Today, we would like to share with you one of our favorite recipes: vegan cashew bechamel sauce.
We’ve always loved dishes such as lasagne, stuffed cannelloni, oven baked beetroot, and many other similar Italian dishes. An important part of these dishes, however, is bechamel sauce.
When we became vegetarians, we also chose to limit our dairy intake to a great extent. Sadly though, besides flour, butter and perhaps some spices, bechamel contains milk, so it’s a dairy based sauce.
If we wanted to keep on eating these delicious dishes, we had to find an alternative recipe to the standard bechamel. So that is what we did!
One of the simplest options, would be to replace the milk with a non-dairy alternative. We’ve tried this with several types of vegan milk, such as rice, unsweetened cashew, and unsweetened almond milk. However, for us, the taste of thisbechamel never came close to the original when using non-dairy milk alternatives, nor did we really enjoy it as much as we used to.
We thus had to find a completely new alternative for bechamel sauce. This led us to cashews. We’ve found cashews to be a great and versatile nut during our transition towards veganism. They can be used as a dairy replacement in a wide variety of recipes such as cheesecake, cheese sauce (together with nutritional yeast), and snacks.
The base for our bechamel replacement consists of cashews as well. Now we do not claim that this tastes the same as the original bechamel sauce. but we do love it just as much and for us, it is a perfect replacement.
It is not just a great tasting alternative, it is also much healthier. In our recipe, the standard butter, which consists of saturated fats, is replaced by cashews, which is high in unsaturated healthy fats. And the milk, which is often high in fat as well, is replaced by vegan low-fat milk.
If that is not enough yet, we also add nutritional yeast, which is usually enriched in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient that one can only naturally get from eating meat. Hence, eating nutritional yeast is a great way to supplement your diet with B12 without taking vitamin pills.
Making bechamel usually takes quite some time, and involves continuous stirring on the stove. This recipe doesn’t involve cooking, all you need is a blender to whizz up the ingredients!
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried out our recipe. You can leave a comment below and let us know if you like it!
Vegan cashew bechamel sauce
Not everyone likes the same texture, so be careful with how much liquid you add. If you like a thicker sauce add less, or add more if you a like a runnier sauce.
- 2-3 tbs nutritional yeast
- 200 grams raw cashews
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Soak the cashews over night (or cook for 5 minutes if your forgot)
- Step 2 Put all ingredients in your blender
- Step 3 Whizz until smooth
- Step 4 Tip: you can replace the lemon with lime to mix it up.