How to Make Dairy Free Cheese (Part 1 Cheese Series) : The Renegade Health Show #804

Wednesday Apr 20 | BY |
| Comments (53)

If you’re like me, you probably like cheese…

If you’re also like me and the other 50-80% of Americans who are lactose intolerant, then you probably have an issue eating the cheese that you so desperately long for.

Today, raw food chef Heather Haxo Phillips will show you how to make a dairy free cheese (raw vegan).

This is the first of a 3 part series. This first episode will demonstrate the basic cheese recipe, then tomorrow we’ll show you how to make a cheese with a hard rind, and Friday we’ll have an herbed soft cheese spread.

It’s cheese week, and I’m pumped!

Take a look…

Your question of the day: Have you had vegan cheese like this? What did you think?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Here’s the raw food recipe for this Dairy Free Cheese:

Nut Cheese

Makes 2 cups

– 2 cups almonds, blanched and peeled
– 1 cup Rejuvelac or Water Kefir (or 1 cup water with 2 capsules of probiotic powder)

Place the almonds and Rejuvelac in a high-speed blender and process until smooth, adding more Rejuvelac if necessary to form a smooth, creamy texture.

Pour into a nut milk bag or cheesecloth-lined strainer such as a strawberry basket. Allow to strain and ferment for 12-48 hours, until desired tartness is achieved.

Remove the cheese from the strainer.

Add in basic flavoring: Start with about ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. 1 – 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast or miso can further deepen a flavor profile. A pinch of nutmeg is excellent too.

Refrigerate the cheese until ready to use. Season further or sweeten your cheese as desired before serving.

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Nut Cheese it will last for up to two weeks.

Note: To blanch almonds, bring water almost to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the almonds and allow to sit for 3 – 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the almonds, and slip off the peels.

If you want to learn more about Heather Haxo Phillips, please click here:

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Leslie says:

    I have had store bought almond cheese, and nobody in my house could stand it. Nasty was the only word that described it. I think I’ll give homemade almond cheese a try though, just to see if it’s any better.

  2. wendy green says:

    i have never had vegan cheese. 🙂

  3. Mar Raw says:

    I had vegan cheese, processed one, not raw.

    Honestly, I do not need a substitute for cheese. The original rawfoods give me already so much tasty stuff.
    But, it looks interesting.

  4. eyla says:

    I have a thing for vegan cheese (the horribly processed ones!!), I love it, tyr not to have it too often,
    the raw ones are a bit different, I’ve only tried homemade, but I like them, I’ll be trying this recipe out, thanks!

  5. Althea says:

    Thank you for this! I want to try this one for sure. Thank you again. Maybe I can get my family to like this. 🙂

  6. I’ve never made vegan cheese before! I’ll definitely have to give it a shot. I gave up cheese for lent so I’ve been off of cheese completely for almost 40 days. My skin has definitely cleared up!
    I wish raw almonds weren’t so expensive or hard to find!!
    BTW, love you guys and all you do. I’ve learned so much from the two of you. Keep it up!

  7. I’ve never had nut cheese…that looks really good and easy to make, I’m looking forward to trying it…thanks!

  8. Susan says:

    Yes. I made a recipe similar to this one and asked my favorite pizza restaurant to substitute the ricotta cheese with the nut cheese in their typical cheese calzone recipe. It turned out excellent.

  9. Catherine Meade says:

    I’ve had fermented cashew cream cheese… delicious!

  10. […] sure to watch Part 1 here before you watch this […]

  11. Wendi says:

    Yep, made my own vegan cheeze for a number of things from vegan pizza to use inside power wraps. I find it ferments best by putting into my yogert maker over night. This seems to control the process a whole lot better since the temp is even. I also like to put some nutrial yeast and a little pepper into the recipe, makes it taist more like cheeze. I think it’s really import flavor wise not to over ferment your almonds.

  12. Holly says:

    I’ve been getting your newsletters for about a year and have been gradually making changes to my diet, but I really couldn’t jump in all the way because of my love for cheese! This was fascinating to learn about and I will absolutely be giving it a try. Thanks a lot!

  13. Sandi S says:

    I’ve had store-bought almond cheese but am really excited about making my own almond cheese! I currently make raw goat’s milk cheese and occassionally make raw cow’s milk cheese. They’re both good but I’m always looking for something new to try.

  14. Kathleen says:

    YES! I had a heavenly vegan raw cheese at Ecopolitan; I think it was cashew cheese…it was dreamy! 🙂

    We have had Daiya, which is lovely, but not raw, of course. (Still less unhealthy than dairy cheese!) 🙂

  15. Sue says:

    Long before I was into health foods, I tried vegan cheese. At that time in my life, it did not impress me. I’d like to make this kind of cheese.

  16. YES! I had a heavenly vegan raw cheese at Ecopolitan; I think it was cashew cheese…it was dreamy! 🙂

    We have had Daiya, which is lovely, but not raw, of course. (Still less unhealthy than dairy cheese!) 🙂

  17. Page says:

    I made a raw cashew cheese that was quite tasty.

  18. Beth says:

    Thanks for the recipe…I’ve been trying to find videos on cultured vegan cheeses. Glad you posted this one.

  19. Kuru says:

    I’ve made sunflower seed cheese; it did not last long! Delicious.

  20. Kathryn says:

    Yes, I have made raw almond vegan cheese. It was wonderful!
    I used 2 cups almonds, 1 c water, 1 teaspoon probiotics starter and let it set 18 hrs. Then I added 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 t. dried dill, 1/2 t Himalayan salt and thoroughly mixed it and rolled into a roll then rolled in dill again. Talk about a hit! It was so good.
    You can also make a cheese like this using cinnamon, nutmeg, then form into roll & roll in dry coconut. This is good for a breakfast cheese or a treat.

  21. Velda says:

    Thank you so much. This is very fascinating. I have never had vegan cheese …. but I love almonds. I must try this some time.

  22. Iva Talacko says:

    Thank you. I’m looking forward to try it:-)

  23. Dr. E says:

    Dr. Cow “cheese” is awesome… but can be a bit pricey.

  24. Maia says:

    I have made nut cheese quite a bit with different flavor profiles each time. I used cashews more than almonds and love to add garlic and parsley, italian herbs, or basil etc. It is great to use in raw ravioli and raw lasagna. YUM. I haven’t made it in a long time since I wanted to cut my nut consumption.

  25. turns better with olve oil and fresh oregano

  26. zyxomma says:

    I’ve made my own live nut cheeze on numerous occasions–almond, Brazil nut, macadamia, sunflower, and nut/hemp seed mixtures. As for store-bought, Dr. Cow’s macadamia is terrific. Yum!

    I’ve also made macadamia ricotta for live lasagna.

  27. frucht says:

    I havent made raw vegan cheese before.

    Idont know where to get the ingriedients. Do you realy need a vitamix. Its so high in price.

    If i would use cashews i would soak it then get some ferment into it.

    MISo and soysauce and saurkraut is also ferment. Does it work with them?
    Milk kefir or yohurt is animal based, if i just put i a little bit it should work as well?

    It wouldnt be vegan then.

    wow. How did it taste? and how did you get your restaurant making this pizza? Whas is still baked? Amzing!
    7:51 pm on April 20th, 2011
    Yes. I made a recipe similar to this one and asked my favorite pizza restaurant to substitute the ricotta cheese with the nut cheese in their typical cheese calzone recipe. It turned out excellen

  28. Leslie says:

    What about all this new info on omega 3’s and 6’s? Almonds have 2000 x more 6’s than 3’s and that’s not good.. We must delve into the raw cheese thing without using nuts or seeds (except chia or flax) .. Please Heather come up with a chia seed cheese!

  29. Yamina says:

    Definitively NO and NEVER ! Isn’t there any frustration in trying to have the same taste as what we condemn ? The same shape (it is quite a bit unsuccessful…) I’d rather have my little gouda au cumin, gruyère suisse, Saint-Nectaire, comté jeune… my very fresh and white goat cheese, barely smelly… all organic just because more tasty, with this yellow of raw butter in transparency ! All your recipes, Kevin and Ann, make me fear and have a quick glance towards the way of escaping fastly… Yuk and yuk ! And YUK !

    • RobinM says:

      Yamina, your response leaves no room for those who either CANNOT eat dairy or CHOOSE not to eat animal products. You DON’T have to even be reading recipes like these so I’m puzzled as to why you are both reading and responding to a recipe you have no desire to try…

  30. Kosotie says:

    I have never tried raw almond cheese, but looking forward to try it. I have tasted vegan soft cheese, which taste like soft rubber tires… never again!

  31. Charmaine says:

    Kevin and Annmarie, I HEART your recipes! I’ve made a number of raw vegan cheeses myself and I loved all of them 🙂

    @ Yamina

    It’s your attitude that’s so yucky. What the heck are you doing here? Leave Kevin and Ann alone.

  32. Blair says:

    raw cheeses are much better than the processed vegan cheeses for everyone who has commented about that!!

    I have tried it, but I am not a big fan of cheese anymore having not eaten it for so long.

    Thanks for the recipe! she makes it look easy and when I have thought about making it for people before I don’t want to because of the time!

  33. Zakiyyah says:

    Good day,

    No I never had a vegan chesse,very interesting. I surely want to try it,because I do love cheese,and like you I’m lactose intolerant. Thanks Kev.

  34. Patricia says:

    I’ve tasted Heather’s cheese’s in class and they are fabulous!

  35. […] sure to watch Part 1 here before you watch this one. (Here’s Part Two also: click […]

  36. Jeff says:

    Vegan cheese is a wonderful treat, and I love when I have time to make it! I have used all kinds of nuts like brazil, cashew, almond, pumpkin, and they all work great! This a definitely a more digestible way to eat nuts, and lots of fun! Thank you Kevin, Annmarie, and Heather!

  37. Paula says:

    I have seen Heather demonstrate cheese before, and in both your demonstration and the prior one, she said to put the almonds into boiling water so that the skins would come off. She said to get “truly raw almonds” and throw them into boiling water! I do not understand how someone can claim that the almonds are raw if they have been treated by putting them in boiling water until the skins will come off. What’s the difference in flash pasturizing and throwing the nuts into boiling water? Doesn’t the boiling kill the enzymes and take the live energy out of the almonds?

  38. Awesome..I was just thinking of this. Thanks for the video Kevin and annmarie

  39. Jane says:

    I love almond cheese from whole foods. eat everyday as a treat.

  40. Karen Beattie says:


  41. CeCe says:

    I have made basic cheese using raw cashews and it is DELICIOUS!!!! The recipe is similar to this one, except it used both rejuvelac and probiotic powder for the basic cheese. I use this base to make an awesome spinach dip!!! Yum Yum!!:-)

  42. Ana says:

    I am wondering if The flavoring of The cheese is done after it has been cultured, how will The flavors get inside The cheese? Won’t it be flavorful on the outside and not on the inside?

  43. Eva says:

    thanks for the beautiful recipe, I will definitely try it, I’m sure it’s dilish, love your hair Kev, and no hat:)

  44. Pam (in Los Angeles) says:

    Yes, I’ve had both homemade & commercial vegan nut cheeses. The most “luxurious” (i.e. expensive) one I ever made included macadamia nuts. Exquisite, but not often affordable… Usually I use almonds, or a combo of almonds with soaked sesame and/or sunflower seeds, & probiotic capsules. Almonds aren’t cheap either, but some of the farmers’ markets in this area have almond growers, and they sometimes give good deals.
    Am looking forward to trying Heather’s recipes, though, as I’d never thought to add nutmeg to the cheese. Using berry baskets for strainer/moulds is clever. Thanks for that hint,too.

  45. Tammy says:

    @ Yamina

    …and what will you do if one day you find your body will no longer tolerate “a little gouda au cumin, gruyère suisse, Saint-Nectaire, comté jeune” due to allergies/intolerance/disease, etc??

  46. Shari says:

    Did you remove this video? I finally have time to sit and watch in entirety and it says it is not available.


  47. RobinM says:

    I have had vegan cheese and made some as well with varying results. About four years ago I found a wonderful recipe for an American style (yes…I love American cheese!!) but alas, I misplaced the recipe and haven’t been able to find it on the internet again!! Oh, well!! LOL Over the years my requirements have changed from finding an exact substitute for whatever (cheddar, mozzarella, etc.) to one of finding something that simply tastes good, works for what I am using it on, and has the right texture and mouthfeel. My foray into fermented vegan cheese was not successful, but I hope with this series to change this! Thanks!!

  48. YvonneMary says:

    Quite impressive and almondsare cheap here in Spain. Think second time around, I’ll soak the almonds overnight before processing with the water kefir so they are easier to cream. And maybe a little mustard will give a cheesier result

  49. Jim says:

    This great ! Love the simplicity of it all.
    Just a quick side bar, do you have a recipe for cheese that you can make in slices for sandwiches?
    Great job to you all,

  50. RIta says:

    I love nut cheeses. I find that most of the store cheeses are so so,but homemade cheeses are the best. I got started making my own when I picked up a copy of the Ultimate uncheese cookbook. The best part about making your own cheese is experimenting. I was a real dairy nut before I became vegan and without the nondairy cheeses it would be hard to be vegan for me. If you haven’t tried it you really missing something. The best ready made nut cheeses I have had was in Florence, Italy and I can’t find a US source.

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