I was a huge cheese lover before going vegan. As a vegetarian for five years, I swore I could never go vegan because I could not give up cheese. After I learned about the atrocities of dairy farming, and the realities of forced impregnation and lactation on mommy cows while their babies were stolen from them, saying goodbye to dairy was easy peasy. I don’t ever want to be a part of that – no matter how good the cheese tastes.
For the first few years that I was vegan, I modified my diet so cheese deprivation was not really an issue. I had one go-to brand for when I really needed a good cheese melt, but for the most part, I omitted cheese from my recipes. I accepted that the days of a fruit and cheese platter with crackers were over unless I wanted to make my own cheese (which is easier than you think!). Fast forward a few years and wowza! Dairy-free cheese options abound! Today’s vegan cheese selection is robust and delicious. Not only can I have a fruit and cheese platter, but there are enough cheese options to make 2 or 3 platters!
The abundance of non-dairy cheese options are widely available at grocery retailers, online, and at local restaurants. The marketplace is changing and the demand for good, natural vegan cheeses is on the rise. Artisan cheesemakers are responding with delicious products and vegans are the happy benefactors. Below is a list of seven gourmet vegan cheeses I know you will love!
With almost a dozen varieties, including Herbs de Provence (OMG!), Double Cream Chive, and French Style Winter Truffle, there is literally something for every occasion. They recently launched a Smoked Mozzarella that is truly life changing. They also just announced a Blue Cheese flavor that I am dying to get my taste buds on!
The dairy-free spreads from Leaf Cuisine are creamy and inventive. The Smoked Gouda is delicious on a cracker, as are their other two varieties: Peppery Jack and Garlicky Herb.
The artisanal delicacies from Kite Hill are a game changer. Salty Ricotta and Soft Fresh Truffle Dill & Chive will elevate your salads to new levels of yum.
Made of 100% cashews, Treeline’s products are soft and creamy – perfect for spreading on a baguette. I am partial to the Herb-Garlic, but their other 5 inventive flavors offer something for everyone. Spice addicts will love the Chipotle Serrano Pepper, while traditionalists should try the Black Pepper variety.
I fell head over heels for this cheese while visiting Portland. The products here are true artistry. With flavor offerings such as Port Cheddar, Caramelized Onion, and Peppercorn Brie, it’s cheese heaven.
This little cheese shop in Los Angeles ships online, and it’s well worth the shipping fee! They offer soft cheeses with varieties like Brie and Manchego, as well as a mozzarella that makes a great Caprese.
The nut and chia based cheeses from Heidi Ho make great sauces – enchiladas, au gratin potatoes, nachos, and pizza, anyone? However, their Ne Chevre, (in Pure and Black Lava varieties), remind me of a tangy goat cheese rarely found in dairy-free cheese.
Are you as excited as I am to spread a knife into these cheeses?! What are you waiting for? Grab a box of crackers and some fresh fruit. It’s a good day for a cheese platter!