I am feeling pretty darn excited about this homemade vegan cashew cream cheese I recently made, thanks to the amazing Carrie over at Ginger Lemon Girl! Seriously, who’da thunk it??
Sure, vegans have known about the amazing powers of nuts for years, but, I am not a vegan. I’m not even dairy-free (yet), so up until my 3 year old was recently discovered to have a casein intolerance, I just used, well, cream cheese!
There is nothing like a medical necessity to propel one out into the wide, wide world of “thinking outside the box,” so, that is exactly what I did! Yes, there is a soy-based cream cheese on the market but outside of the occasional use of gluten-free Tamari sauce, I try to avoid soy as much as possible (for reasons other than a soy allergy).
I found Carrie’s recipe for Homemade Almond Cheese, and after some chatting on Facebook, she offered me a few suggestions and off I went. I used raw cashews this time around because that is what I had on hand, but I’m going to try an almond version next time to see if I can get more of a white color to it.
Click here for Carrie’s original recipe, including the link to the hummus recipe that I used (the hummus is so good, I had trouble refraining from eating all of it!).
Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese in the Vitamix
1 1/2 cups Raw Cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 – 3/4 cup Water (I used 3/4 cup of water, but I will try using 1/2 cup next time so I can compare the two)
3 Tbs. Hummus
1 Tbs. Oil (I used Sunflower Oil)
2 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 – 2 tsp. Fine Sea Salt (this is based on your personal taste preferences. I used 1/2 tsp. because I am sensitive to salt, my hubby thought 1 tsp. would be perfect).
You don’t need a high powered blender to make this, but there are a few additional steps you will need to take if you don’t. Carrie has a great photo tutorial (and the recipe instructions) on her website to show you how.
The following is how I made the “cheese” in my Vitamix (they are not cheap mind you, but are so worth the investment, especially for people with dietary restrictions who need to make most foods at home):
Soaked, Drained & Rinsed Raw Cashews (above, bottom picture): this process hydrates and softens up the cashews so they will blend to a creamy consistency.
Using the Vitamix, it only took about 1 minute (if that) to make the cashew paste. I was also able to bypass the additional draining process by using the Vitamix (so husbands, “Santa” should seriously consider bringing your wife a Vitamix this year, it could save her a lot of time in the kitchen)!
I haven’t baked with this yet, but I will update this post as soon as I do. Until then, use this dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free cream “cheese” as a topping for bagels, in dip recipes calling for cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, etc., etc.!
Alta, over at Tasty Eats At Home, recently shared a recipe for Vegan and Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote using a slightly different recipe for cashew cream cheese, and it is GORGEOUS!! I’m definitely thinking that a dairy-free pumpkin cheesecake will be on my table for the holidays this year!
Lastly, my husband just called me to point out a great article on Celiac Disease that was featured on Bloomberg.com this morning, be sure to check it out!
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