Vegan Cream Cheese
Yields Approximately 8 oz
This cream cheese requires a lot of "cooking" time, though the actual time you're in the kitchen with it is brief. So make sure you leave 48 hours to prepare this spread.
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for 24 hours (I like to get cashew halves and pieces because they are CHEAPER)
2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg’s)
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp water
1. In a bowl, cover cashews with water and allow them to soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse them.
2. Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor. You want to blend the ingredients until they are extremely smooth, like buttah.
3. Once the texture is very smooth and creamy, pour your “cheese” in a bowl and allow it to sit for 1 hour.
4. Spread a cheesecloth out on some wax paper (about 12 inches of cheesecloth). If you want a thicker, more traditional cream cheese, use a single layer of cheesecloth. If you want a texture that is more similar to whipped cream cheese, use a double layer of cheesecloth.
5. Spoon your “cheese” into the center of the cloth.
6. Gather the sides of the cheesecloth and tie your “cheese” up like a little package. Now you’re going to let the cream cheese “culture”, if you will. (Though this isn’t a culturing cheese, I’m using the term loosely.) The liquid will drain out, and the flavors will develop.
7. The “cheese” package needs to drain, so it must be suspended in some way over a container to catch the liquid. I followed Leanne’s directions and tied my package (with twine) to a wooden spoon and balanced it on a large mixing bowl. It worked like a charm!
8. Allow the cream cheese to do its thing in a warm-ish location for 24 hours. My laundry room tends to be the warmest place in the house, so that’s where mine developed.
9. After 24 hours you should find the bottom of your container has a bit of liquid in it, and your cheesy concoction is ready to go! Remove it from your rigged up suspension, cut the twine, unwrap that bad boy, and you’ve got yourself a suitable cream cheese substitute.