Struggling to quit dairy? This dairy free macadamia nut cheese recipe will satisfy your craving for cheese without triggering a breakout or upsetting your hormone balance!
Dairy is one of the worst acne triggers in the modern diet. It contains powerful hormones and spikes your blood sugar levels, leading to inflammation, clogged pores and acne.
Cutting out dairy from your diet is most likely to heal your skin completely – without the need to do anything else! Saying goodbye to dairy is, by far, the single most effective way to clear up acne. I’ve read testimonials and success stories from hundreds of men and women who found that giving up dairy was the final piece of their clear skin puzzle.
Dairy is packed with natural hormones, particularly Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). Cows in the dairy industry spend their working lives in a constant state of pregnancy, birth and milking with just a few months in-between cycles. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense – mother’s milk is designed to make baby cows grow big and strong and those natural pregnancy and weening hormones that are present in all dairy products could easily disrupt our own hormone balance. Not only does milk contains its own IGF-1, but it also causes our body to produce excess IGF-1 because it increases insulin, which increases IGF-1. These two hormones go hand in hand and too much insulin and IGF-1 is thought to be a key cause of acne formation as it causes inflammation and excess sebum production which can eventually lead to acne.
Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you have to say goodbye to cheesy pizzas…milkshakes…and milk chocolate! But you have a choice to make, clear skin or a pizza? For me, the choice was a no-brainer I was willing to cut out anything in my bid for clearer skin!
Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk chocolate… it’s all bad for your skin so it’s gotta go. For now at least! Cutting out dairy is probably the most powerful thing you can do for clearer skin but it may not have to be forever! Once you’re back in control you may find you can tolerate a pizza here or an ice cream there but you won’t know until you go cold-turkey on the cream and see just how much it affects your skin.
acne-friendly herby macadamia nut cheese
Fortunately, there are now loads of dairy-free and soy-free alternatives to cheesy goodness, you’ve just got to think outside the box!
why macadamia nuts?
When suffering from any sort of inflammatory skin disorder, whether it’s acne or eczema, keeping inflammation down is one of the key things we need to do in order to heal. One of the best ways to decrease inflammation is to make sure we’re getting the right balance of Omega-6:Omega-3. Ideally, we should be looking at a ratio of around 1:1, but with a lack of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 and plenty of inflammatory Omega-6 hidden in many foods, the ratio for a Western diet is more likely to be around 17:1. Unhealthy foods such as vegetable oils (sunflower/canola/sesame), corn and peanuts all contain a high percentage of Omega-6 and little to zero Omega-3 but ‘healthy’ nuts can also be an issue.
When switching over to a healthy lifestyle, our intake of nuts usually sky-rocket! We replace our mid afternoon chocolate snack for some nuts, ground almonds become a key ingredient in our desserts and nut ‘mylks’ form a base for our porridge and shakes. These ‘healthier’ lifestyle switches are a great start, but if we really want to crack down on inflammatory foods we need to keep the nut intake to an absolute minimum.
Nuts and seeds can contain really high amounts of Omega-6 and not much Omega-3, with the exception of Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts contain just 1.5g of Omega-6 per 100g in comparison to Almonds (12.1g/100g), Pistachios (13.2g/100g), Pecans (21.6g/100g), Pumpkin Seeds (20.9g/100g), Cashews (7.8g/100g) and Sunflower Seeds (23.1g/100g). The average adult on a 2,000 calorie diet should aim for just 5-8g of omega-6 per day to maintain the proper ratio with omega-3 fats.
With this in mind, I try to use Macadamia nuts wherever possible to keep my omegas in balance. I also like to use Tiger Nuts – which aren’t actually nuts, but tubers! They contain trace amounts of Omega-6 and when blended they make an amazing milk alternative. Plus, you can also use ground Tiger Nuts in desserts too as a ground almond replacement.
- 1 C soaked Macadamia nuts (8-12 hours)
- 1/3 C water
- 1 Tblsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tblsp Lemon Juice/Apple Cider Vinegar/Kombucha
- 1.5 Tblsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Garlic Clove
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Mixed Herbs (optional)
herby macadamia cream cheese
- After soaking the Macadamia nuts overnight, blend all the ingredients in a blender till the mixture is thick and smooth.
- Scrape the contents into a nut bag and squeeze any excess water out. I often open the nut bag and move the mixture round a little and re-squeeze a couple of times to get as much liquid out as possible.
- Keep the cheese in the nut bag and place in a bowl and cover. Leave to ferment in a warm place for 24-48 hours, taste now and then until it’s achieved the perfect amount of cheesiness!
- Once it’s fermented to your liking, place in a clean bowl and store in the fridge for up to a week.
herbed macadamia wheel
- Follow the exact same method above but once you’ve reached fermentation perfection, take your cheese and shape it into a wheel.
- Preheat the oven to 70°C (150F) or get your Dehydrator set up and programmed at the same temperature.
- Carefully bake/dehydrate your cheese wheel till the outside forms a firm ‘crust’. This could be anywhere between 40-90 minutes – just keep a close eye on it!
- Once baked/dehydrated, move to a small dish and store in the fridge for up to a week.
One of the great things about making macadamia nut cheese is that they taste really mild, meaning that you can go wild with ingredients. Perhaps try a chilli cheese or some unusual spices like cumin or turmeric?
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,