisture. Yummy! My question is, you stated you didn’t want to blanch the almonds to remove the skin because they would no longer be considered raw, but doesn’t baking it expose the almonds to the higher temperatures associated with the breakdown of raw enzymes? Thanks for all the info & amazing recipes, your blog is packed with great information for newbies like me :)

    • Yes, you are right about the baking. I have never baked this dish – basically my son and hubby eat it before I can even do that :). Thanks for the kind words – I’ve gotten so many sweet comments today and it’s been a rough day. Bless you!

  15. Hi Adrienne!
    I’d love to know your source for the raw almonds. I’m part of a co-op in WI and we are looking for raw nuts in bulk. Please share!!!

    • I can’t share publicly. I don’t know if I will do it this year but you can email me. I am swamped though so please be patient. I am buying steamed from Just Almonds now. They are wonderful (you can get 10% off in my sidebar.)

  16. Hi, I was excited to see almond feta cheese, so I will try this. I’m currently buying Almond mozzarella cheese and almond cheddar at my local health food store. I would love to save on making my own. Do you have a recipe?
    Thank you for all that you do. I love all the good advice and experience that you are bringing to my table!

  17. This looks like a yummy recipe!

    I am a little curious about the baking while you want to keep the almonds raw?

    I have a raw cookbook that has a recipe for blanched almonds. After soaking place the almonds in boiling water for 7 seconds then plunge into ice water immediately. You can then peel the skins with ease. I am sure that raw food purists would find this method not up to scratch. I prefer to eat my nuts/seeds raw but I do use this method with almonds because it makes them very quick and easy to peel – the skins just pop off when you pinch them, once you get the knack of it you can do it very fast. The almonds do tend to shoot out of their skins so I recommend doing this into a bowl that has been placed in the kitchen sink. It makes a much smoother almond milk/cream (but I don’t have a high powered blender). I’m not sure if this amount of time would cook the almonds or just soften the skin – I am sure they would not be consider 100% raw anymore but they taste raw and it’s totally worth it to me :-)

  18. Hi Adrienne,

    This is truly an awesome recipe! I use it in some other recipes such as salads, I was wondering if you mind if I post a link to this page when I include your almond feta in some other recipes I make? Thanks!