For this month’s Recipe Redux, we were challenged to make a recipe using a new kitchen gadget or gizmo. My current kitchen gadget obsession is my dehydrator. I used it to make this flavorful vegan chive cream cheese out of cashews and aquafaba. I’m also linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday.
Growing up in my house, bagels and cream cheese (aka bagels and schmear) was a staple. My mom grew up on Long Island and I was raised in a Jewish-community; I went to our local deli (shoutout to Once Upon a Bagel) at least twice a week. In fact, when I go home over the holidays, my friends and I still go there for bagels to catch up. Like you’ve seen in previous posts, I’m a big savory breakfast fan. However, I’m not a fan of the vegan cream cheeses you can buy at the grocery store. I find them off-tasting. So I wanted to try making a simple savory vegan cream cheese that tastes great.
My mom got bought me an Aroma dehydrator as a present and it has been SO much fun to use! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve definitely seen me post about making different cheeses or dried snacks in it. I was on a mission to veganize our Christmas appetizers, and in the process, read a lot about making vegan cheese. I tried out brie and dips, and played around with nut-based cheeses, different probiotics, different aging techniques, and various flavors. The simplest one I came up with was this cashew-based vegan chive cream cheese.
This dehydrator recipe uses aquafaba. Aqua-what? Aquafaba is the starchy liquid that inside the chickpea cans. Normally I just drain that, BUT it’s actually a magical ingredient, acting as a binder, emulsifier or leavener. I can’t wait to experiment with it more. The recipe also calls for soaked cashews. Soaking cashews for at least 8 hours and then blending them creates an incredibly rich and delightful cream. I have not tried this recipe with other nuts.
Homemade Vegan Chive Cream Cheese
Soak the cashews overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and add to a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Shake a can of chickpeas to mix up the starches. Drain the can – adding the liquid to the bowl of the food processor and saving the beans for another recipe (might I suggest homemade hummus or vegan cookie dough?). Add in the remaining ingredients and process on high until smooth. You will have to scrape down the sides a few times, depending on the strength of your food processor.
Lightly grease 2 4-inch springform pans with coconut oil. *You can also use small shallow glass containers, like pyrex Tupperware pictured earlier. Transfer the chive cheese to prepared pans. Cut out a ring of parchment paper to cover the surface of the cheese. Pro tip: This prevents the top layer from forming a hard crust.
Place in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 95 degrees for 24 hours. Remove and spread on your favorite toasted bagel. This recipe makes two cups and stores in a sealed contained in the refrigerator for three weeks.
This was a hit at my brunchy book club. With the left overs, I’m thinking of using it as a sandwich spread later in the week. Maybe even experiment with using it as a vegetable dip. Who knows!
What’s your favorite kind of cream cheese? If you try this recipe, let me know! Rate it, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @Rabbitfoodruns on Instagram. I’d love to see your vegan chive cream cheese creations!
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