I’ve been playing with different variations of this sauce for a long time. I finally hit on my favorite version, which is this sauce. The combination of the oat flour and cornstarch, give it just the right body, and the nutritional yeast flakes, seasonings and vegan cheddar give it a nice cheesy flavor. Although you may be tempted to substitute tapioca starch for the cornstarch, don’t. I’ve tried, and it just doesn’t come out as good.
- 3 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk (or 1 1/2 cups water + 1 1/2 cups plain soymilk)
- 1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 8 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 3 tablespoons oat flour (if using Instant Clearjel, omit)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (if using Instant Clearjel, omit)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- Sriracha sauce, optional
- In the jar of a blender, combine the soymilk, cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, oat flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, and granulated onion. Blend the mixture at high speed until completely smooth and no bits of nuts remain. If you don’t have a big blender, blend the mixture in two batches.
- Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring sauce to a simmer, whisking continuously. Once mixture comes to a simmer, reduce heat slightly and cook, whisking continuously until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes, until there is no starchy flavor.
- Tip: If you don’t have a strong blender, make sure to soak your cashews for two hours before using. Alternately, you can simmer them for 5 minutes. Drain them before using. If you want your sauce a little richer, increase the cashews to 1/2 cup.
- Gluten-Free: To make this sauce gluten-free, make sure to use a gluten-free oat flour.
- Recipe adapted with permission from Vegan Casseroles, by Julie Hasson, 2014, Running Press