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Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese, Vitamixed

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. :-D

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)! :-D

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! :-D

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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Comments

  1. I KNEW I had seen another vegan cheesecake recently!! Thanks for reminding it was on Alta's site!! :-) So glad your family liked this!! (((hugs!!)))

  2. kelly says:

    man! that looks soooo good! Heidi you are outdoing yourself with every post!

  3. Mary says:

    This looks fantastic!!!! I can't wait to try it! Not sure when I will get a chance but gonna do it soon.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I've wanted to try her cream cheese recipe for awhile now. It looks so beautiful. I'm glad you tried it with cashews, since that's what I have right now, and I may just give this a go this week to top something sweet.

  5. Maggie says:

    Yummy! We make cashew cream about once a week here. I love sneaking it in foods for Callum. Livvie is a little more adventurous. This recipe sounds amazing! I must try it with the hummus. Now you can make a cream cheese icing! I really need Santa to bring me a Vitamix. Santa, are you reading this?

    • Maggie,

      I put that 'Santa' blurb in there just for you! I am joining your campaign for a Vitamix by sending "subliminal" messages to Pete, LOL! It's funny…I have a friend that does that for me with Mike, it's how I finally got my Mac, hehe.

  6. Alta says:

    I discovered the amazing attributes of cashews when I went dairy-free. It seems vegan cooks have it all figured out! LOL This looks lovely.

    • Alta,

      I tell ya, where have the vegans been all my life, LOL! This is such a great example too, of how different groups of people can share ideas and come up with great ideas/solutions that work for everyone (now, if only our politicians could do the same, LOL!).

      xo,
      Heidi

  7. Wow! Pretty genius :) Isn't it great how having a medical condition or food intolerance spurs us to think outside the box? Classic case of making lemonaid out of lemons.

    • Carol,

      You got it sister! This is what I mean by celiac being the best thing that ever happened to me, it has opened the doors to so many new and fun things (although, one might argue that I make a few too many margaritas from my lemons), LOL!

      xo,
      Heidi

  8. Tai says:

    I can't wait to try this Heidi! I need to start thinking out of the box. Found out yesterday I have to omit eggs, walnuts, peanuts, seasme seeds and some others out of my diet…oh yeah and type 1 diagnosis is looming on the horizon. So low carb, egg free, gluten free…perfect!

  9. I love Real Food Daily, a first-rate vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. They use a cashew cheese on a lot of their items (nachos, burgers, pizza), and it's absolutely delicious… one of those vegan foods where it's so darn good you never miss the "real" stuff.

    I've been wanting to try making it at home, so I'm thrilled to find this recipe. Thanks, Heidi!

  10. Karen G says:

    THAT is too cool!!! :>

  11. Casey says:

    So I just got my shiny new Vitamix yesterday and this was the first recipe I had to try! I had to use a few substitutions because of my kid's salicylate sensitivities (sunflower oil instead of olive, omitted the vinegar and used more lemon juice instead and parsley instead of cumin in the hummus (I know, lame)) but it turned out great! I think I went crazy on the salt though, I agree with you about using a bit less next time. (I used this hummus recipe since it allowed for less substitutions for our wacky diet http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/h

    Thanks for the great idea, I can't wait for the kids to try this!

    • Casey,

      Yea!! I LOVE my Vitamix, I think it is probably the single most useful tool I have that allows me to better make more allergy-friendly substitutes. It would be great if it could be used against one's flex spending account as a medical necessity so more people could afford one.

      Thanks for all your suggestions Casey, I will have to try your version next. I also need to find a good source for bulk raw cashews, I am going through them like crazy lately, LOL!

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Heidi!

    Your saving my life with this recipe. I've been dairy-free for 2 months and I miss my cream cheese! I'm making some pumpkin-pie spice cupcakes for a lecture this next week and the recipe calls for cream cheese for the frosting. A majority of the lecture attendee's are dairy-free- do you think this recipe will work with it? :) <3 Lisa

    • Hi Lisa!!

      Yes, it does work for dairy-free cream cheese frosting. I made it recently and everyone loved it (they could not tell there was hummus in their frosting, LOL!).

      If you decide to make it, please let me know how it goes over with everyone.

      Hugs,
      Heidi

  13. Elana says:

    Heidi-

    This looks amazing and I might just have to make it myself. Making me hungry, which is not a good thing, since it is 10:30PM over here and I'm trying to give up my midnight snacking so that I can sleep more fully.

    Hope you are well and thanks for posting such a scrumptious looking recipe!

    xo Elana

    • Hi Elana!!!

      Sorry, I suddenly forgot how to type, LOL! :-D

      This recipe was a HUGE hit with my newly dairy-free clan, which says a lot to me and I am deeply appreciative to Carrie for sharing her suggestions on how to modify her recipe.

      I am also deeply appreciate to you for your dairy-free pumpkin custard recipe, it has produced many happy faces around here (seriously, I think I have gone through 10 lbs. of raw cashews between these two recipes alone…in just a month!).

      xo
      Heidi

  14. Gina says:

    I am soo happy my cousin sent me a link to your site. My son is autistic and has been diagnosed with food sensitivities to milk, chicken, eggs, barley, wheat, peanut, soy, malt, mustard and asparagus. (I think that is the whole list!) Your site has been a godsend that allows me to feed the entire family without anyone feeling punished. Thanks for all of your hard work in developing these recipes.

  15. Maggie says:

    Made this today! So creamy and delish. The hummus really helps. I think if you wanted to make it for a sweet treat, you could leave out the hummus and use just white beans instead. What do you think?

    • Jackie says:

      I found the hummus to be a bit too strong…it basically came out tasting like creamy hummus instead of like cream cheese. Maggie, I like your suggestion to try white beans instead…I'll give that a go next time.

      • Hi Jackie!

        Thank you so much for the feedback! I've already been tinkering with the recipe some (trying to firm it up more with either agar or gelatin) and as soon as my tasting abilities return, I will work on tweaking the flavor. If you try it with the white beans, please let me know how it turns out for you. Also, Kelly from The Spunky Coconut has a recipe for Cashew Sour Cream/Cream Cheese that I have on my short list of recipes to try: http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2010/03/cashew-so

        Hugs,
        Heidi

  16. Lisa says:

    does anyone have the recipe for the hummus? i want to make this but the link doesnt work anymore :(

    • Hi Lisa,

      I found my printed copy of the hummus recipe from Six Food Intolerance Living and published it on my recipe site. If you go back up to the recipe (above), you will now see a link for the hummus recipe (I also added it to my recipe index, under Condiments, Dressing, Gravy, Pickles, Sauces & Toppings for easy future reference). :-)

      Heidi

  17. Serena says:

    This looks delectable! Oh my god. I've been searching for a good vegan cream cheese recipe and HERE it is. :) (I've tried the Tofutti brand but it tastes pretty chemically unfortunately)

  18. Lori says:

    I will be trying this very soon. Many things I have wanted to make call for cream cheese or something similar and I have been looking for a replacement. Thanks so much. I can't wait to continue browsing through all you have to offer.

    Thank you!

    Lori

  19. Debbie says:

    Do I have to make my own hummus or can I use the store bought in a container? New to all this as of last week:(

  20. Abi says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I made some for a (almost vegan) tea party yesterday and it was a hit! I used it in cucumber sandwiches (the quintessential afternoon tea food :)). I used plain store-bought hummus and 1/2 cup of water. I did add a bit more lemon juice than called for to make it just a bit more zesty. I had to borrow a Vita Mix to do this, but was so impressed, just might put one on the wish list. God bless!

  21. sophie says:

    Hi :)

    I would like to try this recipe for my father, who has recently told me that Philadelphia cream cheese gives him some stomach problems. However, he is not a fan of hummus.

    If I omitted the hummus, do you thnk this would still be good?
    Also – do you think this would be comparable in taste to Philadelphia cream cheese?

    Thanks so much <3

    • Hi Sophie,

      You really cannot tell there is hummus in the end product, it more or less adds the “tang” of cheese to the cashew mixture. I’ve not tried to make it without the hummus so I cannot say how well it would work without it, but if I were to try, I’d start with trying just using the lemon juice and spices from the hummus recipe (basically, just omitting the garbanzo beans).

      Good Luck!

  22. Jen says:

    Thanks so much for your recipe it tasted exactly like Philly cream cheese to me. I added lime juice, tahini and coconut oil and cooked it for 1 minute to thicken though and it still tastes great.

  23. K8 says:

    Hi Heidi,

    My fiance is allergic to dairy (or a component of it – I can’t remember) and I’m allergic to wheat, rye, barley, and sorghum (it’s possible that I’m celiac but my doctor and I decided it wasn’t worth the allergic reactions to even bother with the testing  – my allergies make it difficult for me to breathe).

    Anyhow, I’ve been very successful in figuring out how to make most things without the allergens as I’ve had lots of practice throughout my allergenic life (and I’m one of those people with discriminating taste buds – I can taste something and tell very quickly what is in it). However, the one thing I have NEVER been able to make taste like the real thing is dairy free cheesecake. I can pull together a tofu/cashew/egg/lemon based cheesecake with the correct consistency and with a good taste but it’s never close to cheesecake.

    Will your wonderful sounding cashew cream cheese work for a cheesecake receipe? Have you ever made a cheesecake with this? My lovely partner (who has given up gluten to make life easier for me) has a birthday coming up and I would love to surprise him with a cheesecake (it’s his FAVORITE dessert and he hasn’t had any for years). What do you think?

  24. Homecookedhealthy says:

    Just made this tonight and it was AMAZING.  We only eat a gluten-free, sugar-free and organic diet so this was a HUGE plus for my hubbie who is also on a Vegan lifestyle due to battling cancer right now.  Cheese is a hard thing to live without but this worked perfect on my gluten-free Eggplant Parmesan.  Just left out the parmesan and topped with this.  He was sold and asked for it again.  Would you mind if I republished your recipe and linked back to you for the credit?  I know my readers would really enjoy this.  Plan on using for other dishes too.

  25. thanks alot. i ll try it soon.

  26. Hope Dearman says:

    I truly cannot WAIT to make this! My son is 2, has not been to the behavioral doctor yet, but will not hold eye contact, can say over 50 words, but does not say them even a quarter of the time, and is easily anxious/upset. I removed all dyes and preservatives from his diet almost 2 weeks ago, and now we are slowly but steadily removing casein and gluten. Already, he will hold your gaze and he has started trying to interact more. I’m not having much trouble with the gluten free stuff, but the casein free stuff is killing me. I”m so happy to have found this site. I’m a single mom, and I have spent a ton of money on groceries this past week (the Vietnamese market here is my new best friend) but it seems like I still never have all the right ingredients. We’ll get there though!

  27. Katie Schweiss says:

    Love this recipe! You can ramp up the nutrition even more if you ferment it – omit the hummus and substitute 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes for the taste, plus 1/4 c naturally-fermented sauerkraut juice or other lactic acid ferment juice.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Pumpkin Dip recipe over at A Veggie Venture, only I subbed the dairy-based cream cheese with Cashew Cream Cheese so it would be casein-free.  Did you know that cashews are high in magnesium?  Want to know more [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cheryl Perlmutter, Amber McDonald, Maria Russo, Heidi Kelly, Maria Russo and others. Maria Russo said: RT @adventuresgfmom: New blog post: Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese, Vitamixed http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2010/09/vegan-cashew-cream-cheese-vitamixed/ [...]

  3. [...] Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, posted a recipe that peaked my interest.  Yet, while Heidi’s Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese  is amazingly delicious, it was her reference to Carrie from Ginger Lemon Girl’s Homemade Almond Cheese that really [...]

  4. [...] I had to figure out a way to make them dairy/casein-free, which was actually really easy to do with cashew cream cheese!  I made different colored “fingernails” this year using olives, carrots and grape [...]

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  12. [...] this awesome pumpkin cheesecake. The first thing I did was prepare the vegan cream cheese from this website in a separate container. Vegan Cream Cheese 1 1/2 cups Raw Cashews, soaked overnight 1/2 cup water [...]

  13. [...] cream or cream cheese? Look at the ingredients – it’s not real food!!!! Try making your own cashew cream cheese or dairy-free ice cream. There are tons of recipes out there now for real, whole foods, [...]

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  16. [...] the top. Notes Original recipe source(s): Flour Arrangements Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom Adapted by Jenn Miller Serving suggestions: Balsamic green beans, steamed [...]

  17. [...] block of Philadelphia original cream cheese (for me to taste), my cream cheese dip recipe, and this recipe from Adventures Of A Gluten Free Mom, I went to blending.  Then tasting, then blending again. And [...]

  18. [...] real thing. But here it is anyway The first thing I did was prepare the vegan cream cheese from this website in a separate container. Vegan Cream Cheese 1 1/2 cups Raw Cashews, soaked overnight 1/2 cup water [...]

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