Anyone that has known me for a long time knows that I grew up basically eating cream cheese on toast. I used to alternate between Philadelphia and kraft cream cheese. I really think I ate it every day and just never got sick of it. After I started learning more about how diet affects our health, cream cheese was one of the first things I got rid of. As far as cheeses go, cream cheese is probably the worst of the lot. Processed and full of un natural ingredients and most likely loaded with trans fats. For a long time there was a bit of a void in my life because I had to give up a lot of spreads that I used to eat all the time. I didn’t really miss them because I had replaced them with much more exciting and nutritious meals, but the habit of quickly scraping some sort of spread on a piece of toast when I was low on time was kind of hard to forget about.
I have tried many vegan cheese recipes in the past. None of them really impressed me much until one day I stumbled across Miyoko Schinners Artisan Vegan Cheeses in one of my health food stores. The first cheese I tried tasted identical to a smoked cheddar cheese I liked to eat when I visited Romania. I was so impressed I decided to research the brand online, bought Miyoko’s books and got really excited! I realised that the main reason the taste for vegan cream cheeses was never quite right was because none of them where cultured. After all it is the different culturing processes in real cheese that give cheese their different taste so why would it not be the same for vegan cheese?
I actually found the recipe for this cream cheese watching a youtube video of Miyoko making this cream cheese at an event and decided to try it for myself. It is the closest thing to real cream cheese I have tasted and pairs beautifully with so many things. Its also great to make a big batch and use it for vegan cream cheese frosting on cakes etc. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to culture, but you must do it in order to let the flavours develop. This recipe is adapted (slightly) from Miyoko Schinner. Do yourself a favour and check out her range of cheeses if you haven’t already. I am sure they will not disappoint.
|Easy Vegan Cultured Cream Cheese|| |
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 TBSP plain unsweetened vegan yoghurt with live cultures. ( I have used both soy and coconut yoghurt. Both work well but the soy gives a more authentic taste)
- pinch salt
- Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a small container. Cover with a lid and allow to sit on your bench top, untouched for 1-2 days. Culturing times differ depending on the weather. I live in a warm climate, mine is usually ready in about a day and a half. You can tell it is ready when the mixture thickens and increases in volume.
- Once it is ready, store in the fridge and enjoy!