Cheese is one of my favorite things (next to chocolate), and I probably eat some form of cheese most days of the week…cheddar, feta, mozzarella, bleu…I love them all!
One thing my husband and I love to do is order queso at a Mexican restaurant…I have no self control! We don’t do this very often, but when we do, I eat too much and usually feel bloated, wishing I had enjoyed it in moderation versus licking the bowl…
While I am not vegan, I do enjoy switching out animal based foods with plant based foods wherever I can! This recipe uses raw cashews, nutritional yeast, peppers, and tahini to create a similar alternative to dairy cheese dip.
What’s Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a vegetarian dietary supplement rich in vitamin B-12 with a faint cheesy flavor–similar to Parmesan. It is a single-cell organism grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to make the yeast inactive (meaning it has no leavening properties). According to the USDA Nutrition Database, 1/4 cup serving contains 60 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals including iron, niacin, vitamin B 12, and other B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is one of the few plant-based sources containing vitamin B 12 without fortification.
What I love about this dip?
A typical serving of traditional queso at a restaurant is 2 tablespoons with 60 calories, 4 grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), 3 grams of protein and no fiber.
Traditional Queso Nutrition Facts (according to MyFitnessPal)
|Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons|
|Total Fat||4 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||2 g|
Vitamin A: 2% Calcium: 8%
My “Un-Cheese” Vegan Cheese Dip has just 64 calories per 1/2 cup serving with 3 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated, heart healthy fats), 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. What a nutritional win!
“Un-Cheese” Nutrition Facts (Tracked in MyFitnessPal)
|Servings: 8 servings||Serving Size: ½ cup|
|Total Fat||3 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||8 g|
Vitamin A: 9% Vitamin C: 20% Calcium: 3% Iron: 5%
You can eat over twice the amount of traditional queso when swapping to “Un-Cheese” dip with less saturated fat, sodium and more fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. It’s a nutritional win!
You can get the full PRINTABLE recipe below. Make sure you tag me @livebetterwithkatdetter in you creations!
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1-4 ounce jar of pimentos
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs tahini
- 1 can (15 ounce) of Rotel (I use mild because my palate is weak) 🙂
- 2 cups of water, divided
- Soak cashews in 1/2 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
- After cashews have been soaked, add them to a high powered blender with pimentos, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, cornstarch, lemon juice, tahini, Rotal, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add mixture to a sauce pan and simmer for ~10 minutes until un-cheese gets bubbly and thick.
- Serve with fresh veggies or your favorite dipping chip! Would also be good on salads and tacos.
I hope you love this dip as much as I do! While enjoying “the real stuff” is good every now and then, finding healthier, more nutrient dense options THAT TASTE GOOD is the way to go.
Until Next Time,
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — LARGE FLAKE NUTRITIONAL YEAST, UPC: 039978025463. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45360902 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].
Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mexican-cheese-dip-441450166 [Accessed 6 Jun.
Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/view/67379228593837 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].