The Best Non-Dairy Cheeses

Cheese. Although I have no scientific data to back this claim up, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s America’s favorite food. Sorry apple pie (although come to think of it, a whole lot of folks put a slice of cheddar on top) but cheese reigns supreme. Seriously. Think about it …

  • Cheeseburger
  • Pizza
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Nachos

The list goes on … and it doesn’t even mention the most basic and most glorious way to enjoy cheese which, IMO, is: for hard cheese it should be sliced thin and served with a bit of apple or pear; for semi-soft or soft, it should be warmed slightly and again, served with a bit of apple, pear or maybe apricots. As for cheese and crackers, BLECK! 

Anyway, since it’s National Cheese Day and June just happens to be National Dairy Alternative month … which BTW, if you want to know why I Don’t Eat Dairy, check out the post I wrote last year because I gotta tell you, there’s a lot more to it that just not liking milk … but, like I said, since it’s National Cheese Day I took a little time to comprise a list of my favorites. Well, I take that back, because truthfully I’ve been tasting non-dairy cheese for years and honestly have, for the most part, thought they all tasted like shit and never thought they melted or crumbled like their dairy counterparts. BUT. What I’ve learned is this … 

Plant-based cheese isn’t going to taste like it’s made from cow’s  milk OR behave like it is—so it might take a little bit to retrain your taste buds and brain to the new texture and taste.

And with that being said, yes, there are a lot of shitty vegan cheeses on the market … BUT there are a lot of really amazing ones too. Here’s a short list of my favorites. Oh, and yes there are multiple soft, spreadable vegan cheeses on the market that are divine, and I make this vegan Parmesan that works great for sprinkling on top of everything from popcorn to pizza to soup, but this is a more “traditional, every-day” cheese list. Enjoy!

Miyoko’s Mozzarella: It’s lovely served cold in a caprese salad, but if you want it for baking lasagna or pizza, I suggest slicing it super thin and adding to the top a few minutes before your timer goes off. Like dairy cheese, it can burn quickly when under direct heat.

Daiya Cheddar Style Slices: OMG even the teenage boys like this stuff—truly perfect when used in a grilled cheese or served on top of that piece of apple pie.

Violife’s Plant-based Just Like Feta: Crumbled and added to salads, it doesn’t carry the same strength of flavor as goat or sheep cheese, but honestly, I find the flavor easy and just enough when used as a topping for grilled vegetables or addition to a great salad.

Vegan Gourmet Shreds: Caveat, I’m not a fan of shredded, melted cheese … even when I did eat dairy, I always ordered pizza without cheese. So I’m not a huge fan of this, but, I “taste-tested” this with some non vegans as a taco topper and they all agreed it’s “just like real cheese.” So there you go.

On Being a Flexitarian

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