Vegan cheese does not have a great reputation. It is extremely hard to recreate the delicious creamy gooeyness of dairy cheese. Unfortunately, a lot of people can’t eat the real thing due to allergies or other reasons that include health, religion, ethics, etc.
I personally have a mild lactose intolerance, plus even a small amount of dairy cheese makes my face break out, heightens my asthma and causes inflammation in my hips. There is also the animal abuse issue, but even if I was getting my cheese from someone’s pet cow, it would make me sick. But I used to eat cheese every day so I was determined to find a yummy alternative!
The first vegan cheese I tried was Daiya. I have very mixed feelings about it. If you are used to dairy cheese, you will hate Daiya. Especially if you buy it shredded in a bag. It does melt and mimics the texture of the real thing, but the after-taste is terrible. It is also incredibly unhealthy. I still occasionally eat Daiya but only when it’s on their pizza. As much as I hate their bagged cheese, their pizzas are the perfect hangover food!
Anyway, I’m here to tell you about the really good cheeses! Not that I’m done trying them all. New ones are coming out regularly and they keep getting better. I just bought a cheese board to do it the right way. Let me start with the best cheeses from a company that can’t do wrong, Miyoko’s Creamery.
Miyoko’s Smoked English Farmhouse
Miyoko, the Queen of cheese, makes some spectacular plant-based products including butter, dips, cream cheese and my favorite, cheese wheels. I first discovered these when my non-vegan sister served them alongside cheese and crackers. When she announced that everyone’s vegan cheese was dairy-free, people were super surprised. As was I!
There are several different types of cheese wheels offered by Miyoko’s and more are in the works. One of my favorites is Smoked English Farmhouse. I was always a fan of smoked cheeses and this one is amazing, if not a little hard to spread. Every bite of it is a carnival for your taste buds. It even has a great after taste.
“An aged, semi-hard cheese with robust flavor & smoky sharpness. Serve with crackers in a sandwich, or in sauces.”Miyoko’s
Miyoko’s Sundried Tomato Garlic
Needless to say, this cheese wheel tastes like sun-dried tomatoes! It is orange in color and spreads like butter. I have broken my diet several times to enjoy some of this cheese on toast. It is hard to say if this is truly my second favorite cheese from this company. They are all so unique and yummy in their own way.
Another great thing about Miyoko’s cheeses is that they are all cholesterol, soy, lactose and gluten free. So they are great for a variety of different diets. They may not be the healthiest choice but nothing processed ever is. One cheese wheel is 6.5oz or 185 grams and contains seven servings. The calories vary from wheel to wheel, but the Sundried Tomato Garlic has 120 calories in 1oz or 28 grams.
“Creamy & robust with deep Mediterranean flavor. Great on crackers or melted on pasta.”Miyoko’s
Miyoko’s Garlic Herb
This was the first cheese I ever tried by Miyoko and I have loved it ever since. I am a bit of a garlic fiend so I absolutely love this cheese. It tastes amazing on everything. However, to get the most of this amazing flavor, I prefer to eat it on a simple cracker or piece of bread. I could lounge around with a glass of wine and a wheel of garlic herb cheese all day, every day.
“Aromatic Herbs & Garlic in a rich creamy base. Enhances everything from crackers to baked potatoes.”Miyoko’s
There are still a few of Miyoko’s products that I haven’t tried yet. They aren’t all super easy to get at regular stores and I don’t live too close to a Whole Foods. I have already tried the butter and it was great, but many companies make a good vegan butter. It’s something that isn’t allowed to live in our fridge because I would eat it all and gain a million pounds.
I am hoping to find all the other wheels, the dip and the mozzarella. The mozzarella has very few calories compared to other cheese by the company. When it comes to dairy cheese, mozzarella is also the healthier and more low-calorie option. Coincidentally, it’s also the one that makes me the most sick.
365 Plant-Based Smoked Gouda
I was never big on cheese slices, always preferring big blocks of cheese. However, this slices of plant-based smoked gouda are amazing! I used them primarily for grilled cheese sandwiches. It melts, it stretches and it tastes like real cheese. I’m not just saying that, I have had real cheese recently and this tastes just like the dairy variety to me!
A lot of people seem to agree with me as this package of 10 pieces has great reviews on Amazon. The best thing is that one slice is only 60 calories! Even right now, while I’m on a calorie restrictive diet, I could easily fit in one grilled cheese sandwich a day without blowing things up! It also happens to be soy-free and is made in Greece.
Violife Just Like Smoked Provolone
Out of all the cheeses mentioned above, this would have to be my least favorite. That doesn’t say much since the others raised the bar through the roof! It works great on toast but just like the website says, I ended up eating it straight out of the package towards the end.
“Once tried, forever loved. You’ll be eating it straight out of the pack before long! Try it on crackers with a glass of red wine (we think a hearty Rioja goes well) or grilled on your favorite vegan bread.”Violife Foods
This was my first experience with Violife products and now I’m super curious to see what else they offer. This sliced cheese is also only 60 calories per slice. They also offer flavors or cheddar and mature cheddar. I am hungry just writing about this and unfortunately, I ate the last slice yesterday.
To cheese or not to cheese – that is most certainly NOT the question! Cheese all the way! Whether it’s vegan cheese or dairy cheese or human milk cheese… jk maybe not that one, although unfortunately, it is a thing.
We live in an amazing time when we have so many food choices. In particular, cheese choices. There are so many delicious cheeses made from dairy milk, nuts, soy and so many other ingredients. The sky is the limit and I plan on tasting as many as I can get my hands on!
Follow The Travel Bug Bite for more reviews!