23 August 2020

Fermented Cashew Cream Cheese

This next recipe is one of my absolute favourites - tangy, creamy and incredibly smooth fermented (cultured) cashew cream cheese. Not only is it delicious but it's also super healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and probiotics, so it's also great for gut health.

My favourite way to enjoy this recipe is on homemade sourdough with some crunchy sauerkraut, but you can use it anywhere that you'd normally use cream cheese. I've been experimenting with this recipe for months and my favourite thing about it is that it's so light and fluffy. You'd think because it's blended nuts it may feel a little heavy, but the fermentation process - which only takes around a day - makes it fluffy and mousse-like, so it spreads like a dream and feels light too. The cultured part of this recipe, which you add to the cashews to facilitate fermentation (more on this below) creates that signature tang you're looking for in cream cheese and there are a number of options to make this perfect for savoury or sweet application! 

You can use a number of different fermenting liquids to make this - in my experience, the best are plain water kefir, which is also great if you want to use it for something sweet or brine fermentation liquid, like from my fermented chilies, which is best for savoury options and the final result is just like how I remember Boursin cheese tasted. You can use plain kombucha for a savoury or sweet option, but having a longer fermentation time I've found the final cheese isn't quite as light or fluffy as when using the previous two options and you could also use sauerkraut or kimchi liquid, but again, this is best for savoury cheeses as they already have quite strong flavours. If you haven't yet had a go at fermenting, shop-bought versions of the above will also work, providing they aren't heated or pressure treated and therefore still contain live bacteria - most should tell you on the packaging if they contain 'the mother' or live bacteria. The final option for this is to use the contents of a probiotic capsule, just be sure they don't contain any prebiotics, as this can interfere with the fermentation process - this is my least favourite option as I find the final result tastes a little fizzy and it's not as light or fluffy either, but it's a solid option and has that nice tang you're after if that's all you have available and you don't want to wait to create your own starter from brine

Cashews are such a fantastic ingredient for vegans, a great base for creamy sauces, dips or an added crunch, nuts are also integral parts of healthy diets and for good reason. Cashews are rich in protein and healthy fats and contain some fibre, but they're also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin K [1]Nuts are included in diets all around the world and they've been studied in relation to reducing mortality rates, cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many more non-communicable health conditions [2]. Of course, there's more to it than just eating nuts and being healthier - diets of regions where nuts are commonly consumed include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, less sugary foods or meats and a whole myriad of healthy lifestyle habits that promote positive physical and mental health [3]. So whilst nuts aren't a cure-all dietary solution, they are a key part of a balanced, health-promoting diet, that we should aim to include - some studies conclude that a handful a day is an optimum amount, about 30 grams [2]. Eating fats, proteins and fibre with meals also helps to control blood sugar spikes, by slowing the release of the glucose and keeping you fuller for longer, another reason why they promote health [4].

If you make any of my recipes, please snap a pic and share - tag me on social media & stories using @euphoricvegan and #euphoricvegan.

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Fermented Cashew Cream Cheese | Yield: 2 cups | Prep Time: 10 mins | Fermentation time: 24-36 hours

You'll need

  • High-speed blender (I used a Nutribullet)
  • 500ml clip-top jar
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups & spoons


  • 1 cup cashews (~150g)
  • 1/4 cup fermentation liquid* (60ml) (plain water kefir/fermentation brine/sauerkraut liquid/kimchi liquid/plain kombucha or 1 probiotic only capsule + 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/4 cup water (60ml)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Optional additions, depending on recipe or use:
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 brine fermented chili
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • For best results use water kefir or fermentation brine
  • For savoury use any options listed above as the fermentation liquid
  • For sweet use plain water kefir, kombucha or a probiotic capsule
  • If using a probiotic capsule, ensure it doesn't contain any prebiotics


  1. Wash all your equipment with hot soapy water and dry with a clean tea towel before starting. 
  2. Add the cashews, fermentation liquid and water to the blender and blitz until super smooth. If you're using chili brine, you can also add a fermented chili in here and blend (optional). 
  3. Pour into the clip-top jar, seal it and leave at room temp, out of direct sunlight for 12-24 hours. If it's warm in your home, the fermentation will happen quicker and 12 hours will be enough, but if it's a little cooler, leave for up to 24 hours. You'll see air bubbles forming and the cheese will rise in the jar, so be sure to use a 500ml one. 
  4. Then, depending on which starter you used, follow the instructions below (either a or b) for the flavour additions and second ferment.
a) If you used plain water kefir, kombucha or a probiotic capsule:
  1. Measure out and stir in the nutritional yeast and 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste). 
  2. If you're making a savoury or flavoured option, mix in your extra seasonings in here such as garlic powder, onion powder and/or chives.
  3. Then clip the lid shut and leave to ferment for a further 12 hours. 
  4. Once fermented, store your cream cheese in the fridge and use within 1-2 weeks. When using, be sure to use a clean utensil and don't double-dip, to avoid contamination and to preserve the cheese.
b) If you used fermentation brine, sauerkraut or kimchi:
  1. Measure out and stir in the nutritional yeast and any other flavourings you choose to add. You won't need to add any extra salt as your starter liquid contained this. 
  2. Then clip the lid shut and leave to ferment for a further 12 hours.
  3. Once fermented, store your cream cheese in the fridge and use within 1-2 weeks. When using, be sure to use a clean utensil and don't double-dip, to avoid contamination and to preserve the cheese.
Finally, serve up as you choose and enjoy! 

Cassidy xx