I think one of the biggest challenges to living with food allergies is the cost. Cooking gluten & dairy-free isn’t cheap. Everything I buy pre-made—from salsa to bread to cream cheese—can easily cost triple the price. So as often as I can, I try to make things from scratch to reduce the cost.
Which means, these days I make my own salsa, bread and cream cheese.
If you go to to the store today an 8 oz. tub of vegan cream cheese costs around $4. That’s not an outrageous price but if you eat a lot of cream cheese… that can really add up. This homemade recipe I’m sharing today makes about 16 oz. of cream cheese and costs under $3. Definitely a better bargain. (And if you start shopping for these ingredients in bulk… the price will continue to decrease.)
Part of the fun of making your own cream cheese is that you can mess around with the flavor. This version has a slightly nutty taste that’s both fresh and light. If you want to get creative, try adding a little fresh basil, rosemary, or nutritional yeast. The possibilities are endless.
- Drain tofu and place between several paper towels or cheesecloth and squeeze out excess liquid and set aside. (the tofu will break up into pieces during this process.)
- Drain the cashews and pat dry with a paper towel. Put cashews into a food processor and blend until they become a paste. Add in the tofu and blend for about 3 minutes, until it is a creamy texture.
- Add in the lemon juice, agave, apple cider vinegar, salt and olive oil. Continue to blend for another 2 minutes.
- Add in the xanthan gum and blend for about 1 minute. The mixture should start to thicken up.
- Use the cream cheese right away or refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.