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Artisan Vegan Cheese: From Everyday to Gourmet

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Member benefits: we are continuously looking to improve benefits to FEC members and as a result, the benefits offered might change from time to time. We will always make an up-to-date list of benefits available to everyone through Yumbles.com. At the time of writing benefits include free delivery on 100s of products and exclusive discounts. Violife have three options for their grated cheeses: Cheddar Flavour, Original Flavour, and Mozzarella Flavour, which melts exceptionally well so works perfectly for homemade vegan pizzas. A mixture of coconut oil, coconut cream, various starches and stabilisers, and fortified with vitamins B12 and D2, this is Koko’s vegan alternative to Philadelphia.

That said, Virgin offerings are organic and savory with the pleasing fatty mouthfeel that’s such an intrinsic part of traditional dairy cheese. Their individual and distinct characteristics — a mildly funky bleu, a salty, punchy French onion among others — bloom at room temperature or slightly warmed. Fresh from the fridge, however, they suffer from a certain sameness of flavor. As well as their Original Flavour Creamy vegan cream cheese, Violife also have the following: Creamy with Garlic & Herbs, Creamy Cheddar Flavour, and Creamy with Hot Peppers.

How to correctly build a cheese cave to let your cheese ripen - without having to buy any fancy storage box. With regards health it is commonly accepted that in almost all ways a well-planned vegan diet is a match for one that includes meats and dairy (as we explain in detail in our article on the health reasons to go vegan). In addition, a vegan diet automatically excludes a number of foods that are known to be extremely unhealthy. Chief amongst these are red and processed meats but vegan diets also tend to be far lower in saturated fat too. What’s more, on average, vegans consume far more fibre and are more likely to consume a wide range of fruit and veg too. But that does not mean that all vegan products are automatically healthy. When it comes to vegan cheese, it is something of a mixed bag when compared to dairy cheese. There are two Greek Style vegan cheese options from Green Vie: simple Greek Style and Greek Style with Dried Oregano and Olive Oil. They both offer a feta-style crumbliness and tang of the dairy version though aficionados would certainly be able to tell the difference. This week we’re sharing our favourite artisan vegan cheese alternatives as people often cite cheese as the barrier that stops them from going from vegetarian or flexitarian to full-time vegan.

One of the more artisanal vegan cheese producers to have at least partially broken through to the mainstream, Tyne Chease might have misspelt the word cheese, but we’ll forgive them that because they have created some excellent products. Using traditional cheesemaking techniques (but without the need for cows!) their nut-based cheeses are cultured and aged and there’s a strong emphasis on the flavour of the end product. Bute Island Foods We are encouraging farmers to switch to a lower water-intensive and less taxing farming system that would entail growing drought-resistant crops that can become part of the new plant-based economy. Despite their bad reputation, vegan cheeses have come a long way in recent years with many different varieties available to choose from. Depending on which international cheese authority you believe, there are between 51 and 1,000 different varieties of dairy cheese. These can differ by moisture levels, firmness, country or area of origin, the source of the milk used and how mouldy it is. Like Tyne Chease, I Am Nut OK is one of the higher-end vegan cheese producers to have gained popularity across the UK. As such, some of its products are becoming more widely available in places like TheVeganKind Supermarket. With various gourmet-style plant-based cheeses among their products, they offer everything from a tasty smoky melting vegan cheese to Rigotta – a lemon and thyme vegan ricotta! Nutcrafter

Melissa Corbin

Generally speaking, there are very few vegan cheeses that would be classed as less healthy than their non-vegan counterparts, but there are plenty – particularly those made with coconut oil – that have roughly similar levels of saturated fat as dairy cheese. On the other hand, those vegan cheeses made from nuts tend to have much lower levels of saturated fats (usually less than half) of non-vegan cheeses. Ultimately, if health is your primary concern, neither vegan nor non-vegan cheese should be top of your list of foods to indulge in. But nut-based cheeses are certainly better for you than dairy options. Ethical Considerations Another high-end brand that tries to keep things organic and as pure as possible. They use live cultures (which are vegan, in case you were wondering) and cashew nuts to make their vegan cheese, some of which they age to accentuate the flavour. Vegusto Also available is the Newington Blue, which uses real penicillium roqueforti to create a mild creamy blue profile. The cheese in then aged for a number of months to further enhance the flavour.

As you have no doubt seen us mention above, most vegan cheeses are made from a combination of oil (usually coconut oil) and starch (which can come from all kinds of sources from tapioca to potato to rice). This is certainly the case with the mass-produced products that you will tend to come across in the big supermarkets. Some of the higher-end products opt instead to make their vegan cheese from nuts – whether cashew nuts (like Tyne Chease) or almonds (like Nush). This tends to create products that are lower in saturated fat than those using coconut oil, with higher protein and more micronutrients. Feeling simply happy as you open the fridge and there it is - your favorite kind of creamy cashew cheese that goes so perfectly with your morning slice of toast or bread. They have loads of options from which to choose including the following types of chease: Dill, Garlic, Smoked, Pink Peppercorn, Za’atar Spice, Ethiopian Spice, Smoked, and Blueberry Oak. They also produce creamed versions of some of their flavours. They are available to buy from TheVeganKind Supermarket and some other mainstream and more specialist shops.Here we’ll look at the most popular and widely recognised vegan cheese brands in the UK. Note that some of the brands are not necessarily vegan cheese specialists and many produce other food products (which may be vegan or non-vegan, depending on the brand in question). Violife Asda have upped their game in recent times and now produce several vegan-friendly cheese options under their own-brand Free From label. At the time of writing these are: Soft Cheese Alternative, Garlic & Herb Soft Cheese Alternative, Garlic & Chive Cheddar Alternative, Grated Mozzarella Alternative, Sliced Mature Cheddar Alternative, Mature Cheddar Alternative. Why have you started a program to help California dairy farmers switch from animal agriculture to plant-based farming? If you want to go the whole hog (no, we don’t think using a saying that involves an animal is non-vegan), why not make your own vegan cheese. Many people will find it far easier and even cheaper to just buy some vegan cheese. But if you have time, patience and a desire to create something, it could be a rewarding option.

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