Top Five Vegan Cheeses
I just tried Vegcuisine's organic soy bleu cheese for the first time less than a year ago, and it rocked my world. It crumbled like the real thing, had an authentic tangy bleu cheese flavor, and melted into a creamy mouthful of yum when eaten on crackers or in salads. The feta is equally good. They're made from all-organic ingredients, including soy milk, olive oil, and chia seeds (one of my favorite superfoods), and you could eat an entire brick of the stuff for a measly 150 calories, making them one of the healthier cheese alternatives. These two would make a great addition to holiday cheese plates alongside fresh fruit and some nice red wine or sparkling cider. Who said that being vegan means you have to forgo the finer things in life?
Many vegans already know about Daiya cheese because it is hands-down the cheesiest non-cheese around. It seems to be the first-choice cheese alternative for many vegan restaurants, and for good reason. The tapioca and arrowroot flour-based cheese alternative is not only dairy-free, but gluten-free and soy-free, making Daiya a good choice not just for vegans but also for those with food allergies. Daiya comes either shredded (my favorite for recipes) or in sliceable wedges (good for cheese plates) in flavors like cheddar, mozzarella, pepperjack and jalapeno garlic havarti. Daiya cheese gets the number one slot for its flavor and versatility - not because it's the healthiest anti-cheese. It contains a lot of oil - both canola and coconut - but its flavor and texture are so convincing that I'd call it the best non-dairy cheese on the vegan market.
So there you have it: my favorite widely-available vegan cheeses. If you're a serious health vegan, though, you'll probably want to make a nut-based cheese at home. Cashew and almond cheeses are favorites. Just be sure to plan ahead; many recipes ask you to soak the nuts for 12 or more hours.
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