Yes, Fondue Is Back — But There's A Twist

mbg Contributor By Caroline Muggia
mbg Contributor
Caroline Muggia is a writer, environmental advocate, and registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College.

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When we think of fondue, we usually think of a thick chocolate or cheese dip. While traditional cheese fondue is absolutely delicious, for some, the dairy can be hard on the stomach. Lucky for us, Claudia Lucero, founder of Urban Cheese-craft and author of the new cookbook One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese, has us covered.

Her partner's anti-inflammatory diet led Lucero to explore making "cheesy" dishes without dairy ingredients. A cheese lover, she figured out which ingredients tasted like her favorite cheeses and ended up with tasty recipes like the Champagne fondue.

This recipe features ingredients like cauliflower, which is known to balance blood sugar and support a healthy microbiome, and avocado oil, which is anti-inflammatory and can help reverse signs of aging. Once your fondue is ready to go, you can get creative with the dippers. Try out veggies and fruits like bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, apples, and grapes, the possibilities are endless! Fondue doesn't have to be reserved for those special-occasion desserts; you can use this as an appetizer, meal, and even a pasta sauce.

Dairy-Free Champagne Fondue

Ingredients

  • ½ cup blanched almond flour, no skins (not almond meal) or the substitution of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup steamed cauliflower or the Substitutions
  • ½ cup Champagne (leftover and flat is fine) or dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or the substitution
  • ¼ cup light olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a strong blender or food processor.
  2. Blend the ingredients on low and gradually increase to top speed until the mixture is completely smooth. Depending on your machine, this could take from 1 minute to 6 minutes. (Stop every minute or so to scrape down the side of the container if needed.)
  3. Pour the fondue mixture into a medium-size pot or pan. Stir frequently over low to medium heat as the mixture simmers and starts to change from thin to lumpy.
  4. Stir the mixture continuously in order to eliminate lumps and create a smooth texture. It will thicken dramatically as it heats.
  5. Stir the mixture for about 5 minutes to fully cook the tapioca starch. Lower the heat if you feel any sticking in the pan or if the blend "spits" too much.
  6. Turn off the heat when the fondue is shiny and coats the spoon thickly—you may even see stretchy strings.
  7. Pour the hot fondue into a serving dish and serve it immediately, so you can enjoy it while it's hot—you can dip into it or pour it over noodles, casseroles, or steamed vegetables.
  8. Or pour the mixture into a fondue pot and set it over a low flame or the lowest setting of an electric pot. Store leftovers in a dry, covered container in the refrigerator and enjoy it within 1 week. To reheat, whisk 1 tablespoon water or wine into the fondue as it warms in a saucepan. Stir thoroughly.
Based on excerpts from One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese: Make Mozzarella, Cheddar, Feta, and Brie-Style Cheeses—Using Nuts, Seeds, and Vegetables by Claudia Lucero with the permission of Workman Publishing. Copyright © 2019.

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