Vegan and AIP Safe Nacho Cheese (nut-free, gluten-free!):
I’m sure you followers know by now that my diet is pretty restricted, but I’m not sure if anyone actually knows why or what this means. I abide by a strict standard of diet called the auto-immune protocol, or AIP for short. While in some ways this is similar to a paleo diet, this goes another step further. In addition to no grains as required for a paleo-diet, now take away eggs, dairy (yes, that means NO cheese- super sad for this cheese aficionado),nuts and seeds (not just peanuts or almonds, but also seed-derived spices like nutmeg and coriander), no grains and no nightshades (tomatoes, peppers [the pepper in your shaker is NOT a nightshade!], eggplants, potatoes. Sweet potatoes are not nightshades, thank Mother Nature!). If I eat any of these foods, my body attacks itself (in my case, primarily my skin and my digestive system) and I experience things from severe abdominal pain and nausea to hives, as well as developing a skin reaction often mistaken for acne. If any of this sounds like you or someone you know, you should try an elimination diet to figure out what is literally plaguing you! (Contact me for more info!!)
I found the original recipe for this nacho “cheese” in my many hours spent geeking out on good ol’ Pinterest, and have finally gotten around to trying my hand at it. I made a couple adjustments, due to all my restrictions, and you should feel free to change it up as well! If you can tolerate peppers, this would be amazing with some sriracha or even a dash of chili powder! I also added considerably more nutritional yeast to make sure this ended up as cheesy as it deserves to be!
I also love that, providing you have a food processor or a strong blender, this is REALLY easy and you can make a lot and keep in the refrigerator for later. I made some cracklin’ chicken (recipe to come soon!) with tostones (twice-fried smashed plantains- recipe to come soon as well!) and it was pretty dank! I hope you enjoy this and I encourage you to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions or would like more info on elimination diets or AIP foods/tips!
– 1 medium sweet potato- peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes/chunks
-1/4 C full-fat coconut milk (can use almond milk if you are not AIP. I like the coconut milk because it is more like cream than milk.)
– 3 Tbls. oil- coconut, olive, avocado, or ghee
– 1 to 1-1/2 Cups nutritional yeast
– 1 Tbls. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
– 1 tsp. Turmeric
– Garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper – start with 1 tsp of each and add more to taste. (If you can’t eat peppers and want some heat, add more black pepper or a dash of horseradish or wasabi!)
*add any additional spices you like- onion powder, basil, cilantro, etc.
1) Place sweet potato chunks into a medium saucepan and cover with water, and sprinkle a little sea salt in. Put the pan on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. When you get to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer until the chunks are soft. Drain and let cool in the colander for a bit.
2) Transfer sweet potato chunks to food processor, and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping with a spatula to ensure even blending. Add more milk alternative if it is too thick. Once the “cheese” is creamy, take a taste and make sure it is cheesy enough and that you have enough spices as desired.
3) Using a spatula, you can scoop the “cheese” into a serving bowl or right onto chips or tostones. Enjoy!!