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Dairy-free béchamel sauce

Who doesn't love a creamy cheesy sauce in the lasagna or macaroni and cheese as a comfort food? You can even use this for a vegetable bake or a fish mornay.

Have I told you to stop eating dairy? I'm sorry, but some of use really do feel better without dairy. I'm one of those... Because I still love the cheesy taste, I came up with this recipe.

Several different components make up the cheesy-ness in this sauce and the first one to consider is cashews. The nuts can be pre-soaked for extra creaminess, but can also just be used on the spot. They add protein as well as a great texture.

Secondly we use savory yeast flakes. These funky little things are used a lot to create cheese flavour in the vegan kitchen and couples really well with the cashew for an all-round cheesiness.

My boys love cheese and have given this sauce two thumbs up in a lasagna!

Recipe (makes 3cups of sauce):

1 cup of cashews

3 cups of soy milk

50g margarine (or butter if you indulge)

1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp savory yeast flakes

pinch of ground nutmeg

1 tsp veggie stock powder


1. Blend cashews with 1 cup of soy milk until completely smooth. For best texture, let the nuts sit in the milk for 1-2hrs before to soften.

2. Melt the margarine in a pot on the stove. (I prefer butter, because I can tolerate it, and it's a healthier option). When all melted, add the flour whilst stirring. Fry for 20 seconds.

3. Add the cashew/milk mix slowly whilst whisking. The sauce will be quite thick at this point, so be ready with your soy-milk.

5. When all the nut-milk has all been added, continue to whisk in the rest of the milk until the sauce is smooth and a bit thinner than you want. It will continue to thicken in the oven.

6. Add the nutmeg, stock powder and savory yeast flakes, and stir in thoroughly.

7. Take off the heat and add to a lasagna in layers.

Here is the lasagna I made for the boys last night:


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