This cheese sauce is completely dairy-free yet still delightfully cheesy. Yes, it sounds weird. But it's SO GOOD. I had it on meatballs (clearly), on my finger (clearly), with a spoon, with my broccoli, with carrot sticks, on grain-free bread - like cheese sticks. I think it's a winner, and I hope you do too!
If you haven't used nutritional yeast for anything before, smell it first. I have been told (by my mom) that she doesn't like it because it smells weird (but she is also a wimp (doesn't like mayo, ketchup, mustard, etc etc etc) and didn't taste it, sorry to out you mom!!) I thought this rocked though, my dad enjoyed it on broccoli when my mom made it, and my boyfriend liked it too with the meatballs. Additionally my Nacho Kale chips are bangin' and have gotten rave reviews my many, so try nutritional yeast! Therefor, nutritional yeast is widely liked, so smell the canister and then make this recipe if you're like - totally, YEAH!
Since it is prime kale season, try this out! This would be AWESOME on sautéed kale- like the kale chips but served warm and moist, not cold and crunchy.
Please read through my notes on the recipe as there are always different options one could take.
CHEESE SAUCE - dairy-free, vegan, still tasty
Yields - almost 2 cups
Total time - 10 minutes (plus 5+ hours of cashews soaking in water)
It's great reheated or cold!
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
4-5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup, 3 tablespoons, 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder*
1 teaspoon gelatin
1. Once the cashews have been soaked, rinse and drain them and add them into a tall jar that will accommodate an immersion blender (or add them into a blender or food processor. I just find an immersion blender easier).
2. To the cashews, add1/2 cup of water and nutritional yeast then blend. (I love my cheesy sauce to be extra cheesy, so I encourage you to taste the mixture and add an additional 5th tablespoon if you feel like you want to take it up a notch! I prefer it with 5 tablespoons).
3. In a small sauce pan on medium/low heat, add 3 tablespoons water plus arrowroot powder. Whisk until it thickens up.
4. Add the cashew mixture into the saucepan on very low heat.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin in with 2 tablespoons of water. Once thick, whisk into the cashew mixture. Try to do steps 4 and 5 quite quickly in order to avoid burning the sauce, so have all of your ingredients out and measured! (aka do not pull a Julia and gather as you go along, whoops).
6. Once the sauce is clump-free, add salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and stir until its the consistency you'd like. Similar to honey.
*You might be able to do with the arrowroot and step #3, however you might then need to use more gelatin later on. The gelatin will firm up the cheese once it is in the fridge, so if you are not using it right away I recommend not adding more gelatin. However, once you heat it us it will go back to the runnier consistency.
Did you know that Jimmy Buffett has a song
"Cheeseburger in Paradise"?
I did not, but omg, it is fantastic. I'm clearly not a Jimmy Buffett aficionado because there
are over 3 million plays on Spotify. Perfect to get you in the cheesy cheese mood.