THE PERFECT DAIRY-FREE CREAM CHEESE RECIPE
This cheese has become a staple in our house. I usually mix up a double batch, then divide in 3 containers and freeze two of them for later. My husband (who loves dairy and can eat whatever he likes) says he prefers this to “regular” cream cheese, since the texture is perfect and the flavor is “more delicate” (he finds regular cream cheese too bland now!).
1 cup (240 ml) raw cashews, soaked in room temperature water for 12 hours, rinsed and drained well
3 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
3 drops plain liquid stevia
3 Tbsp (45 ml) organic coconut oil
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
2 tsp (10 ml) sunflower lecithin (optional, but highly recommended)
Place the cashews, juice, vinegar, water and stevia in the jug of a powerful blender and blend until just smooth. Add the coconut oil, lecithin and salt and continue to blend, scraping down sides and pressing the mixture into the blades as often as necessary, until you have a silky smooth, creamy mixture that’s almost the texture of sour cream. It may seem too soft; this is as it should be (it will firm up in the fridge). Taste and adjust salt and stevia, if necessary.
Scrape the cheese into a small container and refrigerate until firm, at least 24 hours. It should be firm yet spreadable at this point. Use as you would cream cheese.
Variation: Add 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) garlic powder and/or 1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped chives, if desired.