Monday Yumm Day

I lived in Bean Hall throughout my freshman year of college.   It wasn’t my first choice.

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I’m sure you’ve taken note of the tight quarters.  Believe it or not, in spite of producing far too many inescapable cases of cabin fever, the close walls and er… vintage ambiance (?) created a tight-knit community.  Maybe that was the point?

Speaking of beans…. Not too far from good ol’ Bean stood a local (or what I thought was local) joint called Café Yumm. – Turns out they have several locations throughout Oregon and Washington, and even a couple in California.

Friends of mine raved about it for months before convincing me to go along with them.  I wasn’t sure what “was good there”, so I went with what I considered to be a safe bet: The Original Yumm Bowl.  Who doesn’t love a burrito bowl?

Café Yumm’s known for their famous Yumm Sauce.   Here’s the thing, the first time I tasted it… I wasn’t sold, nor was I convinced that I wanted to give it another try.  It had a unique garbanzo bean-y taste to it, at least that’s what I got out of it.

Surprisingly enough, that unique garbonzo bean-y taste has grown on me today.  Sometimes I just can’t get enough of it.  I like it best in a homemade Yumm Bowl: brown rice, black beans, cheddar, black olives, tomato, avocado, cilantro, sour cream and Yumm Sauce.  I find that it’s great for dressing broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and other veggies, whenever you’re looking for that extra pizazz!

Luckily, you can purchase Yumm Sauce at their restaurants and select grocery stores for roughly $12.  Though a tad spendy, I say it’s well worth it, plus I find that a bottle goes a long way.  Still, I couldn’t fight the temptation to try to make my own.  Before I get ahead of myself, my mom beat me to it a while back after I introduced her to the place, and thus, the sauce.  Her review?  The recipe she used called for way too much yeast.  She found the sauce creeping out of the container in the fridge the next day.  Not what she was going for.

You might say I’ve been waiting to stumble upon the perfect recipe that most closely resembles the Original Yumm Sauce.  Have I found it?  Thanks to a recipe found in my Oregonian Cookbook (this gem is jam-packed full of winners!) for Heavenly Sauce, I’m closer than I’ve ever been.

So, for your viewing pleasure and culinary inspiration:

Heavenly Sauce

1/2 C Vegetable Oil

1/2 C toasted/skinned hazelnuts (though recipe notes Café Yumm uses almonds instead)

1/3 C garbonzo beans

1/4 C soy beans

4 cloves garlic

1/2 C water

1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 T ponzu or soy sauce

1/2 t salt

1/2 t dried basil

1/4 t cumin

1/8 t ascorbic acid

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In a food processor, combine oil, hazelnuts, garbanzo beans, soy beans and garlic.  Run the blender, stopping several times to scrape the sides and push mixture into the blades.

Once the mixture is a rough puree, add the water, lemon juice, yeast, ponzu, salt, basil, cumin and ascorbic acid.  Continue blending until mixture is relatively smooth.

The recipe makes about 2 1/2 C and keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks.

The key here is using nutritional yeast.  I’ve learned that the hard way you might say.  In my experience, dry active yeast gave it an overwhelmingly unpleasant yeast smell and taste.  No thank you.  Here’s to hoping the right kind of yeast gives it the heavenly factor the recipe promises and Original Yumm Sauce produces!  

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