This is the basic recipe I use for plant-based cream cheese. Cashews are perfect for blending as they make a velvety smooth cream and have a mild flavour that works well in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Once you are familiar with the basic cream cheese recipe and its taste, get creative! I sometimes use kombucha instead of water, which gives the cheese a distinctive “bite”, (apple cider vinegar will give a similar taste if you haven't got kombucha) and occasionally I use Rejuvelac for added probiotics.
Cashews are very high in copper, which aids the immune system, helps make red blood cells and also helps form collagen. Cashews are also a good source of magnesium, which together with calcium and vitamin D, is essential for healthy bones.
Always buy raw cashews and as with all nuts and seeds, store them in the fridge or a cool place.
The recipe: (Makes about 1 & 1/3 cup of cream cheese base)
200g (1.5 cups) raw cashews (soaked 4-12 hours)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
How to: Soak the cashews overnight or for at least 4 hours. Don’t soak them for more than 12 hours as this will result in a less tasty cheese. Rinse the cashews and throw away the soaking water.
Blend all the ingredients together in a high-powered blender or food processor. You need to keep stopping to scrape the cheese down off the sides of the blender cup, but don’t be tempted to add more liquid as it will result in a cream rather than a cream cheese. If you’re having difficult with air-pockets, add an extra teaspoon of lemon juice.
Blend together until smooth and creamy.
That’s it! You have your cream cheese base! Now for the fun part!
Your cheese is ready for add-ins. Here you can go to town and add what you like. If you’re experimenting, the basic recipe makes about 1 & 1/3 cup of cream cheese so if you divide the mixture into 4 equal amounts you can try out 4 different recipes with one batch.
There are really no limits to what you can add to cashew cream cheese, so get adventurous!
Basic Cashew Cream Cheese
Check out these cream cheeses.....
Leave a comment & let me know what YOU add to your favourite cream cheese!
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