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Tofu Olives Spread with Chives


I'm not going to lie, sometimes I do find myself craving some creamy cream cheese-like spread on a slice of toasted bread. I've tried some of the plant-based cream cheeses out there and though some of them are pretty yummy, they're pretty much all mostly various kinds (and forms) of oils, which, let's face it, is far from good for you. Especially since, I don't know about you, but I like to put a sizable dollop of this kind of spread on my toast, I don't want to have to spread it thinly like butter and worry about accidentally eating too much. I figured there had to be a way to make a plant-based equivalent of something between cream cheese and quark. Something that you could enjoy without feeling guilty about the amount of fat you're ingesting, even if it is plant-based. So I turned to tofu and came up with this recipe I'm so happy to share with you today.

Its main ingredients are tofu and olives and there's no oil in it at all, though you could add a little bit to make it taste even better, but the no-oil version is, in my opinion, delicious as is. You can achieve the chives/onion flavor by using powdered onion, dry chives or what I personally prefer to do- using fresh chives that you'd chop finely and mix in the spread at the very end.

Now I know that if you're used to consuming lots of dairy products this won't taste much like cream cheese or quark to you, but to me, a long-time vegan, it does the job. And it does it very well, I might add. If you're trying to cut back on dairy (I applaud you for taking a step forward to better health of your body and the planet), a tip I can share is to not think about these kinds of substitutes for animal products as substitutes, but rather as something else, something new; in this case- another kind of spread. This way you don't end up comparing it to what you know, but rather open your mind to a new flavor.

However you end up approaching it, and whatever your reason is for wanting to make this, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do every time I make it.


TIP!

This tofu olive plant-based cream cheese/quark can serve not only as a sandwich spread! I also use it in tortillas, salads, as a dip and even, (especially when slightly diluted) as a condiment to some of my lunches and dinners. The possibilities are endless:)


Tofu Olives Spread with Chives Recipe

makes about 2 cups worth of spread

prep time: 5 minutes


Ingredients:


  • 250 g (about 9 oz) of tofu (regular or firm)

  • 60 g (about 2 oz) of pitted olives of choice

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder (depends on how much you like the garlic taste)

  • 1 Tbsp. Provence herb mix (store-bought or home-made)

  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 Tbsp. Tamari (or you can sub regular soy sauce)

  • 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar (lemon juice will also work)

  • 1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast (add some more for even more cheesy flavor)

  • 2 Tbsp. of unsweetened plant milk of choice (I usually use almond or soy here, but water will also work. I tend to not want to use oat milk for this particular recipe because even the unsweetened ones are a bit too sweet for my taste in this particular case)

  • 1/8-1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives (or the green bits of scallions) or 1 tsp. of dried chives or 1 tsp. of onion powder (or all of those together if you really like the oniony taste)

  • completely unnecessary, but optional: about 1-2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil or other vegetable oil

  • optional: 1 tsp. ground cumin (if you like the taste)


Method:


Add all of the ingredients except for the fresh chives (if using) into a blender and blend until you achieve a desired consistency. You can blend it completely into one smooth cream-cheese-like spread or stop blending while it's still a bit crumbly, resembling something like quark. If the later is what you're going for and you have a very good blender, you might want to just pulse it instead of blending.


Depending on the size and the speed of your blender you might need to pause a few times and scrape the edges so that everything blends smoothly. You may also find that your blender needs you to add a little more liquid to blend better- one additional Tbsp. of plant milk should do the trick without compromising the consistency of the spread.


If you're using fresh chives, wash it and cut it up into small pieces. Mix it into the spread with a spoon or a fork inside your blonder bowl/cup or in a separate bowl. You don't want to use the blender to mix it in because we want the chives pieces to retain their shape in the spread, we don't want to blend them in. If you have any leftover chives you can also sprinkle it on your sandwich, on top of the spread as well.


Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.





You might also like this hummus recipe as well as this parsley pesto and this nettle pesto recipe!

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