• Susie Csorsz Brown

Almond 'Cheese' Spread

Sometimes you make something that catches you by surprise as to how tasty it is. I know, that's probably not a good way to lead up to a recipe I am about to share with you, but ... it's true.


I've heard about a lot of vegan or non-dairy 'cheese' options that are based on cashews. I have tried them, and honestly, not really a fan. Plus, I don't really miss cheese or dairy dips or really any dairy, for that matter. But I was having a small gathering, and one of the people coming is vegan and I always want to ensure the everyone at one of our gatherings has at least two or three options so ... down that faux-cheese rabbit hole I went.


I'm telling you, this is good. GOOOOD. I hope you try it. Before you do, a couple of notes:

First, don't try this without a high-power blender. It will not work, it will not create a smooth dip, and it will just be meh.


Second, skin your almonds if you don't have blanched almonds on hand. After they soak overnight, the skins should just pop off. A little bit of a pain in the butt, but ... I made my kids do it. They didn't really mind.



Almond 'Cheese' Spread


Yield: about 1 1/2 cups of dip/spread


Ingredients

1 cup whole raw almonds

1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp pesto

1/2 tsp sun-dried tomato tapenade

1/4 cup peri peri, hot sauce or a combination of peri peri and tomato tapenade, for topping


Directions


Place the raw almonds into a glass container and cover with water. Cover, and place in the refrigerator. Soak for 24 hours.


About 30 minutes before blending, soak garlic in lemon juice. After 30 minutes, drain lemon juice, discarding garlic.


Drain and rinse the soaked almonds. Peel the almonds if necessary.

Place the soaked almonds, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, tapenade and pesto into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. This may take up to 7 - 10 minutes. Add more water as needed to achieve good consistency.


Transfer the mixture into a bowl, top with peri peri as desired. If you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours to allow flavors to develop.


Any remaining dip can be stored 4 - 5 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!


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