How To Make Fermented Nut Cheese

Fermented tree nut cheese is a fantastic dairy alternative to cheese. It’s easy to make and goes great on simple salads or raw (or non-raw) crackers. You might even get more creative – I’ve got ideas for you in this post, so let’s get stuck in.

macadamia nut cheese log rolled in a pink peppercorns on a
Macadamia cheese log rolled in pink peppercorns.

What is Tree Nut Cheese?

When I first got into raw food back in 2005 things were very different.  What constituted a ‘cheese’ was nuts (usually cashews or macadamia nuts) blended with water and nutritional yeast.  The nutritional yeast being solely responsible for any cheesy flavour.

Cashew cheese was always a spread, because we hadn’t worked out how to make it into a sliceable cheese yet.  The closest we got to that was using the natural fibrous nature of macadamias with as little water as possible.

Using Probiotics in Your Tree Nut Cheese

Thankfully things have moved on since then.  I’d read about using probiotics to culture nuts, so I started playing around with adding probiotics to the blended nuts and water to culture them into cheese.

After culturing for 24 hours and adding salt, lemon and nutritional yeast, I would  pour it into a metal ring. I was delighted to find that if I left it in the fridge long enough, it would continue to culture and get firm, to the point where it was sliceable.

Macadamia & Almond Cheese

Macadamia and almond cheeses have also moved on too.  Putting those through the same process of culturing gave them a new flavour.  We started rolling them in fresh herbs, adding other flavours such as olives and sundried tomatoes, and even stirring through spirulina to give the appearance of a blue vein cheese.

 It’s the base of these types of cheeses I’m going to show you how to make in this post.  We’ll be making a cheese with either almond or macadamia, since they are the same process (except the almonds will need peeling).

I’ll show you how to make cashew cheese in a different post since it’s a slightly different process.

Cashew Camembert & Beyond

cashew nut camembert cheese on a black plate with crackers, olive and red peppers
Cashew camembert.

Tree nut cheese has taken a step beyond what we’re creating here too (although I do still love this type of cheese we’re creating as it’s relatively simple).  If you want to see what’s possible, we have a Tree Nut Cheese online course.  We cover all sorts of cheese making and give you a real breakdown of it all.  We use more traditional cheese cultures to make things like cashew camembert and roquefort with blue veins created by the cultures, not stirring in spirulina.

Getting Started with Tree Nut Cheese

In this tutorial, I’m giving you a beginner’s recipe.  The recipe is great as a standalone and will give you something that you can make into a round, or you can roll into a log.  It’s a great all-round cheese for spreading on breads and crackers, or using in salads.

It will keep in the fridge for several weeks too, so it’s great for salads.  If you have one of these cheeses in the fridge at all times, It can turn even the most basic salad into a delightful and satisfying meal.

Where to Buy Tree Nut Chese

Making your own tree nut cheese is a wonderful thing, but at some point you might also want to buy some. There are now a huge range of cheeses available in specialist stores, health food stores like Wholefoods and online.

Here are some of the brands of tree nut cheese I know about in the UK & US.  If you have any questions please do list them in the comments section.

UK & Europe


How to Use Tree Nut Cheese

If you have a selection of a few different cheeses, you can also build a cheeseboard with crackers, olive, sundried tomatoes, fruit crisps and fruit chutney.

“If you’re interested in a deeper dive into tree nut cheeses, we have a whole short course as part of our flagship online course The Raw Chef at Home (Click here).”

Overhead shot of raw Vegan tree nut cheeses on a plate with accompaniments
You can make some pretty spectacular cheese boards with tree nut cheeses.

How to Make Tree Nut Cheese

Here’s an overview of how to make nut cheese.  For the full instructions you’ll find a printable recipe and video below.

  • First you’re going to choose which nut you’d like to use.  In this recipe we’re going to use either soaked macadamia or soaked almonds with the skins removed.
macadamia nuts in a cup measure
For this tree nut cheese we’re going to be using macadamias.
  • You’re then going to blend the nuts with water and probiotics.  This is where a Vitamix or other highspeed blender comes in really handy.  If you don’t have something that powerful, you can add a little extra water to get it to blend.
An open jar of probiotics with a teaspoon measure resting inside
Regular probiotics which can be bought online or at the health food store is all you need to ferment nuts into cheese.
You’ll be blending the macadamia nuts, water and probiotics in a blender.
Once the macadamias, water and probiotics are blended, this is what you’ll end up with.
  • For the culturing process you’re going to transfer this mixture to some cheesecloth or nut milk bag and place that in a sieve or colander.
Set up a colander in a bowl.
Line the colander with cheesecloth and put the blended macadamia mixture inside.
Twist the cheesecloth.
Weigh it down during the culturing process.
  • You’re then going to place a weight on top of that, put the whole thing over a bowl to catch the liquid and leave overnight to culture.  Leave it in a warm place with a towel loosely over the whole thing.

  • After about 24 hours the culturing is done and you’re ready to add in some salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (optional) and some onion and garlic powder too.

    A good substitute for nutritional yeast is a teaspoon of light miso (not the dark kind like rice or barley).  It’s not the same flavour as such, but it is umami, so it tastes really good in this cheese.

    For a little extra favour if you’re not using nutritional yeast, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of the macadamia nuts or almonds with pine nuts.
After culturing your macadamia nuts will look a lot more like cheese. Notice the aeration.
Mix in your nutritional yeast, salt, garlic power, onion powder, black pepper & lemon juice.
  • The cheese is essentially ready to use now and will store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.  It will continue to develop flavour in that time.

  • Other things you can do with this nut cheese at this point:

    • Stir in a little spirulina and then form into a metal ring.  Remove the ring and it’ll look like a blue vein mould cheese.

    • (As the images below show) Roll it into a log and then roll in chopped herbs, such as chives or dill.  Because it now has herbs on it needs to be eaten in three days.

    • Stir through some chopped herbs, so it’s incorporated in the cheese.  Then form into a wheel in a metal ring.

    • Roll it into a log and then roll in pink or mixed peppercorns.
I used a dehydrator sheet to roll the cheese into a log.
Chopped dill next to a macadamia log on a nonstick dehydrator sheet
Chop your herbs and arrange them on the nonstick sheet to roll the log in.
Macadamia nut cheese rolled in dill on a nonstick sheet
The macadamia nut cheese rolled in chopped fresh herbs.
Macadamia cheese log rolled in herbs and cut into rounds on a dehydrator nonstick sheet with a knife in the background
When cut into rounds it’s a beautiful cheese to serve.
This will last 3 days because of the fresh herbs. If you rolled in peppercorns or dried herbs it would last several weeks in the fridge in a sealed container.

Macadmia Beet Dill Cheese on a white marble board

Fermented Tree Nut Cheese recipe

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4.75 from 27 votes

Fermented Nut Cheese Recipe

Fermented tree nut cheese is a fantastic dairy alternative to cheese. It’s easy to make and goes great on simple salads or raw (or non-raw) crackers. You might even get more creative – I’ve got ideas for you in this post, so let’s get stuck in.

Nutrition (For one serving)

Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 3gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 295mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 0.6mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1.7mg


First Stage

  • 2 cups macadamias soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp probiotics

Second Stage

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder


First Stage

  • Blend macadamias, water and probiotics in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  • Place the mixture in a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth and place a weight on top. The weight should not be so heavy that it pushes the cheese through the cloth, but heavy enough to gently start to press the liquid out.
  • Leave to culture in a warm place for at least 24 but no longer than 48 hours.

Second Stage

  • Once culturing is complete stir or process in the salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • The cheese is now ready and can be stored in a sealed container for up to a few weeks.  You can use it as is or refer to earlier in this post for ideas of what to do with it from here.


Rate This Recipe
4.75 from 27 votes
Did you make this recipe?Tag @therawchef on Instagram or hashtag it #therawchef!

Fermented Nut Cheese Q&A

Can you freeze nut cheese?

Yes! Cashew cheese, macadamia cheese and almond cheese can all be frozen for up to 2 months.

What does nut cheese taste like?

There are various different types of nut cheese. They range from simple macadamia cheeses made with probiotics, which taste tangy and spread well. To gourmet cashew cheeses like camembert that use traditional cultures and taste almost exactly like their dairy equivalent.

How do you make cashew nut cheese?

The process for making cashew nut cheese is very similar to the process here for macadamia and almond cheese.  The main difference is that cashews blend much smoother than macadamia or almond, so there’s no need to have it in a sieve or colander during the culturing process.  It can simply be in a bowl (there’s nothing to drain off).

How do you make Brazil nut cheese?

Brazil nuts don’t make great cheese on their own, so I’d recommend doing a blend of either Brazil and macadamia or Brazil and cashew.  You’d then follow the process for macadamia or cashew in those cases.

Related: We’ve used macadamia nuts here, because they taste delightful, due to their fatty, creamy texture.  They also make a great addition to a trail mix, not just because of their taste, but the nutrition they offer.  Check out 6 Best Benefits of Macadamia Nuts.

Pink peppercorn macadamia nut cheese cut into pieces on brown paper and a wooden background
Russell James

Post by Russell James

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April 10th, 2020

64 thoughts on “How To Make Fermented Nut Cheese”

  1. Hi Russel, thanks for getting back to me on my last question I really appreciate it 🙂 Unfortunately my cheese did not end up well. I let it sit for about 30 hrs as saw your reply too late, but it ended up really fuzzy and when I went to stir it – it was just total tiny crumbles that couldn’t be smoothed out. It was kind of hard to tell if it was mold growing or just a fuzz looking outside from sitting in the cheesecloth, but when I broke it up it was all fuzzy and basically no moisture at all. IN the end I decided it was mold and pitched it. Starting to think the type of probiotic matters. I used one that was 50 billion as that is what I had on hand with numerous strains. That and maybe because I live in a dry climate it was so dry? I’ll try again sometime soon!

    • Type of probiotic generally doesn’t matter. It’s much more likely to be your climate. The macadamia cheese doesn’t ever go completely smooth because they’re so fibrous, so it will definitely have a crumbly texture. You can always add a bit more water.

  2. HI! Thank you for publishing this! I have the fermentation started. Can you tell me how to tell when it has fermented enough? My place is about 67 degrees and I used a strong probiotic. It already smells very sour, but Im not sure if I should let it sit for just 24hre or 48? Thank you in advance 😀

    • 24 hours will be plenty 🙂 If it tastes and smells a little sour or acidic, you’re good to go for the second stage.

    • I’ve not tried SBOs for this, so you’d have to give it a go and try. Any other probiotics I’ve tried has worked.

  3. I once tried Mouse’s Favourite Camembert, which you mentioned above. Tasted and felt perfect! Do you know if this cheese is raw?

    • I’m not sure, I would think so. The culturing is a low temperature process. To be honest, even if the nuts were heated beforehand the process of culturing brings life to it.

  4. Hi Russel , it looks really great , but when talking about Degrees , are you thinking Farenheit or Celcius ??

  5. Hi,
    Thank you for this cheese recipe it’s lovely. I have made it few times now but I feel something is missing, what could I add to give more flavors? Could you suggest different options for me to try?
    Also I have place the cheese in my dehydrator, the outside doesn’t look great, any tips on make it look better?
    I bought the cheese course and I cannot wait to try them all
    Thank you so much in advance ???

    • Hey Marilyne, we’ll definitely cover this in the course 🙂 I would suggest trying a couple of different herbs and spices that you like, or something olive and caraway seed. To make the outside look better, try not dehydrating for so long.

  6. This is my first nut cheese and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for the class to be launched. I adjusted the spices and nutritional yeast for my palette, and it is delicious. Thank you for making this so accessible! Cheers!

  7. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for cashew, almond and macadamia nut cheeses, are other nuts suitable for making cheese (walnut, pecans etc. are drastically cheaper in Australia in comparison)

    • walnuts are a little too strong of a flavour, so you could do a mix of walnuts and cashews. I’ve done a mix of Brazils and cashews, which worked well. Almond and pine nuts work well, but that’s an expensive combo.

      I’ve never tried pecans, so I’m not sure how that would go, but for cheese I don’t think that flavour alone would work.

  8. Hi! First off i would like to say thank you for your recipes! I have all your recipe e-books and this is my first at trying to make any kind of cheese.

    I just finished culturing the cheese and ran into a potential problem… i left my mixture culturing in a closed oven for about 35 hours and when i pulled it out, i saw mold or what looks like a light white foam forming outside the cheesecloth on some parts. What should i do wih this? Do i chuck this in the bin?

    To give you more detail, i live in the Philippines and temperature and humidity can get quite extreme at different times of the day. Not to mention that the oven door was shut which seemed like moisture was not able to escape.

    While culturing it could have quite possibly reached temperatures of about 35 degrees farenheit.

    Macadamia nuts are expensive here and i would not want to waste it for a lack of knowledge.

    Wosdom would be kindly appreciated. ?

    • Can you make cheese out of peanuts? They are one of my favorite nuts ( even though they are technically not a nut ), and I am a vegan and have trouble digesting unfermented nuts.

      • I’ve never made cheese out of peanuts because they are not the healthiest nut to be eating all the time, as they have aflatoxins in them.

  9. Russell can I say…this cheese is totally devine…just had it with Italian flax crackers, Mariana sauce and sprouts…

    Love your recipes!!!

    Thank you.


  10. Hello Russel, please could you give the name (brand) of the probiotic product?
    Thanksa lot!

    • Hey Carolina, We use lots of different brands, but Higher Nature Pro-Bio Easy Powder is our favourite at the moment. You can get it on

      • Hi there!

        Thanks for this awesome reciepe. I recently changed to a plant based diet but I miss cheese, so I can’t wait to try this out (miso paste and nutritional yeast sauces only go so far!)

        May I ask why you would a milk based bio powder (like the higher nature brand you suggest) for a dairy free cheese? That seems to undermine the main point of this reciepe!

        Thanks again, I love this idea!

        • Hey Ben, that’s interesting. We just looked up the label and it seems they have now included the ‘milk’ information on the label. I haven’t used this brand in a while, but back when I did, it didn’t have this info on it. I’ll need to investigate with them further to see what’s up, but yes, there are plenty of non-dairy ones you can go for.

  11. Russell, do I assume correctly that cashews can be substituted for macadamias? Thanks for all of this wonderful information!

  12. Thank you for sharing this James. I’ve been looking for a good comprehensive pro-biotic nut tree cheese recipe and this looks fantastic. Just a few questions. Would this recipe work exactly the same with Almonds in lieu of the Macadamia nuts? Also I’ll be processing my nuts in a Magimix. How long should the nuts be processed? Is there any risk of them releasing their oils and turning into butte? Many thanks 🙂

  13. Hello to you,

    I would like to know if the quantity of probiotic you put in the cheese is in proportion with the strencht of it? If yes… how can we calculate the amount? I have probiotics that are 90 billions units… should I put less of it or will just ferment faster? If this strenght is not suitable, what do you suggest?

    I just discovered you and am pretty excited by your recipes and your presentation. Looking forward to see more of your videos.

    I have a question though… another one I must say… In one of your videos you are talking about the cashew mayo and said that the recipe was on your website… can’t find it… where is it, please?

    Thank you so much for your sharing


  14. Russell when you’ve soaked the nuts do you drain and rinse them before adding to the blender? Or do you just chuck the nuts and soak liquid in the blender? Thanks.

    • Any probiotic I’ve used works. Get anything with acidophilus in there, and you’ll be good to go. We’re updating the PDF sections for the website relaunch shortly.

  15. Hi, is the a substitute for nutritional yeast? Unfortunately my body is not happy when I eat nutritional yeast.


  16. This wasn’t my first kick at the can for making nut cheese; however, your Basil Pesto version was simply — DIVINE!! Better than the ‘real’ thing 🙂

  17. Hi!!! I love your blog and your recipes (yesterday i made your quick grind salad and just loved it!) . This cheese looks absolutely awesome, i cant wait to do this recipe! Just want to check , though, if i could make the cheese using the “meat” of the macadamias that remained from a macaamia milk… I do lots of vegetable milks and never know what to do with the “meat” that remains… If i could do cheese with it it would be a great way to go! Thank you so much!!!

  18. Hi Russell (King of Raw Cheeses…and more),
    When I make almond or cashew cheese, I blend in sea salt at the same time as the probiotic. I see that you don’t add salt until after culturing is over. Is there a reason you don’t add salt at the start of culturing? Thanks!!

    P.S. When I have raw retreats, I bring books and DVDs for people to use during the retreat. Your DVDs are very popular. In fact, we joke about “Who has Russell in their room now?” 🙂

    • Haha, thanks for that. Good to know I get around 🙂

      I don’t add salt at the start because I like to add it to taste at the end of the process. If you put it in at the start, some of it will end up in the whey, and then whatever you use the whey in will have extra salt in, which will then cause an adjustment to that recipe.

      All in all, you’d probably end up adding a little more salt to taste in the final stage amyway, so you might as well do it all then, along with the other ingredients.

  19. Awesome! Good cheese was one of the things I missed the most going vegan, this opens up all kinds of wonderful opportunities, thank you sooooo much! I even experimented with some soaked cashews and a bit of rejuvelac from sprouted grains, blended and cultured! As it was an experiment I let it run for a week and test tasted it daily…it certainly got more pungent day by day. I liked it each day for different reasons, but I am eager to try different combinations of nuts/innoculants/incubation times and additions of herbs and spices, etc. to vary the outcome! Besides being lactose intolerant I have always had issues with dairy, so this is a absolutely thrilling adventure to undertake, with health benefits to add to the mix! Mad science in the kitchen! Thank you Russell, for all that you do!


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