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Monday, February 6, 2012

Cashew Cheeze Sauce

Does the distant memory of creamy, cheesy, ooey, gooey stuff dripping from your broccoli or your organic tortilla chip haunt your dreams? Or, are you considering going vegan but think you could never give up cheese? I'm here with the solution!  Eating plants does not have to mean, no cheese, it just means eating plant-cheese. I have tried a variety of nut cheese recipes and used all kinds of nuts, and have come up with what I believe is the most amazing, delicious cheesy sauce. This is so good, I dare say it is the best. Ever!  I served this on nachos to some unsuspecting omnivores who could not get enough of it. Serve this healthy cheese sauce over steamed veggies, baked potato, pasta, as nacho sauce, broccoli-cheese soup, layered in lasagna, or other dishes. Dry mix can be used to flavor soups, tofu scramble, and casseroles. This dry mix always in my fridge ready to whip up cheese in minutes! I am in love with this stuff =) If Lady Gaga can marry the night, I am going to marry this sauce! Wait, that would be polygamy, or would it?

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbsp arrowroot
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp paprika

Place cashews and oats in food processor and chop until finely ground. Scrape sides & then add nutritional yeast, arrowroot, garlic and onion powder, salt, & paprika, process about a minute to thoroughly combine.
This dry mix can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

When ready to make cheeze sauce:
1 Cup non-dairy milk of choice
½  Cup dry cheeze mix

Pour milk into medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add ½ cup dry cheese mix. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. 

Vegan Nachos with Cashew Cheeze Sauce

For Queso Dip, mix up 1 batch of Cheeze sauce and add chopped onion, tomatoes, and jalapenos or 1/2 tsp chili powder. Dip in your favorite gluten free, non-GMO tortilla chips and enjoy!

About cashews
Raw cashews are high in phytosterols, which lower LDL cholesterol and may help prevent cancer. The antioxidant carotenoids beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin are present in cashews. Cashews also contain phenols including phenolic acids, flavonoids and stilbenes. Proanthocyanidins in cashews provide further antioxidant activity. Cashews, along with other nuts, help provide protection against coronary heart disease, diabetes and gallstones. Nut consumption two or more times a week is also linked to a reduced risk of weight gain, explains World's Healthiest Foods. The monounsaturated fat oleic acid found in cashews lowers blood triglyceride levels and boosts heart health. The high antioxidant levels in cashews may be protective against a wide range of diseases, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and immune disorders. Dr. Oz recommends eating 1 ounce (no more) of nuts a day for heart health. Because cashews contain oxalates, people with gallbladder or kidney problems may want to avoid eating them. Oxalates can crystallize in susceptible individuals and cause gallstones or kidney stones. People with allergies to other tree nuts need to avoid cashews as well.
About Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Nutritional Yeast flakes are a nutritionally dense food that tastes very savory and cheese-like. They contain only around 45 calories per serving, they are a reliable source of protein, fiber and vitamin B complexes and are rich in many different minerals. Nutritional Yeast flakes can be used as a seasoning, a substitute for cheese in vegan dishes and an additive to increase the nutritional value of bread flour or gravy. Nutritional Yeast flakes contain large quantities of the B vitamins, including vitamin B12. A single serving, around 2 tablespoons, of nutritional yeast contains over 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of the B vitamins and 60 percent of the recommended amount of folate. In addition to containing many healthy nutrients, nutritional yeast flakes have the benefit of being low in unhealthy nutrients. They contain very little or no saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.

Nutritional Info per ounce of Cashew Cheese Sauce:
Calories -306
   From Fat 103
Protein -13g  (18 different amino acids)
Carbohydrates - 19g  (good carbs!)
Sugars - 1.7g
Dietary fiber - 8g
Total Fat - 14.3g
    Saturated Fat - 2.2g
    Monounsaturated Fat - 6.7g
    Polyunsaturated Fat -2.2g
Total trans fatty acids 0.0
Total Omega-3 fatty acids -40.4 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids – 2795 mg
Contains no cholesterol (remember, cholesterol only comes from animals!)
Sodium - 9 mg
Iron – 3.8 mg
Copper 0.7 - mg 
Magnesium - 106.8 mg 
Phosphorus – 281 mg
Manganese - 1.6 mg
Selenium - 13.7 mcg
Zinc 5.6 - mg
Vitamin K – 10.1 mcg
Thiamin - 10 mg
Riboflavin - 9.7 mg
Niacin - 56.3 mg
Vitamin B6 - 9.7mg
Folate – 250 mcg
Vitamin B12 - 7.8mcg


  1. MMmmm! I just made this cheeze to put over my Trader Joe's Rice Fusili pasta, and it is ridiculously delicious! I made the whole mixture while my pasta was cooking, then drained my pasta, and in the same pan added 1 cup rice milk and 1/2 cup of the dry mix, stirred until thick and then added the pasta to coat it fully. Easy! Also, I had no onion or garlic powder, so I put a dollop of mustard and a splash of tamari, and it was still excellent!

    Thank you!
    Charlotte in Portland

  2. could I sub GF non-GMO cornstarch for the arrowroot?

  3. You sure could, but I do not know how much would equate to this amount of arrowroot. Once, I was out of arrowroot and tried 2 Tbsp. of potato starch instead of 2 Tbsp. arrowroot, and it was way too thick! It may take several tries to figure out the correct equivalent!

  4. Thank you so much for this! I have made it several times now and I keep finding new places to use it. It has become an instant staple in my kitchen.

  5. Looks really nice. I think I will make it tomorrow. Thank you.

  6. I am glad you enjoy it as much as we do, Martha! I have the dry mix ready all the time, we love this stuff so much! I took a huge crock full of it to an event tonight and the carnivores went crazy over it! Be sure and tell people it is made from nuts in case of allergies. I bet I could make it with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, with rice milk, with the same results!

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Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear what you think!
~ Shelley