Why is it that we always crave and desire the things we can't have?
I have never craved a bagel and cream cheese IN MY LIFE, but of course as soon as I move to China it's all I can think about. Even when I lived in NYC and had access to bagels on almost every corner, I never once bought and ate one. (I know, I'm a horrible New Yorker.) I even had access to vegan cream cheese options and savory tofu bagel sandwiches, but still, I never craved one.
Starting about a month ago, however, I developed a hankering for a round, doughy bagel smeared with creamy, sweet, dairy-free cream cheese. Why?! Of course, bread other than white steamed buns is extremely so hard to come by here in China and dairy-free cheese is completely out of the question.
What's a girl to do?!
Make her own!
Yes, I made some homemade bagels (using this recipe!). Then whipped up the most deliciously sweet Dairy Free Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese to eat with them. Guys, this spread is amazing! Its rich, sweet and pairs perfectly with toasted bread and could even be used as a decadent frosting on cupcakes or banana bread.
This recipe definitely satisfied my bagel and cream cheese craving, but to be honest, I've had a bunch of other cravings since moving to China. Ever since we officially decided that we were going home to America and stopping in NYC for a few days, I've been daydreaming about all the food I'm going to eat. I literally have a list of restaurants, including the dish I plan to order, that I'm hoping to eat at when in the city. In fact, when you read this post, I should be prancing around the city enjoying all the vegan food! Noodle-less lasagna from Siggy's Good Food, scones or dessert at Peacefood Cafe, pizza from Cafe Viva, burgers and fries from By Chloe, and Ben and Jerry's dairy-free ice cream. YESSSS!
Thankfully, this dairy free cream cheese held me over until our trip to the States and hopefully I'll return to China with lots of inspiration and motivation to continue making my favorite plant-based foods from scratch.
If you make this Dairy Free Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese, I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment down below, rate the recipe and share it with others. Also, be sure to take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram so that I can see your creation!
- 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked 8-12 hours
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water, and allow to soak for around 8-12 hours.
- After the soaking period, drain and rinse your cashews and place them in a high speed blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the side of the blender or processor if needed.
- Spread on bagels, toast or desserts as frosting.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.