Are you looking for a dairy-free cream cheese recipe that is just as delicious and easy to make as the traditional version? Look no further than this plant-based cream cheese recipe that is perfect for all your bagel and toast needs.
Made with simple ingredients that are easy to find, this homemade vegan cream cheese is not only creamy and spreadable, but it is also a healthier alternative to regular cream cheese.
In this article, we’ll show you how to make vegan cream cheese step-by-step, provide tips on how to store it, and give you some ideas on how to serve it. Keep reading to find out how to make vegan cream cheese at home.
Ingredients Required to Make Vegan Cream Cheese
If you’re looking to make homemade vegan cream cheese, you’ll need a few key ingredients. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
|Raw cashews||1 cup|
|Lemon juice (fresh)||2 tablespoons|
|Apple cider vinegar||1 tablespoon|
|Nutritional yeast||1 tablespoon|
|Garlic powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Sea salt||1/2 teaspoon|
|Filtered water||1/4 cup|
Raw cashews are the base of this dairy-free cream cheese recipe, providing a creamy texture and a mild, nutty flavour. Lemons add freshness and tanginess, while apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast contribute to the cheesy flavour. Garlic powder and sea salt provide additional depth of flavour, and filtered water helps to blend everything together smoothly.
You can find raw cashews at most health food stores or online. Look for cashews that are unsalted and unroasted for the best results. If you have a high-speed blender, you can use unsoaked cashews, but if you have a regular blender, it’s best to soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
How to Make Vegan Cream Cheese
Making vegan cream cheese is surprisingly easy, and it can be done with just a handful of ingredients. Follow these simple steps to create your own homemade vegan cream cheese.
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Let the cashews soak for at least four hours, or overnight.
- Drain the cashews and rinse them well with water.
- Add the cashews to a food processor or blender, along with the coconut cream, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt. Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy. This may take a few minutes, so be patient.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Transfer the cream cheese to a container with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Once you’ve made your first batch of vegan cream cheese, feel free to experiment with different flavours and textures. You can add herbs, spices, or even fruits to create a unique and delicious spread that you’ll love.
Variations of Vegan Cream Cheese
Switch up your vegan cream cheese game with these delicious variations:
- Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese: Mix in chopped fresh herbs such as dill, chives or parsley, and minced garlic into your cream cheese. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with bagels or as a dip with veggies.
- Sweet Cream Cheese: Add a sweet twist to your cream cheese by blending in maple syrup or powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy on top of pancakes, waffles or toast!
- Jalapeño Cream Cheese: Add a spicy kick to your cream cheese by blending in chopped jalapeños (without seeds) and a pinch of cumin. Use it as a dip with tortilla chips or as a spread on sandwiches.
Tips for Customizing Vegan Cream Cheese
Get creative with your vegan cream cheese by experimenting with different flavour combinations. You can add in minced sun-dried tomatoes, capers or olives to create a savoury spread. Or, try blending in some fresh fruits like strawberries or blueberries for a fruity cream cheese spread!
Tips for Storing Vegan Cream Cheese
Homemade vegan cream cheese is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The container should be well sealed to prevent any air from entering, which can cause the cream cheese to dry out.
It is important to note that vegan cream cheese does not have the same preservatives as dairy-based cream cheese, and therefore has a shorter shelf life. It can typically last up to a week in the fridge, but this may vary depending on the ingredients used and the storage conditions.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your vegan cream cheese, you can freeze it. Portion the cream cheese into ice cube trays or small containers and freeze for up to three months.
When you’re ready to use the frozen cream cheese, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to use it up within a few days after thawing.
Serving Suggestions for Vegan Cream Cheese
Vegan cream cheese can be used in a variety of ways, making it a versatile and delicious addition to any meal or snack. Here are some serving suggestions that are sure to take your taste buds on a flavourful journey:
Vegan Cream Cheese Spread
One of the most popular ways to use vegan cream cheese is as a spread on toast, bagels, or crackers. You can also add herbs and spices to create a flavoured cream cheese, such as garlic and chives or sun-dried tomato and basil.
|1 cup vegan cream cheese||1. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese with your desired herbs and spices.|
|1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives||2. Mix well and transfer to a serving dish.|
|2 cloves minced garlic||3. Serve with crackers, bread, or veggies for a delicious snack or appetizer.|
Vegan Cream Cheese Dip
Vegan cream cheese can also be used as a dip for vegetables, tortilla chips, or pita bread. This easy recipe is perfect for parties or gatherings:
|1 cup vegan cream cheese||1. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese with 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream.|
|1/4 cup vegan sour cream||2. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, and a pinch of salt and pepper.|
|1 tablespoon lemon juice||3. Mix well and transfer to a serving dish.|
|1 minced garlic clove||4. Serve with your favourite chips or veggies for a tasty snack or appetizer.|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
You can even use vegan cream cheese to make a delicious frosting for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Here’s a simple recipe that’s easy to make:
|1 cup vegan cream cheese||1. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese with 1/2 cup of vegan butter.|
|1/2 cup vegan butter||2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.|
|2 cups powdered sugar||3. Mix well until smooth and creamy.|
|1 teaspoon vanilla extract||4. Use the frosting to decorate your cakes and cupcakes as desired.|
These are just a few examples of the many ways you can use vegan cream cheese in your cooking and baking. Get creative and experiment with different flavours and ingredients to find your favourite combinations!
FAQs about Vegan Cream Cheese
Are you considering switching to vegan cream cheese but have questions about its health benefits? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.
Is vegan cream cheese healthy?
Yes! Vegan cream cheese is a healthier alternative to dairy-based cream cheese as it contains no cholesterol and has lower saturated fat content. It is also higher in essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it is suitable for those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.
What are the benefits of using plant-based cream cheese?
Plant-based cream cheese is a great option for those looking for a healthier and more ethical alternative to dairy-based cream cheese. It is also better for the environment as it requires fewer resources to produce and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it is cruelty-free and free from animal exploitation.
Can I use vegan cream cheese in place of regular cream cheese in recipes?
Absolutely! Vegan cream cheese can be used as a substitute for dairy-based cream cheese in almost any recipe. It has a similar texture and flavour, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
How long does homemade vegan cream cheese last?
Homemade vegan cream cheese can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, although the texture may change slightly upon thawing.
Can you make flavoured vegan cream cheese?
Yes, you can! You can add various spices, herbs, or fruits to create a savoury or sweet flavoured cream cheese. Try adding garlic or dill for a savoury option or maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet option.
Where can I buy vegan cream cheese?
You can buy vegan cream cheese at most grocery stores or health food stores. You can also make it at home with our easy recipe!
With these FAQs, we hope we’ve helped answer your questions about vegan cream cheese. Whether you’re looking for a healthier alternative to dairy-based cream cheese or simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, vegan cream cheese is a great option to try.