This is my favorite spread for making veggie nori rolls, but I also love it as dip for raw vgetables, a sandwich spread, or even a salad dressing, thinned with a little water. I would never say that this really tastes like cheese, but it does make a fine plate of nachos spooned over tortilla chips topped with warmed black beans and scallions.
I learned this recipe about a year ago from my sister Jill, and she learned it from raw foodist friends of hers. Before that, it had been decade at least since I bought nutritional yeast, which gives this sauce its nutty, cheese-like flavor. The vitamin-packed powder is hippie food and a vegan staple, but it happens to taste amazing too. I love it sprinkled on popcorn and even apple slices, though this recipe is the best use of the stuff I've ever found.
Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
2 large red bell peppers, roughly chopped
2 cups raw cashews
1 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (or less, depending on your spice tolerance)
Soak the cashews overnight in cold water to soften, unless you have a high power blender such as a Vitamix.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, making sure the red peppers are on the bottom. Blend until a smooth sauce forms, adding a bit of water if the blender is having trouble blending.
Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. The cheese sauce will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.