Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese from Cashews

Cream cheese on a bagel is definitely something that I miss since going vegan, and although there are a few different cheese-less cream cheeses out on the market, I find that many of them aren't that great. I am not a fan of the soy taste, so this recipe by the amazing Miyoko Schinner (author of Vegan Artisan Cheeses) looked easy enough to make and totally appealing - no soy involved in the process!

At first, I wasn't sure if I was a fan of this recipe. The cream cheese is made out of raw, soaked cashews and a bit of non-dairy yogurt (I used almond yogurt), which didn't taste like too much at first. After a few days, I realized that this spread tastes way better the longer it sits in the fridge! After a week, it tastes amazing. I did make a few alterations - added some garlic powder, onion powder, and some fresh chives. It tastes fantastic on a bagel and definitely fills that void of no longer eating real cream cheese!

Here's the recipe! I should also mention that this keeps up to two weeks in the fridge, or 4 months in the freezer if you don't think you'll use it up all at once.

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 8 hours and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons non-dairy yogurt (I used almond yogurt)
1 pinch salt
optional ingredients to taste: onion powder, garlic powder, fresh chives

Put everything in a high-speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

Transfer to a glass bowl, cover and allow to sit out at room temperature for 24-48 hours. (48 hours if using for a cheesecake.).

Cover and refrigerate.

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