One thing that I was worried about when I changed to a vegan diet was that I wouldn’t be able to have a white sauce in anything ever again. The smooth, rich texture of cheese melting in my mouth with whatever I was eating it with was a feeling I thought wouldn’t be part of my future.
It took me a good part of a year when I became vegan back in 2014, to realise that I could make a vegan version of a creamy white sauce and make it taste great! I knew that nutritional yeast was a vegan type of “cheese” to sprinkle on so many different things instead of dairy cheeses. On its own, I normally use it to incorporate into a tomato sauce with pasta, sprinkle on soups or risottos, or add it to my dog’s food! You can use it in so many different ways.
Today I’ll share the base with you that you can use for many recipes such as my Leek and Mushroom Vegan White Sauce Fettuccine and Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake. I’ve also just recently published a Vegan Smokey Baked Mac and Cheese. This sauce is used in it as well as some other wonderful, and surprising ingredients.
If you want a dynamic sauce to use when you want to make something quick and easy, tasty and creamy, this sauce is wonderful. You can then add different herbs and spices to change things up depending on what you’re making.
One thing that surprised me, pleasantly I must say when I started on this plant-based journey, was that cashews are a great neutral base for so many things. I would have never had thought that you could use cashews to make a creamy sauce. It’s also a very popular ingredient in raw desserts, in particular, raw cheesecake. It’s a versatile nut that is a staple in my home.
Here’s the recipe for the creamy, cheesy white sauce base.
- 1 cup raw cashews (can be soaked prior but not essential)
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp (a pinch) cracked pepper
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add to your dish for further cooking.
If you want it a little thicker (don’t plan on cooking it for long), reduce the amount of water you use.
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