I realized recently that I hadn’t written another blog post on other ways to use Instant Clearjel, or shared my favorite variation of the cheezy sauce. The last recipe was really an adaption of a recipe in my book Vegan Casseroles, using Instant Clearjel as the sole thickener. I wanted to share that recipe since it could be interchangeable with some of the recipes in the book. This version is the one that I make every week. I always have a large canning jar of it in the fridge, for last minute mac and cheese, drizzled over cooked pinto beans, drizzled over enchiladas or nachos, as a dip for steamed broccoli or cauliflower or tossed with cooked brown rice (which we lovingly call cheesy rice). It’s the perfect creamy, cheesy sauce and is so dang easy to make!
So if you’ve been making my other cheesy sauce, using Instant Clearjel as the thickener, this recipe is pretty close. The ratios are just a little different. I usually double this recipe. You can quickly blend it up in your high speed blender (I use a Blendtec), using ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry. If you don’t have Instant Clearjel, you can order it on Amazon or from King Arthur Flour. I use it for lots of different things, but it’s amazing for thickening sauces without cooking them. If you’re wondering what exactly Instant Clearjel is, it’s just an instant or precooked cornstarch. It’ve been told that it’s non-GMO too.
Before I get to the cheesy sauce recipe, I’ll share a couple of other things that I use Instant Clearjel for. The first is pies, as it makes the best thickener for them. Since it’s thickening power is instant, you don’t have to bake your pie for hours, waiting for the filling to thicken while the crust is burning. I also love using it for making freezer jam. It gives the jam the best texture, and doesn’t have to be cooked (unless you want to). I also sometimes add a tiny bit to frostings, as it thickens it a touch so that you don’t have to add as much powdered sugar. It also keeps your frosting soft, so that it doesn’t get that crunchy-ness that can sometimes happen from the powdered sugar. I came up with a mock cream cheese frosting, and just a tiny bit of the Instant Clearjel gives it a similar texture to using cream cheese. I need to test the recipe one more time before I share it.
Oh, and an old bakery trick is to add 1 tablespoon of ICJ (Instant Clearjel) for every cup of flour in your cookie recipes. It will keep your cookies nice and soft. Just make sure to whisk it into the flour mixture. There seriously are a million ways to use it. Oh, and I totally forgot. It’s great to add a little bit to thicken your ranch or other creamy dressings. I bet it will also work well for making vegan mayo. I also add a tablespoon or so to cashew creams and other sauces to make them just a tad thicker, so that I can reduce the cashews a bit. You know, make them a little more figure-friendly.
When you use it, just make sure to whisk the ICJ into your sugar or flour mixture first. Otherwise everything will clump together. If you guys want I will continue to post recipes as I create them. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have too.
And here is the recipe for my go to cheesy sauce, which can be doctored up by stirring in some salsa or hot sauce or playing around with the seasonings. I based the cheesy sauce in Vegan Casseroles off of this recipe. Adjust how much Instant Clearjel you use by how thick of a sauce you want. If you want it thinner add less, and if you want it thicker add more. And, the best part is that if you add too much, simply add a little more plain soymilk to thin. Easy peasy!
You can use this cheese sauce cold or hot. To quickly heat it, I just pop it in the microwave. I’m so excited for everyone to try it!
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- 1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk (I use Whole Foods 365 Refrigerated)
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons raw cashews (or 1/4 cup for a richer sauce)
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Instant Clearjel to thicken (about 4 tablespoons, but it may be a little more or less, depending how thick you like your sauce)
- Hot sauce, optional
- In the jar of a strong blender, combine the water, soymilk, nutritional yeast, cashews, onion, paprika and salt. Blend mixture at high speed until completely smooth and no bits of nuts remain. With the machine on low speed, add the Instant Clearjel through the top of the blender jar, blending until ultra smooth. Add more ICJ as necessary to get a thick sauce. Since the ICJ can continue to thicken for a few minutes, it may look a bit lumpy as it sits for a few minutes in the blender jar. Simply blend again briefly until smooth. If desired, add hot sauce to taste.
- Store the sauce in a large covered canning jar or other container in the fridge. It will last about 5 or 6 days.
- This recipe can be doubled in a large blender.