I don't usually announce that I eat a vegan diet to anyone. However, when it does end up coming up in conversation, a common response I get is, "Wow, I could never give up cheese!". I'd be lying if I said that I don't look at platters of cheese and get slightly dreamy-eyed, but I honestly don't have cheese cravings unless I'm at a potluck and just see a bunch in front of me. And there are quite a few nice vegan pre-made "cheeses" available to us, and there are also some very amazing vegan cheese recipes that we can make at home! This way you can control exactly what goes into it, since I'd say that *most* of the pre-made vegan cheeses aren't particularly healthy, and should be eaten in moderation (as with everything else).
Note: There are also some veggie cheeses on the market that aren't vegan, so watch out for that! I've been caught out by that in the past. I believe some of them contain egg.
(Two of my favourite vegan cheeses are by Daiya and Tofutti. Daiya's shredded cheeses melt so nice on pizzas and Tofutti makes a delicious vegan cream cheese.)
Anyway! Here are some vegan cheese recipes. Some of them do take a bit of time. The one I usually go for is a vegan nacho cheese sauce/dip using nutritional yeast, corn starch, mustard and almond milk (and sometimes some added pureed sweet potato). You can get quite fancy though, and make some crusted cheese, feta, "goat cheese"...etc. There is also another quick cheese recipe that I like making for salads. You just take some firm tofu, cut it into small cubes, marinate in some herbs and lemon juice and then add it with some greens and chopped tomatoes and it has a cheese-type of flavour and texture to it.
Vegan Cheese Recipes
- Vegan "Block Cheese" Recipe (nut-free)
- Nacho Cheese Dip #1 - Nacho Cheese Dip #2 (if you haven't tried some version of this, you must!!)
- Mozzarella (soy-free) - Mozzarella (uses tofu/soy)
- Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese
- Cashew Dill Cheese
- Baked Almond Feta - Feta (uses vegan yogurt and coconut flour)
- Fast and nut-free Feta recipe
- Swiss Cheeze
- Raw Goat Cheese
- Vegan Mac n Cheese
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.