by Kathy Hester, author of The Easy Vegan Cookbook and Healthy Slow Cooking (visit for more recipes!) 

Avocado Vegan "Cream Cheese" |

I think we can all agree that bagels are convenient. A big smear of cream cheese and breakfast is ready. I got hooked on them when I lived in NYC and was a vegetarian. Now that I follow a vegan diet I wanted to create a dairy-free thick, rich and creamy spread that would be worthy of the best bagel you can get your hands on.

Avocado Vegan "Cream Cheese" |

At a bagel shop, you’re lucky if there is a commercial vegan “cream cheese” option, but most of the time my choice is fated to be peanut butter. Don’t get me wrong peanut butter is delicious. However, being limited to one choice is not much fun.

This vegan cream cheese will make an amazing veggie sandwich. An open-faced sandwich with thin cucumber slices is perfect for summer afternoon tea or try a full-on veggie sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and bell pepper rings. My favorite part of this recipes is the variations are endless. Leave out the herbs and garlic, try minced carrots and celery, minced olives, or even throw in some walnut and agave. You can use any flavor combination that you see in dairy cream cheese.

Avocado Vegan "Cream Cheese" |

I love avocados and try not to leave any of that creamy flesh behind. The easiest way to do that is to peel the avocado, rather than just scoop out the flesh. This also preserves the most carotenoids, which live closest to the peel.

Avocado Vegan "Cream Cheese" |

To peel an avocado:

1. Cut into quarters
2. Set pit aside, you can actually toss the pit in your next smoothie to add soluble fiber!
3. Carefully peel the skin off each quarter, it should come off easily.

Easy Avocado Cashew Vegan Cream Cheese
Recipe by Kathy Hester copyright 2015

Make this easy spread for your next brunch and all your vegan friends will love you! It’s rich and creamy, plus you can flavor it with any herbs you’d like.

Avocado Vegan "Cream Cheese" |

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1 medium avocado (we recommend:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried herb of your choice, optional
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1 minced clove
salt, to taste

Soak the cashew in the water overnight if you do not have a high speed blender or at least 2 hours.

Drain off any left over water that was not absorbed by the cashews. Add the drained cashews, avocado, lemon juice, Italian seasonings (if using) and garlic into a blender.

Blend until smooth, stop and scrape down the sides and repeat until the mixture is smooth. This will take a few times, but be patient - this spread is worth the wait!

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