Jan 01, 2015

RECIPE# 500! Too-good-to-be-true, Vegan Cheddar Cheeze Sauce

 

Well, well, well. Here we have it. The 500th recipe that I have shared on HHK! Really? That seems hard to believe but it’s true. I guess I’ve been a little busy in the kitchen these past two years. Let’s get right to this recipe because talk about hard to believe! I’m still stunned by it. It’s so close to the real deal, I don’t know what to say. Why? Because it’s CULTURED. Yep. That’s what gives cheese its tangy zip. Especially a cheese like cheddar. You can add all the nutritional yeast and lemon juice you want to your vegan cheeses, but without cultures, it just doesn’t quite taste the same. Plus (big plus!) you get healthy probiotics with each divine bite!

This recipe is time intensive but not work intensive. Most of the time is just waiting for your lovely “cheese” to ripen. And, believe me, it is so worth the wait! Cheese eaters would NEVER know that it’s not real cheese. I dare you to test this on them! This stuff is amazingly tasty and very versatile, too.  Use it to top veggies, as a sauce for mac and cheese or add some Mexican spices for a queso dipping sauce. And it makes an absolutely AMAZING base for broccoli cheese soup.

Half of the recipe, thinned with about ½ cup of water was more than enough for one pound of pasta, topped with a big bunch of broccoli.

 

bowl

this is what the sauce looks like before thinning

bowl (1)

 

Too-good-to-be-true, Vegan Cheddar Cheeze Sauce
Yields 3
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  4. 1 small, roasted red bell pepper (about 1/3 cup)
  5. 2 TBS miso of your choice
  6. ½ tsp ground turmeric, or 1 tsp freshly grated
Instructions
  1. If you need directions to roast your red pepper, see my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Transfer to a large glass bowl.
  4. Cover securely with cheesecloth or another breathable material (I just use a paper towel) and set aside on a draft-free counter for 24-48 hours.
  5. Taste test your creation after 24 hours. If it’s tangy enough for you, you’re done. Otherwise, let it culture for another day. Mine took two days but it was pretty chilly in my kitchen. The warmer the ambient temperature, the faster the culturing process.
  6. To make your sauce, just add water to the cheese mixture and thin to the consistency you like. Or you could simply use it as-is for a dip. Keep in mind, when warming, the sauce will thicken a LOT. So don’t overheat, stir constantly and use more water to thin, as needed.
  7. Store refrigerated for up to one week.
Notes
  1. This sauce is FANTASTIC for Mac & Cheeze!
Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen http://helynskitchen.com/
 
 
Healthy trails and… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
 

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10 responses to “RECIPE# 500! Too-good-to-be-true, Vegan Cheddar Cheeze Sauce”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you use Kefir as the culturing agent instead of yogurt?

  2. Helyn says:

    Yes! I have actually done that in a pinch, although it's not vegan.

  3. JKearns says:

    Forgive me if this is a naïve question: I have always heard that it is dangerous to leave food out for more than two hours. Even when culturing yogurt, it has to be kept at a certain relatively high temperature. Is this safe, biologically speaking, to culture for two days at room temperature? Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year, Helyn, and congratulations on–and THANK YOU for–500 amazing recipes!! What an awesome achievement! I know I speak for all your readers in expressing admiration and appreciation for all you do to keep us healthy and happy :-).
    Question for you: as a follower of a McDougall/Esselstyn-type diet, I'm not comfortable using large quantities of nuts as a base for recipes. Do you think subbing white beans (like butter beans) could work here, or perhaps extra-firm tofu? Thanks so much for your thoughts on this! And hugs to you for being a great go-to source for healthy and delicious recipes!

  5. Rachel says:

    Happy New Year Helyn! Thanks so much for your awesome blog and all your hard work creating recipes 🙂

  6. Helyn says:

    That is a great question and maybe others have it too but don't ask so thank you! Rather than write a long dissertation on the subject here, I would like to refer you to an article about it, which covers this very topic i detail here: http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/can-cultured-foods-hurt-you/

    I have been making my own sauerkraut for over a year now and the cabbage sits at room temperature for a whole month! The quick answer is that it is safe because the good bacteria that are doing their magic in your fermented or cultured foods prevent bad bacteria from forming or growing. But I really suggest you read the above referenced article and do some research for yourself if you're further interested. It's a fascinating subject and more and more people are fermenting their own foods these days! It's a great way to fill your gut with probiotics for a strong immune system.

  7. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome! Yes, I understand about the concern with nuts being too high in fat. I don't think beans or tofu would work for this recipe though. Sorry! Happy New Year!!!

  8. Helyn says:

    You're welcome Rachel! Thanks for being a supportive reader!

  9. Elyse says:

    I just made this using some leftover cream cheese I'd made last week and just added approx ingredients. Oh, mylanta, this is good! I'd swear (from what I remember) this is exactly like nacho cheese sauce. Nice work!

  10. Helyn says:

    That's great, Elyse! Thanks for the feedback :))

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