Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

When making the transition from vegetarian to vegan the last thing I had to give up was cheese. Cheese was my faithful friend that would make a dish complete or would give me a vegetarian option on a meat filled menu at a restaurant. It was the one thing I knew I would grieve when I turned vegan and so I wanted to find something that fitted the void. One of my favourite dishes was macaroni cheese and so I wanted to be able to make a sauce that would help create my favourite dish. So this is my vegan cheese sauce recipe.

You Will Need
1 Large Potato
1 Large Carrot
1/2 cup or 55g of Cashews 
1/4 cup or 12g of Nutritional Yeast
Sprinkle of Paprika
Sprinkle of Garlic Salt
Squeeze of Lemon Juice

This recipe makes a batch of cheese sauce that would serve 2 people. If I use this with pasta then it can serve about 4 people. You can store it in the fridge in an air tight container and it should be eaten within 7 days of making it.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

To begin my first job is to soak the cashew nuts for a little while in water, this helps to make the sauce creamier. I soak them in a bowl with 2 cups of water for about an hour, some people even leave them for 24 hours to soak. If you are making this on the day then I think an hour is fine, but otherwise you can leave them for longer, it just adds to the creaminess of the sauce the longer they are left.

Next I peel both the carrot & potato and dice them. I do this so that they boil quickly and also so they are small enough to blend easily. I pop them in a saucepan and boil on a low to medium heat (or a high heat if you are in a hurry). After about 15-20 minutes they should be done, if not keeping boiling them until they are softened.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

After draining most of the hot water away I put the carrot, potato and a little bit of the water they boiled with, into the blender and blend. I would recommend having a blender, food processor or even a hand held blender for this because it creates the right consistency. If you were to mash the ingredients you can still make a sauce but it might be a bit lumpy.

Whilst blending I add the cashews, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. The nutritional yeast helps to give the sauce a cheese taste, so this is personal preference as to what you prefer. With the amounts I have used this is what works best for me.
With the seasoning again this is up to you, I prefer paprika and garlic salt it just tastes really good, but you can add just some salt and pepper if you prefer. You can even add some chilli flakes if you wanted to make it nice and hot.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

Once blended all together for a final time until smooth, then you are all finished. You can then add it to many different dishes. Apart from adding it to pasta, it works amazing as a warm dip for crisps, and is great for sharing with others.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

I also like to have the classic cheesy fries, so here I just made some sweet potato fries and poured some of the sauce on top.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

Something to point out is that once it has been put in the fridge it will solidify, but you can easily melt it again in the microwave or heating it in a pan.
When I had this for the first time, your mind plays tricks on you a little because you know it isn't cheese but the nutritional yeast in it makes it have an subtle taste of cheese. 

If you are new to being a vegan or are cooking for one then this is a great recipe to try out because it is really versatile for different savoury meals. Let me know what you think if you make it.

Are you a fan of macaroni cheese? Let me know in the comments!

Have a lovely day☺

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