If you are not familiar with our plant based nacho cheese it is creamy, sticky, and flavorful. There is a link below so you can see for yourself. But, can that base sauce be transformed into other sauces? While some who follow us closely may think this is just another recipe post. It is not, this is a simple idea, to hack to one of our current recipes and to help open our minds. Unless you are a seasoned chef or home cook it is difficult to wrap your head around altering a recipe. This is no more evident than in plant based recipes that are already replacing animal products. It’s intimidating to change a recipe if you don’t understand what is happening on a deeper level. It can feel like if you knock down a wall the whole roof could cave in on the recipe. But in reality only certain walls are load bearing. This is the same with ingredients, only certain ones are functional (think load bearing walls). These ingredients are why a recipe succeeds or fails. If you don’t add baking powder to biscuits they won’t rise. So how can you hack these recipes to be used for many different purposes. Well today I hope to ease the fears you may have.
“How can I hack a plant based cheese recipe?”
Now this article could be summed up for some in a simple sentence. Simply change the flavorings and boom you have something new. But I feel this creates a barrier for entry for our new/young cooks. While we do have a plant based nacho cheese recipe that can easily be altered to make a plant based alfredo, I think it would help to empower those who are wary of fiddling with recipes. The best thing to do is look for the back bone of the recipe. Let’s break down the plant based nacho cheese recipe quickly. Water and soy milk powder; these ingredients come together to make the base liquid for the entire recipe. These ingredients could be replaced with another liquid but the amount shouldnt be changed. Nutritional yeast flakes, cayenne pepper, and lactic acid are all flavorings. Flavorings can be altered to your personal taste without affecting the recipe at all. The salt in a recipe can be altered but it should never be removed. Without salt things do not taste good, trust us. Coconut oil adds a richness to the recipe and can be altered slightly, but don’t add too much or it will not stay emulsified. Tapioca starch is the backbone of this recipe, tapioca starch adds the body and texture to the sauce and gives it a cheese-like texture. The tapioca starch is also responsible for emulsifying the coconut oil into the sauce. Lastly the tapioca starch helps the sauce solidify as it cools just like any other cheese sauce. Now the challenge would be to change this from a nacho cheese sauce to an alfredo. We know we can’t really mess with the tapioca starch since that is the backbone of the recipe. The water, soy milk, and coconut oil are fine since they are neutral. But the flavorings need to be changed. Once we nailed down what the flavorings were, we could do anything we wanted with this sauce. Alfredo would be as simple as adding plant based parmesan either home-made or store bought. Remember flavorings are a preference, so if at first it isn’t flavorful enough you can always add more. Toss this with pasta and serve, it will act. If you wanted to turn this base sauce into a mornay (basically french alfredo) you could add a pinch of nutmeg, a bay leaf, and nutritional yeast flakes. This could be a plant based fondue. We also made this into a super creamy mac and cheese (The recipe is below). Really the possibilities are endless, and they become even more endless when you begin experimenting with the functional ingredients, but that is an article for another day. Until then try these recipes for yourself.
Ready to get Cooking?
Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese: Drizzle and dress up your nachos with a simple vegan nacho cheese recipe that stretches, and oozes with a delightful umami, cheesy flavor thanks to nutritional yeast flakes.
Rich & Hearty Vegan Mac & Cheese: Comfort food this good should be criminal. This 100% plant-based mac and cheese is generously tossed with a rich, creamy cheese sauce that sticks to your ribs in all the right ways.