Vegan Cream Cheese
Attention vegan and dairy-free friends, I have the perfect vegan cream cheese recipe for you! Gone are the days where you can’t enjoy a fresh, toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. This vegan cream cheese resembles traditional cream cheese in texture and flavor. It is even customizable – simply add shredded carrots and chives for a veggie cream cheese or fresh herbs for a herby cream cheese! From my NYC kitchen to yours, here is my vegan cream cheese recipe!
How To Make Vegan Cream Cheese
There are many reasons this recipe is great, but one is that it uses ingredients you likely already have at home. The first, and most important step is to soak the cashews in cold water for at least 3 hours (or overnight). From there, drain the cashews, and place them in a high-powered blender with the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, and lemon juice. Blend the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Once the cream cheese is at the desired texture, gently fold in the chives (or any other mix-ins) and enjoy!
This vegan cream cheese should last in the fridge for up to one week.
Meals and Snacks Incorporating Vegan Cream Cheese
As I mentioned before, this vegan cream cheese pairs well with bagels of any flavor. However, in addition to bagels, you can use this vegan cream cheese in place of traditional cream cheese for onion dip, spinach artichoke dip, pasta sauce base, tarts with fresh vegetables, the ideas are endless! Aside from baking purposes, this vegan cream cheese can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for traditional cream cheese in any recipe!
Importance of Healthy Fat
Cashews are high in both mono and polyunsaturated fats – healthy fats.1 These fats are essential in our diet for multiple body processes. Before we go into why these fats are essential, let’s talk about all the “types” of fats that exist.
There are four different “types” of fat found in food.2 They are monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat and trans fat (trans fat for the most part is man-made and has made its way almost completely out of our food system). The difference between the “types” of fat are the molecular chain length, shape and amount of hydrogens on the molecular chain.2
When it comes to the fats to limit, we want to limit saturated fat and avoid trans fats.2 These fats can put one at a high risk of heart disease, and trans fats, specifically, can increase the risk of death.3,4
Instead, we want to focus on the consumption of mono and polyunsaturated fat. Note that in foods that contain mono and polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats also exist and that is okay. Mono and polyunsaturated fats can do the opposite of saturated and trans fats by reducing the risk of cholesterol.2
Bodily processes fat is needed for are temperature regulation, cushioning, hormone synthesis and fat-soluble vitamin absorption.2
- Mah E, Schulz JA, Kaden VN, et al. Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017;105(5):1070-1078. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.150037
- Dietary Fats. www.heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/dietary-fats. Accessed April 26, 2020.
- Guash-Ferre M, Babio N, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, et al. Dietary Fat Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in a Population at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(6):1563-1573. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.116046
- Souza RJD, Mente A, Maroleanu A, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Bmj. August 2015. doi:10.1136/bmj.h3978
- 1 cup cashews soaked in water 3 hours or overnight
- 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Chives chopped
- Drain cashews.
- In a blender, add cashews, vinegar, water, salt, and lemon juice. Process until smooth consistency. Mix in chives.