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Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
Switching to a vegan diet can be a challenge, especially when it comes to giving up cheese. For me, it was the hardest thing to let go of. But after about a month, I no longer craved it. Instead, I crave something even better – the most amazing vegan cheese sauce ever! I make a batch of it every week and I hope you’ll love it just as much as I do.
In this post, I’ll discuss the struggle of cheese addiction and why it’s important to give up cheese. I’ll also provide strategies to help you overcome your cravings for cheese. Additionally, I’ll share a video tutorial for my delicious vegan cheese sauce recipe, and explain what nutritional yeast is and why it’s a must-have ingredient for any vegan kitchen.
Table of Contents
Why is Cheese Addictive?
Cheese is often difficult to give up for several reasons:
Taste: Cheese has a unique, savory taste that many people find delicious and crave. This is due to its high levels of umami, a type of taste sensation that is associated with meaty and savory flavors.
Texture: Cheese has a creamy, chewy, or gooey texture that can be hard to replicate with plant-based alternatives. The casein in cheese allows it to melt. Vegan cheese does not melt like dairy cheese.
Social and cultural factors: Cheese is a common ingredient in many traditional dishes and is often served at social gatherings and events, making it a familiar and comforting food for many people.
Addiction: Cheese contains casein, a protein that has been shown to have opiate-like effects on the brain, potentially contributing to feelings of addiction or craving.
Nutritional value: Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, and people who give up cheese may need to find alternative sources of these nutrients.
Overall, giving up cheese can be challenging due to its unique taste, texture, and social/cultural significance, as well as potential addiction and nutritional concerns. However, there are many plant-based alternatives and strategies that can help make the transition easier for those who choose to give up cheese. For more information on this topic, visit this post: Millions of People May Be Suffering From Cheese Addiction
5 Reasons Why You Should Give Up Cheese
Health concerns: Cheese is high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, which can contribute to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Giving up cheese can lead to a healthier diet and reduce the risk of developing these conditions.
Animal welfare: Many people choose to give up cheese due to ethical concerns about the treatment of dairy cows. The dairy industry often involves practices such as separating mothers from their calves and subjecting cows to repeated artificial insemination, which can be seen as cruel.
Environmental impact: The dairy industry has a significant impact on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and land use. Giving up cheese (and other dairy products) can help reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Digestive issues: Some people may experience digestive discomfort or allergies when consuming dairy products. If you have lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy, giving up cheese can help alleviate these symptoms.
Weight management: Cheese is calorie-dense, and consuming it regularly can contribute to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight. Giving up cheese can help reduce overall calorie intake and aid in weight management.
How to Give Up Cheese
Nutritional yeast: As mentioned earlier, nutritional yeast has a savory, cheesy flavor and can be used as a seasoning or cheese substitute in a variety of dishes.
Cashew-based cheese: Many vegan recipes use cashews as a base for creamy cheese substitutes that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Plant-based milk: Many plant-based milks, such as almond, soy, or oat milk, can be used in place of dairy milk in recipes, such as mashed potatoes or creamy pasta dishes.
Tofu: Tofu can be blended into a creamy sauce or used in place of cheese in dishes like lasagna or pizza.
Mindful eating: When transitioning away from cheese, it can be helpful to practice mindful eating, paying attention to the flavors and textures of new foods and finding alternatives that satisfy your taste buds.
Gradual transition: Some people find it helpful to gradually transition away from cheese by reducing their consumption over time, or by replacing one type of cheese with a plant-based alternative at a time.
Experimentation: Trying out new plant-based cheeses and recipes can be a fun way to discover new flavors and textures that can satisfy your cheese cravings.
Overall, transitioning away from cheese can be challenging, but there are many plant-based alternatives and strategies that can help make the process easier and enjoyable. For more help on this topic, visit this post: How to Stop Craving Cheese: 14 Tips to Quit for Good
Vegan Cheese Sauce Secret Ingredients
Roasted Red Peppers
To make this recipe cheesy, you need nutritional yeast also known as “Nooch”! This makes for a noochy-licious recipe! But, the secret ingredient is… roasted red peppers! I’m starting with the key to the whole recipe! NOW YOU KNOW!! It gives the sauce the orange color and also brings in some great flavor. You can also add a tbsp of the brine from the jar. It adds a bit of extra zing. I do this all the time, but it’s not necessary!
Also, the liquid smoke brings a slightly smoky flavor, which is optional if you don’t like this, but it brings another dimension to the sauce that I can’t do without! Colgin has different flavors. I often use hickory or mesquite. If you like the smoky flavor, you can also use smoked paprika.
“Nooch” is a colloquial term for nutritional yeast, which is a type of deactivated yeast that is often used as a food additive or supplement. It is commonly used as a vegan or vegetarian substitute for cheese or as a flavoring agent in a variety of dishes. Nutritional yeast cheese sauce is a delicious way to feature this supplement. Nooch is a good source of protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals, and is often praised for its umami, or savory, flavor.
What is Nooch?
“Nooch” is a colloquial term for nutritional yeast, which is a type of deactivated yeast that is often used as a food additive or supplement. Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses or other sources of sugar, then harvested, washed, and dried.
The exact origins of nutritional yeast are unclear, but it has been used as a food supplement since the early 1900s, primarily for its high content of B vitamins. It gained popularity in the 1960s and 70s among vegetarians and vegans as a source of protein and a cheese substitute and has since become a popular ingredient in many health food and plant-based recipes. Today, nutritional yeast is widely available in grocery stores and online, and is used as a flavoring agent in a variety of dishes. Find my noochy licious cheese sauce recipe below.
Nutritional Yeast Makes Noochy Licious Recipes!
Nutritional yeast, or “nooch”, is a versatile ingredient that has a variety of common uses. Here are a few:
Cheese substitute: Nutritional yeast has a savory, slightly cheesy flavor that makes it a popular substitute for cheese in vegan and vegetarian dishes. It makes the best vegan cheese sauce!
Seasoning: Nutritional yeast can be sprinkled on popcorn, salads, roasted vegetables, and other dishes as a flavorful seasoning.
Protein supplement: Nutritional yeast is a good source of protein, with around 2 grams of protein per tablespoon, making it a popular addition to smoothies, protein shakes, and other recipes that require a protein boost.
Thickener: Nutritional yeast can be used to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies, giving them a creamy, rich texture.
Baking: Nutritional yeast can be added to bread, pizza dough, and other baked goods to enhance their flavor and nutritional content.
Overall, nutritional yeast is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor, nutrition, and texture to a wide range of dishes. For further information on nooc, visit this post: Is Nutritional Yeast Healthy? All You Need to Know
Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe Ingredients
Put all ingredients into your Vitamix blender. Blend on high for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the motor sounds like it is slowing down. You will also notice that the level of the sauce is stable. This means that it is hot and has thickened. Stop the blender as soon as you reach this step.
I Love My Vitamix
Vitamix blenders use a powerful motor to rotate stainless steel blades at high speeds, creating a vortex that pulls food down towards the blades, resulting in a smooth mixture. The blender’s high-powered design can blend even tough ingredients and comes with variable speed settings for texture control. Additionally, Vitamix blenders heat up foods under friction, making them versatile machines that can blend and heat ingredients at the same time. It makes creamy vegan cheese sauce.
3-Step Instructions for Making Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Add all ingredients to the blender
- Blend all ingredients on high for approximately 3-5 minutes
- Once the motor slows down, stop the blender. Your sauce will be thick and creamy.
- Transfer the cheese sauce to a glass dish and refrigerate. This keeps in the fridge for about a week.
If you don’t have a blender that heats from friction, you can still make this recipe. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Then, transfer to a pot and heat on medium, stirring frequently. Once the cheese sauce thickens, remove it from the stove.
This vegan cheese recipe makes approximately 6 cups of delicious cheese sauce.
What will you eat your creamy vegan oat cheese sauce with?
- Use this in any Italian or Mexican dish!
- Use this for macaroni and cheese recipes
- Pour it on a baked potato or homemade potato fries.
- tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, tortillas, quesadillas…
- vegan cheese dip with tacos
- pizzas, lasagnas…
- steamed veggies (broccoli and cheese!)
- you get the picture…
This sauce will thicken as it cools in the fridge. When reheating leftover sauce, you may need to add a bit of plant-based milk and whisk it up. Don’t worry, it will still taste great and heat up beautifully, in the microwave on 70% power.
This is the best vegan cheese sauce for nachos, pasta, mac and cheese, or pizza. Use it as you would a cheese dip or drizzle it over fresh vegetables. Mix it in a casserole to make a creamy vegan cheese sauce base.
Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Vitamix or Blendtec Blender (that heats under friction) not necessary to create this recipe.
- 2 cups rolled oats dry quick 5 minute oats
- 4 cups water
- 1 to 2 pieces roasted red bell pepper in the jar (plus 1 tbsp of brine from jar)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp onion dry granulated or 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- ½ tsp paprika if you don't have liquid smoke, use smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp turmeric optional
- ¼ tsp black pepper optional
- ¼ cup white cannellini beans optional (for extra protein boost for kids!)
- ¼ cup roasted cashews unsalted optional (for extra protein boost for kids!)
- Add all ingredients together in Vitamix Blender. Blend on high for approximately 5 minutes till heated through and thickened, You will notice the sound of the blender change and the steam when you open the lid. Also, the level of the sauce will remain stable. Stop the blender right away when this happens.
- If you don't have a high-speed blender that heats, you can blend it up till smooth, then put in pot on stove to heat on medium, stirring often until it thickens. Return it to blender till creamy.
Satisfy your cheese cravings with this oat cheese sauce recipe!
This is not my original recipe. It was inspired by Jill McKeever at Simply Daily Recipes. I added a few options such as white beans or cashews if you want to add more protein sources to your sauce… or hide the beans in there so your kids get that hidden nutrition!
Where to Find Vegan Cheese Alternatives
There are many places to find vegan cheese alternatives, including:
Health food stores: Many health food stores carry a variety of vegan cheese alternatives, including brands like Daiya, Violife, and Follow Your Heart.
Grocery stores: Many grocery stores now have a dedicated vegan section or carry vegan products in their natural foods aisle. Look for brands like Kite Hill, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Chao.
Online retailers: You can find a wide range of vegan cheese alternatives on online retailers like Amazon, Thrive Market, and Vegan Essentials.
Farmers’ markets: Some farmer’s markets may carry locally-made vegan cheese alternatives.
Specialty shops: Some specialty food shops may carry artisanal vegan cheese alternatives, including those made from nuts or fermented tofu.
When looking for vegan cheese alternatives, be sure to read the labels carefully to ensure that they are truly vegan and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients. Also, keep in mind that not all vegan cheese alternatives are created equal, so it may take some experimentation to find ones that you enjoy.
SOS Free Cheese Sauce Mix
If you want a cheese sauce in seconds, try this delicious SOS Free Cheese Sauce Mix. All you need to do is boil water. No salt, oil, sugar, or nuts! For more information on the SOS Free and it’s benefits, visit my post: Why Go SOS Free – 5 Reasons