Totally vegan cream cheese? Heck yeah! It’s not only possible…it’s delicious too! This dreamy cashew cream cheese will make you a believer!
There was a time when a bagel and cream cheese was my absolute favorite breakfast. Not my normal breakfast, mind you, but my favorite. Like a weekend breakfast, at a corner coffee shop in Philly. I’d have a big, frothy mochaccino, everything bagel and scallion cream cheese. There was one place that put the cream cheese on the bagel in these big giant slabs that had to be about two inches thick. That is a breakfast that I have not enjoyed in several years. It’s not so much that it doesn’t sound good to me anymore. In fact, my tastebuds are tingling as I write this. But when I think about it a little more, I start to feel like I need a nap. Suddenly I feel really full, bloated…then I start feeling sleepy. Groggy, yeah, mega carbo/animal fat energy zap. That’s it.
My point? I’m thirty-three now. Big old cream cheesy slabby bagels just don’t get eaten and unnoticed by my body like they used to. I would love, love, love to sit down this weekend for the exact meal I’ve described above, but I’m just not into the consequences. Fortunately, I’m beginning to discover ways of working around those consequences. Starting here.
So what’s a (thirty-three year old, trying to be healthy) girl to do? Just what I’ve been doing: create something void of all those no-no ingredients and so delicious that I’ll never look back. And what did I do? Well, for this post I created a super delicious, totally dairy-free cashew cream cheese. What I did not do was put it on a bagel. I still have some work to do in order to get around that heavy, carbohydrate bomb of an issue. (If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.) That’s all fine though, because I tested this vegan cream cheese out on (1) fresh veggies, (2) rice crackers, and (3) a whole wheat wrap with fresh veggies, mimicking an old favorite I used to get at bagel shops. All were delicious.
I’ll certainly keep you posted on my progress in replacing the bagel. And as for the mochaccino, well that part is easy peasy. Stay tuned.
You can stir any kind of appropriate cream cheese flavoring in here. I went for scallions, because, as noted above, those were always my favorite. I see no reason not to try sundried tomatoes, fresh fruit like peaches and strawberries, fresh garlic, finely diced raw veggies…I could go on and on. (I did, since originally posting this one, manage to transform a similar cashew based cheese into a vegan cheese ball over the holidays.) As for straight up vegan cream cheese, I’ll let you know if I can manage to tear myself away from the scallions and try another variety. Please do the same for me. Deal?
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
- ¼ cup lemon juice (or to taste)
- ½ tbsp. canola oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Optional: your favorite cream cheese flavorings (I used 2 chopped scallions)
- Drain cashews and blend in high speed blender or food processor until smooth. This might take a few minutes.
- Add in remaining ingredients and continue to blend until everything is well mixed.
- Remove from blender or food processor and stir in your flavoring(s), if using.