What is vegan cheese? | One Good IndiaPosted on
There are definitely some differences between dairy cheese and plant-based alternatives. For starters, dairy cheese is made from cow's milk or goat's milk, while vegan cheese is made similarly from plant-based milk. It's absolutely delicious, and can be added to your diet if you're looking to add more plant-based foods into your daily routine.
In this blog post, we'll cover more of what vegan cheese is, how it's made, and where you can find the best vegan cheese brands!
What is vegan cheese?
Vegan cheese is the animal-free version of dairy cheese. Vegan cheeses are made from plants, not animal byproducts like milk. Vegan cheese can be made from vegan milks made from ingredients like soy, peanuts, cashews, coconut, pumpkin seeds, and so on. Can you imagine all the different tastes and flavours of vegan cheeses just from all the different plant-based milks?
The most common types of vegan cheese include mozzarella and cheddar, which are go-to flavours for foods like pizza, burgers, and even cheese dosas. Vegan cheeses can come in blocks, cubes, sauces, spreads, powders, shreds, or slices, just like dairy cheese.
Depending on the brand, vegan cheese can melt and often tastes very similar to dairy - especially when used in cooking applications.
Vegan cheese can be substituted in for dairy cheese in most recipes. Vegan cheeses tastes just as delicious in:
Mac and cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches
What is vegan cheese made from?
Vegan cheese can be made from a variety of plant-based ingredients, such as soy, coconut, cashews, peanuts, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, tapioca starch, rice, potatoes, and so on. There are plenty of highly processed vegan cheeses, but there are also healthier, fresher vegan cheese alternatives that are healthier than dairy cheese altogether.
How is vegan cheese made?
Vegan cheese is often fermented like dairy cheese. Other vegan cheeses don't require fermentation and include more raw, fresh ingredients. Vegan cheeses have a wide range of flavours depending on their ingredients and the processes they're made.
Vegan cheese can be made from whole plant-based ingredients (like seeds) or contain components from vegetables like fat and protein. Then flavour is added from ingredients like nutritional yeast (a good source of protein, B vitamins, and dietary fibre), or even miso for an extra kick of umami flavour.
Like dairy cheese, vegan cheese can be fermented in the same way by adding various strains of bacteria to plant-based milk to create different tastes and flavours.
Vegan cheese may seem like a new thing, but the process of fermentation has played an increasingly important role in human nutrition for thousands of years. The first vegan cheeses may have originated in 16th century China, where vegan cheese was made from fermented tofu or soy.
The most common vegan cheese ingredient is cashew nuts, thanks to their impeccably rich and creamy taste. Many vegan cheeses are made by creating a cashew paste which can then be fermented and aged for a few weeks. Not only are cashew nuts tasty, they're also high in protein and lower in saturated fat, making them a popular base ingredient for vegan cheeses.
Is vegan cheese healthy?
Vegan cheese is a healthier alternative to dairy cheese, but cheese in general is not considered a health food product due to its high fat content or processing. However, compared to dairy cheese, vegan cheeses are typically lower in fat and saturated fat.
Vegan cheese is a great alternative for people with food allergies or lactose intolerance.
Foods like cheese should be consumed in moderation. Vegan cheese helps people who love dairy cheese feel more comfortable in their plant-based journeys, and allows them to eat more of the foods they crave.
Where can I buy vegan cheese?
Vegan cheese can be found at larger grocery stores and grocery chains in India. There are even online marketplaces like amazon, urban platter, vvegano, and vegan dukan which sell a variety of vegan cheeses made in India, Europe, and the United States.
Vegan cheese can also be made at home from relatively simple ingredients, though to make it taste even more authentic you'll need to purchase ingredients like nutritional yeast online or in-store.
What are vegan cheese brands?
Angelo Vegan Cheese is one of the best, most popular brands of vegan cheese in India, particularly in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai. Now that we (One Good) makes Angelo Vegan Cheese in-house using the same traditional methods, more customers than ever are trying it out for the first time and report it is the best vegan cheese they've ever had.
Other vegan cheese brands in India include Soft Spot, Break of Dawn, Health & Mo, Millie's, Bombay Cheese Company, and Urban Platter just to name a few. Vegan cheese brands are quite small in India and have not yet become mainstream, so many of the vegan cheeses you will try often come from a small business.
Angelo Vegan Cheese has 4 flavours of vegan cheese: vegan mozzarella, vegan melty mozzarella (best for melting & browning at high temperatures), vegan truffle mozzarella, and vegan parmesan cheese.
We recommend trying Angelo Vegan Cheese on toasted bread, inside a crispy dosa, over spicy Maggie, or anywhere else you want a savoury, creamy kick!