Cheese is a popular dairy product on menus around the world, however, many people can not enjoy it. Whether due to dietary restrictions or a vegan lifestyle, finding dairy-free options can be difficult. Especially when it comes to cheese or cheese-like alternatives. Below are details about the best cheese for vegans.
Vegan cheese is a plant-based option that replicates the taste and texture of traditional cheese. Often these products are made using soybeans, cashews, almonds, or coconut. Vegan companies replace the traditional cows or goats' milk with one of these alternatives to create cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, parmesan, and even cream cheese. Most vegans have a preferred milk alternative, which may determine which vegan cheese brands they purchase. However, pay attention to the other ingredients in the product, as highly processed vegan cheese options will not offer the nutrients you need.
Finding vegan cheese isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Now, most supermarkets carry one or more of these popular dairy-free brands. Furthermore, health food stores may carry smaller brands or local vegan cheese options.
Here are some of the most common vegan cheese types you may find in your local supermarket.
For vegan cheddar options, try to select one that has a cashew milk or a coconut cream base. The richness of these options helps mimic the creaminess of cheddar cheese. They also blend well with apple cider vinegar for that sharp taste. Some brands will also make flavored cheddar using paprika, red pepper flakes, or turmeric.
The bitter, nutty flavor of gouda works well in vegan cheese. Often this cheese option is made using almond or cashew milk with garlic and liquid smoke. You can also find smoked vegan gouda, with a hickory smoke flavor.
This is one of the most common vegan cheese options. It uses a high percentage of coconut oil to help create that traditional melting effect.
This cheese for vegans is often made using ground cashew butter to mimic the texture of parmesan. This is then combined with salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to get the right flavor.
A base of coconut cream or soy yogurt combined with dairy-free milk creates a smooth cream cheese alternative. It is also often available in both sweet and savory flavor options.
If you struggle to find a good vegan cheese in your local supermarket, it may be time to make your own. Using a kit from CheeseMaker allows you to create the cheese options above and even more. Plus, all of their ingredients are organic and non-GMO. This allows you to control what is in your vegan cheese option, and tailor the taste to your preferences.
Being vegan doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on delicious food, but you may have to spend longer discovering which brands you prefer. Personal taste will determine which is the best cheese for you. Consider choosing one type of cheese and trying various brands to discover which is your favorite.