What is vegan cheese made of?
Vegan cheese is becoming increasingly popular in the UK but many people are unsure of trying it because they don’t know exactly what it is made from. It can be made from a wide number of different non-dairy, plant-based sources, but is usually made from nut milk, either almond, macadamia or cashews. It can also be made using soy or coconut.
Vegan cheese has many enthusiastic advocates and it is easy to see why it is now appearing regularly in many products including pizzas from some of the big takeaway pizza brands.
Is Vegan Cheese Healthier than Dairy Cheese?
It should be noted that because vegan cheese isn’t made from animal products, it doesn’t contain the harmful levels of cholesterol that are in many dairy cheeses, in fact it doesn’t contain cholesterol at all. In addition to this, vegan cheese is also lower in saturated fat than dairy cheese. This means that right off the bat, it is healthier than dairy cheeses.
Of course, being entirely plant-based, it doesn’t contain any traces of hormones or antibiotics that are often found in dairy cheeses and this also helps when it comes to health credentials. These are found in dairy cheeses as it is common to use hormones and antibiotics to treat cattle when they are ill or to boost their immune systems.
Vegan cheese is also often fortified with vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of protein and calcium. On the flip side, however, vegan cheese does not contain the same amount of beneficial bacteria as dairy cheese, so this counterbalances the positives to an extent.
How Much Vegan Cheese is Too Much?
Eating too much of a good thing, whether that is vegan cheese, dairy cheese or chocolate, isn’t a good idea so it is recommended that you only eat vegan cheese in moderation.
There are many different types of vegan cheeses from different artisan cheese makers and they each have different properties and ingredients. In order to get the best experience in terms of health benefits, you should look to only consume those that contain whole foods and minimal additional ingredients.
There are some types of vegan cheese that list additional ingredients such as fillers or gums and these should be avoided. Look instead for vegan cheeses that are marked as low sodium and which contain healthy fats like cashews rather than oils.
Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like Cheese?
This is a question that we get asked a lot and the truth is that yes, they can taste and smell just like the “real” thing. Different ingredients are used to produce the various textures of the different cheeses and the individual tastes can be replicated with the use of yeasts in the making of the vegan cheese.
Particular variants of vegan cheese have even outscored the originals on blind taste tests, in what is a boost for the already booming vegan cheese sector and it looks like this trend will continue into the future.
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