HEALTHY QUESO RECIPE (DAIRY FREE)

Ohhh myyyy goshhhh….
I’ve literally been dying to share this recipe with you!

 

I’m a Wisconsin native…cheese is like a nonnegotiable, but when it comes to my belly and bloating, I try to do dairy in moderation. So, I’ve looked FOREVER for a dairy free queso recipe. There are some really great ones out there that use cashews. While cashews are a healthy fat, they’re also very calorie-dense, so the amount of cashews those recipes call for would make for one very high calorie and high fat meal. I couldn’t give up on my healthy queso quest! Finally, I stumbled upon a recipe by the Minamalist Baker and oh my gosh…it’s fab!
 
This recipe uses…. wait for it…. EGGPLANT as the base! Your taste buds would never guess and I think I love it even more knowing the queso packs a veggie and nutrient punch! I even tricked Anthony into thinking I simply whipped up normal queso. When he licked the bowl clean, I knew this recipe was a winner! I hope you and your family find it to be so too!!
 
Ingredients:
Eggplant ((8 rounds, sliced about 1/3″)
Olive oil
Sea salt
1.5-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp corn startch
1/4 cup chunky salsa
 
Instructions:
Start by slicing the eggplant into 1/3 inch rounds. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant flesh with a little sea salt to draw out some of the moisture and bitterness….let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse in a colander with cool water and pat dry.
 
Preheat the oven to a high broil and place the eggplant rounds on a baking skeet lined with parchment paper or nonstick spray. Drizzle a little olive oil on both sides of the eggplant and sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt.
 
Broil the eggplant rounds on high for 4 minutes on each side, flipping half way through. Watch them carefully so they do not burn! Once they’re tender, remove the eggplant rounds from the oven and wrap them loosely in tin foil, forming a packet to steam the eggplant.
 
After a few minutes, open up the tin foil and peel off the eggplant skin. The skin should now peel off rather easily!
 
In a blender or food processor, place in the eggplant, 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder & corn startch. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more almond milk. Taste test and add more chili powder or sea salt if desired! 
 
((Nutritional yeast is the secret ingredient…it makes for one cheesy, delicious and healthy snack! I found mine in the health food section of the grocery store, but you can also purchase it online – here))
 
Transfer the queso to a small sauce pan and warm over medium heat until the queso thickens and bubbles. This will take about 5 minutes…the longer you do this step, the thicker the queso becomes.
 
If the queso isn’t as thick as you want, combine 1 tsp cornstarch, a splash of almond milk and 2 tbsp of the already made queso. Then, add that back into the saucepan.
 
Once warm and thick, remove from the head and stir in DRAINED salsa. If you put in the liquid, it will make the queso runny.
 
Serve with chips ((I have delicious, healthy chip recipes here)), vegies, or add to a chicken or beef dish! This queso also reheats well! 

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