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making cheese sauce without milk

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is it possible to make a cheese sauce without using milk? i've tried buttermilk and man was it gross. i tried vegetable broth but it was pretty blah as well. my goal with this sauce is to make macaroni and cheese with a roux base sauce. I'm making it for my toddler who has a cow's milk allergy but seems to be ok with cheese and butter. I'm not sure why he's ok with butter but i'm going with it.

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  1. Any objection to using goat milk? That would be my first try.

    1. agree with WCchopper - goat milk would be my first choice. soy milk is another option.

      1. Soy milk does work well. When my husband and one of my sons were vegan, I often made a cream sauce for them using Earth Balance margarine and soy milk.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bear

          great. will try that. i'm wondering if it would work with rice milk as well?

        2. Just a suggestion since I've never tried it, but you might consider a veloute instead of a bechamel. Just substitute stock for the milk after you've made the blond roux.
          That's the basis for old style French cream soups which can be made without milk or cream. Cream or egg yolk can be added at the end to enrich them but it's not necessary.
          Not sure how the cheese will melt into it, but it's worth a try. One thing that works to keep "good" cheese from separating and getting yucky is to throw in a slice of processed cheese like Kraft singles. Sort of a magic bullet.
          Always add a drop or two of Tabasco to roux based sauces like this. Not enough for heat, but it avoids the blah factor. Nobody will notice the Tabasco, but they'll miss it if you serve a bland sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            I use stock instead of milk in various recipes (thanks, MS, as I never realized stock is what makes a veloute a veloute), and it makes a nice "sauce." I used to make a broccoli-cheddar cheese soup with the light roux and chicken broth base, and I never recall having any problem with the cheese melting.

          2. In a real pinch, you can use a can of cheddar cheese soup and add in some diced Velveeta. I've used it over broccoli or cauliflower before when I didn't have have milk to start with a roux. Still tastes good.