Mouthwatering Cashew “Cream Cheese”…And It’s Totally Dairy Free!

Toast has been popping up everywhere lately. This latest trend in comfort food is being paired with everything from the ubiquitous avocado to hazelnut butter to pickled beets. But the real secret to making a great piece of toast is finding the perfect spread. Luckily, we have just the recipe for you: luscious cashew “cream cheese.”vegan cream cheese on toast with a side of home made jam and orange Supremes

The possible pairings for this tangy, luxurious spread are just about endless, but we particularly love taken by the way it can conjure the indescribably sumptuous feeling of starting the day with cream-cheese stuffed French toast. The best part, though? This version is quick to make and won’t put you into an hours-long food coma, making it perfect for a weekday morning pick-me-up.

Quick and Simple Cashew Cream Cheese

The star ingredient for this delightful breakfast is the vegan cashew cream cheese. Making vegan cheese can be quite elaborate, but this simple recipe calls for only four ingredients (including water)…

  • 1 ½ cups cashews
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

While the recipe comes together quickly, it does require some planning ahead, because the first step is to soak the cashews:

How to Soak Cashews

Place the cashews in a large bowl and fill with water until the nuts are completely submerged, then cover the bowl and set aside at least 4 hours and up to 12. If you plan to soak the nuts overnight, refrigerate the bowl.

Quick tip: if you’re in a hurry, you can “quick soak” the cashews by boiling water, removing it from heat for two minutes, then pouring it over the cashews and letting them sit for 15 minutes.

  • Once the cashews have finished soaking, drain and rinse them, then add them to a food processor with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, and salt.
  • wooden cutting board topped with toast and a bowl of vegan cashew cream cheese substituteProcess until very smooth and silky, adding the second tablespoon of water as you do. Go slowly, and air on the side of using less water than you think you need. It should take approximately 5 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the cashew cream cheese to a dish or bowl. If you want to adjust the flavors to suit your taste, now is the moment. Some add-ins we love: cinnamon honey, orange zest, and fresh ginger with nutmeg.
  • Then, cover the bowl and let chill. If you can allow an hour for chilling time, the texture will firm up nicely, but if you’re too tempted to try it before then, don’t worry, the flavors will be just as delicious.

Our Favorite Pairings

We like to serve this cashew cream cheese atop a piece of hearty, seeded bread and pair it with one of our favorite jams (homemade or otherwise). The light, mild flavors complements sweet and savory elements equally well. Every time we try this recipe, we discover more uses for this simple, finger-lickingly delicious cashew “cream cheese.”