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vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

Hello and welcome to solsarin. This post is about “vegan butternut squash mac and cheese“.

Veganism

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.[c] An individual who follows the diet or philosophy is known as a vegan. Distinctions may be made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans, also known as “strict vegetarians”, refrain from consuming meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal-derived substances.[d]

An ethical vegan is someone who not only follows a plant-based diet but extends the philosophy into other areas of their lives, opposes the use of animals for any purpose,[e] and tries to avoid any cruelty and exploitation of all animals including humans.[22] Another term is “environmental veganism”, which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.[23]

German Society

Well-planned vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all stages of life, including infancy and pregnancy, as said by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,[f] the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council,[25] the British Dietetic Association,[26] Dietitians of Canada,[27] and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.[28] The German Society for Nutrition—which is a non-profit organisation and not an official health agency—does not recommend vegan diets for children or adolescents, or during pregnancy and breastfeeding.[g]

There is inconsistent evidence for vegan diets providing a protective effect against metabolic syndrome, but some evidence suggests that a vegan diet can help with weight loss, especially in the short term.[30][31] Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.[h]

poorly-planned

A poorly-planned vegan diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies that nullify any beneficial effects and may cause serious health issues,[32][33][34] some of which can only be prevented with fortified foods or dietary supplements.[32][35] Vitamin B12 supplementation is important because its deficiency can cause blood disorders and potentially irreversible neurological damage; this danger is also one of the most common in poorly-planned non-vegan diets.[34][36][37]

vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC & CHEESE

Smoky, creamy and easy to make this butternut squash mac & cheese is similar to this Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese, but with a twist!

This is a delicious fall inspired mac and cheese made with butternut squash, cashews, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and a few other everyday pantry staples.

I had the pleasure of making this mac & cheese recipe today and it was a hit with everyone!

It’s 100% dairy free, incredibly easy to make, and the leftovers are even better! Plus, there are plenty of options for each step, making it your BEST butternut squash mac and cheese!

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, butternut squash is cooked until tender then pureed with cashews and spices into a creamy butternut squash cashew cheese, and tossed with cooked pasta for a warm and comforting side dish or main meal.

Here’s everything you’ll need, plus tips and ideas for substitutions.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups butternut squash (about 12 oz), peeled, seeds removed and cubed or 1 can (14oz)
  • 12 – 16 oz. pasta (elbow, shells, penne, ect.)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see notes), to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/ 2 – 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 small lemon, juice of (or 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 cups water, vegetable broth, or combo, plus more as needed
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the butternut squash:

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 400, spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add butternut squash, drizzle with a tiny bit of oil, toss well to coat, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
  • Stovetop: In a pot add 2 – 3 cups of water and butternut squash, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook at a gentle boil for 20 minutes.
  • Microwave: Place butternut squash in a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water, place a small plate overtop to bowl, and heat for 5 minutes on high. Carefully lift plate and check if squash is ready, or cook for 1 – 2 more minutes, until fork tender.

Soak the cashews:

Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Make butternut squash cheese: In blender, add the cooked butternut squash, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and few grinds of fresh cracked pepper, add 1 1/2 cups of water and blend until creamy. Add more water as needed to thin to desired consistency. You don’t want it too thick, as it will thicken as it sets. The sauce just needs to cling so use your best judgement on how much extra water to add.

Assemble mac & cheese:

Add the butternut squash cheese sauce to the pasta and stir to combine, heat over low to warm through if needed. Serve as is or bake as noted below.

Oven baked mac & cheese: Toss 1/2 cup of panko or bread crumbs with 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture over top the mac and cheese, place in a preheated oven set to 350, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until top turns golden. Or put it a few inches under the broiler until top is crispy, about 5minutes.

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days, in a covered container. It’s also freezer friendly and can be stored in freezer safe containers for up to 2 – 3 months. Let thaw before reheating.

vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

NOTES

Nutritional yeast: Since this is an acquired taste, feel free to omit. Or simply adjust the amount to suit your taste, start small and add more as desired.

Reheat: Warm on the stovetop, with a splash of unsweetened plain non-dairy milk or water, until warmed through. Microwave in 30 second intervals, with a splash of unsweetened plain plant milk, stirring after each interval until warmed through.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

The PERFECT vegan mac and cheese! You will not believe how good this is!!! No soy, fake cheese or nutritional yeast. Made with real whole food ingredients, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese will become a regular on your dinner table!

The only vegan mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever need!

Ingredients you need

  • 12 ounces package small macaroni noodles cooked according to package directions (use gluten free noodles, if desired)
  • ½ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid or from the squash/onion…either one will work)
  • 1 ½ cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • ½ large sweet onion peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  •  teaspoon black pepper
  •  teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  teaspoon turmeric
  •  teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  • Add butternut squash, onions and cashews to a pot and cover with water by at least an inch or two. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes or so).
  • Meanwhile, cook macaroni noodles according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid once noodles are done cooking and before draining. Place noodles back in pot and set aside.
  • When squash and onions are tender, drain and add them to a high speed blender with the cashews, lemon juice, salt, dijon, garlic powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric, nutmeg and reserved cooking liquid from the noodles. Blend until completely smooth. Use a tamper if necessary to push ingredients to the bottom of the blender.
  • Add butternut squash sauce to the macaroni noodles and stir, making sure every noodle is covered in sauce. Warm through if needed.

What does butternut squash taste like?

Butternut squash has a sweet slightly nutty flavour, that some say it is a bit similar to a sweet potato or to pumpkin. It can have an almost caramel-like flavour to it when roasted.

When pureed in a sauce, butternut squash takes on a really smooth and creamy texture, which makes it perfect to use in pasta sauces or mac and cheese! It also goes well with seasonings like nutmeg.

vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
vegan butternut squash mac and cheese

Notes on Ingredients

Okay, we’re almost there. Before we dive into how to start this “cheesy” masterpiece, let’s go over the essential ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to gather up:

  • Sage: Make sure to use fresh sage, and remove the stems before starting.
  • Butternut Squash: Medium-sized, peeled, and with seeds removed. Chop it into large chunks before you begin.
  • Pasta: You can use regular or gluten free, it doesn’t really matter. I like to use penne, cavatappi, etc.
  • Butter: As far as vegan butter goes, I like Earth Balance’s spread. Regular oil also works.
  • Flour: Use regular all-purpose flour, or coconut flour, if needed.
  • Vegan Milk: Any vegan milk works – soy, almond, coconut, etc.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Adds extra protein to the dish.
  • Breadcrumbs: I like to use panko breadcrumbs. Gluten free breadcrumbs can be used, if needed.
  • Seasoning: Combine sea salt with ground black pepper.

Thank you for staying with this post “vegan butternut squash mac and cheese” until the end.

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