Vegan Cheese Guide: what’s the best option and how to make

Have you ever heard about vegan cheese? Do you know how you can make vegan cheese at home? Are you aware of the health benefits associated with vegan cheese? If not, then this vegan cheese guide is worth reading for you.

Here in this article, we will be providing all the information that you need to know regarding vegan cheese. So, stay tuned to us and read the article till the end. So, let’s get started by discovering what vegan cheese is?

What is Vegan Cheese?

Vegan cheese is a non-dairy plant-based product made from various plant proteins and fats. If you are a vegetarian and love to eat cheese, then this cheese has been specifically made for you.

What is Vegan Cheese Made out of?

Different ingredients make up vegan cheese. These include seeds such as sesame and sunflower; nuts, such as cashew, pine nut, almonds and soybeans, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, rice, tapioca, and other such ingredients.

Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?

best vegan cheese

Studies suggest consuming cheese is a healthy option. It reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.  But most of us avoid consuming regular cheese because of the saturated fat that is present in it. That’s where the vegan cheese comes into play.

Vegan cheese is low in fat, calcium and proteins as compared to regular cheese and is gluten-free. What makes vegan cheese an ideal option to go for is that it is free from growth hormones and carcinogenic animal proteins.

However, as it is a processed food, it might be high in sodium content. So, don’t forget to check the labels list while buying the best quality vegan cheese.

Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like Real Cheese?

Regular cheese is more or or less similar in taste to vegan cheese. However, the taste of vegan cheese depends on the brand you are choosing. You may experience different tastes when you use different brands. So, if you have a bad experience with one brand, it does not mean you should skip on the vegan cheese. Instead, opt to go for other brands. You will find one that will satisfy your taste buds.

A noticeable difference is that it doesn’t melt in the same way as regular cheese does. So, its texture won’t be that much similar to regular cheese. For more details check out our article titled “Vegan Cheese vs Regular Cheese – the nutritional differences”.

Which is the Best Vegan Cheese?

There are several brands of vegan cheese available in the market. Let’s discuss some of the best ones. You can try any of these following. I assure you that you will have a good experience.

· Parmesan

Parmesan vegan cheese is gluten, wheat and egg-free. The powder base is made from coconut flour, to which salt, vegan flavour, and yeast extract and white pepper are added. Enjoy this delicious cheese on pasta, mashed potato, fresh tomatoes or beans on toast. However, this cheese is comparatively salty.

· Cheddar Cheese

Made using water, coconut oil, salt, b-carotene, and vegan flavours is this lovely cheese. It offers a delicious and tempting taste on burgers, sandwiches and toasties. This cheese actually tastes and smells like regular cheese.

· Tofutti

Tofutti vegan ricotta cheese is made using tofu and oil. It can be used in pies, on toasts, lasagna, cannelloni and cakes. The taste that you will experience won’t be unpleasant at all, but it’s not exactly similar to the taste that cheese offers. It’s creamy and is sweet.

· Mozzarella

Mozzarella cheese is made from tapioca and arrowroot flours, pea protein, plant oil, natural flavours and salt. This cheese melts, bubbles and stretches like mozzarella cheese which makes it ideal for pizzas, pasta and lasagna. You can also add mozzarella cheese to tomato toasties.

How to Make Vegan Cheese?

best vegan cheese

The best thing about vegan cheese is that you can easily make it from the comfort of your home. So, if you do not want to rely on branded vegan cheese, you can easily make this cheese at your home. So, let’s discover how to make vegan cheese in your kitchen.

Ingredients Needed to Make Vegan Cheese

Here is a complete list of ingredients that are needed to make vegan cheese

  • Coconut Milk
  • Water
  • Agar-Agar Powder
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tapioca Starch

Before getting into the process of making vegan cheese, let’s first find out what role do these ingredients play when it comes to preparing vegan cheese.

· Coconut Milk

Coconut milk makes the richest and creamiest vegan cheese. Although other plant-based milk or even cashew cream can be used, if you want to get a full creamy texture, then there is nothing better than coconut milk.

· Water

Water is added to maintain the required amount of moisture

· Agar-Agar Powder

Agar-Agar is plant-based gelatin that is derived from seaweed. This powder is added to make the cheese firm. You can get it from a local store in your market.

· Nutritional Yeast

This flaky yellow powder is added to give the cheese its cheesy flavour. Nutritional Yeast will make your cheese taste like cheese. So, this ingredient should not be skipped.

· Salt

Salt is added to give flavour

· Lemon Juice

The purpose of adding lemon juice is to give flavour and acidity. If you are not comfortable with lemon juice, you can also add apple cider or vinegar. These ingredients will give the cheese a little bite.

· Tapioca Starch

Tapioca Starch also called tapioca flour, is added so that the cheese melts and stretches easily.

Making Cheese Using Coconut Milk

vegan cheese

Before starting the process, you have to decide that either you want firm, sliceable cheese or a softer cheese that melts and stretches when heated. You cannot get both at once. So, you have to choose one of the two.

· Firm Sliceable Cheese

This is best for slicing for eating with crackers.

· Melted Cheese

This is used for pizzas, grilled sandwiches and burgers.

The only difference between these two types of cheese is the addition of tapioca starch and the reduction of agar agar powder. These ingredients make the difference as they allow the cheese to melt and stretch easily.

How to Make Sliceable Vegan Cheese Using Coconut Milk

Adopt the Following procedure to make sliceable vegan cheese using coconut milk.

  1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir with a whisk.
  2. Heat them with continuous stirring for about five minutes so that agar-agar melts and sets appropriately. (Make sure the heat is slow and continuous and agar-agar sets smoothly)
  3. Now pour it into any shape or container that you wish. Allow the cheese to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Finally, cover it in a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours so that it sets.

How to Make meltable Vegan Cheese

The process of making meltable vegan cheese is discussed below

  1. Take all the ingredients and put them in a saucepan. Make sure to reduce the content of water and agar-agar. (Water ¼ cup if it was ½ cup previously, and agar-agar 4tsp if it was 2 tbsp last time)
  2. Heat the cheese sauce on medium heat with continuous stirring. Stop when it begins to boil.
  3. Add about 7tsp of tapioca starch into ¼ cup of water and stir until it dissolves. Now add this starch and water mixture to boiling cheese sauce with continuous stirring.
  4. Cook it for about 1 minute (until the cheese becomes thick and stretchy)
  5. Finally, pour it into a glass container and allow it to cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Final Words

We hope this article helped you in exploring detailed information about vegan cheese. Vegan cheese is the best replacement for those people who are vegetarians but love to consume cheese. It tastes like regular cheese and is equally healthy as well.

If you want to make this delicious cheese at your home, then follow the recipe discussed above. We guarantee you will enjoy consuming this delicious and healthy cheese.

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