Cheese was one of the reasons I delayed going vegan. I was a vegetarian before I went vegan, and I usually enjoyed cheese with lunch and dinner most days. Since going vegan, I’ve tried many non-dairy cheeses - some are better than others (trust me!). Here are a few of my favourite non-dairy cheese alternatives that make being a vegan easier than ever.
I stumbled across Botanical Cuisine earlier this year when a friend was enjoying one of their raw, vegan desserts. After checking out their website, I knew that I instantly had to try their plant based cheese. Botanical usually have three cheeses available - their classic cream cheese and two seasonal options.
The classic cream cheese is delicious on crackers, toast, or a sandwich; it’s rich, creamy, and definitely one of the most delicious cheeses I’ve ever had. This cream cheese is made from cashew nuts and is soy free.
Vegusto is a swiss brand that specialise in 100% plant-based gourmet products. Overseas markets have a wide range of Vegusto products available, where as the Australian market has only three cheese types available at present - piquant, mild aromatic, and a blue. The first time I purchased some Vegusto, it sat in our fridge for a few days and I figured I’d eventually get around to trying it. My husband ended up trying it before I did; I wasn’t home at the time, so he rang me and told me he’d nearly eaten the entire pack, it was so good.
For me, Vegusto is the only cheese in a packet that I can eat straight from the pack like I would a dairy cheese. It doesn’t melt, but it’s fabulous on sandwiches or on crisp bread with plum jam. Too delicious!
Tofutti are well known for their dairy-alternative products including pizza, ice cream, sour cream, and of course, cheese. There are two cheese products from Tofutti that we usually have in our house: mozzarella slices, and cheese-filled ravioli.
Tofutti make a few different types of cheese slices, but the mozzarella slices are my favourite because they melt. They’re perfect for cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches, or under the grill. It’s melty and mild and so very delicious.
My other favourite cheese product from Tofutti is the cheese-filled ravioli. These ravioli are perfect with a tomato and chilli sauce, or if you’re feeling very indulgent, they’re delicious with a vegan boscaiola sauce using almond and cashew nut cream as a dairy-cream alternative.
Notzarella is a brilliant vegan cheese products, perfect for pizza or any dish where you actually need the cheese to melt. What I like about Notza compared to other mozzarella vegan cheeses is that it actually tastes good. There are so many mozzarella alternatives on the market that just don’t taste good or melt properly. Notza delivers on meltability and taste - it’s a must have for any vegan’s fridge!
A post on vegan cheese options wouldn’t be complete without mentioning nutritional yeast (also known as nooch). It’s not the same as brewers yeast; nutritional yeast is cultured from yeast and molasses and has a natural cheese like flavour. I use it in making cheese sauces for vegetable bake, lasagne, or as a parmesan replacement on pasta. It’s super high in vitamin B and it’s also gluten free.