Café Yumm sauce, oil-free

Even though I went to undergrad school in the Pacific Northwest and have friends and in-laws who live there, somehow I haven’t actually been in a Café Yumm restaurant! Hence every time my my mother-in-law’s pulls out a bottle of this magical sauce with amazing flavor that I’ve grown to love, she’s always surprised when I say I still haven’t been there.

The only minor issue I have with their original house sauce is that it’s quite oily for my personal taste. After some searching around online and a bit of taste testing, I finally came up with an oil-free version I’m happy with.

The photos are unglamorous but don’t let that put you off — you can have this sauce on salad, as a dip for vegetables, or I’ve even used this as a sandwich spread. SO. GOOD. And addicting!

Café Yumm Sauce, oil-free

Makes 2.5 cups (easily fits in a quart jar), adapted from MalySheff’s recipe on Genius Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Roughly 1/3 cup tofu (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice from one lemon or 1-2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1.5 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Blend water, beans, almonds and tofu until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again till creamy and smooth.

Adjust seasonings as needed and/or add splashes of water to change consistency.

Recipe Notes:

  • For the tofu, I’ve only used water-packed tofu (though I’m sure you can use vacuum-packed). Ours is usually a 14 ounce container so I use roughly one-third of the tofu (about 5 ounces).
  • Once…I was too lazy to break out the tofu and replaced it with the rest of the can of garbanzos…and no one noticed the difference…shhhh.
  • Lemon juice: you must taste test this and go in small increments! There are few things as disappointing in a kitchen as adding too much acid to a dish. (Okay, I’m possibly exaggerating…) Fresh lemon juice always tastes better, but bottled works in a pinch though tends to be stronger. If using the latter, start with one tablespoon and work your way up in 1/4 tablespoon increments till you’re happy.
  • Regarding the spices, some people like more curry powder, some people like other herbs. Do whatever you heart desires — make this recipe yours!
  • Even though I’ve marked the xanthan/guar gum as optional, it’s super handy (vegan) kitchen item to have on hand — it really prevents oil-free dressings from separating or becoming runny and thickens them like magic! A little goes a long way — I’ll bet even as little as 1/4 teaspoon will work just fine.
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