Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

If you haven't yet gotten your pumpkin on this season, this may be the recipe you've been waiting for! Who doesn't like mac and cheese on a chilly fall day – heck, who doesn't like mac and cheese any day of the week?!

There are lots of dairy-free cheese alternatives out there, and it is a good choice if you are looking to reduce your intake of dairy. But along with vegan alternatives can come a lot of calories, mainly from fat and starches. This “cheese” sauce includes pumpkin, which is, fun fact: actually a fruit. The pumpkin lightens up the sauce and reduces calories because of its low carb nutrition profile. It's also rich in vitamin A and other minerals making this probably the healthiest mac and cheese ever. 

The great thing about this “cheese” sauce is that you can use it in lots of different ways. Use it on grilled cheese, pour over broccoli or asparagus or even pipe it onto a vegan pizza!

For “Cheese” Sauce:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup tahini (or raw cashews)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp salt

Elbow macaroni (any kind works here! Gluten-free, wholegrain or regular)

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend. Adjust seasoning to taste. You know you did it right if it tastes like cheese! Next, boil some elbow macaroni, drain and combine with cheese sauce. Serve as is, or with a healthy dose of organic ketchup!...If that's your jam.

Photo Credit: "mac_1" by Jaclyn Enchin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sources:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2601/2

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