I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with creamed spinach…In my non-vegan days I always ordered it at restaurants, but since going vegan, I hadn’t had it for about 2 years before I realised that I missed it! I played around with different cheese sauces to see which one works best and this one is an absolute winner. It is super quick to make and completely healthy – no processed ingredients, no cholesterol.
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts (You can use 1/4 cup instead. It will still taste great but will be a little less creamy.)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1/2 small garlic clove minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- onion, chopped
- Optional – crushed garlic
- 3-4 cups of frozen spinach
Saute the onion in a little oil or just using a dash of water if it catches until translucent. I like to add a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic and saute that for another 2-3 minutes. Add frozen spinach, put a lid on the pot, reduce heat to medium and allow to thaw. Every 3-5 minutes, remove the lid and break up the chunks of frozen spinach/give a stir, replace the lid for another 3-5 minutes. Keep doing this until the spinach is fully cooked.
While the spinach is cooking, blend all the cheese ingredients in a blender. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Omniblend, there is no need to pre-soak the nuts. If you have a regular blender, if possible, soak the nuts in water 8 hours before making it just to soften the nuts and ensure a smooth sauce. If you don’t have time to soak it it is not a crisis though – even if the sauce is not entirely smooth, you actually won’t notice it at all once mixed through the spinach. Once everything is blended, pour it into the fully cooked spinach and cook though, stirring from time to time to prevent it from catching. You will see that as the sauce comes to the boil, the tapioca flour thickens it into a beautifully creamy, thick sauce. Taste for saltiness – add more if desired and serve! This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for about 4 days.
Whether you are living a “normal”/ Standard American Diet, a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet, a high raw vegan diet or a fully raw vegan diet – either way – incorporating more raw fruit and veggies into your diet can only do you good. The beauty of thriving on raw fruit and veggies lies in their pure simplicity – no labels to read to decide if they’re good for you or not, no worrying about nasty additives/colourants and preservatives and no fretting about the nutritional quality of the meal – its fruit and veg! You can’t go wrong! A patient was asking me for advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle the other day and I told her to focus more on eating a healthy diet as she is very overweight. She said that she would like to improve her diet, but can not face the prospect of having to read food labels on everything she eats before deciding whether it is acceptable or not. I told her I never read food labels at all! She was shocked, but the reason is simple – I live on wholefoods…whole, unprocessed fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and occasionally some grains. None of these foods need labels – they are full of pure, cleansing, energising goodness….
Ok – enough rambling on and let’s get to business. This is my raw vegan take on a regular cereal. The banana slices and fruit bits substitute the cereal bites and the smoothie liquid takes the place of regular milk. You could use a nut milk or rice milk instead of smoothie liquid, but I like to use smoothie liquid as it adds more vitamins and tastes deliciously sweet at the same time.
Please note that this is not a recipe as such, but rather guidelines to give you some inspiration and ideas.
- ripe banana slices
- frozen berries of any kind (small round ones like blueberries or currants are particularly nice)
- Dried white mulberries
There are several options here:
- Banana milk Place a few frozen bananas in your blender and slowly add water until you reach a runny/milky consistency. Taste and add sweetener (like stevia or maple syrup) if needed.
- Spiced up Banana milk You could add cinnamon, vanilla, chai spice, maca….whatever flavour you would like.
- Chocolate milk Make banana milk and add raw cacao or cocoa powder to taste. I like to add a bit of maca to this too as I like the malty flavour that maca provides along with the cacao.
- Berry milk Add some frozen or fresh berries to your banana milk.
- Mango Date milk Add frozen mango and fresh dates to the banana milk and blend until smooth. The mango adds a sour/tart tang while the dates provide extra sweetness. My husband loves this combination. (I’m all for the chocolate milk…)
- Date milk If you want something really sweet, you can soak dates in water overnight. You can even chop up some brick dates and soak them in water. Brick dates don’t provide the same caramelly flavour of fresh medjool dates but they are still delicious and much cheaper, plus they are available all year round. Add the soaked dates, their soaking water and as much extra water as needed while blending until you have a nice smooth milk. I LOVE to add tons of raw cacao, a bit of vanilla and maca to my date milk to make a very rich, luxurious chocolate milk packed with calories:)
- Any seeds you have on hand – chia, pumpkin, sunflower…
- nuts – cashews especially
- goji berries
- dried cranberries
- raw cacao nibs
- chopped up cacao paste or dark chocolate
- chopped up raw brownie bites
- dessicated coconut
- chocolate sauce:D
- Little balls of peanut butter (really good in chocolate milk)…..etc etc etc
Slice your ripe bananas into little rings and put into a cereal bowl. Make your milk and pour it on top. Add any desired toppings.Enjoy in bed:)
I discovered this cheese sauce recipe on the internet while looking for a low fat, good cheese sauce. The first time I made the sauce, I served the cheese sauce on its own with roasted potatoes to dip into it – it literally blew our minds! After that, I just had to try it in a mac and cheese format and it worked beautifully. This recipe is now my entire family’s favourite vegan mac and cheese recipe – the others we have tried have all been good, but this one is exceptional!
Don’t be put off by the odd ingredients in this sauce – I promise you – it is amazing!
- 2 cups mashed up boiled potatoes
- 3/4 cup chopped up boiled carrots
- 1/2 cup (or more) nutritional yeast
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (entirely optional – I left it out this time)
- optional add ins like sundried tomato
To make the sauce, simply peel and boil your potatoes. Peel and boil your carrots too. Once soft, roughly chop up the carrots and measure out 3/4 cup. Roughly mash the potatoes and measure out 2 cups. Add all ingredients (except the pasta – duh) into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. This makes about 1.3 litres of sauce. I like my mac and cheese VERY saucy so I use about 350g gluten free pasta and double this batch of sauce:) How much sauce you use is up to you. I prefer my mac and cheese rather plain so I just chopped up some sundried tomatoes and once the pasta was boiled and drained, I stirred the cheesy sauce and sundried tomatoes through the pasta. I poured it into a oven safe dish and topped it with gluten free breadcrumbs and tomato slices with black pepper ground over the top. I then baked it for about 20 minutes.
This sauce is really amazing! Hope you like it as much as I do. Use it as a cheese sauce over nachos, to pour over chips, to pour over roasted vegetables, in lasagne, in pasta dishes that require a white sauce…..
Let me know what you think!