Comfort food -alert! Especially when it gets colder outside, it just has to be comfort food sometimes! But mac and cheese vegan style? So completely without cheese? How is that supposed to go?
It goes very well. However, only if you have inwardly said goodbye to the cheese variant and have a desire for something new. In appearance and creaminess, the Mac and Cheese Vegan Style is doing a great job! No pull strings though!
Ingredients Mac and Cheese Vegan Style
- Cashew nuts, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
- Pumpkin puree, most delicious homemade
- Yeast flakes
- Turmeric, optional
- Onion powder
- Nutmeg, ground
- Cayenne pepper
- Pepper, freshly ground
- Dijon mustard
- fresh parsley, chopped
- macaroni or pasta of your choice
Why do the cashews need to be soaked?
- The first reason is a practical one. The cashews become softer and easier to process, especially if your blender is not very powerful. I use a high-powered blender, which allows me to process cashews quite finely without soaking them. But not everyone has such a machine in the kitchen and we want the sauce to be extra creamy – so soaking the cashews helps tremendously.
- The second reason is the phytic acid, which is naturally contained in nuts, seeds and legumes. It ensures that the nuts and seeds are in a kind of dormant state and do not germinate. When they come into contact with liquid, the phytic acid is broken down and decomposed. Therefore, it is important to always pour away the soaking water and rinse the nuts and kernels well. Phytic acid inhibits the absorption of vitamins and proteins and also of valuable minerals from nuts, seeds and legumes. People with sensitive digestion generally tolerate soaked nuts and kernels better.
Soak cashews properly
Depending on how much time you have, there are three different soaking methods:
LONG-SOAK METHOD (duration 6 hours / or overnight): Soak cashews in twice the amount of cold water and cover. After 6 hours or overnight, drain, rinse with plenty of cold water and process. Important: Pour away the soaking water and do not process further, because of the the dissolved phytic acid in it.
QUICK SOAK METHOD (duration 60 minutes): Place cashews in a heatproof bowl and pour plenty of boiling hot water over them. DO NOT COVER and let steep for one hour. Drain, rinse with plenty of cold water and process. Important: pour away soaking water and do not process further
SUPER-QUICK-SOAK METHOD (5 MINUTES): If you forgot to soak the cashews, you can still use the Super-Quick-Soak method: Place cashews in a pot, add plenty of water and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. (Let the cashews steep for 5 minutes), drain and rinse with plenty of cold water and process. Again, pour away soaking water and do not process further
Preparation of the vegan mac and cheese:
- Blend rinsed cashews with fresh water in a high-powered blender or with a hand blender until creamy (depending on the power of the blender, this will take 1-2 minutes).
- Add all other measured ingredients and blend again until a creamy sauce is formed. Taste and season if necessary. If you would like it to have a stronger color, you can add 1/4 tsp turmeric.
- Cook pasta in plenty of salted water, drain, saving a few spoonfuls of pasta water.
- Gently heat mac and cheese sauce in a small saucepan (1-2 minutes), it will thicken slightly
- Mix pasta, the bit of pasta water and sauce, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Deliciously creamy vegan version of the famous Mac and Cheese. Comfort food at it’s best!
- 75 g raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
- 375 ml water
- 150 g pumpkin puree
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 good pinches of nutmeg
- 1 good pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric, optional
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 250 g pasta of your choice
- Drain the cashews, rinse well and puree finely together with the water in a high-powered blender, or with a hand blender.
- Add all other ingredients (except the noodles…) to the blender and blend to a velvety, creamy sauce.
- Taste and season if necessary
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water, reserving 60ml of water when draining.
- Heat the sauce on low heat and let it thicken for 1-2 minutes
- Mix with the drained pasta, add some pasta water and serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley.
Soak the cashews in any case! This is healthier and makes the sauce nice and creamy.
Cook the pasta al dente, and heat it together with the sauce again very briefly.
The pasta water contains starch, so it is great to be folded in at the end. This is the same principle as for pasta with pesto. The pasta water helps to create a creamy bond between the pasta and the sauce.
Keywords: Mac and Cheese, noodles, mac’n’cheese