Probiotic Pumpkin Almond Cheese

Love cheese but want a healthier option than pasteurized commercial cheese? While there are some quality raw, grass-fed cheese available, nothing beats homemade. This particular cheese happens to be dairy-free for anyone who doesn’t tolerate it well.

What’s so nice about fermented cheese is that they make the nuts and seeds or whatever base ingredients very easy to digest. Typically, nuts and seeds are hard to digest and are better on the digestive system when soaked and fermented. This means not only easier digestion but also the increased bioavailability of nutrients in the nuts and seeds.

Making cheese does take time but it’s actually very simple to do.

PART 1: Culturing The Cheese

There are two steps to this cheese making process; first we prepare and culture the nut pate and secondly we age it.

To begin, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of unpasteurized almonds
  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 starter culture
  • 1 tbsp. coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. real salt
  • 1 tbsp. reasoning of choice (rosemary, thyme, basil)

Here;s how you make it:

  1. Begin by soaking your nuts & seeds for 6-8 hours.
  2. Afterwards, give them a nice rinse.
  3. Next, you have options. I would recommend blending them with 2 cups of water, straining through a nut mylk bag and viola, you have fresh nut milk. You can then use the pulp to make your cheese! You can also just blend the soaked nuts.
  4. If you go the first route, you’ll want to add a little bit of liquid back to the pulp or what I do is add one big tbsp. of coconut yogurt to the pulp. This serves as a starter culture and will add creaminess.
  5. If you go the second route – simply blend the nuts with a starter culture with sea salt.
  6. Transfer this mixture to your nut mylk bag or cheese cloth and wrap tightly.
  7. You can put in your dehydrator on low for 24hrs, or you can let it sit on your counter for 36 hours. This is the initial culturing phase.

PART 2: Aging & Flavoring The Cheese

After you’ve completed part 1 and your cheese has cultured (you’ll know because will be dry on the outside and soft on the inside with a yeasty smell) your next step is to age it with some flavor.

  1. Take your cultured cheese and place it into a glass bowl.
  2. Add your choice of spices. I like to add this blend of 24 spices for a savory cheese.
  3. Mix the spices into the cheese until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto parchment paper.
  5. Roll it into a log shape.
  6. Store in the fridge for 4-6 days. This will age the cheese, making it more potent in probiotic bacteria and flavor.
  7. Serve on top of my savory sprouted sunflower seed crackers, sourdough bread or dip with veggie sticks.

For more delicious probiotic food recipes like this and over 130 other whole food recipes be sure to check out my new cookbook The Gourmet Foodie!