When we’re preparing meals at our Retreat for our Guests, we get to meet a lot of people who can’t do dairy.
And I am one of them too.
I love cheese, don’t get me wrong. BUT ! My body has different ideas and I feel pretty rotten when I eat it.
My nose gets all bunged up. I get the sniffles and headaches and I won’t even mention what happens to my stomach so, I do my best to avoid it as much as I possibly can which can sometimes be challenging.
So finding ways to enjoy that cheesy taste with some meals is a personal mission. Selfishly, why should I miss out because I can’t do dairy ? And I have found that it is that personal mission that makes the whole “experimenting” process a lot of fun.
Around the Retreat, we have (quite literally) 100’s of almond trees and at this time if the year, they really are beautiful as they start to blossom.
And almonds are DELICIOUS. Slightly sweeter than most other nuts, they’re packed full of good stuff but we’re not going to go into that.
It was these nuts that inspired this delicious cheesy sauce.
As they are slightly harder than most other nuts, you do need to soak them in hot water for a while, just so that they soften up and are easier to use. If you don’t have the time, or are in a rush, then you need a REALLY good blender when making this so soaking them for a while in hot water, or even overnight, is better.
This sauce is delicious. We use it on baked potatoes, as a dip and even with nachos !!
AND !!!! You can “cook” this cheese – we placed it on top of some Loaded Sweet Potato Skins and placed it under the grill for it to “bake” a little bit – the taste was pretty amazing ! ! !
200 g almonds (soaked like we mentioned)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
75ml fresh lemon juice
75ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
Chilli flakes (optional)
Putting It Together
Once your almonds are softened, add them (along with the other ingredients and HALF THE WATER) to your blender and slowly blend.
It will look like it’s not doing much at first – almonds are slightly harder so take a little bit of work. The longer you blend it, the smoother it will get.
As it is blending, slowly add in a little bit more water until it reaches a nice, smooth and creamy texture. You might not need to add all of your water either so just add the remaining water in a little bit at a time.
When it is nice and smooth, use it as you wish.