Everything you need to know about vegan cheese
Trying to follow a vegan diet but craving some good cheese occasionally? You can opt for vegan cheese. These cheese variants are 100% animal-free and usually made from vegetable proteins like soy, nuts like cashews, almonds, macadamias, and vegetable oils. They are free of cholesterol and rennet and contain healthy fats. Read on to know more about vegan cheese.
Vegan cheeses do not melt the same way as dairy cheese since they lack the network of milk proteins called caseins that holds the pools of milk fat and allows regular cheese to melt. This cheese has a different texture and heating results in softening it instead of melting it. Vegan cheese also lacks lactose which does not cause its browning like regular cheese.
Soy: Vegetable oils, gums, and other ingredients are added to soy to resemble the texture of traditional cheese. Coconut: High in fat, coconut along with salt, onion powder, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder forms the perfect vegan cheese base. Tree nuts and seeds: Some popular ingredients for nuts or seed-based cheeses include cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pine nuts, and pecans.
Shredded: Vegan mozzarella and cheddar styles are the most popular. Cream cheese: Vegan cream cheese goes best with toast and bagels. Block and sliced: Available in several vegan varieties like smoked, provolone, gouda, and American, these are used on sandwiches and crackers. Soft cheese: Varieties include vegan ricotta, camembert, and brie. Parmesan style: Vegan parmesan-style cheese can be used for topping pizzas.
If you consider vegan cheese to be a good source of protein, then you are probably wrong. Vegan cheese lacks essential proteins and calcium and has less nutritional value than dairy-based cheese. It also lacks iodine, vitamins B12, and D and some processed varieties are high in sodium, refined oils, and saturated fats. Therefore, it is recommended to consume vegan cheeses in moderation.