Ever craved the rich, creamy texture of cheese but wished for a dairy-free version that’s equally scrumptious? Welcome to the magic of Whole30 Cashew Cream Cheese! Quick to whip up and irresistibly delicious, this recipe will soon become your go-to for all your cheesy needs, no matter the occasion.
❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe
A Dairy-Free Dream
Navigating the world of dairy-free can be daunting, but guess what? You’ve just stumbled upon a game-changer: cashew cream cheese. This creamy, dreamy spread delivers all the rich texture and taste you’d expect from cheese, minus the dairy. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply craving a plant-based spread, this recipe has got you covered.
Spread, Slather, Savor
The versatility of this Whole30 cashew cheese is genuinely remarkable. Whether it’s the star of your morning sweet potato toast, a delightful addition to your baked potatoes, or a base for your vegan Alfredo sauce, the culinary possibilities are vast. Its cheesy flavor, amplified by the nutritional yeast, can easily transform a variety of dishes, making meal times exciting.
No Fuss, All Flavor
Nobody has the time (or patience) to toil away in the kitchen for hours. Thankfully, this recipe requires minimal effort for maximum flavor payoff. With your trusty high-speed blender or food processor by your side, you’ll whip up this delectable treat in 5 minutes. And, trust us, the blend of cashews with a touch of lemon zest and a hint of almond milk creates a taste that’s unforgettable.
Cashews aren’t just about taste; they’re a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fats, they’re a stellar addition to your diet. Combined with the other wholesome ingredients in this recipe, you’re serving up a bowl of goodness every time you indulge.
Save Those Pennies
Creating your dairy-free cashew cream cheese at home is not only rewarding but also budget-friendly. Store-bought vegan cheeses can sometimes be pricey, but with this recipe, you get a fresh, creamy spread without burning a hole in your wallet.
🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions
Cashews are the star of the show, providing the rich, creamy base for our cream cheese. Their neutral flavor profile and smooth consistency once blended make them a popular choice in many vegan and dairy-free recipes. If you’re out of cashews or wish to experiment, macadamia nuts can be a potential alternative, though the flavor and texture might vary slightly.
This ingredient is the secret weapon for that classic cheesy flavor without actual cheese. Nutritional yeast offers a delicious dairy-free cheesy flavor and even adds a boost of B vitamins. If you can’t find it, though it’s less ideal, you could use a pinch of onion powder or garlic powder for some added depth, but remember, it won’t fully replicate the cheesy note that nutritional yeast provides.
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Almond milk helps in achieving the right creamy consistency. Opt for the unsweetened variety to ensure your cream cheese doesn’t veer into sweet territory. If you’re not an almond milk fan or have an allergy, unsweetened coconut milk or even cashew milk can be excellent substitutes.
Fresh Lemon Juice
A hint of freshness and tang, lemon juice balances out the richness of the cashews and adds a slight tang that’s reminiscent of traditional cream cheese. If you’re out of lemons, apple cider vinegar can be a substitute, but use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the mix.
Salt enhances all the flavors and makes them pop. While sea salt is a great option, you can use any salt you have on hand. For a twist, you could even try pink Himalayan salt for some added minerals.
🥣 How to Make Whole30 Cashew Cream Cheese
Soaking the Cashews
Before anything else, it’s crucial to prep those cashews. Soaking them softens the nuts, making them easier to blend into a silky-smooth consistency. Just place your cashews in a bowl of boiled water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. If you can, leaving them overnight will yield even better results.
The Blending Magic
Once your cashews have softened, it’s time to bring out your trusty high speed blender or food processor. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender, followed by the nutritional yeast, unsweetened almond milk, lemon juice, and salt. Blend away until you achieve a creamy texture. Depending on your blender’s power, you might need to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure everything is mixed well.
Adjusting Consistency and Flavor
After blending, give your cashew cream cheese a taste. If you find it too thick, you can add a touch more almond milk to thin it out. On the flip side, if it’s too runny, blending in more soaked cashews should do the trick. Adjust the salt or lemon juice if needed. If you want to make it super thick, add a teaspoon of melted refined coconut oil. It’ll firm up nicely in the fridge! Remember, this is your masterpiece, so tweak it until it’s perfect for your taste buds!
The Waiting Game (Optional)
While you can dig into your cashew cream cheese right away, letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Transfer the cream cheese to an airtight container and let it set. The result? A firmer, more flavorful spread that’s ready to elevate any dish you pair it with.
🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips
Quality of Cashews Matters
When it comes to the main ingredient, quality is key. Opt for raw, unsalted cashews. Roasted cashews have a distinct flavor that can overpower the cream cheese. Freshness matters too; older cashews can sometimes have a rancid taste. Store them in a cool, dark place or even in the freezer to maintain their freshness.
Patience During Blending
Achieving that ultra-smooth and creamy texture is all about patience during the blending process. If you’re using a food processor, you might need to stop occasionally, scrape down the sides, and continue blending. If the mixture is too thick and is giving your machine a tough time, add a splash more almond milk to ease the process.
Taste and Adjust
Remember, this is YOUR cream cheese. Before storing it, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Perhaps a pinch more salt? Or maybe a squeeze more lemon juice for added tanginess? Adjust it to your liking, and you’ll have the perfect spread tailor-made for you.
Make Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
To make your cream cheese into a cashew cream sauce, all you have to do is double the almond milk. Blend it well and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I like to add a clove of fresh garlic when I’m making whole30 alfredo sauce.
Airtight Refrigeration is a Must
Your homemade cashew cream cheese should always be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In a chilled environment, it will stay fresh for about 5-7 days. Every time you take it out for use, ensure you’re using a clean utensil to scoop or spread to avoid introducing any contaminants.
Can You Freeze Cashew Cream Cheese?
Absolutely! If you’ve made a big batch and are unsure if you’ll consume it within a week, the freezer is a great option. Store it in freezer-safe containers or bags, and it should keep well for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Give it a good stir to bring back its creamy consistency, and it’s good to go!
Be Mindful of the Smell and Texture
As with all homemade creations without preservatives, always do a quick smell and texture check before using your stored cashew cream cheese. If it smells off or you notice any mold, it’s best to discard it. It’s always better to err on the side of caution with fresh foods.
🍽️ What To Serve With Whole30 Cashew Cheese
A Snacker’s Delight
Cashew cream cheese is the perfect companion for an array of snackable delights. Plantain chips, sweet potato chips, or even grain-free crackers like simple mills are wonderful when dunked into this creamy spread. For a veggie twist, you can slice up some green bell peppers, cucumbers, or celery sticks. The nutty flavor of the cream cheese pairs beautifully with the natural crunch and taste of fresh vegetables.
Boost Your Main Course
This cashew cream cheese isn’t just for snacks! Turn it into a cashew cheese sauce by adding a little more almond milk and a drizzle of olive oil. Use it as a base for alfredo sauce, mix it in with some zucchini noodles, or spread it over a juicy ground beef burger salad. The cheesy flavor and creamy consistency are versatile enough to complement a variety of dishes, making them even more delightful.
Okay, this might sound a tad unconventional, but for those with an adventurous palate, a hint of cashew cream cheese can be a game-changer for some desserts. Drizzle it over fresh fruit or even blend it with applesauce or banana and vanilla for a unique cheesecake-inspired treat.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
While cashews are preferred for their creamy texture and mild flavor, you can experiment with almonds or macadamia nuts, though the texture and flavor might vary.
You can use coconut milk, cashew milk, or any other Whole30 milk alternative that you prefer.
Absolutely! Feel free to mix in your favorite herbs or spices, such as chives, garlic powder, or even some chili flakes for a kick.
Yes, a food processor can also be used, though you might need to blend a bit longer to achieve the desired creamy consistency.
Yes, this recipe is completely dairy-free and is suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products.
😋 More Whole30 Recipes You Will Love
- Whole30 Queso Cheese Dip
- Whole30 Zuppa Toscana
- Whole30 Tom Kha Soup with Shrimp
- Whole30 Pork and Sauerkraut
- Whole30 Breakfast Casserole
- 60 Whole30 Ground Beef Recipes
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Whole30 Cashew Cream Cheese Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups cashews soaked
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 4.5 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in boiled water (preferably overnight).
- Add the soaked cashews nutritional yeast, unsweetened almond milk, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
- Use it straight away or allow it to thicken up in the fridge, and enjoy!