Back in the Stone Age of my college years, my stomach was a bottomless pit. I was hungry all of the time – but especially so at about 7 or 8 pm at night. When this hunger struck, I could always convince my roommate or some of the other girls in my dorm to order food for delivery – either pizza (the dreaded “pizza-pizza” Little Caeser’s was the only place that delivered back then) or something from The Bagel & Deli Shop in Oxford, Ohio. Oh, how I loved and craved the bagels and cream cheese from The Bagel & Deli Shop! Their soft/crispy jumbo-sized bagels would arrive still warm to the touch and wrapped in layers of shiny, wrinkled foil. Peeling back the foil, a generous slab of melty, creamy cheese that had just the right amount of sour zing would ooze out from the split bagel. No matter how broke I (always) was, I could usually scrounge up the $1.50 needed for just such a late-night snack.
Since going vegan, I’ve avoided commercial plant-based cream cheese. The ingredient list doesn’t thrill me. As a result, I’ve really missed that perfect combination of chewy bagel and soft cream cheese. I came up with this simple cheese in the process of making something else entirely; one of those happy accidents. I really like the mildly sweet, nutty flavor that the coconut adds. Happily, I am now back in bagel business!
This cream cheese is the perfect complement to my Raw “Black Bread” and my Easy Pretzel Roll Bagels (pictured below). You’ll find an updated and perfected fresh herb cashew coconut cream cheese in my cookbook, Crave Eat Heal!
Oil-free Cashew Coconut Cream Cheese
- Total Time: 1440
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed, & drained
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked for ~15 minutes, drained
- 1 Tbsp. sweet white miso (I use South River brand)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
- pinch sea salt
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. You’ll need to stop the machine and scrape the sides every few minutes. This will get smooth – it just takes time and patience. I prefer a food processor here over a high-speed blender because it’s so much easier to scrape out the cheese once it’s smooth.
- Line a mini-loaf pan or other small/shallow dish with a couple of layers of cheese cloth. Scrape the cheese into the dish, pressing down so that the cheese gets into the corners. Press down the cheesecloth over the top, place in the refrigerator and place something heavy on top of the cheese/cheesecloth.
- Let the cheese rest in the fridge for 24+ hours.
- Carefully remove the cheese from the pan. Take off the cheesecloth and schemer a big schlab on a bagel!