The Key To A Creamy Vegan Sauce Or Dressing Is Already In Your Fridge

Did you know the key to making creamy sauces is rarely actual cream? In non-vegan sauces, it's actually not dairy at all, but eggs. For example, eggs add a rich and creamy texture to Caesar salad dressing and give pasta carbonara a silky coating. So, when trying to put a vegan twist on these classics, don't reach for a milk alternative. Instead, go for one of the best egg substitutes around. We're talking about good old-fashioned hummus. 

Hummus is made from ground chickpeas, which are jam-packed with protein and other nutrients. The liquid byproduct of cooked chickpeas is called aquafaba and is frequently used as an egg substitute. The viscous quality of aquafaba replicates egg whites, whereas hummus holds fat and protein, similar to egg yolks. Therefore, whipping hummus into a dressing or sauce helps give it some much-needed heartiness — and a creamier texture — that vegan milk substitutes just can't compete with. 

Using store-bought hummus in your vegan sauce is just fine

A lot of vegan recipes all but ask you to become a homesteader by soaking your chickpeas for days on end, making your own tahini from scratch, buying expensive food processors for emulsion properties, and so on. Using pre-made hummus cuts through a lot of the work. 

Because hummus has already gone through these processes by the time it ends up in your fridge, you don't need to repeat them at home to make one ingredient for your sauce or dressing. Store-bought hummus will quickly create a great consistency — without wrist-breaking whisking — when combined with other ingredients. 

This ingredient is the key, but other vegan items can be bought at the store to lend an extra savoriness to your dish, like nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan. Incorporating these ingredients helps replicate the natural savory flavors found in animal products and seamlessly integrates with the flavor profile of plain hummus. But you don't have to limit yourself to plain hummus: Use a flavored variety, such as roasted garlic or chipotle, to bring an extra kick.