A plant-based take on Boursin–a spreadable garlic and herb cheese spread–made with cashews! Quick and easy to prepare, with only 5 ingredients, it is vegan, Paleo, soy-free and yeast-free.
I won’t be trite and proclaim that there are two types of eaters in the world. Nevertheless, some of us do seem to prefer grazing all day, while others favor three square meals at set times.
I am an unequivocal grazer. A nibble of bread and hummus an hour after breakfast? Yes. Apple slices and peanut butter 30 minutes after lunch? Sure thing. Squares of dark chocolate here and there? Sounds right to me.
I love a sweet treat as much as anyone, but savory dips and spreads rank much higher on my list of grazing preferences most days. Today’s recipe may be my new ultimate: Cashew Boursin (Spreadable Garlic & Herb Cheese).
This cheese spread is:
*Made with 5 ingredients (plus optional salt)
Here’s what you need to make it: raw cashews, nondairy milk, freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic powder and chipped fresh herbs. You can decide if you would like to add salt.
First up, soak the cashews. Impatient as I am, I prefer a quick soak. Specifically 15 to 20 minutes in boiling water, followed by cool rinse. The cashews always turn out perfectly plump and soft, ready for blending.
If you prefer, I have directions in the recipe notes for soaking the cashews for several hours in cool water to achieve the same results.
Place the drained cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic powder, and (optional) salt in a small blender (for example, a bullet-style blender) or a small food processor. Blend away, stopping often to scrape down the bottom and sides of the container. Your goal is maximum creaminess, so take your time. It will take 3 to 4 minutes of stopping and starting, but it is worth it to get a velvety smooth texture.
With this small volume of cheese, blending in a larger blender or processor is not successful; the cashews get stuck under the blade. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, a regular size blender or food processor will work just fine.
Transfer the cheese to a small bowl and adjust the salt (and/or milk, lemon juice and garlic) to taste.
Last, stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh herbs. I use a combination of mostly parsley, plus a small amount of rosemary and thyme. I have a note in the recipe for exactly how much I use of each.
I prefer to stir in the herbs by hand so that they do not get over-processed (no green cheese, please!). It is also easier to add a little bit at a time to get the proportions just right. It’s worth dirtying an extra small bowl!
You can enjoy the cheese spread immediately, but the flavors improve immensely if you allow the cheese to chill completely. The cheese will also become much more firm.
The cheese can be kept in a small airtight container, for spreading and dipping, or it can be molded into a small container. Line the container with plastic wrap or cheese cloth and then pack in the cheese, smoothing the top. Close the loose ends of the wrap or cloth around the cheese and chill.
When you are ready to indulge, unmold the cheese and dig in!
You will love this cheese for snacking and light meals. It makes a very impressive appetizer, too. Add cheesemaker to your list of talents :).
Happy snacking, everyone!
A plant-based take on Boursin–a spreadable garlic and herb cheese spread–made with cashews. Quick and easy to prepare, it is vegan, Paleo, soy-free and yeast-free.
- 1 cup (4 oz/112 g) raw cashews
- 3 and 1/2 tablespoons (52 mL) nondairy milk
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons (37 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- fine sea salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (see notes)
- Place the cashews in a mason jar or glass bowl. Add 2 cups (500 mL) boiling water. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes until very plump. Drain and rinse the cashews.
- In a small food processor or handheld blender (i.e., bullet-style blender), process the cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of container multiple times until the mixture is very smooth and creamy-looking (be patient, this will take a good amount of stopping, starting, and scraping–about 3 to 4 minutes).
- Scrape the cheese into a small bowl and stir in the herbs, to taste. Adjust the salt to taste.
- Spoon into a small round or square dish that has been lined with cheesecloth or plastic wrap. Pack in the cheese and firmly enclose with the wrap or cloth. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until cold and firm.
- Remove cheese from form and unmold onto a small plate. Enjoy with vegetables, crackers, bread, and more!
Storage: Store the cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freezing is not recommended.
Herbs: The amount of herbs will vary depending on the herbs you choose to use. A larger amount of parsely and chives can be used (3 to 4 tablespoons), but more powerful herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, should be added in much smaller portions (1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time). I like to use 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme.
Overnight Soaking: If you prefer, soak the cashews in 2 cups cold water, at room temperature for 8 hours instead of using the quick soak method. Drain and rinse before using. I do not recommend soaking the cashews for longer than 8 hours (they can turn slimy).
Blending Tip: I specify a small food processor or blender because the small volume of cheese is difficult to blend in a regular size food processor or blender. If you are making a large batch of the cheese (e.g., double or triple), a regular size food processor or blender will work.
Fresh Garlic: I like the simplicity of using garlic powder, but fresh garlic can be used, too. I do not recommend using raw garlic; the flavor is too strong and grows stronger as the cheese is stored. Instead, blanch the garlic in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or roast the garlic. I recommend 2 to 4 cloves, to taste.
- Category: Appetizer, Cheese
- Method: Blending
- Serving Size: 1/2 ounce (1 generous tablespoon)
- Calories: 40
- Sugar: 0.5 g
- Sodium: 15.9 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan cheese, cashew cheee, plantbased cheese, nondairy, dairy-free, cashews