Is vegan cheese really cheese? Or should it be called cheeze? Or should there be another completely different name for it?
It’s a question I get asked all the time. Why is vegan cheese called cheese? Why is vegan cheesecake called cheesecake when it clearly hasn’t been made from (dairy) cheese? Why are there vegetarian sausages and faux chicken nuggets and fakin’ bacon and tofurkey and mock meats and ‘notella’ donuts and cashew cheese and the list goes on and on and on.
Here’s my reasoning: People choose to become vegan for many reasons – some for health, some for ethics, some for the environment, some because they are allergic to animal products. Some people may miss the taste and texture of meat and cheese and eggs but not want to continue to eat these things. And so the quest begins to create something that will remind them of that taste and/or texture without contributing to the cruelty of animals.
And so faux products are made. Including faux cheese. I don’t have a problem calling non-animal cheese cheese because words in the English language change all the time. Did you know the word meat comes from the Latin word meta which means food? Over time it has changed to specifically mean animal flesh.
Regardless of whether you think vegan cheese should be called cheese, here are some of my favourite recipes to make a variety of cheeses, including some nut free ones. Next week look out for some recipes that include these cheeses.
Sunflower Seed Cream by Veggie Sisters
Nut Free Vegan Cream Cheese by Ceara’s Kitchen
Nut Free Parmesan by Fried Dandelions
Vegan Cheese Sauce by Eat Healthy Eat Happy
Vegan Cheese Sauce by Ceara’s Kitchen
Creamy Cauliflower Queso by Cadry’s Kitchen
Vegan Cheese Fondue by Vegan Heaven
5 Minute Vegan Cheese by Win Win Food
Garlic and Dill Hemp Cheese by Connoisseurus Veg
Faux Cheese Sauce by My Plant Based Family
Savoury Cashew Cheese by Sweets and Greens
Cashew Cheese Sauce by Wallflower Girl
Garlic Cashew Cheese by Win Win Food
Nooch Cheese Sauce by Elephantastic Vegan
Smoky Cashew Chipotle Cheese by Tasting Page
Pine Nut Cheese by Sweets and Greens
Vegan Cashew Cheese by Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
Cashew Cream Cheese by Connoisseurus Veg
Cultured Cream Cheese by Yup It’s Vegan
Mozzarella Alternative by VNutrition
Melty Stretchy Gooey Mozzarella by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Almond Feta by Emilie Eats
Tofu Feta by Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
Cashew Ricotta by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Cashew Ricotta by Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
Parmesan Cheese Alternative by VNutrition
Vegan Parmesan Cheese by Cocoon Cooks
Almond Parmesan by Taste Space
Grated Cheese by The Veggie Sisters
Walnut Parmesan by Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
Simple Vegan Cottage Cheese by Food Porn Vegan Style (Scroll down her site for the English version)
Cottage Cheese by Vegan Family Recipes
Nacho Chili Cheese Log by Peace Meal
Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Ball by Peace Meal
Everything Bagel Cheese Ball by Peace Meal
Cranberry & Thyme Vegan Cheese Ball by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Baked Cashew Cheese by Well Vegan
Plant Based Nacho Cheese Sauce by Veggie Primer
Vegan Nacho Cheese by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce by Win Win Food
There are many non-dairy options when it comes to cheese. I’d love to see you give some of these recipes a go.
Besides the soaking (for some) it doesn’t take too long to create a cheese-y taste and flavour.
Now you’ve got all this cheese what can you do with it? Have a look at Part 2 of the series – Cooking with Vegan Cheese