Food Substitution Blog: Mac & Cheese

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If you were a child in the 1990's, you grew up hearing the jingle of Kraft Mac & Cheese. It's the cheesiest, right?! It sounds like a kid-friendly food we all have known to enjoy for decades. Well, if you look at the ingredients, there is not one ounce of real cheese in this product, but instead contains Yellow 5 and other preservatives to give it the cheese texture and flavor. Luckily, there are much healthier versions of mac & cheese you can eat that are good for you. Two examples of how you can do this are by using cashews at your base for your cheese sauce with some nutritional yeast or even better, you can even sneak in vegetables to make a homemade sauce using butternut squash as your base. Cashews are packed with vitamins such as E, K, and B6 as well as minerals like copper, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium that are important for maintaining good bodily function.  Nutritional yeast is often a vegan substitute for cheese dishes due to its nutty and cheesy flavor. It’s a complete protein containing at least 9 amino acids our body can’t produce on its own, making it a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get an alternative source of protein. It’s also another way to get more B vitamins in your diet to improve your cardiovascular and digestive systems.Butternut squash has lots of vitamins and minerals for boosting immune function (vitamin C), eye sight (vitamin A), inflammation, protecting skin, and it helps with blood pressure by containing more potassium than a banana for one cup of squash. Check out the recipe for my homemade vegan mac & cheese here and my homemade butternut squash mac & cheese here!