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Cream Cheese

31 Jul

Since making Nina’s vegan butter a few days ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I added cashew cream to the mixture. When I get ideas like this in my head, they tend to stick there until I actually make them. Some might call it “obsessive”, I call it “dedicated.”

I never think to plan ahead to soak my cashews, so I boiled them for 15 minutes to soften them for blending. This recipe will be much easier for you if you have a high powered blender – I only have a Ninja and it worked well.
I also added a few more ingredients to increase the “tang” for the cream cheese. It might seem really tangy originally but it will mellow a bit in the fridge. There isn’t a great substitute for the vegan lactic acid powder, but it’s not that expensive to purchase on Amazon or Modernist Pantry and it will really kick up your vegan mac and cheese! You can try 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a similar acidic flavor.
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Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup aquafaba, room temperature
• 1.5 tsp lactic acid powder
• 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 cup raw cashews, boiled 15 minutes
• 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

Directions:
1. Begin by boiling cashews in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes until very soft. Meanwhile, combine aquafaba, lactic acid, vinegar, and salt in a tall container.
2. Drain cashews and rinse, then blend with soymilk in a strong blender until very smooth and creamy. This can take a while if you don’t have a Vitamix or similar equivalent.
3. Melt coconut oil in a microwave and add canola oil.
4. Start blending aquafaba with an immersion blender until a bit frothy, then slowly pour the liquid oils into the aquafaba, making sure it completely emulsifies as you pour.
5. When the mixture looks a bit like mayonnaise and all the oil is used, begin spooning in your cashew cream. Continue to blend and add the cream until it’s fully blended.
6. Using a spatula, scrape the cheese* into a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours. Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes for easier spreading, but it should be quite spreadable and soft!!
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*Baby approved!

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26 Responses to “Cream Cheese”

  1. Penny Veg July 31, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    That looks genuinely amazing. I wish I had a decent blender.. one day!

  2. Nicole R. August 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    Do you have a link to buy the lactic acid powder from Amazon? I can’t see to find it.

  3. Sheila September 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    Do you reduce the AF at all? And where can I get lactic acid etc online. I’m out in the middle of nowhere

    • avocadosandales September 27, 2015 at 3:39 am #

      The AF is unreduced. Lactic acid is available at ModernistPantry.com (be sure to order the vegan one.) It is linked above in blue.

  4. Gaye Baxter October 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi Lacey, I have soy milk frozen. But do you think it would work to sub homemade Almond milk? I just made Nina’s Butter and about to try your cream cheese. Yah Thank you! Gaye

    • avocadosandales October 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      It would definitely work! Let me know how it turns out!

    • Gaye Baxter February 23, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Hi Lacey, Sorry its taken so long to get back to this. It was too think with the almond milk. The soy milk thickens some with addition of acid so that helps. Have you tried a cream cheese danish yet with this. FYI just made the aquafaba cheddar today and its delish. Thanks for sharing. Gaye

  5. Aliyanna October 13, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    I would so like to make this….but my kids are almost as allergic to nuts as they are milk!!! Is there any other subs that might work….

    • avocadosandales October 13, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      What about seeds? Sunflower seeds might be an easy substitute!

  6. suzie blair October 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Do you think I could use this cream cheese recipe to make a baked cheesecake. Thank-you, Suzie

    • avocadosandales October 31, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

      I have yet to try it, but I think it could be done if you add a starch to firm it while baking, such as cornstarch. Let me know if you do try it!

  7. Maytal January 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi, what can I use instead of refined coconut oil? I only buy unrefined. Thank you!!

    • avocadosandales January 18, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

      If you will only use unrefined, it will just add a bit of coconut flavor to the cream cheese.

  8. Margaret Kendrick, March 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    I made this and it was excellent. I use powdered citric acid from Whole Foods – tasted great.

  9. Kimberly Little October 8, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    I just made this for the first time. I used pinto bean AF because I was going to use half of the resulting cream cheese in my bean dip anyway. I am AMAZED at the results! It tastes exactly like dairy cream cheese. The soft texture is perfectly spreadable. I plan to use the other half to make a cream cheese frosting for the pumpkin cinnamon rolls I made from the Minimalist Baker recipe this afternoon. Yum!

  10. queeniemurray October 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Ok so I am minutes away from buying vegan lactic acid and my husband is going to think I’ve gone mad lol. A few questions: how long does this last in the fridge? And there’s probably a way to turn this into a cream cheese frosting, amiright?? I’m thinking vegan cinnamon buns with vegan cream cheese frosting! 😁

    • avocadosandales October 25, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      It’s definitely been made into cream cheese frosting!
      As for shelf life, anywhere between 1-2 weeks, as long as it smells OK it should be safe to eat.

  11. Jenny November 7, 2016 at 6:22 am #

    This sounds amazing and a perfect way to enter the world of Aquafaba 😉 I have a question though please . Due to nut allergies ,I can’t use the cashews . Could you recommend a replacement ? Or do you think if I were to use tahini , it would still work ? Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are also on our can’t have list :/

    • avocadosandales November 7, 2016 at 7:03 am #

      I don’t know that there would be a suitable replacement without nuts, and it sounds like you are more versed in nut replacements than I am. Tahini wouldn’t be firm enough and would have too strong of a flavor, but perhaps there’s other soy based cream cheese recipes that would work instead of this one?

  12. Marley H November 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    Hey! So i made this today but after about three hours it still didnt set into a cream cheese consistency. It was more like cashew cream still. I also tried it and it was missing that tanginess and didn’t taste of much at all. What would you suggest i do?

    • avocadosandales November 8, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      I would suggest either giving it a little more time (it takes a while for coconut oil to go completely solid.) If that doesn’t work, I would return it to the blender with about 1/4 more soaked cashews and a little more lactic acid

      • Marley H November 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

        Thank you 😀 I’ll check it in the morning and see how it is then i’ll try that. I’ve actually found that when making mayo from aquafaba If i use too much of it it takes a LOT of oil to turn into a thick mayo, so maybe there was too much AF in there. Oh well, thanks for your swift reply!

  13. Joey November 11, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    I made this today for the umpteenth time (finally getting around to leaving comments!) and I kind of used too much cashew, and had to add more milk to get it to blend, and then my final result had no taste. So I just ~tipped in some extra lemon juice and ACV and now I have extra luxuriously creamy cream cheese! Even with almond milk! Super pumped about this. In the past I’ve used it for creamy pasta, and smeared it directly onto (vegan, obvs) red velvet cupcakes, it’s that good. Doesn’t even need to be frosting. But I’m positive it will make the best cream cheese frosting EVER.

  14. youngjelinek June 29, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    Hi! Just made your aquafaba mozzarella last night and am pretty excited about it! My husband hates the smell of most vegan cheeses, but that one is thankfully free of that weird stench. Thought I’d see if I could find a cream cheese and…voila! Do you have a good recipe for cream cheese frosting using this? It looks like it might be softer than real cream cheese. Also, how many oz does this make?

    • avocadosandales June 29, 2017 at 7:37 am #

      This makes about 1.5-2 cups of cream cheese. I have not personally made frosting with it but I’m sure it’s possible!

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