sunflower mac

Vegan Sunflower Mac n Cheeze!

I know that some folks who suffer from nut allergies aren’t able to enjoy the delights of cashew cheese, so for their sake I wanted to put together a recipe for an equally delicious cheese sauce made out of allergy safe ingredients—in this case, shelled raw sunflower seeds! Here’s how you do it.

You will need:

1 cup overnight-soaked raw sunflower seeds

3 cups water

2 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsps olive oil

2 tsps sea salt

1 tbsp garlic tomato paste

1 1/2 tbsps mild yellow miso (for those with soy allergies, sub one of the cups of water for veggie stock and omit the miso)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsps corn starch

approximately four to six tsps of ground peppercorn

1 tsp paprika

How to do it:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Ingredients will become smoothly blended. Pour into an oiled iron pot on medium high and stir occasionally for approximately eight minutes. Taste occasionally and adjust salt and pepper as needed (I like mine especially peppery!) The sunflower mac doesn’t thicken up the way that cashews do, so it will remain a liquid sauce, sort of the same consistency as the powdered cheese sauce that comes in those old Kraft brand blue box mac and cheeses. The flavor is a little sweeter than cheese, and is reminiscent of sunflowers, but still has a cheesy consistency and taste, and is actually quite good just as a stand alone sauce, not just as a cheese replacement. Not to mention it’s rich in vitamin E!

For this mac and cheese I added fried soy chorizo and a little bit of vegan cream cheese to thicken the sauce up, then sprinkled pepper and paprika on top. It was scrumptious. A great alternative for those who can’t enjoy cashews, or need a cheaper option—a bag of raw sunflower seeds only cost three dollars, compared to cashews which cost eight!