Thursday, April 22, 2010

Almond Feta - No Added Oil

I used the end of our macadamia and pumpkin seed cheese in Dan’s lunch today so I knew I needed to make more. About a year ago I posted a recipe for almond feta which I loved. However, it contained olive oil and I didn’t want to use that any more. Today I decided to make it without oil and it turned out really well. I think this may be a function of my how much my taste buds have changed in only a year. Whatever the reason I am happy I made this today. Here is what I did:

Almond Feta - No Added Oil
Makes approximately 1 cup or 16 tablespoons

1 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours and blanched
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Approximately 1 tablespoon water


Blanch almonds by simmering them quickly in water (5 minutes is more than enough). You are trying to loosen the skins. Move the almonds to a bowl and cover them with cold water. Using your fingers rub the nuts together to loosen the skin. Separate the nuts from their skins and drain the nuts.

Place the nuts in your food processer with lemon zest, lemon juice and sea salt. Process the nuts until you have a fine meal. Ultimately you want the nut cheese to begin to form a ball in your food processor. If this doesn’t happen add a little water a teaspoon at a time until the ball forms. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Refrigerate until need. Nut cheese seems to last for a week or more in the refrigerator for me.

Nutritional Information per tablespoon:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 54.22
Calories From Fat (71%)-  38.46

Total Fat - 4.59g
Saturated Fat - 0.35g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 66.73mg
Potassium - 68.2mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.28g
Fiber - 1.01g
Sugar - 0.56g
Protein - 2.02g


This healthier version of almond feta exceeded my expectations. I can honestly say now I won’t miss the prior version with oil. Yay! If I hadn’t promised to make Japanese tonight this would be turning up in dinner. But I guess Greek food can wait until tomorrow.

I would describe this nut cheese as a little salty and definitely lemony. If you aren’t a huge fan of lemon I do suggest you leave out the zest or add much less of it. I happen to adore lemon so that never happens here. The texture of the cheese is like a well drained ricotta. The garlic is so mild I couldn’t detect it in the cheese, which was good. If you still eat dairy cheese, or use oil in your cooking you may want to try the original recipe first. For everyone that follows an oil free diet this is really good. I hope you give it a try.

Unrelated note:

Today the sun is out and I am one happy camper. The rain yesterday had me in a bit of a blah mood. But today is completely different. The sun is shining and we are supposed to reach the mid 70’s. Sounds like a perfect spring day to me. I am going to spend some time outside and enjoy the weather.

The mint in my garden is really coming up now. I may need to harvest some today and make myself a nice mint green tea. I have been trying to use mint in more dishes. Do you have any favorite recipes that use mint that you would like to share?

I am going to make myself a little lunch now and head outside to enjoy the sunshine. I will be back later with a Japanese inspired dinner. I hope you are all having a great day!


  1. This recipe sounds great. I'm a huge lemon fan so that's no bother for me. Looking forward to your dinner post and glad the sun is out for you too!

    Now, as for mint...we grow regular and chocolate. Do I use either? No. Does Jason? Yes - in a mojito. So maybe come up with a mojito inspired dessert...mmmm.

  2. Heather,

    So glad you like the sound of it. Since you are lemon fan you will love the recipe as written.

    Dinner should be fun. I need to finalize the menu soon. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. LOL.

    Tell Jason I am with him. Mojitos are SO good. Great idea to make a mojito inspired dessert. I already have an idea for that. Wonderful suggestion! I can't wait to make it now.


  3. First of all your picture is beautiful, with that said. I love the simplicity of this cheese. I also like the lemon element as well, I am a huge lover of lemon so this is right up my alley! Other than the soaking of the almonds, I bet this whips up in minutes, and I love that! I notice you didn't use herbs in yours. I like that too, that way you can add it to any number of different foods!
    I still have not gotten our garden tilled, but we do not normally plant until May so I guess other than the garden not getting the rest it needs, it wil be fine. Our tiller died last year and we are holding out for a rear tined one.
    I love mint tea of course and I also like to use mint in cucumber salads!!

  4. i think i caught your blah mood, and your bad weather came over here also.:) i really enjoy things that dont have any extra added oil, whenever i would mke your recpes before i would leave out the oil, it always tasted prety good to me. i dont think i am 100% no oil but the bottle hardly ever comes out. whenever i make cashew milk but dont seperate it(jsut cahews and water in a container) a ball of blended cashews forms(a slimy one) in the botom of the container, why do you think that is? it happens after a day and a half or so. i always end up throwing it away becasue it looks so gross.

  5. Brandi,

    Thanks, I hope you give this a try. It does come together quickly other than the soaking. I have been trying to remember to do this at night so the nuts are ready for me in the morning. Then I keep them in the frig until I need them.

    You are right about why I didn't add herbs. Great minds think a like apparently! LOL.

    I have not done anything in our garden yet either. I need to spend some time there soon.

    Mint in cucumber salad, I have never had that. Sounds good though. Thanks for sharing the idea.


  6. oh and that little glass serving dish....whts the recipe for that???it is SO CUTE!

  7. Michelle,

    Sorry to hear about you blah mood and bad weather. The rain is returning for us on Saturday and is suppose to stay for a week. Yay?

    You should really like this cheese. I hope you try it.

    All nut milks tend to separate for me. Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of dry oats while blending and that seems to help. But try shaking the container vigorously each time before you pour that also seems to help a lot.

    The little glass container came from Crate and Barrel (I think). They were so cute I needed to buy them for the blog. ;-)


  8. The other evening for a dinner for hubby's students (18 of us altogether) I made a fruit salad with Costco produce--giant strawberries sliced into rings, pineapple wedges sliced crosswise into fans. I added a generous splash of Cointreau and a bit of sugar, but the REALLY wonderful addition was the fresh mint from the garden. We're a bit behind you here in Western Pennsylvania, but I had enough little leaves to add to this dish. There's something transcendent about pineapple and mint together--enjoy!

    Is your almond feta serving one of those tablespoons from the cup, or something else?

  9. Cindy,

    I love mint in fruit salad too. That is my favorite way to use mint other than in tea. Thanks for the reminder.

    The calories were calculated for 1/16th of the recipe which was roughly equivalent to a fat tablespoon measure. The exact calories will depend on how much your almonds plump which seems to vary a bit.


  10. Looks good to me! I love your previous version of almond feta, so I'm sure this will be good too.

  11. Rose,

    I thought of you when I was making this. I think you will like this one. You will notice I also made it much easier and quicker. If you try it please let me know what you and John think of the changes. ;-)


  12. ok ill try shaking it everytime im rummaging in the fridge...thats such good advice.

  13. Michelle,

    I hope it works for you.


  14. We've been enjoying a spreadaholic weekend of sundried tomato hummus and my smoky version of your cheezy walnut spread, and today I plan to try a new roasted garlic hummus recipe. Now I must get some almonds soaking so I can add this feta to our spread of spreads! :-) Sounds yumska! (And as usual, I love your sweet little serving dish! Mine just ends up in a boring pyrex bowl with a rubber lid!) :-)

  15. Lalo,

    A weekend of snacky food sounds wonderful. I love to eat that way too!

    The little lidded glass bowl came from Crate and Barrel. I bought them a few months ago. They were made in Turkey (Chinese stuff worries me) and I think they were $1.99 each.

    I hope you like this "cheese" as much as we do. It sounds like it will be a nice addition to your spread.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  16. Wow! This isn't the first recipe I've made from your blog, but I had to tell you this is amazing. We love lemon and the texture is incredible. It will become a staple for us. I used the dry container on my Vitamix with the tamper and it came out really smooth.

    Thank you for all your hard work, and for such wonderful information. Yours is the blog I read the most these days, and I'm never disappointed. I only found you a couple of months ago so I'm trying to work through the archives...

  17. Heidi,

    I am so happy you like the almond feta. This gets made at our house quite often. Even my 80 year old omni parents enjoy it. ;-)

    Thank you so much for your kind workds. It is nice to be appreciated. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask. I am happy to share anything I have learned. :-)



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