Before discovering I was lactose intolerant and don’t even possess the lactase enzyme, I used to eat cheese like it was going out of fashion. I’m talking thick slices of cheddar cheese, cheese toasties, pasta cheese and of course pizza.
It took me a while to find replacements for my cheese obsession but over the years I found some great alternatives, one of my favourites being nut cheese sauce; perfect for baked potatoes, pasta, burgers and pizza.
I love it so much I have to have it at least once a week. In fact, even my sister, who eats dairy, loves nut cheese. I love mixing it into my courgetti, pouring it over a baked sweet potato, adding a dollop to a nourish bowl or baking it on top of my paleo pizza.
Traditionally this vegan mozzarella style cheese is made with cashews but they just don’t sit right with my gut. After experimenting, I think I may have discovered an even better nut for the job: macadamias. So damn creamy!
The sunflower seeds where a trick I noticed my sister doing. Let me tell you, she was onto a winner. Sunflower seeds add extra creaminess and blend well into a smooth, lump free cheese sauce. Plus, they provide healthy fats (and no cholesterol), vitamin B-6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper and iron.
FYI if you have a nut allergy sunflower seeds make a great alternative to nut cheeses.
Soak the macadamias for 4 hours, or overnight, to soften. Or, boil for 10 minutes if you’re impatient.
Add all the ingredients to a jug and use a hand blender to blend until smooth.
Heat a pan on a low heat and add the cheese mix.
Stir regularly. It should start to bubble and thicken.
Once thick and heated through (takes approx. 5 mins) serve with your desired accompaniments. Or bake on top of your pizza/lasagne/potato/roasted courgette boats for 10 mins.
– Try adding different herbs to your cheese. I love basil, but smoked paprika or chives could work great too. You could also try garlic or onion.
– Too thick? Add more milk or a splash of water.
– Too thin? Add more flour to thicken it.