Cashew Cream Cheese Base
- Serves: 2 1/2 cups
- Active Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 3 hrs
- Views: 30,347
- Success: 100%
Step 1: Soaking the Cashews• 2 1/4 cups raw cashews
Place the cashews into a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for a few hours, or overnight.
Step 2: Culturing the Cashew Mixture (Optional)• 1 1/2 tsp powdered probiotic*
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
While this step is optional, culturing the cashews will add a nice tangy punch to the cream cheese. Alternatively, you can skip this step and just add the lemon juice.
*Note: Probiotic powder is available in the refrigerator section, of most health food stores or grocery stores that sell health foods.
To culture the cashews, blend together the soaked cashews, probiotic and water until you reach a really smooth consistency. Note that this is where a high-speed food processor is worth the investment. The higher the power, the smoother the outcome. A high-powered food processor will also mean that not as much water is needed, which will result in a thicker cream cheese. Scrape the sides and continue to pulse until smooth.
Place this mixture into a bowl and loosely cover with a piece of cheesecloth, or cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it. Note: Reusable mesh produce bags also work well. These can be found in the produce aisle of many grocery stores.
Let sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours to allow to culture.
Step 3: Making the Cashew Cream Cheese• 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice*
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• water, just enough to blend the cashews
• 1 tsp onion granules
To make the cream cheese, either use the cultured cashew mixture from the previous step, or simply blend together the cashews, water and lemon juice until you reach a really smooth consistency.
Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, if using. If you are using the cashew cream for something sweet, omit the nutritional yeast, salt and onion granules.
*Note: If using cultured cashews, you may not need any lemon juice. It depends on how much tang you want the cream cheese to have. Taste for seasoning, adding lemon juice and/or salt, if needed.
Feel free to experiment with the flavor profile of this cashew cream cheese—try adding a different spice mix and/or different aromatics.
Serve with bread or crackers, or use as you would any other flavorful cream cheese.