Another crazy creation your way! After using up my almond milk pepper jack, I was wondering about changing up the whole thickening game. Agar and starches and all 🙂 I was also making some Chickpea tofu that week and the texture and setting capability of chickpea flour was staring me in the face.
So in comes Chickpea flour to the rescue once again! Chickpea flour has great thickening and setting properties. With all the added flavors for the nacho cheese, this cheese works out perfectly. You can also use it to make other cheese flavors that have sharper or complex taste profiles that compliment the custard-y chickpea flour taste. It might not work for the simpler mozzarella or ricotta, as the stronger flavors help dumb down the chickpea flour taste.
Also, this cheese is not going to melt into a puddle. It becomes custard like at high heat and sets again quickly as it cools. You can make slices or make a block of cheese and shred it and use. There is no oil in the cheese either. You can add some for greasy-ness if you like.
The ingredient list might look long, but its mostly spices and flavors. You can try make a less ingredient cheddar with nooch, sundried tomato, garlic, miso and prepared mustard. As with any recipe, if you do not like it, do not throw it away :). Shred and add to my chickpea omelet.
These Nut Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Slices, have no nuts, no oil, no agar, no thickener, no seed, no gluten, no grain. Below sandwich grilled with the slices, recipe coming shortly.
More cheeses to try from the blog
On another note, here is a picture of how easy it is to be vegan these days.
Hubbs to me yesterday: We have a BBQ team picnic tomorrow. Me: you should take something along. Hubbs: the admin(organizer) knows that I am vegan, there will be many options. The last time I ate and went and she was very upset. Me: Rolls eyes. (also he works in a larger tech company. so that makes it even easier).
Blend everything and add to pan. Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture becomes a thick even custard.
Transfer mixture to a greased pan. Pat down using a parchment. Cool, slice.
Slice and use.
You can make a block and let it set atleast for an hour in the fridge before shredding. It shreds!
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ½ pickled jalapeno
- 2 Tbsp roasted red pepper or roasted pimento pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped tomato
- ⅓ tsp salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ to 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (use chipotle powder if you cannot find gf canned peppers)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 to 1.5 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vinegar (apple cider or white)
- ¾ to 1 cup water
- chopped Jalapeno and pepper flakes
- Put everything in a blender and blend until fully combined. Use ¾ cup water for shredd-able block, 1 cup water for slices.
- Add to thick bottom pan, and heat at medium-low heat. Keep stirring frequently.
- The mixture will start to thicken and get lumpy, then smooth out. The mixture will eventually become custard-like and evenly thick. After the mixture has become a thick even custard, Cook for another 2 -3 minutes to cook the chickpea flour. Stir continuously. You can carefully taste at this point and add salt, spice and tang if needed. * Cook a bit longer if not sure. You want to cook the chickpea flour really well, else it can taste raw (bitter and bad) in the slices later.
- Add the chopped jalapeno and pepper flakes if using and mix in.
- Transfer the hot mixture to a greased brownie pan or parchment.
- Spray oil on top. Place another parchment on top and press to a thin square. or use rolling pin.
- Chill for an hour. Slice and use or store refrigerated for upto 5 days.
- Or transfer the mixture to a greased deep small container. Chill for an hour or more before shredding.
- * You can make nacho cheese sauce with the recipe as well. Use a ¼ cup chickpea flour with 1 cup of water or non dairy milk. Cook to thicken (about 5 to 6 minutes so chickpea flour gets cooked through, taste and adjust. Use to top nachos!
* If you plan to add more moisture like salsa or more juicy tomatoes etc, use 3/4 cup water to ensure that the cheese sets. The cheese keeps setting as it sits, so keep it refrigerated for for a few hours for sturdier cheese.
* you can change out a few spices or ingredients here and there without affecting the cheese much. Add miso for umami. Use mild peppers etc.
* depending on your stove and pan, you can cook at medium heat, but keep an eye so that the mixture does not stick and burn at the bottom. The cooking time is about 7 to 9 minutes total.