I am back today talking about all things creamy and decadent! As we come closer to the holidays – Hanukkah, Christmas and NYE, we will be consuming more rich and decadent foods.
Most of these dishes will contain a lot of dairy. If you are trying to have less dairy, or are allergic like me, it becomes very difficult to indulge and avoid dairy. Did you know that 75 % of our population is allergic to dairy? That’s a high percentage, right?
The biggest question/concern I get from my clients is “what do I eat in place of cheese?” “I love cheese! Please don’t take it from me!” To me this sounds like a dairy breakup!
If most of us are allergic, then why do we continue to eat it? I have the answer to both.
Cheese is an Opiate and is set up to get you addicted. Therefore, people refer to it as “cheese crack”. Opioids are one of the oldest drugs that give you a feeling of euphoria within 40 minutes of consumption. There is a protein fragment called casomorphins which comes from the digestion of the milk protein, casein.
The opiates from cow’s milk are meant to produce a calming effect for their babies. It helps with them bond and for the baby calf to come back to nurse. Casomorphins move slowly through the intestines and that’s why it can make you feel constipated and bloated. The sugar in the lactose has been linked to several types of cancer. It can also contribute to many health problems such as type One diabetes, sinus problems, ear infections, rashes, allergies, pimples, and many more.
What do you do now? Now that I have bummed you about your “cheese crack”? I have solutions for your addictions that will trick your mind into thinking you are eating cheese. I am going to share with you my cashew cream recipe and what to do with it. That’s right, a nut based cream sauce! You would not believe how many family members I have tricked into thinking they are eating a cream sauce.
Make sure to look in your healthy food stores for nut based cheeses. Vegan cheeses have come a long way and the texture and taste will make your tummy happy and healthy! Remember to read the ingredients and keep it simple. Some vegan cheeses have casein. Keep trying them out to see what brands you like. Some are better than others.
Watch my video “How to make cashew cream sauce” and see my recipes below with a bonus recipe for your holiday party.
Cashew Cream sauce
Last for about 5-7 days and can add to any of your cooking use instead of dairy – add to gluten-free pasta, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, thicken to soups, add to marinara sauce to make a vodka type sauce, drizzle over pizza in place of cheese.
1 cup of raw cashews
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon of lemon
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1-teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of tapioca powder, or cornstarch
Soak cashews overnight or for 5-8 hours
Put cashews and water in blender and blend until smooth. About 1 min. Add rest of the ingredients and blend for another 4 min. You may need to scrape off the sides and keep blending until smooth and creamy. Add more water if you want less creamy.
Give it a taste, add more salt, garlic or onion powder if desired.
* get creative and add different herbs, seasonings to your liking. You can make it taste like nacho cheese and pour on top of tortilla chips
Bonus recipe for the holidays!
Zucchini Bake (like a lasagna without the gluten)
4 large zucchini – about 3 pounds
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 26- 32 ounce of marinara sauce
3-4 tablespoons of gluten-free bread crumbs
2- 3 cups of Cashew cream sauce (depends how creamy you like it)
a few basil leaves chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice zucchini in thin and horizontal slices by hand or in a mandolin. Cut as thin or thick as you like it.
Put aside and prepare sauce.
Heat the oil in pan and add onion until soft, about 3 min. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 1 more min. Add marinara sauce and cook for about another 3 min. Turn off stove.
To assemble recipe: use a 9 to 12-inch pan or you can use a muffin pan as well. It can be fit to any size. Pour a layer of marinara at the bottom of pan. Next arrange zucchini slices across the bottom. They can be overlapped. Pour over a layer of cashew cream, next marinara, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and repeat until you reach the top of pan or desired height. Bake it covered for 20 min and then uncover and bake for an additional 10 min. Sprinkle with basil on top. Let it cool down before slicing it.
*Could add mushrooms to the dish. Get creative.
A big party hit! Put it on the table and watch how fast it goes!
Featured image by Matt Beard.
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