Friday, June 8, 2012

Amazing Coconut-Cannellini "Cream Cheese": Soy, Nut, and Dairy-Free

Making my own non-dairy cream cheese has been a bit of a holy grail quest for me.  When I found out that my son Sawyer was allergic to dairy products, I just started using the Tofutti cream cheese substitute, which tastes pretty good, but is not exactly full of healthful--or even identifiable--ingredients.  Plus my daughter Abiline would not tolerate the soy protein in it.  I did not have a clue how to go about making my own allergy-friendly "cream cheese," as the only homemade recipes I have been able to find are ones that contain cashews.  Then inspiration struck after I made my chickpea cheese: coconut and white beans, in the right fat to protein ratio, fermented to brilliant, spot-on cream cheese impersonation. I admit that I started crying when I tasted it.  And then I proceeded to make bagels to slather it on. And then no-bake cheesecake.  Maybe it sounds weird, but trust me folks: I think this is my best kitchen creation ever. 



1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup (heaping) cooked cannellini beans (Or navy beans work fine, too.)
2 Tbsp. plain coconut milk yogurt (I used homemade.)
1/2 Tbsp. chickpea miso
6-8 Tbsp. water
2-4 Tbsp. coconut milk (The kind in the carton or full-fat both work, but use full-fat if you are going to use this for cheesecake.)

1. In a food processor (or Vitamix/Blentec, if you are lucky enough to have one of those!) blend the coconut, white beans, yogurt, miso and 1/3 cup water until smooth. Add additional water a tablespoon at a time if necessary to get a really smooth, creamy consistency.

2. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and cover completely with cheesecloth. It will look like this:


Set the bowl in warm place and let the "cheese" ferment for about 12-16 hours. Start tasting it after 12, and then if it is not tangy enough yet, keep checking back every hour. You will know when it's done because you will think to yourself, "Ohmygosh, this tastes like cream cheese!"

3.  During the fermenting process, the "cheese" loses moisture and becomes crumbly, so once it is done fermenting, you need to put it back in your blender or food processor and blend in the coconut milk, starting with two tablespoons, and then adding more--a tablespoon at a time--if necessary to get a spreadable consistency.

4. Store it in the refrigerator. It is best when eaten within the first 3-5 days.

No, I didn't try to ship the kids off. They were pretending to be robots. Very happy robots.






This post is linked to Fit and Fabulous Fridays, Breakfast Ideas Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, and Allergy-Free Wednesday and Wellness Weekend.

23 comments:

  1. I am so proud of you! Look at what you've created mai pet! You are a chemist! talk about making lemonade out of lemons. your kiddos have one good mommy

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  2. Your kids are soooo cute!!! I can't wait to try this yummy recipe. Sounds delicious with the coconut! Thank you for sharing at Fit and Fabulous Fridays!

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  3. Wow! I'm totally impressed! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Wow! I found this link via allergy free wednesdays.
    What a great idea! You're very creative! I might have tried beans and coconut together but never thought of adding miso and yogurt to get that "cream cheese" taste. Brilliant, I say!

    (I actually posted a link for my homemade coconut milk cheddar for vegan quesadillas - http://sweetroots.blogspot.com/2012/06/vegan-quesadillas-homemade-coconut-milk.html on ATW).

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    1. Your cheese looks awesome, too! Can't wait to try it!

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this at last week's Breakfast Ideas Monday - you've been featured in this week's party - http://www.yummyinspirations.net/2012/06/healthy-breakfast-fry-up-breakfast.html. I look forward to giving the recipe a go, such a nutritious dish!

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  6. Is there anything I could use instead of the yogurt?

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    1. You could try just adding more chickpea miso for the "tang."

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  7. do you have any suggestions for those who can't tolerate coconut? the other restrictions need not apply (except for dairy, as i am vegan-ish).

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    1. I've seen recipes for vegan cream cheese that call for cashews, so if you don't have a nut allergy, that would probably be your place to start!

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  8. Hi! So, I definitely messed this up a little, but even then it was still great! I had to use it for a tiramisu recipe that I experimented with and it saved me. I linked to you on my post. I hope that's okay!!

    http://eyesandlows.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/recipe-mini-vegan-allergy-free-tiramisu/

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    1. Thanks so much! Your tiramisu looks awesome! Yes, the recipe definitely works better the better your food processor or blender can fully grind up the coconut :o)

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  9. How well would this work using coconut flour? Another idea might be to grind the coconut in a coffee maker before proceeding with the recipe, presuming that would work. I've been looking for a nut-free cream cheese substitute. I've found one that I really like; but they ALL contain xanthan gum, which my friend's system doesn't tolerate.

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    1. I would not recommend it--I think it would be way too dry, even if you added extra liquid. The alternative I would recommend is to use coconut butter if you do not have a high powered blender to grind the coconut.

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  10. I was wondering what to sub for the miso....have a terrible aspergillis allergy here.
    tia
    Aliyanna

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    1. I would just double the yogurt and add a pinch of salt.

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  11. I did and part of it actually made it to the fermenting!!!! They wanted it before it fermented!!!!
    So was a hit either way.

    I was wondering if you could please post your bagel recipe.....My one kiddo is asking for them...so I thought I would see if you had a recipe for them.

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    1. I'm glad it turned out so well! I don't have my own bagel recipe. The one I used was from the Have Cake Will Travel blog: http://havecakewilltravel.com/2009/07/27/have-you-done-your-kagels-today/

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  12. We tried garbanzo beans...iit turned out well too. Garbanzos seem to be a fav here....we do a lot of garbanzo things..esp nofu and fermented nofu. Had some fun with it recently, added sumac and adobo seasoning...med and then fermented...kinda spicy and very good!!!

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  13. Could you help me please. I am looking for your coconut eggs. I had it saved on my old computer....but this isn't it...so I can't find it. I wanted to make potato salad now that I found a way that the kids can eat potatoes....could you please post a link for me?
    tia
    A

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  14. Hi!

    Any idea about what I can replace chickpea miso with? It isn't available in any stores where I live.

    Can't wait to try out the recipe! I am allergic to, well, almost everything.

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