Vegan cheese is gaining popularity due to its high nutrition and low calories factor. Here’s everything you should know before switching to vegan cheese from dairy cheese.
Thanks to food technology and human innovation, switching to a vegan diet is no more a bane. Vegan food enthusiasts now have an answer for every popular milk-based food, be it ice-cream or cheese. Plant-based milk is being used extensively to produce all kinds of regular food products; even cheese now has its own healthy, low fat, vegan recipe. While cheese is mostly made by curdling milk, vegan cheese is a non-dairy product made using nuts, vegetable oil and nutritional yeast.
You can lay your hands on all kinds of cheese with variable flavours, and some are so close to the taste of the original diary cheese that even decorated connoisseur can be fooled.
Ingredients used in making vegan cheese
Soy protein is one of the key ingredients of vegan cheese. Tofu is often seen as a substitute for paneer or cottage cheese. Soy cheese contains a milk protein casein to get the cheesy pull and melt factor., but they are no 100% vegan.
Raw tree nuts like cashews, macadamia, almonds, pine nuts are often used for DIY vegan cheese made in the home. These nuts are soaked, blended and fermented using nutritional yeast or agar-agar and made in no time. The best part of such cheese is they can be made with minimal processing.
To make a vegan cheese spread that has a flowy consistency, starchy flours like tapioca flour, cornflour is used with almond milk or coconut milk. Flavour boosting is done with onion, or garlic powder and herbs.
Available kinds of vegan cheese
Shredded vegan cheese that can mimic mozzarella or cheddar cheese and can be used to top on pizza, baked potatoes or tacos.
Cream cheese to use as a spread on toasts or bagels. Or as a dip for nachos. They come in multiple flavours and are easy to make.
The vegan option of cheese slices or cubes is also available that looks like gouda, cheddar, provolone and can be eaten with sandwiches or crackers.
Europe has the largest population that consume vegan cheese, followed by North America. In India, the number is relatively low, even with being the largest vegetarian nation in the world. Nevertheless, the fitness freaks who do not want to be left out in any food trend are opening up to the concept of vegan cheese gradually increasing its market share.