Vegan cheese has come a long way in the two decades since I started eating it, and there are more options than ever for those of us that don’t (or can’t) eat dairy.
Below I’ve detailed the most common brands of vegan cheeses, what the best uses are for each cheese, what I (and other bloggers) think about them, and where you can find them.
A note of guidance: most of these vegan cheeses are not going to fool omnivores into thinking it’s “real” cheese. But who cares? These plant-based cheese options will fulfill your craving for creamy, salty, and tangy in whatever you might be cooking.
1. Miyoko’s Kitchen
Miyoko’sis at the top of my list because I think it’s the most delicious thing on the planet, vegan cheese or otherwise. Miyoko’s is a cashew-based soft cheese round that’s blended with chickpea miso and cultured for about three weeks in their Northern California creamery. Each of the flavors are quite unique. My personal favorite is theClassic Double Cream Chiveand theSun-Dried Tomato. Best of all, she’s always releasing new and tasty special editions.
Miyoko’s cheese comes mostly in small rounds (about 4 inches around). These rounds are great on cheese platters or served as a dip for veggies or crackers. My new favorite way to enjoy Miyoko’s is atop warm noodles; the creamy cheese melts onto the noodles and veggies for the ultimate creamy, flavorful pasta. Miyoko’s also makes acultured vegan butterwhich I’ve heard is amazing.
Buy Miyoko’s onlineor at your local natural foods store.
Daiya is an excellent vegan cheese: it is offered as shreds, as blocks, and slices. The secret about Daiya is that itmustbe warmed. I do not recommend eating Daiya cold; it has a very distinct smell/flavor that just doesn’t work for me (or most people I’ve met), but it’s truly delightful when warmed.
I like thecheddarandmozzarellathe best, but they also offer apepperjackversion. Get the blocks and chop for burritos, use the shreds on pizza or on noodles, and use the slices in your grilled cheese sandwiches. Their fully dairy-free product line includes yogurt, dressings, soft “cream cheese,” boxed mac and cheese, frozen pizzas, and frozen cheesecakes.
Treelineis another soft cheese brand that is wonderfully delicious. Treeline is also cashew-based, and offers an array of flavors. Like Miyoko’s, Treeline can be served as a dip for veggies or crackers, or scooped out onto noodles for a creamy pasta dish. The texture of this one is pleasant and creamy, but for the cost I prefer Miyoko’s, both for overall flavor and variety of options.
Buy Treeline at your local natural food stores or Jet.com
Chao by Field Roast
Chao, made byField Roast，是我的另一个爱好。和他们不可思议的纯素香肠一样，Chao奶酪是一种很好的杂食食品，可能会骗过杂食动物。目前Chao只提供切片，有三种口味:奶油原味(我的推荐)、番茄辣椒(超辣)和椰子香草(我没吃过)。
This cheese is super creamy and melty, perfect for sandwiches, grilled cheese, layered atop burritos, or even melted onto noodles. Chao is good cold or warm, so it has a distinct advantage over Daiya slices. They also make a Mac & Chao now, which I am so anxious to try!
Follow your Heart Vegan Cheeses
Follow your Heart, makers of Veganaise and other delicious vegan goodies, also makes a few varieties of vegan cheese under two different brands. One is the Vegan Gourmet blend, and another is theFollow your Heart vegan cheeses; the main difference seems to be that the Vegan Gourmet brand uses soy while the other does not. Alisa over atGo Dairy Freesays the Follow your Heart cheeses are “flavorful, melty, and a delicious upgrade to so many meals, snacks and recipes.” Sounds like a win!
Buy Follow your Heart At Vegan Essentials
Heidi Ho Organics
Heidi Ho Organicsis a Portland-based vegan cheesemaker with an array of soft cheese offerings made from mostly whole-food ingredients like veggies and chia seeds. They make a line of creamy cheeses in tubs that can be used as a spread or melted over pasta, sandwiches and more.Eva Kitchen说海蒂·何奶酪“非常美味”。
Buy Heidi Ho on Vegan Essentialsor at your local natural foods store.
Parmela Creamery Nut Cheese
This is a new brand on the market. They makeshredded vegan cheeseand it is super delicious. The flavor is similar to Daiya, but the texture is lighter (when cold and when melted), and is slightly less gooey. I used the shreds melted onto a tortilla for a quick burrito for dinner tonight, and the sharp cheddar paired perfectly with my veggie mix. Their cheeses are made from almonds or cashews, and come in a variety of flavors. They also make soft cheeses, Alfredo sauces, and Nacho cheese sauces! You can order online – or better yet– put in a request at your local store.
Kite Hilliswinningin the plant-based world: their soft, cream cheese style spread has been on the market for years. Its mild flavor is delicious on bagels, in wraps, sandwiches, and as a veggie dip. They recently started selling a vegan ricotta, and a line of homemade vegan ricotta-stuffed ravioli. Their yogurt is my favoriteplant-based yogurt(the unsweetened plain is just incredible), and they’ve recently launched a Greek-style yogurt, too. Find their products at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.
Buy Kite Hill at Whole Foods Market
Tofutti has been around for decades, and the fact that they are still innovating says something good about the company. However, this cheese seems to receive a meh from around the web. It got a 3/5 fromFckDairyin their grilled cheese challenge, and Avocadbro summarizes Tofutti by saying: “I’d recommend it to other vegans, but I’m not sure I’d have a non-vegan try it.” I recently tried theirsour cream, though, and it was on point.
GoVeggie已经存在很多年了，在一段时间内，它是市场上唯一的素食奶酪之一。但他们的很多选择实际上并不是素食，因为他们在食材中使用了酪蛋白(一种牛奶蛋白)。为什么一个以素食为主的公司会使用这种蛋白质?我一直不理解他们的推理。The Healthy Soonerhas a great review of the products and was impressed with their meltability and flavor.
Buy GoVeggie at local natural food stores
The Butcher’s Son
Thisfully vegan cafeand deli in Berkeley is a vegan delicatessen, serving up some of the most omnivore friendly foods on the planet. I have yet to dine at this fine establishment, but my best friend says all their offerings are excellent. You can order from their menu, or get charcuterie and cheese from their deli case to take home.
Vtopian Cheese Shop
If you’re in Portland,Vtopianshould be high on your list. This store has dozens of varieties of homemade vegan cheeses made from cashews, macadamia nuts, and more.VeganNomNomshosted a group tasting for the Vtopian cheeses and wrote an excellent review of all the different varieties, uses, and ingredients.
Order Their Products Online At Vegan Essentials
If you are lucky enough to live in West Hollywood, Vromage is your answer to vegan cheese cravings. There is little information available about them on their website, but the reviews seem excellent (including a review from one of my favorite vegan celebs, Alicia Silverstone).
Order Vromage In-Store And Online
Dr. Cowis a gourmet line of cashew-based vegan soft cheeses that claims to be the first aged vegan cheese on the market. These soft cheeses are made for cheese plates and spreading.Quarry Girlsays she was “absolutely stunned” with the excellent flavor. Their product line is made in Brooklyn, and can be found in select locations around the country.
Order Dr. Cow OnlineOr AtVegan Essentials
A long-standing European brand, VioLife has recently landed on the shores of the US, and so many vegan cheese lovers are stoked. Avocadbro postulates these cheeses are the basis for Chao, so I am excited to try them. I’ve not found them in local stores yet, but I’m hoping that their extensive product line will be more widely available in the coming months.BattyLifehas a great review (giving the cheeses 10/10, 9/10, and 8/10), and has a detailed description of the ingredients, flavors, and textures of each.
But VioLife On Vegan Essentials
Why Choose Vegan Cheese?
Let’s dive into why you might want to consider vegan cheese over dairy cheese options. First and foremost, most people (65% according to some estimates) are actually lactose-intolerant, which means that they can’t properly digest proteins found in milk (and thus, cheese) due to a lack of necessary enzymes in their digestive tract.
ThePhysician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine(PCRM) explains that lactose intolerance can lead to all sorts of digestive distress. If you feel bloated, have diarrhea, or experience other digestive issues after certain meals, perhaps dairy is to blame? If you want to dig really deep into this subject about why we developed the gene to digest lactase in the first place, and some people are lactose intolerant and others are not, read thisNPR article.
Other reasons you might choose vegan cheese over dairy cheese is for your health. Many studies show that dairy products arearen’t necessaryin our diet. Forget that calcium argument– leafy greens are actually the best source of calcium. Meanwhile, overconsumption of dairy may actually be causing us harm. Dairy puts us at risk forcancer, is linked toinflammation,sinus and ear infection issues,among a bunch ofother health issues.
But perhaps most importantly, dairy production is most often a heart-breaking andcruel practicethat is bad for the animals andbad for the planet. There has been extensive work done on this subject, and if you’re curious about where your dairy comes from, I’d encourage you to watch some videos of baby cows being taken from their mothers, of cows suffering with mastitis (infection of the milk ducts), and read statistics about all thehormones,antibiotics, andpusfound in dairy.
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