Follow this recipe for a fantastic non-dairy substitute for your traditional cream cheese spread. It really is fool-proof, so do not be afraid! Worse-case scenario, you can’t get it to ferment nicely (sometimes it takes some experimentation), but even so, it will still be delicious, just not as tangy.
2 cups blanched almonds, soaked in water for 6-8 hours and drained
1/3 – 1/2 cup water or rejuvelac (recipe & post here)
2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened & cultured nondairy yogurt (soy, coconut, cashew etc.)
pinch of salt
splash of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of chopped or dried dill
Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the processor or blender to have all the cream cheese equally blended. You want this mixture smooth with no
grit whatsoever. A great way to achieve this is to purchase pre-ground almonds or almond ‘meal’. If using this route, use 1 cup of ground almond instead of two cups of whole, blanched almonds.
Once blending is complete, transfer thick, creamy mixture to glass jar , bowl or container.
Cover with cheese cloth or loosely fitted lid, and let sit for 48 hours. After it has cultured, pour off any excess liquid, stir in dill, and store in fridge. It will thicken and harden further once chilled. You may also press it after culturing to remove even more moisture, but after being in the fridge, it should firm up beautifully on its own
This recipe makes about 1.5-2 cups of almond cream cheese. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Feel free to experiment with flavouring your cream cheese. After it’s cultured simply stir in any fresh or dried herb(s) of choice, add fresh or roasted garlic, fruit purée, – whatever you wish or the occasion calls for.
Notes: I have used Nancy’s Plain Soy Yogurt, Yoso’s & So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt. The probiotics in the Soy yogurt seem to be the liveliest. If you prefer coconut yogurt (Yoso’s is the only plant-based yogurt I can find that is 100% unsweetened), then use rejuvelac instead of water, to give the probiotic count a boost.
Also, you do not have to use almonds. Feel free to experiment with other nuts and seeds and explore the various wonders of the plant-based cream cheese! A little note about using sunflower seeds, they ferment very quickly, so cut your culturing time in half!