Monday, June 8, 2009

Dairy-Free Raw 'Cream Cheese'

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I love this tasty substitute for cream cheese - use it whenever you want a dairy-free, savoury, cream cheese. For example, try it on pizzas instead of cheese (pre-bake pizza without toppings, then spread with cream cheese and top with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capsicum, salad, etc). Use as a dip (or as a substitute for dairy cream cheese in dips) with raw veges, crackers or corn chips. You can also use it as a tasty substitute for sour cream by adding a little more water.

For best results, cover the nuts and seeds with water and soak at room temperature for a few hours. If you don't have time to soak them, you can start with dry nuts & seeds, grind them in the Thermomix, then add the remaining ingredients and blend. You'll need to use the larger amount of water for this method. Experiment with the amounts of water until you get the consistency you like. If you don't want the flavour quite so strong, add a bit less lemon juice.

I use my Thermomix for this recipe, but you could use a regular blender or food processor, although it will take longer to blend to a smooth paste, and you'll need to scrape it down a few times.

'Cream Cheese' used as a pizza topping with salad

- 180g (1 1/4 cups) blanched almonds
- 180g (1 1/4 cups) sunflower seeds
- 160g (3/4 cup) lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- some freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 100-300g water

Soaked version:

- Soak nuts and seeds in water overnight, or for a few hours. Drain off water and discard.
- Place all ingredients in Thermomix bowl using 100g water, slowly turn dial to speed 8. Push mixture down into the blades with the spatula while mixing. Add a little more water if needed until you get the texture you like. Blend until you get a super smooth texture - takes 1-2 minutes.

Unsoaked version:

- Grind dry nuts and seeds on speed 9 for 10 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients, using 200-300g water, depending how thick you like it, and mix on speed 8 until well mixed and super smooth. Use the spatula to help mixture along as it mixes.

For a high protein, super-food 'green cheese', you can also add 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tsp spirulina powder and 2 TBS flax seed oil.


Thermomixer said...

Hi Jo, looks an interesting substitute. Wonder if bean curd could be used in a similar fashion.

BTW - the link to the Rejuvenate Your Life book seems to have changed ?

Jo said...

I'm not sure about bean curd - can't hurt to try! I've fixed the link and it should work now. :)

Anonymous said...

This looks fantastic Jo, can you tell me how long it is ok to keep in the fridge?
Cheers, Bridget.

Jo Whitton said...

Hi Bridget, it should be fine for at least a week - I've also frozen it and that works too. You may have to add a little water and remix when you thaw it out. :)

Anonymous said...

Great, thank you! Off to do the shopping so I'll stock up on some pine nuts! Bridget.

Anonymous said...

How do you blanch almonds? Can you do it in the Thermomix?

Jeanette Gegg said...

Hi Jo. Made this last night in preperation to make your french onion dip for our DF friend. Ended up cutting vegie sticks and having a feast. Yummo. Hope I have left enough for the dip.I didn't have enought sunflower seeds so I added pumpkin seeds.

Jo Whitton said...

Re blanching almonds: all you do is cover raw almonds with boiling water and leave for about 10 mins, then the skins will pop off when you squeeze them. :)

That's great Jeanette - glad you like it!! :D

Lizz Saunders said...

Hi Jo, can you use raw cashews instead of almonds?

A said...

Thermomixer, you can use soy bean curd (tofu) for such creations :). Just keep liquid to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

Jo, what can I use anything instead of the lemon juice - I don't have any at the moment!!

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