Savory appetizers are perfect to take to a party, serve as an extra side for dinner, or just make as a snack to serve your family. I love cheese, cheese balls, cream cheese….but since I don’t eat dairy anymore I try to figure out other ways to have that creamy, savory, deliciousness.
The “Cream Cheese”
I don’t like to buy processed vegan foods like faux cream cheese. The ingredients are no bueno and there are way too many of them. Cashews make the creamiest plant cheeses, but a lot of people seem to have sensitivities to cashews, so I wanted to create an almond version. You can use either almonds or cashews. I blanched my almonds myself (that means I removed the skins), but you can use pre-blanched or regular almonds (it will just have a browner color).
A food processor works best, since it’s not a large enough quantity to whirl around the blender well. You can try though, and it might work if you have a small blender to use.
For oil free crackers, check out Mary’s Gone Crackers. Nut Thins have most of their fat from nuts, and some water crackers are pretty low fat. I used the Crunch Master gluten-free crackers from Costco in these pictures.
You will love this delicious snack!
If you make it, please share a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag me! And leave a star rating and comment below. Thank you so much!
Savory, festive, delicious!
- 1 cup blanched almonds (or cashews), soaked overnight
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt (can use 1/4 tsp for lower sodium)
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh or jarred pesto (or 1 tablespoon dried basil, although pesto is better)
- crackers (see blog post for ideas
- fresh tomato
- ripe avocado
- red pepper flakes (optional)
Soak the blanched almonds overnight. If you don't have blanched almonds, you can put regular almonds into boiling water and let them cool, then slip the skins off of each one to blanch them yourself. You can also leave the skins on, your cream cheese will just have brown flecks in it. Drain the almonds.
If using cashews, simply soak overnight then drain.
Put the drained, soaked nuts into a food processor with the other ingredients except pesto. Process until as smooth as possible, then stir in the pesto. Taste and add more pesto, salt, lemon juice, etc. until it tastes just right to you.
This keeps well in the fridge for several days until you're ready to use it.
Spread a little bit of cream cheese on each cracker and top with a piece of tomato and avocado. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes on top if you'd like. (I really like!)