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The easy, flavor-neutral hack: boil cauliflower in water until soft, and blend. Use cup-for-cup for milk. Make it thicker (less water) and add a tablespoon of vinegar to replace sour cream in cooking.
The fussy recipe for flavor and measurement aficionados:
Savory Vegetable Milk
A nut-free and grain-free milk substitute for savory dishes.
yield: 4 cups
2 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen, chopped
3 cups filtered water
1. Heat oil in large pot or skillet. Sauté onions until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t brown.
2. Add garlic and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes.
3. Stir in cauliflower and slowly add water.
4. Bring to a boil, and simmer for at least 20 minutes, until cauliflower is soft.
5. Remove from heat, and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Use as a milk substitute in savory dishes like quiche, cream sauces, soups, and more.
Make sure frozen cauliflower has no preservatives!
Store unused portion in refrigerator for 2-3 days; can be frozen in individual portions.
An easier but much less flavorful option is to simply puree boiled cauliflower.
Disturbed by the additives in milk substitutes, the pain of soaking and blending and straining, a sensitivity to nuts, and the unsavory sweetness gained from oat milk, I developed a "vegetable milk" to be used in savory dishes like cream soups, cream sauce, quiche, souffle, etc.
I started out by simply pureeing cauliflower, which does suffice, but if I learned anything from Hungarian cooking, it's that onions and garlic are the essence of life itself. Simmering them low and slow and blending with the cauliflower takes cream dishes to a whole new level. I made a summer squash souffle with this "vegetable milk" and nearly ate the entire dish in one sitting.
As it is time-consuming, I make more than needed, and either plan to do all my "cream" dishes in the same week, or freeze the milk in 1/2 cup portions. If time doesn't allow, a very easy way to use this up is to just add a few vegetables and broth, and call it a cream soup.