Feta cheese alternative

I have been searching for a dairy free feta cheese recipe for ages. Finally, I made one today and it tastes well, pretty much like the real thing. So I am very happy to be sharing this with you.

Every since I was a little kid, I couldn’t eat or tolerate dairy very well. I learned to love sorbet’s instead of ice cream. I guess it’s not a bad thing, since there is so much information out there about the negatives of dairy products. Although the dairy industry will disagree – they only see the positives when it comes to consumption – which is fair enough. But when it comes to the health of my family, I will make my own decisions, not purely on taste.

So it’s taken me ages to get rid of the ‘chicken skin’ look to disappear from the back of my arms, face and neck; the hubby gets really bad sinusitis from dairy, so we very rarely do consume it. If, we do eat it, I avoid yellow cheese and opt for the white, cultured cheeses and organic if possible.

I do want to get into the habit of making my own from scratch, and a nut based one – much more fibre content (I’m all about fibre). My 2 year old, doesn’t have any allergies, thankfully, so I’m training her tastebuds for non-dairy options.

Anyway this recipe is easy to form into cubes or balls, which could then be drenched with a beautiful and delicious extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle of fresh thyme, rosemary etc. I’d bake it just to make a slight crust, so it holds its shape easier. I am making a log version, so I can slice it and add to salads or use to top off bakes and casseroles etc. This feta, crumbles like a ‘Greek’ style type so it’s a perfect addition to a salad. Bake it for longer and you get a thicker crust which makes it easier to slice to top your sandwiches with.

Please give this a go, I hope you enjoy…

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt
  • 125mL (½ cup) olive oil
  • 100mL freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Cover the almonds with filtered water, and leave overnight. The next day, I blanch the almonds and peel the skin off. This is optional – blanched almonds gives the feta a white colour with no specks.
  2. Place almonds and salt into TM bowl and grind speed 9-10, until it’s finely ground. 12-15 seconds. I usually scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and grind down again.
  3. Add the garlic, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, mix till well combined, speed 6-7 for a few seconds. Decrease speed to 4 and in a steady stream, add the olive oil. Once oil is incorporated, increase speed to 9 for a final mix – to ensure smooth consistency is reached (as seen in photo).  
  4. Optional – Sprinkle a baking sheet of paper (big enough to fit into a loaf tin) with your favourite herbs and spices. I used Italian herbs and freshly cracked black pepper.
  5. Empty the contents of the TM bowl onto the baking sheet and form into a log – I use the baking sheet to roll it out – this way my hands stay clean and all the sides get covered with the herbs and spices.
  6. Place into loaf tin and bake in oven at 130°C for 35 minutes. Wait until cheese is cool before slicing it.

bon appetit

 


 

Conventional Method

  1. Cover the almonds with filtered water, and leave overnight. The next day, I blanch the almonds and peel the skin off. This is optional – blanched almonds gives the feta a white colour with no specks.
  2. Place blanched almonds into a food processor and grind down, till very fine.
  3. After the initial grind, add the remaining ingredients and process. Every now and then scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to process. When you are happy with the consistency, as seen in the photo, it will be easy to form into a log, cubes or balls.
  4. Optional – Sprinkle a baking sheet of paper (big enough to fit into a loaf tin) with your favourite herbs and spices. I used Italian herbs and freshly cracked black pepper.
  5. Place cheese onto the baking sheet and form into a log – I use the baking sheet to roll it out – this way my hands stay clean and all the sides get covered with the herbs and spices.
  6. Place into loaf tin and bake in oven at 130°C for 35 minutes. Wait until cheese is cool before slicing it.

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