Do you miss dairy on the paleo diet? Good news! I made this Paleo Cheese Sauce just for you. This Paleo Cheese Sauce is totally dairy free and is loaded with vegetables so it is a healthy alternative to traditional dairy products. This Paleo Cheese Sauce makes the perfect dip for nachos, and raw vegetables and makes a great topping for burgers and other meat dishes.
One of the hardest things about the paleo diet is giving up dairy. I get it. Dairy tastes delicious. Unfortunately, most dairy is just not very good for you. But that doesn't mean you aren't going to miss it when you remove it from your diet. So I decided to create my very own Paleo Cheese Sauce. Now, don't let the name fool you, this sauce is totally dairy free. It's also loaded with veggies so it's pretty darn healthy (bonus right?).
For those of you on my email list and who follow me on Instagram (you can start following my by going here) you know that I have been super sick this past month with an infection called C.diff. Honestly it has been the month from hell. I spent all of Monday last week in the emergency room because things had gotten so bad. But I am happy to tell you that I am finally on the mend! I failed the initial antibiotic regimen that I was prescribed and so I got to see the infectious disease doctor in Calgary who specializes in C.diff and he put me on a different protocol which (fingers crossed) seems to be working! Thank god! I still have about five days of antibiotics left but I keep seeing improvements every day. The biggest blessing has been getting my energy back. I have just been so drained this whole month. As you know I am usually a pretty high energy, high achieving person, so this month has been very humbling for me that's for sure. I had to take an entire month off of working out and exercising, and really haven't gotten anything blog related accomplished. Normally this would totally stress me out, but I am really trying to focus on just letting go and giving my body what it needs to heal. This has entailed a lot of bone broth (you can buy your own bone broth here), a lot of rest, homemade electrolyte drinks, probiotics, and a lot of Netflix. Like a lot! When all you have the energy to do is rest on the couch it's easy to blow through a lot of TV shows. I watched both seasons of The Crown (amazing by the way), the new season of Grace and Frankie, the new season of Shameless and a few movies. I feel like I have gotten my Netflix quota in for the year in just this past month.
One of the most common questions I get asked when I recommend the paleo diet to my patients and readers is "why is dairy not allowed?". The answer is simple, dairy is actually not very good for you. Now, before I get into why dairy isn't healthy, I need to preface this by saying that it wasn't always this way. Traditional cultures have used full fat, raw dairy products for a long time, and experienced great health because of it. Unfortunately, like most things in our modern day food system, the food industry has completely butchered (no pun intended) dairy products.
Cows are no longer raised in a manner that allows them to thrive, and are instead kept in factory farms, often in unsanitary conditions and fed a diet that is completely unnatural to them. Most dairy cows are kept in confinement, in individual stalls, on hard cement floors, hooked up to milking machines, forced to produce milk ten months out of the year, in an overcrowded building. This is how the average commercial dairy cow spends her short, miserable life – 42 months on average, compared to 12-15 years for a cow on pasture. As well, cows naturally eat grass. However, there is not enough grass to feed cows in a factory farm. Instead, they are fed a diet that is completely foreign to them which is composed mainly of grains (corn and soy) as well as many other bizzare, and sometimes downright disgusting additives. Corn and soy are the most genetically modified crops on the planet, and also contain more than 80% of the herbicides used in the United States. Even more disgusting, some 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs are rendered annually into livestock feed. It has been shown that 75% of the cattle in the US are fed feed containing slaughterhouse by-products. These unhealthy living conditions and feed can lead to some very sick animals. Animals that are then given high doses of antibiotics to counteract these illnesses. These drugs then end up in the dairy products produced by these animals. So even if you are trying to avoid antibiotics in your day-to-day life, if you are consuming conventional dairy products you are still ingesting a large amount of them. In fact, 50% of the antibiotcs produced today are given to animals in their feed. And ingesting these antibiotics can lead to a whole host of health problems including changes in your gut bacteria or microbiome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome.
The other major problem with conventional dairy is the use of hormones to increase their milk supply. In some countries, dairy cows are given a synthetic growth hormone that leads them to produce up to 50 pounds of milk per day, which is extremely dangerous for these animals, and part of the reason why their life span in factory farms is so short. As well, the cows given these growth hormones get a lot of udder infections, which is not only harmful for the cows, but is also harmful for humans since the milk from these cows will contain even more antibiotics (used to treat these infections) as well as bacteria and pus. Sounds delicious doesn't it? Right now I am working on an Ebook called The Complete Paleo Food Guide that will discuss the problems with dairy in even greater detail. If you are interested in getting a copy, make sure you are signed up to my newsletter list. You can do this by leaving your email address below.
Now let's chat about this Paleo Cheese Sauce. I am officially addicted to this stuff! I have been using it to dip my favourite Siete Nacho Chips into and have even made paleo nachos with it (would this recipe interest you?). This sauce is also great for drizzling over raw vegetables and other meat dishes for a little extra flavour. And of course, this sauce is completely dairy free. It is actually loaded with vegetables so it is a really healthy alternative to traditional cheese sauce. It is also vegan and vegetarian safe.
This isn't the first cheese flavoured dish I've made for the blog either. My Sweet Potato Nacho Dip is another reader favourite. It's like I always say, eating healthy doesn't have to be boring!
Paleo Cheese Sauce Recipe
1 small head cauliflower
4 medium carrots
2 cups full fat coconut milk (I love this brand)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (buy here)
1/4 cup organic avocado oil (this brand is the most budget friendly that I have found)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp organic and raw apple cider vinegar (I use this kind)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I use this brand)
NOTE: I like this sauce to be pretty thick. If you want it to be a bit thinner feel free to add a bit more water or avocado oil
1. Wash and cut your cauliflower and carrots into florets and pieces
2. Steam the cauliflower and carrots for 15-20 minutes (until tender)
3. Transfer the vegetables to a medium sized pot
5. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot
6. Using your immersion blender, blend the ingredients until smooth
7. Turn the burner onto low and heat for a few minutes (until desired temperature)
8. Serve and enjoy!