Since going vegan, the question I get asked the most is “don’t you miss cheese?”. The answer is yes…..sometimes. Every once in a while I do just want cheese pizza, a grilled cheese, or mac and cheese. The great news is, that I can veganize all of these foods so I can enjoy them every so often. There are many great vegan cheeses that satisfy my cravings when they hit. However, it is important to know that not all claimed-to-be vegan cheeses are created equal. The taste varies quite a bit from brand to brand and the texture or melting ability isn’t always the same either. Another thing I have noticed is that not all claimed “vegan” cheeses are actually vegan. It is extremely important to read the ingredient list before purchasing a specific brand. What I have found is that some vegan cheese substitutes that I was tempted into buying actually contained casein in them! This makes them non-vegan. If you remember from a previous post about dairy products, I mentioned casein as being a protein in milk. Please review this post for further information on casein and you’ll understand my shock to find the chemical in a vegan cheese product. So my advice in buying cheese substitutes would be to always check the ingredients to make sure there really isn’t any animal products in them.
However, there are a few good brands that I have found. Some of my favorites, based on taste, texture, and melt-ability are:
Daiya Vegan Cheese – can be found at Whole Foods
Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet – can be found at Whole Foods, other health food stores, or online.
Sheese – I haven’t tried this one, but I have heard some good things. It can be found online.
Brands that aren’t bad tasting, but contain casein:
Almond Vegan Cheese
It really is hard to miss cheese when I can have it in a vegan way. I still get to enjoy all of the foods I love and I feel good about eating them because they are better for me, better for the animals, and better for the planet 🙂