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Hot Pepper Pot Vegan Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese
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5 from 3 votes

Hot Pepper Pot Vegan Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese

This hot pepper pot vegan cultured cashew cream cheese is incredibly simple to make and packed with all the beloved tanginess of the "real" thing. Made with just three ingredients (plus water and sea salt), this homemade vegan cream cheese is sure to please dairy lovers and vegans alike! 
Prep Time18 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time18 hrs 10 mins
Course: Breakfast, Spread
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, plant-based, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3 probiotic capsules*
  • 1/4 cup filtered water or distilled water, plus more as needed**
  • 3 jalapeños***
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Drain the cashews and add them to a high-powered food processor. One at a time, open the probiotic capsules and empty the powdered contents into the food processor (discard the capsule shells). Add just enough water to get everything processing—I recommend starting with 1/4 cup. Process for several minutes, or until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed and adding as little water as possible (I usually add a total of 6 tablespoons or 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons). Keep in mind that the longer you process (and the stronger your food processor), the smoother your cream cheese will be.
  • Transfer the mixture to a nonreactive (i.e., non-metallic) bowl or jar, and cover with a clean towel. Allow the bowl to sit at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours to culture.****
  • Once the cashew mixture is nearly ready, it's time to roast the jalapeños. Turn a gas burner or grill on medium heat. Roast the peppers one at a time. Place each over the open flame for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the skin becomes blackened and blistered. Rotate and repeat on the other side. Once the pepper is blackened and blistered all over, transfer it to a cutting board and invert a bowl on top of it to trap the heat. Allow it to steam for 10 to 15 minutes (this loosens the skin for easy peeling). Repeat with the remaining peppers. (See this post for a visual if needed.)
  • Once the peppers have thoroughly steamed, carefully stem and peel them (you may want to wear gloves for this). Then, slice the peppers open, scrape away and discard the seeds and membranes, and roughly chop. (Note: I prefer my cream cheese with big, fleshy pieces of jalapeño, but feel free to finely chop if you prefer a more jalapeño-flecked cream cheese.)
  • Add the jalapeños to the cultured cashew cheese along with the sea salt. Stir well to incorporate.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more sea salt if desired.
  • Refrigerate the cream cheese in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Probiotic capsules can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores (e.g., Whole Foods). Ensure that the probiotic capsules you purchase are both vegetarian/vegan (i.e., do not contain milk products) and that they contain at least 1 billion active cultures per capsule.
**It's important to use pure, unchlorinated water, because chlorine can disrupt and even inhibit enzyme/culturing activity.
***To make plain cream cheese, simply omit the jalapeños.
****The finished product has a light and airy texture reminiscent of whipped cream cheese (which I quite like). If you prefer a denser, firmer cream cheese, scoop the cultured cheese into cheesecloth, press out excess water, and then add the jalapeños and salt.