Dilled Vegan Almond Cheeseball! The perfect appetizer for your next party. If you haven’t had nut cheeses before, you’ve gotta try this. Super creamy, no one will know it’s dairy-free.
Herbed vegan cheese! Friends, this appetizer is a total dairy-free game changer. Of course, I’ve used cashews and almonds in multiple recipes to mimic cream and cheese in the past: cashew cream sauce, homemade vegan parm and an herbed cheese sauce but never an actual cheese ball.
I was inspired to create this after whipping up a batch of creamy cashew and almond sauce. When it came out thicker than expected, my first thought was, will it ball? I shouldn’t have even had to throw that out to the universe, of course it will ball. Almost every dairy-free thing I’ve tried with nuts has worked; they are magical.
I’ve got a serious obsession with fresh dill. It’s so fragrant and distinctive in taste, I knew it would elevate this basic cheese ball. Since it’s so fairly delicate, I opted for rolling it in fresh herbs to just covering the top. Just as pretty, have the mess.
My chives are still going strong, despite the few overnight freezes that we’ve had, so I added in a few chopped sprigs to the chopped dill. You can do this as well, make it just dill or add in other herbs as desired.
You might have also noticed some changes going on around here: more gluten-free, dairy-free recipes than usual. Of course, as an intuitive, plant-based eater, I’ve always had my fair share of these genres, but now I’ve got a reason to focus on them even more so.
In a small nutshell, I’m working through some health stuff. Stuff, that’s a perfect word to catch everything isn’t it? Stuff with my thyroid, stuff with fertility, stuff with adrenals, stuff with GI. Lots of stuff. I’m not sure how it will all work out in the end, but for now, I’m experimenting with more gluten-free, dairy-free recipes based on what I know about integrative nutrition and under the guidance of my medical team. So far, it seems to be working and I love being able to witness the powerful effect that nutrition has. I’m not naive enough to think that diet will cure everything, but it’s definitely a puzzle piece.
So what does that mean for us? Not much. I’ll still be here, three times a week providing you with healthy, plant-filled recipes. They might just be more dairy-free and gluten-free than usual and I hope that’s OK. BL is still eating our normal diet, so I expect that I’ll still post some of the usual, as I continue to cook for him. Either way, thanks for your support in this journey.
Dilled Vegan Almond Cheese Ball
Yield 12 people
Dilled Vegan Almond Cheese Ball! A super creamy, dairy-free cheese ball that's perfect for entertaining. Inspired by Rawmazing.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus zest
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½-3/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- Place the cashews and almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Alternatively, you can add hot water to the nuts for a quick 30 minute soak, though I only recommend this option if you have a high-powered blender to use afterwards.
- Drain and rinse the nuts, then add to a blender with the lemon juice and zest, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, olive oil and 1/2 cup water. Blend until very creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes depending on the power of your blender. The mixture should be fairly thick, but pourable. If you need more liquid, add 1 tbsp. at a time, blending as you go.
- Line a fine mesh colander with cheesecloth or a thin towel (like a flour sack towel) and place over a bowl. Add the cashew mixture to the center of the cloth and wrap tightly, sealing with a rubber band at the top.
- Place the entire mixture in the fridge to set and excess liquid drip off, about 4-5 hours.
- Before serving, unwrap and cover with fresh dill.
- Serve with veggies, crackers or whatever you like! If you've got leftovers, try blending with a bit of sauce or broth to create a super creamy pasta sauce.