Decadent creamy sauces – without the cream
31 July, 2020
Vegan friendly, dairy free creamy sauces that hit all the ‘yes please’ flavour buttons
A creamy sauce for your pasta or veggies feels all kinds of comforting and indulgent at the same time. But for many people, traditional dairy-based creamy sauces are a no-go. Whether that’s because of following a vegan diet, a dairy allergy, or just not getting to the shops and needing to use what’s in your pantry, it’s a great idea to have some dairy-free options in your kitchen repertoire.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can replicate those creamy sauce vibes at home – without the cream!
Cashew? Bless you
Cashews are a versatile plant-based option for making a range of dairy-free meals, including vegan cheesecakes and creamy sauces for a wide range of foods. Soaking cashews in water prior helps them to blend more easily for a smooth end product, with best results from a high- powered blender. To get started, you could try this recipe from The Vegan 8.
In recent years there has been an explosion of non-dairy milks, or mylks. Some are nut-based, like almond, cashew, macadamia and hazelnut; others are grain-based, like rice and oat; and others are legume-based, like soy. Some are better for different cooking applications than others, but there’s numerous options for using these non-dairy milks to make a satisfying creamy sauce, like this vegan bechamel.
Asian cooking has been harnessing coconut milk for centuries, with it providing the rich mouthfeel to an array of curries and stir fries. Coconut milk can be strongly flavoured though, so it’s probably not the best option for your dairy-free carbonara.
Get a boost with nooch
Nutritional yeast (or ‘nooch’) is beloved by vegans for adding a cheesy, umami boost to foods, without the cheese. It’s one of the closest substitutes for parmesan cheese, especially when blended with cashews, salt and some garlic powder, like in this recipe from The Minimalist Baker. Nutritional yeast is also packed with folic acid and vitamin B-12, so it’s a great dietary addition for everyone, not just vegans.
Tofu for you
Another fantastic option for creating a creamy texture in the kitchen without dairy is tofu. Made from soybeans, this is a popular food across much of Asia, with a range of textures from very firm to very soft. For your creamy sauces and dairy-free cheesecakes, silken tofu is usually the best option, like in this recipe from Food.com.
Get experimenting with dairy-free options
As you can see, there’s a range of easy dairy-free options to experiment in the kitchen, with most base ingredients readily available at supermarkets like Woolworths Metro at Chatswood Interchange. Whether you need a creamy pasta for your dairy-intolerant nephew, a completely animal-free vegetable gratin for your vegan friend, or if you just want to try some different things to find your new favourite, there’s so many possibilities. We’d love to hear your dairy-free cooking adventures and if you’ve got the best ever “no cream” creamy sauce recipe, let us know!