Originally, feta cheese is dairy-based. It comes from an animal. Feta cheese was originally made from sheep’s milk, but not anymore. Though I’ve also seen goat feta, now in most grocery stores you can buy cow feta. For whatever reason, the sheep and goat feta is known to be more nutritious than cow feta; though cow feta is lower in fat. However, true plant-based vegetarians desire to stay away from any animal by-product.
Dairy is not the health necessity it is advertised to be. In many cases, the research shows that it puts us at risk due to pesticides, hormones, microorganisms, antibiotic residue, and diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis (See the Forks Over Knives articles for more information). Many people are shocked that dairy does not contribute to bone health, but quite the opposite, it leaches calcium from the bones (See article on “Calcium and Strong Bones” from the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine). In every case, plant-based food is better for acquiring nutrients.
In the past, I’ve made plant-based feta with tofu, but there are also nut milk versions, which used to require baking. Well, not anymore! I have come up with a “no-bake” easy way to make plant-based feta from my leftover coconut-almond pulp; and even my picky DAIRY-eating younger brother loves it! Win!!! Yes, this recipe is raw (nothing is baked) and it is also the child of one of my experiments. In fact, I experimented with this recipe nearly a week ago. It was an instant win! Yay!!! I finally have something tasty to do with all that pulp in my freezer! I praise God each time He gives me the wisdom to be successful at my experiments. Lately, He’s been good to me. I have had a ton of failures in the past, but persistence in prayer is the key!
If you’ve ever eaten feta cheese, you know that just a little goes a long way. It has an intense tangy flavor and is pretty salty. Mostly, you’ve eaten it on salads if you’ve ever had it before. It’s not something that you’re going to eat out of the tub, unless you’re a “REAL” feta cheese lover, but I can eat this by itself and still like it! Praise the Lord! *smile*
I love a little (or a lot) on my Greek salads (See feature photo) mostly. Like the animal version, these crumbles not only gives that tang that my Greek salad needs, but also that “feta” look. There’s a few other recipes that I love it in as well. As I post them, I’ll link them here. A person wouldn’t be the wiser that it’s plant-based!
Looking at the ingredients, you’ll notice there are a couple things missing that others put in their feta recipes. Some recipes use more ingredients such as miso, nutritional yeast, and even vinegar. I don’t find those necessary for this recipe. I have excluded all vinegars from all of my recipes, mainly due to the fact that most all of them (except apple cider vinegar with the Mother, which I use medicinally) are irritating to the stomach.
Now, you’ll have to make the yogurt ahead of time (and you can make my Coco-Yo in about 5 hours in hot weather, maybe longer in cold weather), but other than that, this is a very easy recipe. This recipe uses the leftover pulp from making yogurt ONCE. No, you don’t have to make a double batch, just measure your pulp loosely, it should be about a half cup. If you do not want to make the crumbles right away, you may freeze and thaw the pulp. I totally love this recipe! Now, without further ado…
- ½ cup almonds pulp (loose measurement; strained from my coconut-almond yogurt prep)
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- A pinch garlic powder
- ½ Tablespoon plant-based yogurt (i.e., Coco-Yo Recipe)
- 1 Tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon pink Himalyan/sea salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil (optional, but preferred)
Place all ingredients into a bowl. With clean hands, combine together as you would knead clay dough, or fold together until mixture looks like a ball of feta or unified. In many cases the mixture is too wet to crumble. That’s okay. Place in a plastic bag and flatten to about ¼ inch. Place in the refrigerator about 8-12 hours, or overnight, until the mixture is firm. Mixture should not be too wet, but it should crumble into a container.
NOTE: If mixture is too wet, please check to see if your pulp was too wet. Mixture should be slightly wet and be able to crumble. If too wet, place the mixture in a plastic bag and flatten and let firm. The coconut cream in the mixture should help the feta to firm in the refrigerator. Once firm, you may crumble into a container and return to the refrigerator. I will probably do a video on this in the near future.
Also, the olive oil is optional, but it adds to the flavor a great deal.