Top Five Vegan Cheeses
Straight out of the package, Galaxy Foods' rice-based vegan cheese (they make a non-vegan rice cheese that contains milk-derived casein as well- vegans beware!) has a grainy, greasy texture that's only just passable as a topping for crackers. But when it's melted between slices of bread or in veggie quesadillas, it's a win. The gluten-free, soy-free product comes in three flavors: American, pepper jack and cheddar, and is either packaged in those individually plastic-wrapped slices (like Kraft processed cheese) or in sliceable bricks like the one pictured on the left.
Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet makes some very convincing soy-based dairy alternatives, and they're gluten-free for those who avoid eating wheat protein for whatever reason. They taste like cheese (in flavors like mozzarella, nacho, monterey jack and cheddar), slice like cheese, and even melt like it - man that soybean is one versatile legume, eh? Again, to achieve this level of cheesiness, vegan cheese makers do have to employ some less-than-stellar ingredients. In this case, the fact that non-GMO expeller-pressed canola oil is the second ingredient (next to water) is less than ideal. But when you're craving cheese without animal involvement, Vegan Gourmet's soy cheeses make a great cheese-like topping for nachos, crackers or homemade pizzas, and a great filling for sandwiches.