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.

**You will need a high-powered blender for this recipe**

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 small, roasted red bell pepper (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 TBS miso of your choice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 TBS plant-based, plain, unsweetened yogurt

Here you can see the thickness of the sauce in its native state (before thinning).

  1. To roast your red pepper, see my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce here.
  2. Place all ingredients, except the yogurt, in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Add the yogurt and blend on LOW until just combined (a few seconds).
  4. Transfer to a large glass bowl.
  5. Cover securely with cheesecloth or another breathable material and set aside on a draft-free counter for 24-48 hours.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Store refrigerated for up to one week.

Makes about 4 cups, which can be stretched to suit your taste in thickness. Enjoy!

Healthy trails and... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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