The Creamy Ingredient Trio To Memorize For Vegan Cooking

For those on a plant-based diet, creamy concoctions can be hard to come by. That's because most creamy sauces are made from milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, or butter — which all contain dairy. "Creamifying" plant-based food can sometimes be painstaking. Incorporating flour or nuts like cashew and walnuts into plant-based dishes may be cumbersome and complicated for many. Though creamy sauces and dishes may have previously been difficult to whip up for vegans, there is now an easy way to add creaminess and depth to nearly any dish thanks to the holy trio — coconut milk, miso, and nutritional yeast.

These three components are individual food havens for vegans and have become ingredients that are extensively used in vegan cuisine. Bringing them together into one recipe produces a vegan's food paradise. In a few simple steps, combining coconut milk, miso, and nutritional yeast can produce a creamy base that can be used in nearly any dish.

How to make the creamy base

With coconut milk, miso, and nutritional yeast, you can take any creamy dish to the next level. Creamed vegetables, for example, are typically made with a heavy dairy-based mixture of butter and milk, among other ingredients. However, Bon Appétit's vegan creamy concoction can make creamed vegetables that are perfect for vegans (and those with lactose intolerance).

To make the base, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and sliced onions in a pot or pan. Sauté the onions over medium heat until it turns golden brown. Then whisk in 2 teaspoons of miso paste and 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast will help add protein and give the sauce a nutty and cheesy flavor. Throw in some vegetables — we recommend spinach, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Once you give that a good toss, add in ¾ cup of coconut milk. Then let the mixture simmer for roughly five minutes. The concoction should become thick and creamy.

This plant-based creamy mixture doesn't just have to be for creamed veggies. You can add this to just about anything, such as a plant-based stroganoff-inspired dish or sauce for a noodle dish. Try making vegan mac and cheese with the sauce. Add more nutritional yeast for an extra pop of cheesiness.

Allergic to those ingredients? Try making this instead

While this creamy mixture is easy to make, its ingredients may not be easy to come by. Some people may also be allergic to certain components, such as coconut milk and miso. Thankfully, there are other ways to create vegan creamy bases without sacrificing your wallet or health. If you're allergic to coconut milk, simply swap it out for soy milk or any other plant-based milk instead. If you're allergic to soy, swap out miso for tahini paste. Tahini has a similar texture and consistency to miso paste. '

Cashews are a great plant-based ingredient to make creamy soups and sauces with. Simply soak the cashews overnight to soften them. Then, blend or grind the cashew with water to produce a creamy mixture. This can also be used to make creamy vegan mac and cheese. Additionally, to thicken any soup, stew, or liquid base, you can create a slurry using flour or cornstarch, which you may have right in your pantry.