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Going dairy-free can be challenging, especially for kids who cannot have dairy, and many out there face this problem. Besides being challenging, dairy-free food is also highly processed.
What I noticed meeting those lovely souls at our retreats is that many of them have some dairy issues. Some love dairy products so much that it is hard for them to switch to a diet based on whole, natural ingredients while others experience some discomfort after consuming dairy products although they love them.
Before you run to the nearest supermarket and grab the first vegan cheese you find there, ask yourself if you know what you are eating. I love cheese, and when I saw vegan cheese for the first time, I bought it out of curiosity, but God that was gross. I didn’t even know what was inside this so-called vegan cheese.
But what if I tell you that there is a great, 100% natural alternative to store-bought vegan cheeses? There is something that is super creamy and delicious, cheese so divine that you will forget about buying cheese again. This is what my girlfriend Haley calls vegan nacho cheese.
About a year ago, my girlfriend, Hailey came to me saying “OMG Chef, you’re not gonna believe what I made!” She made mac and cheese, which you’ll say sounds like a regular dish. But wait for it… She made it with vegan cheese, and boy, that cheese was super delicious. The first time I made this vegan cheese I put it on lasagna.
Actually, I used the leftovers of the Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe I prepared, I turned that into a lasagna and flooded it with this vegan cheese instead of béchamel sauce. It was bloody delicious! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because it is super versatile and you will LOVE it!
When I tell you the ingredients you need for this absolutely divine vegan cheese, your mind will be blown away because they are so simple and accessible.
The first thing to do when learning how to make vegan nacho cheese is to grab a pot, chop some carrots, yep carrots, and add them to the pot. Then chop a potato and add it to the pot together with a smashed garlic clove. Isn’t this fun? To give the cheese that creamy and gooey texture, let’s add some cashews as well. To spice it up a bit and pull out the flavours, I generously season this with salt and pepper. For this cheese, I like to use Himalayan salt because it is super healthy and will really bring out the flavours of the other ingredients. Best Salt For Cooking. Fill the pot with water, put on the stove and boil until the veggies are really soft.
Now the real fun begins. Reserve the water and add the veggies to your Vitamix. It is now up to you how you want to adjust the taste of your vegan cheese. I love to add some savoury yeast and Dijon mustard and then press “play” and watch how this turns into creamy vegan cheese. After a few seconds, pour in some of the cooking liquid but pay attention not to add too much because the cheese will get too runny.
Don’t wait, try it immediately and add more mustard or yeast if you want to adjust the taste. I know you may get impatient and stop blending after a minute, but patience is the key here. Even when it looks like the cheese is ready, keep on blending for one more minute to bring out all the creaminess from the cashews. Yeah, that’s it! It’s so fu*king easy to make it!
It is beautiful over corn chips, nachos, or any veggie chips. It is a great alternative to béchamel sauce and matches nicely with lasagna, spaghetti, or anything else that you like eating with cheese. It will give that melting and gooey texture to the dishes. If you plan on having a barbeque with friends, take this baby with you. It will blow away people’s minds. Kids love it and it’s a great way to nourish their organs when they need snacks. If you don’t use it all at once, you can pour it into a jar and it will keep nicely up to 5 days in the fridge.
So that’s How To Make Vegan Nacho Cheese. Enjoy this recipe below.
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.