On a journey to veganism, one of the hardest foods to let go has always been cheese. Fortunately, supermarkets are nowadays full of vegan cheeses, that is, non-dairy, plant-based cheese analogues. These products may be suitable not only for vegans, but also for anyone with lactose intolerance or milk allergy. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common types, their nutritional values, and we will recommend you a few brands.
Plant-Based Cheeses By Ingredients
- Coconut – The most common ingredient in vegan cheeses is coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature due to its relatively high concentration of saturated fat.
- Soybeans – Soy cheeses are made from soy milk and/or tofu (and tofu is simply curdled and coagulated soymilk).
- Cashews – Cashew nuts can be blended into a paste and then fermented, then other ingredients are added to achieve different kinds of flavours, such as chilli or truffle.
- Almonds – From almond flour, refined coconut oil and nutritional yeast. Check out our 3 vegan pizza recipes that use almond mozarella.
- Mushrooms – The most recent innovation in this industry is funghi-based vegan cheese, one example is Nature’s Fynd products.
Grocery Product Types
- Hard blocks
The nutritional value of plant-based cheeses differes widely based on type, that is why we recommend you to always check the food labels. However, there are some general similarities among the various types:
- Cholesterol: Usually no cholesterol, which may be healthy.
- Saturated fat: Usually little saturated fat compared to dairy cheese (except for coconut based cheeses), which may also be healthy.
- Calcium: Most brands are low in calcium, however, some brands are fortified with it.
- Vitamin B12: Unless the vegan cheese is fortified, there is usually no vitamin B12.
- Protein: Most vegan cheeses are not good sources of protein compared to dairy cheese.
Due to low calcium content in most brands, vegans who love plant-based cheese shall consider getting these nutrients from other foods. And as for Vitamin B12, we recommend all vegans to supplement it no matter what food they compose their diet with.
Popular Vegan Cheese Brands
Note: We are not compensated from any of the brands below, this list is composed purely based on our experience with tasting various vegan cheeses and recommendations from our friends and colleagues.
- Daiya Foods
- Miyoko’s Creamery
- Nature’s Fynd
- So Delicious
- Follow Your Heart
- Kite Hill
- Misha’s Kind Foods
- Trader Joe’s
- Parmela Creamery
- GOOD PLANeT
- Forager Project
For more information about vegan cheese, visit the following pages: