Living in Style: Raw Cashew Cream Cheese
One of the first posts I shared on Vegicurious was for Raw Cashew Cream Cheese. This recipe is one that I’ve been making consistently, with consistent results, since I adopted a whole food, plant-based style of living. “Style of living”. Hmmm, I like the way that sounds and it gives me a new perspective on the plant food movement. The definition of style is an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living. Once in a while I make a meal that I consider elegant. And with more people adopting healthy and compassionate food choices, it certainly is fashionable. Having healthy meals ranging from everyday comfort food to gourmet feasts feels like luxury to me. I’m living (and eating) in style. So, back to the cream cheese. This recipe has always been pretty simple, but since I purchased the twister jar for my Blendtec it’s gotten even easier as I no longer need to drain it overnight in cheesecloth. The addition of lactic acid adds a more “dairy-like” creaminess to the spread and gives it a less tangy taste. The lactic acid is optional and you’ll still get good results without it. You can enjoy it straight up on bagels or try one of these cream cheese blends: veggie cream cheese with minced scallions, carrots, red bell pepper; roasted red pepper cream; walnuts and raisins; or sun-dried tomato. This is no longer a whole food, plant based; it is our style of living. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
Vegan Cream Cheese (soy-free + lactic acid)
1 1/2 cups raw cashew halves, soaked for 12 hours
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lactic acid powder (optional)
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt (optional)
2-3 tablespoons water (if necessary to process cashews)
Note: If you have a high-powered blender that can process nuts efficiently (Vitamix or Blendtec Twister), you may not need as much water and will not need to drain the cream cheese.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process on high. Begin with 2 tablespoons of water and work up to 3 tablespoons if needed. The water is in the recipe just to help the mixture get as smooth as possible in the blender. Blend for 2 minutes or so, until it’s as smooth as smooth can be.
Drape a shallow bowl with cheesecloth or butter muslin. Spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the cheesecloth. Pull up the sides of cheesecloth and tie with a piece of string or twine. Hang the bag on a kitchen utensil and rest it inside a vase or juice pitcher and cover the whole set-up with a plastic bag. It just has to be extended in the air so that the extra liquids can drain from it.
Leave in a warm place for at least 24 hours. Then, remove from the hanging setup you’ve created, remove cheesecloth and refrigerate before serving.