Strictly No Animal Products: Vegan Cheese

The decision to become vegetarian or vegan is a very personal thing with many people deciding to change their diet for health, ethical or environmental reasons.  People who decide to go vegan make an even bigger commitment when you look at the foods that are not vegan friendly.  The good news is that there is always work being done on alternatives for animal and animal products and one of these alternatives is vegan cheese which is derived from soy and contains no animal products.

Vegan cheese can be found in many health food stores and specialty delicatessens along with other vegan and vegetarian products.  There are a few different types of vegan cheese as the end result depends on which base is used to make the cheese.  Soy, tofu, rice and almond are the most common bases for vegan cheese and this provides each finished cheese product with its own individual taste and also texture.  For variety some vegan cheeses will use a combination of base ingredients for a unique taste or texture.

As with dairy cheeses, vegan cheese can be eaten straight out of the packet, grated and even melted when grilled on bread or other dishes.  Vegans who are looking to use these cheeses as you would dairy cheese may be a little disappointed as the vegan cheese does not melt well enough for sauces or toppings.  This type of cheese is still very versatile however and can be used for many hundreds of dishes that you can change to vegan friendly by substituting milk based cheese to any variety of vegan cheese.

When choosing which type of vegan cheese is best for you take the time to taste a few of the variations until you find one that you like.  Mostly these vegan cheese varieties come in a handy block which can be sliced or grated at your convenience.  For people who may have allergies when it comes to nuts stick to the cheese varieties that have soy, tofu and rice as a base.

Along with the added benefit of being able to change more recipes to vegan friendly, there are also the health benefits associated with this cheese.  Vegan cheeses have no cholesterol and have much less fat than many cheeses derived from dairy products.  These cheeses also have a very low saturated fat content and can be a great source of protein for people on a vegan diet.

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