Yes, this Garlic & Chive Spread looks and acts a lot like cream cheese. But – surprise! – it’s completely dairy free. Huzzah!
Now before you ask, “what is this SORCERY?!”, don’t freak out. This is actually a super simple recipe and will give you lots of dipping and smearing opportunities in your gluten and dairy free day. I make this Garlic & Chive Spread with two main ingredients: raw soaked cashews and coconut milk.
Click here to read how cashews are NOT legumes – and are therefore totally Paleo.
What’s the whole soaked nuts deal?
Before you whip up a batch of this Garlic & Chive Spread in your food processor or blender, you might want to hear about the whole nut-soaking thing. What does that mean? Before blending up your raw cashews, you need to soak them overnight (or at least for a few hours). Just pop them in a bowl and cover them with water. Add a little salt. Put them in the fridge overnight to soak. When you’re ready to make your spread, rinse and drain the raw soaked cashews. Soaking the cashews does a few different things: it softens them, which makes them easier to blend AND it helps to remove the phytic acid from the cashews.
Here’s why and how to soak yo nutz!
You can play around with the ratios in this recipe to come up with a version that suits you best. I make my Garlic & Chive Spread with a 1:1 ratio of soaked raw cashews to coconut milk because it sets nicely and doesn’t melt quickly at room temperature. However, you can also make it with a ratio of 1:2 raw soaked cashews and coconut milk. This spreads more easily straight from the fridge – but the downside is that it will melt much more quickly. So make your own version of this Garlic & Chive Spread depending on how you want to use it. Bear in mind that unlike commercially produced cream cheese spreads, this homemade version doesn’t have any preservatives or stabilizers, so you will need to keep it refrigerated and eat it within a week.
- In a food processor or blender, process the raw cashews until they begin to form a paste.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the fresh chives to the bowl and process until everything is smooth and combined. You will need to scrape the side of the bowl down a few times - and be patient, depending on how good your appliance is!
- Stir through the minced chives, then divide the mixture between two 4 oz mason jars.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before using.
You can play around with the ratios in this recipe to come up with a version that suits you best. This 1:1 ratio of soaked raw cashews to coconut milk sets nicely and doesn't melt quickly at room temperature. You can also make it with a ratio of 1:2 soaked raw cashews and coconut milk. This spreads more easily straight from the fridge - but the downside is that it will melt much more quickly.
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