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BASIC ALMOND RICOTTA
Makes about 3 cups

Adding raw nut cheeses to your repertoire may satisfy your soul in ways that you don’t anticipate. Start off with the simplicity of the Basic Almond Ricotta. Or divide batch portions to create a cheese board assortment with varieties of Feta and Herb Cheese.

3 cups raw almonds, plus water for soaking
¼ teaspoon probiotic powder
1 teaspoon light yellow miso
1 ½ cup water
TOOLS: High-speed blender, mesh container or sieve and cheesecloth

• Place almonds into hot water for a few minutes. Pinch almond skins off with fingers.
• Remove almonds from hot water. Place in bowl and cover with cool water. Soak at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
• Place probiotic powder, light miso, and water into blender and mix.
• Drain soaked almonds. Add soaked almonds to blender and process with miso mixture, adding more water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.
• Dampen cheese cloth and layer inside mesh container.
• Pour almond mixture into cheesecloth and cover with cheesecloth folds.
• Let stand to ripen (ferment) about 12 hours over bowl.
• Place weight on top of mesh container if mixture has excess liquid.
• Store covered in the refrigerator about 24 hours to firm up, or prepare cheese alternatives now before storing.

Alternatives
Herb cheese:
For each cup of ripened nut cheese, hand mix a variety of fresh, finely chopped herbs and onion to ripened cheese: 2 teaspoons fresh chopped herb, 1 teaspoon onion, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast, and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice.

Feta cheese: For each cup of ripened nut cheese, hand mix: 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ½ tablespoon minced onion and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice. Using an off-set spatula, spread to desired thickness—approximately ½ to 1 inch—on a nonstick Teflex drying sheet. Dehydrate at 105° F for 6 hours.

Chef’s note: Basic Almond Ricotta keeps, in an airtight container, up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

For health benefits of almonds, visit http://tiny.cc/jo0on

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