Jan 30 2016

Raw Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

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I firmly believe that dairy is one of the worst things for our bodies. It causes inflammation, often constipation, and it’s just gross to eat what is meant to be passed from a nursing mom to their offspring.

Non-dairy cheeses at the grocery store are always a disappointment. They don’t taste great (although they’ve come a long way), and they have virtually no protein. Nut cheese is a great way to get a substantial amount of protein, heart healthy fats and nutrients.

All kids, and most adults, love to eat bagels with cream cheese. This recipe is perfect for that, and simple to make. All three of our older kids went crazy for it. The baby is still only nursing, but one day I’m sure she will be a fan as well.

Making nut cheeses always sounded like a bit more of a hassle than it was worth so I never bothered. but I’ve been experimenting lately and it turns out they are not difficult at all, and many are delicious.

This one is from Yup It’s Vegan. I’m not altering it at all from the original recipe at this point because I’m not yet comfortable enough with making fermented nut cheese to experiment, but this is a great recipe so I wanted to share right away.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. raw cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water (raw macadamia nuts also work – but will take a lot longer to blend)
  • 2 tb. plain, unsweetened nondairy yogurt (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt + more to taste
  • filtered water, as needed to blend

Instructions

  1. Prepare a clean and dry glass or other nonreactive container. I use a Pyrex container.
  2. Drain the liquid off of the soaked cashews. Add them to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. If you aren’t used a high-powered blender, it will take several minutes for the cashews to break down and release oils in order to become a smooth mixture. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed; you can also add filtered water a tablespoon at a time if you’re having trouble blending.
  3. Add the yogurt and salt and pulse to combine.
  4. Transfer to the clean container and cover. Let sit out at room temperature for 24 hours. Use a clean utensil to taste the mixture, and add more sea salt to taste; let it culture for another 12-24 hours if you want a stronger tang.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  6. (Optional step) This recipe makes cultured cashew cream cheese with a texture more like “whipped” dairy cream cheese. For a firmer texture like block cream cheese, press out the liquid using cheesecloth.

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