- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup grated (or shredded) carrot
- 1 tsp minced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped baby spinach
- 1/8 cup thinly chopped scallions
- 1/4 tsp fresh minced garlic (1 small clove)
- 1/16 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
I had never particularly understood the appeal of cream cheese on a bagel. Lightly toasted with butter couldn’t be beat … or so I thought!
One fateful day, I went to a local coffee and breakfast-y shop, and decided to try something new and different. I got a plain bagel with their handmade veggie cream cheese.
I was hooked! And I mean HOOKED. It was SO GOOD. A delicious blend of herbs and REAL veggies… for BREAKFAST? Yes, please!
But who always has the money to go out to eat…? So I decided to try my hand at making my OWN veggie cream cheese, and this is what came of my experimentation!
1.) Gather all of your ingredients.
2.) Unwrap the cream cheese and place into a bowl to soften. This will make mixing at the end much easier.
3.) Using a raw, peeled carrot and a cheese grater, create enough grated carrot to fill a 1/4 measuring cup.
Or, if using store-bought shredded carrot, mince it into finer bits to fill the 1/4 cup, because the cream cheese can get too crunchy with large pieces of carrot.
(Usually I use a raw, peeled carrot and grate it myself, but a bag of pre-shredded is what I had on hand when making this blog post.)
Add this to the bowl with the cream cheese.
4.) Mince red onion. Make sure to mince very finely, as you want the flavors to blend and the cream cheese to be more smooth than chunky.
Add to the bowl with the cream cheese.
5.) For the baby spinach, remove stems before chopping. First I cut the leaves length-wise, into strips, and then width-wise to make more even pieces.
Clear your cutting board again by adding your spinach to the bowl with your cream cheese.
6.) If your scallions have dried out tips, or wilted bits, remove these first. Then, thinly slice them into little rings. You may not need an entire cluster.
If you really like scallions, feel free to use more than the suggested 1/8 cup. They’re small enough, and soft enough, to mix with the cream cheese well, and I personally love their flavor.
Add these to your bowl with the cream cheese and the other veggies.
7.) Choose a clove of garlic that is on the smaller side. Remove the peel, and cut away any unsavory parts.
Mince very finely! Large pieces of raw garlic can be a bit much to munch into first thing in the morning!
Here, again, is a place where you can add more (or less) to satisfy your personal taste.
Add these to the ever growing heap of deliciousness on top of your cream cheese.
(Some stores sell minced garlic in jars, but I have yet to try using this instead of fresh garlic.)
8.) Measure out: 1/16 teaspoon of dried rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon of dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil.
Add these to your bowl of veggies and cream cheese.
(I have not yet experimented with fresh herbs, but if you do, leave a comment with how it tasted, and how much to use!)
9.) Mix thoroughly, making sure to get all the cream cheese that hides at the bottom of the bowl. Keep mixing until all the different herbs and veggies are distributed evenly throughout the cream cheese.
Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. For best results, let sit overnight to allow the flavors to incorporate, and the carrots to soften.
10.) Use in any way you would normally use cream cheese! I’ve had great luck so far on bagels, in sandwiches, on mini pizzas… and the possibilities are endless. Many recipes call for flavored cream cheese in sauces or pasta dishes. Try substituting this recipe for a store-bought flavor! You could also use it as a spread over toasted breads or crackers, with a garnish, in an appetizer tray.
Leave a comment below with the creative ways you’ve used this dish 🙂