This dairy-free cashew cream cheese is delicious and quick to make.
Herb and garlic cream cheese is my favourite flavour, especially when paired with an everything bagel. I missed cream cheese over the years, and I was never fond of the store-bought dairy-free versions so I was happy to have finally found a homemade version that is so delicious and satisfying. This can be made using plain unsweetened dairy-free yogurt, or to make it even more simple, cashew cream can be used instead.
Start by soaking your raw cashews. You can soak them a few ways. One way is overnight in the fridge. I find this the best way as it really softens them up so that they blend easily. Another soaking method is by letting them soak at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. The quickest way is by adding the cashews to a bowl and covering them with boiling water for 30 minutes. Once the cashews are done soaking, it takes 5 minutes to put everything together.
Raw cashews are a must. Do not use roasted, unless you really don’t mind the extra nutty flavour, but that is not what I was looking for.
Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice will provide the necessary tangy flavour even without dairy-free yogurt. You can substitute the yogurt with cashew cream, which is made by blending 1 part soaked raw cashews with 2 parts water. It will still taste just as delicious although the yogurt will make it a little creamier and lighter.
Herbs and garlic are the main part to making the cream cheese full of flavour. In this recipe, I used dried herbs and garlic powder.
After soaking, rinse and drain the cashews before adding them and all other ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy.
What type of blender is best? I use a Vitamix and use my smoothie setting 2 to 3 times which is 1.5 minutes to 2.25 minutes. If you don’t have one or if you are using a food processor then the results may just not be as creamy.
If you find that it is too hard to blend, then you can add a splash of liquid such as water or more cashew cream. In order to keep things moving and blending using the tamper is a must. If your blender does not have one, you may have to stop every so often and scrape down the sides.
Can the herbs be added in afterwards? Sure, but I like to add my herbs and garlic powder during the blending process. You can certainly add them at the end and mix them in by hand. Once you have everything mixed, do a taste test. Adjust the flavours to your liking and if needed, add more lemon juice, salt, or herbs.
How long is its shelf life? Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Many ways to enjoy. Obviously my favourite way to enjoy this is by spreading it on an everything bagel – gluten-free ones as well. But I also like to spread it on crackers, on tortilla chips, and even using it as a dip for my veggies. I have even used it in my layered dip.
Herb and Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese
Dairy-free cream cheese that is delicious and quick to make.
- high speed blender
- 1½ cups soaked raw cashews
- ¼ cup dairy-free plain yogurt – I used Riviera's Coconut Milk Vegan Delight ((or cashews cream – view notes))
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix)
Blend 2 to 3 minutes until smooth, using a tamper.
Store in a sealed jar and refrigerate.
- If using cashew cream instead of vegan yogurt: cashew cream can be made by blending soaked cashews with the ratio of 1 part cashews to 2 parts water.
- Cashews can be soaked overnight in the fridge or by adding them to a bowl and covering them with boiling water for 30 minutes.
- Spices can be adjusted to your liking and can also be added in after blending if you prefer.
- Freezer friendly.
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