When Vegans say nutritional yeast “really does taste like cheese!” I always mutter mmhmm under my breath and roll my eyes a bit. Cheese is cheese. I may be the biggest cheese lover in the world, so I WILL know if I am eating fake cheese. So the thought of some orange flaky bits being able to replace the gooey goodness of cheese seems too good to be true, but was it too good to be true?
OK. Yes. It was too good to be true and the nutritional yeast vegan queso was simply not up to par as the traditional non-vegan queso, but I do have to say it comes in a close second and serves as a wonderful guilt-free snack. I’ll still relish on my favorite Torchy’s show-stopping queso here and there, but nutritional yeast queso is something I’m going to eat pretty regularly since it actually contains the good stuff. The good stuff, you know? The B-vitamins, folate, zinc, and all other immune-boosting nutrients that trump all the saturated fat in real cheese.
Vegan Cheese (No Cashews)
yield: approx. 2 cups
- 1 1/2 c. potatoes diced
- 1 c. carrots diced
- 1/3 c. water
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
- pinch of pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (opt.)
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (opt.)
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
- Boil the potatoes and carrots together until soft and tender. I like to boil on high, turn the water off and let the remaining heat soften the vegetables to save energy!
- Drain the vegetables and let them cool a bit but not completely.
- Place the vegetables in a high-speed blender along with all other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- The texture should greatly resemble queso. It should be gooey and melty.
I’m not a food chemist so I don’t understand how this vegan queso gets its gooey consistency, but the resemblance with traditional queso is uncanny. Also, if you’d like to spice up your queso, by all means you may add a roasted pepper!! Now the holidays have rolled around, this is a great dip for parties so go ahead and deceive your friends!