This veggie cream cheese is full of flavor, creamy, and completely dairy-free. Spread on your favorite bagel or cracker or use as a dip.
New York has the best bagels and cream cheese. Hands down. I've been there ONE time and tried bagels and cream cheese at ONE little deli so of course I'm the expert, right? Probably not. All I know is that I've always heard that New York has the best bagels and cream cheese and when I was finally able to try them for myself when my husband and I visited in February 2020, I thought they were the best I'd ever tasted. (Full disclosure, the cream cheese was not dairy-free).
The veggie cream cheese I tried had what I consider the usual vegetables (red pepper, carrot and some type of onion, I couldn't quite tell which one). It also had broccoli in it! I was very tempted to add some to this recipe but then decided against it. Which goes to show you that you can probably add whatever vegetables you most enjoy to the cream cheese to create a unique spread.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about that cream cheese from New York and then about a month ago my cousin told me that Dunkin Donuts has the best veggie cream cheese and bagels. Who knew? I thought they only served donuts! So now I've REALLY been thinking about the cream cheese and couldn’t get it off my mind so I had to take the time to find a recipe that sounded close to what I’ve been dreaming of.
This recipe was inspired by Create Mindfully. I really like her recipe because I think the addition of the herbs (particularly dill) help to enhance the vegan cream cheese. I really like Kite Hill and it's a brand that I can eat that's not made with cashews (which I'm allergic to) but as good as it is, it's just a little different from dairy cream cheese both in taste and texture. I added lemon juice to provide a little more tanginess and I also threw in celery as it was included in many of the traditional garden vegetable cream cheese recipes. All in all, I was pleased with the results, and was able to satisfy my almost year-long craving! And the best part is that it’s SO creamy!
8 oz vegan cream cheese (I use Kite Hill)
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
2-inch piece celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dry dill weed
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 dash hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Let cream cheese sit for about a half an hour in a bowl to soften (or heat on 50% power in microwave for a few seconds if you're in a hurry to eat it!). Add in remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Serve on vegetables, simple homemade crackers (recipe below) or bagels. For the best taste, cover and put back in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour to let the flavor develop.
SIMPLE HOMEMADE CRACKERS (modified from Plant-Based Meal Solutions Magazine)
(Makes 2 cups)
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Additional seasoning (see Note)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and water and mix. Knead to form a smooth dough, adding more flour if dough is too sticky.
On a floured baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roll out dough as thinly and evenly as possible, using more flour if needed. Cut dough into crackers with a pizza cutter.
Bake for about 20 minutes until crackers are crispy and golden brown.
Note: I added 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary to the basic recipe for additional flavor.