You may be wondering, do vegans eat cheese? Vegans don’t eat dairy products, but we have plenty of options to replace the melty, cheesy goodness we crave. You see, dairy cheese contains a protein called “casein”, which is actually addictive. So, if you’re having trouble leaving it behind, this is why! Eating vegan cheese substitutes is a great way to overcome this very real addiction.
How is vegan cheese made?
Many homemade or artisanal vegan cheeses are made using a nut base — mainly cashews. This is a tasty and quick fix for those who are looking for a great addition to their pizzas and sauces. However, for a nut-free cheesy vegan sauce, you’ll want to use potatoes, tofu, or eggplants! And for that indistinguishable cheesy flavor, most recipes call for some nutritional yeast.
What is vegan cheese made of?
Commercial vegan cheeses are an entirely different story. Most contain a starch and a fat, like coconut oil and potato/tapioca starch. This is because many consumers seek cheeses that will make them feel as if they’re eating the real thing. In most cases, this means they should be meltable, sharp, firm, and high in fat. Many brands do an impressive job at recreating this! Although this is not the healthiest type of vegan cheese, it’s a great option for new vegans.
That being said, more natural plant-based cheeses tend to be unlike real cheese in many ways. In fact, unless fermented or set with a natural additive like agar, most are usually far from the real thing. For example, cashew cheese usually has a paste-like consistency, and a milder flavor. Potato cheese is creamy and gooey, but only works as a cheese dip or sauce. So, if you’re going for a traditional pizza or grilled cheese, you may want to opt for a store-bought version.