Simple steps to make your own homemade vegetable cream cheese.
Bagels are a staple breakfast item throughout the United States and especially on the East Coast. Whether you're eating a classic New York bagel, a Wood Fired bagel from Montreal, or another delicious variation of the doughy ring, cream cheese is the spread that tops them all (quite literally!). Flavored cream cheese is growing increasingly popular and lucky for us, it's easy to make at home with a few simple natural ingredients.
This Instructable will walk you through several simple steps to creating and enjoying your own homemade vegetable cream cheese spread (my personal favorite) but the steps are also applicable to making any flavor you want. Take your bagel out of the ordinary and raise it to extraordinary with homemade schmear.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 lb of Cream Cheese*
- 1 Head of Broccoli
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 2 Scallions (Green Onions)
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 2-3 Radishes
- 1-2 Carrots
- Salt for Taste
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- Cutting Board
- Chefs Knife
Step 2: Cream Cheese
Place your cream cheese in your mixing bowl and let it come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). it will be easier to fold in your vegetable medley if your cheese has had time to warm up.
Step 3: Start Chopping
While your cream cheese is warming to room temperature, start chopping your veggies. Personally, I like to start with the drier vegetables to keep the cutting board clean and mess free as long as possible.
Wash your carrots. You may peel them if you like, I chose not to.
Start chopping your carrots. I've found that if you cut the carrot in half lengthwise before chopping your carrots will be less likely to roll around and off your cutting board. Chop the carrots until you have a fairly fine mince.
Step 4: Broccoli
Pull out your head of broccoli and wash it. Start chopping, and continue to chop until your have a fine mince. You'll also want to check that your minced broccoli is roughly the same size as your minced carrots.
Step 5: Radishes
Remove the radish tops and roots, placing them in the compost. Wash the radishes, running them under cool water and removing any dirt.
Chop and mince the radishes until they are equal in size and shape to your carrots and broccoli.
Step 6: Celery
As with the previous vegetables, wash your celery.
Cut off both end of your celery stalks. Chop celery until it is equal in size and shape to your first three vegetables.
Step 7: Bell Peppers
Wash your bell pepper, taking care to remove any dirt and stickers that may be on it. Carefully remove the center and seeds of the pepper. Chop and mince your pepper into a size and shape equivalent to your previous veggies.
NOTE: You of course can choose any color of bell pepper that you'd like to add to your cream cheese. I chose a red bell pepper for two reasons. The first, I prefer the flavor of red bell peppers and second, I thought it would add color and brightness to the cream cheese and other vegetables.
Step 8: Scallions
Wash your scallions and remove the root ends, taking care to remove as little of the scallion as possible. Chop and mince your scallions until they are in pieces equal in size and shape to your other vegetables.
NOTE: I save scallions for last since they tend to have a lot of water and your cutting board can get rather wet and messy.
Step 9: Pile O' Veggies
After chopping all of those veggies, your cream cheese should have warmed to room temperature. Add all of your minced vegetables to your mixing bowl on top of the cream cheese. You've got yourself a pile o' veggies!
Step 10: Fold and Mix
Pick up your spoon and start mixing by folding your vegetables into your cream cheese. Mix and fold your veggie medley into your cream cheese until they are spread evenly throughout your cream cheese spread.
NOTE: I found that mixing by hand was fairly simple and easy--especially if the cream cheese has warmed to room temperature. If you have an electric mixer--go for it. You'll want to mix with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed to fold your vegetables in.
Step 11: Salt to Taste
You now have a delicious bowl of veggie cream cheese on your hands. Go ahead and taste test it. Add salt to taste and mix.
Step 12: Enjoy!
You're done! Spread your homemade delicious veggie cream cheese over your favorite bagel.
Get creative, now that you know the basic steps of flavoring cream cheese start creating other flavors. The traditional flavors include, onion and chives, strawberry, smoked salmon. Or even take it a step further--sun dried tomato anyone? Artichoke?