Healthy vegan ricotta cheese you can use in any recipe where creamy ricotta is needed - lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, pizza, crostini, bagels, and even desserts! Lightly adapted from Miyoko Schinner's recipe in Artisan Vegan Cheese. Yield: makes 2 cups
UPDATE: for the longest time, I always soaked the almonds first because that's what Miyoko's recipe called for, but it really isn't necessary. You can do this step if you like, but feel free to skip to the next step!Put the slivered almonds in a bowl and cover with water. At room temperature, allow almonds to soak for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 8. (If using whole, blanched almonds, soak 8 to 12 hours. Alternatively, first pulse the whole almonds in a food processor to break them into smaller pieces, reducing soak time.) Drain the almonds when you're ready to make ricotta.
Make the ricotta:
Place almonds, lemon juice, salt, and ¼ cup of the water in a food processor. Process until well combined and somewhat smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add another ¼ cup water and continue to process until light, fluffy and ricotta-like. If it seems too thick, add more water a tablespoon or two at a time. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and lemon if desired.
To this basic recipe, add fresh herbs and garlic for even more flavor. For extra cheesy/tangy flavor try it with a bit of nutritional yeast or plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt.Store leftover almond ricotta in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before using.Nutrition is calculated for 10 servings, but obviously serving sizes will vary depending on how you use it. This recipe makes 2 cups of ricotta (or about 1 ¾ cups if you use the minimum amount of water).