Spread it on a bagel use as a dip for veggies and crackers or substitute any of your favorite recipes that call for cheese!
Check out this super simple dairy-free and soy-free cashew cream cheese recipe. Do you remember the days when nothing beat a fluffy toasted sesame bagel slathered in cream cheese?
Well, forget about the bloat and upset tummy you get after eating that bagel or too many cheese and crackers at the holiday party. Use this cheese as a substitute in most conventional recipes for a
Vegan, dairy-free, plant-based
alternative that will make eating the foods you love still possible! (this recipe was life changing for me I promise!)
When I switched to dairy-free I remember during the first week, cheese was one of the few temptations I wasn't sure how to get a handle on. Going dairy-free is not an easy process, I'm not gonna lie! In fact cravings for cheese in particular seemed to ramp up before they got better. After getting over that hump and making this lifestyle shift, the improvements in my health and my clearer skin made this change so worthwhile!
So that's when I decided to search for and create dairy-free alternatives to incorporate into my favorite recipes. This made foods (like a bagel with cream cheese every now and then) still possible!
You may see in the grocery stores that there are soo many commercial vegan cream cheese substitutes and for me, well they really just don't do it for me. Aside from the chalky texture or funky taste they also may contain "natural flavors", too much salt, added sugar, and gums and thickeners. This is too much on the digestive system so why spend the extra money when you can make this gut friendly, nutrition packed homemade version instead!
Now I am a big Trader Joe's fan, don't get me wrong! But there are few products I have tried and don't care for and/or I don't believe to be clean or healthy so I'll share my example below and I even highlighted the "not so good" ingredients for you!!
In my cream cheese recipe, cashews are the main staple that make for the creamy cream cheese consistency. By soaking the nut overnight, it allows for that creamier consistency. I suggest using raw cashews they are minimally processed and free from salt and anything else.
This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make. BUT there is just one thing to do ahead of time. You don't want to forget to soak the cashews in filtered water overnight or atleast 4 hours ahead of time to get that smooth creamy texture!
And I would say the consistency is comparable to hummus!
The nutritional yeast flakes have a nutty flavor and are considered a dairy free option to say, Parmesan cheese. I added them to this cashew cheese recipe for more added nutrients but also for a hint of nutty flavor. The yeast flakes contain all your B vitamins and are perfect for vegans (or anyone) who needs an extra boost of iron and B vitamins that they otherwise would have gotten from meat!
My favorite use for this cashew cream cheese is in my #1 requested Spaghetti Squash Lasagna dish. It makes the perfect ricotta substitute here.
I swear I actually have taken scoops of this cream cheese when I was hungry because it's just that good!
Cashew Cream Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons )
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- optional scallions, hot sauce, roasted garlic, chives hot peppers (finely diced)
Add cashews to a bowl of filtered water and let soak at least 4 hours or overnight.
Drain cashews then add to food processor with lemon, oil and salt. Blend until smooth.
Next add in remaining ingredients and continue to blend until mixed through.
You may need to do a taste test and add additional salt or lemon juice if desired.
If you want to add flavorings, you can do that now. Just transfer the cashew mixture to a bowl and stir in your add-on's.
Serve immediately or store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for later use.
*Lasts in refrigerator for up to 10 days
**Double and triple the batch and transfer to a airtight glass container to freeze and have on hand for later use!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Well let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Instagram to see more like this!