Okay, so you may say that this title is misleading. The cream cheese has to ferment for 18 to 24 hours. But that’s not work-time for you. That’s just the cheese doin’ it’s thing while you sleep and wake up and go for a bike ride or whatever it is you do. The actual prep time to make this dairy-free cream cheese it literally 5 minutes. So easy. Of course you could leave out the probiotics, and then it would be 5 minutes from start to finish, but it won’t taste nearly as good, and it won’t be nearly as good for you. Trust me—follow the directions and you will be so happy 🙂
5 Minute Coconut Cream Cheese
2 (13 oz) cans of full-fat coconut milk OR 1 (33 oz) carton of coconut cream (THIS one work well. It’s less expensive purchased in Asian grocery stores.)
1 tbsp tsp maple syrup
the contents of enough dairy-free probiotics to equal about 37 billion*
Note: This method (directions below) of straining the coconut milk/cream in a cloth napkin will NOT work with coconut milk that contains gum, like Thai Kitchen (I’ve tried!).
The only trick is that the coconut milk/cream needs to be separated before you begin. If it isn’t separated when you open it, then put it in the fridge overnight to get it to separate. Sometimes that won’t work either (I know, it’s so frustrating) and in that case you can pour the milk/cream into a large bowl and freeze it completely to get it to separate. Then you have to let it thaw at room temperature (which takes a long time). Do not heat because that will make it emulsify again. But the majority of the time both of these brands have separated for me when I refrigerate them, if they aren’t already separated at room temperature.
Place a thin cloth napkin over a large sterile mixing bowl and pour the contents of the separated milk/cream over the napkin. Lift the napkin and squeeze some of the water out. Don’t go crazy squeezing or your coconut cream will be too dry. Just remove most of the water. When you open the napkin it will look like a ball of soft cheese (above), which is what gave me the idea to make this cream cheese.
Now all you need to do is discard the water, add the cream (the ball) to the bowl, and mix in the maple syrup and probiotics. Put this mixture in a sterile glass dish with a lid. Put the dish on top of a heating pad sandwiched between two kitchen towels, as seen HERE. Turn the heating pad on low. (click on link for a heating pad with NO automatic shut-off.) OR keep the container in a warm place. Leave it to ferment for 18 to 24 hours, or until it tastes to your liking.
Refrigerate the cream cheese to set. Let it come to room temperature before using. (It will be hard straight from the fridge.) The cream cheese above is spread on rolls that are made with my onion bagel recipe. But I omitted the gum, so they fall apart a lot.
*Ther-biotic Complete by Klaire Labs are the best probiotics, but you have to get them from a healthcare practitioner. This cream cheese WILL work with another brand. I just had to mention it because I know some of you will ask 🙂