Do Vegans Eat Cheese? Is Cheese Vegan?
Do vegans eat cheese?
One of the most popular dairy products is cheese but unfortunately, some people cannot consume it. There are people with dietary restrictions or lifestyle changes trying to find dairy-free and plant-based cheese as an alternative to dairy cheese. There are vegans who spend many hours browsing through the grocery aisles just to find cheese that is free from dairy products. If you are vegan you will probably relate to this problem.
Why don’t vegans consume cheese?
Vegans do not use, wear or eat any product that is obtained from animals, and that includes cheese made from dairy products. Most vegans avoid dairy products so that the suffering of animals is reduced. But even vegan cheese has added health benefits. Animal products contain cholesterol, but non-dairy cheese provides an alternative that is tasty and cholesterol-free.
Vegans can only eat that cheese which contains only plant-based ingredients like soybeans, peas, coconut, cashews or almonds. The commonly found vegan cheeses are cheddar, parmesan, gouda, mozzarella and cream cheese, these cheeses are free from dairy products and can be consumed by vegans. We can also make dairy-free cheese by substituting the milk and culture with non-dairy ingredients like almond milk,
cashew milk, coconut milk etc. You can make any particular type of vegan cheese depending on your personal preference. If you are a health-conscious individual then you should make sure that your vegan cheese does not contain any highly processed ingredients like preservatives, sodium and refined oils.
Why do people consider eating vegan cheese?
In recent years people are making the decision to get rid of dairy products and enjoy a healthy plant-based diet. People take this decision because of the effect that food choices can have on global warming, personal wellbeing and animal welfare. Most often people stop consuming animal products for one specific reason but after more research, they find out many more benefits of consuming a plant-based diet.
In October 2018, the results of a study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care found that plant-based diets like vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy nuts, legumes and seeds can help in managing weight and Type 2 diabetes. A plant-based diet is nutrient-dense but naturally short in calories and saturated fat. By consuming a plant-based diet you also feel fuller, faster. And with so many amazing, affordable plant-based options to choose from, it is easy to switch your dairy cheese with an alternative that is plant-based, tasty and easy to prepare.
Some common vegan cheese
The greatest news is that you can easily find popular cheese in the market that is manufactured in vegan forms. They are also becoming commonly consumed items in the grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries. Some of these vegan cheeses are listed below.
1. Vegan CheddarThis cheese is truly divine and it has the same rich flavour for which cheddar is known. Mainly cashews are used to make the base of this cheese. You will also have to add ingredients like agar-agar powder, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and lemon to make this cheese at home. To enhance its flavour you can add red pepper flakes, paprika and turmeric. If consumed in the right quantity this cheese can become a part of your healthy diet, but it is best that we try to avoid highly processed ingredients. As this cheese is free from growth hormones, cholesterol-boosting saturated animal fat and carcinogenic animal proteins it is surely healthier than any cheese that is made from dairy products.
2. Vegan GoudaIf you love the bitter, aromatic and nutty flavours of Gouda then you will love transferring it into the vegan form. It is quick and easy to make gouda free from dairy, gluten, nuts and soy. To make this cheese you will need cashews, coconut oil, tapioca flavour, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder and liquid smoke. To give it a smoky flavour you can add hickory smoke flavour or any other spices of your choice. Agar-agar powder is used to make the cheese firm. It is vegan gelatine in the form of powder, this product is available locally in the Asian market.
3. Vegan ParmesanIf you want a non-dairy substitute for parmesan cheese, you can use cashew butter, as it has the same texture and consistency as this type of cheese when shredded down into a meal. If you want to get some protein content in it you can add raw cashews, garlic powder, sea salt, onion powder and nutritional yeast. Vegan parmesan cheese contains very little lactose as it is drained away while producing it. Therefore, this is a good choice for people with lactose intolerance.
4. Vegan MozzarellaThis excellent cheese has many uses in a variety of dishes and being able to make it into vegan form makes it much better. To prepare this cheese you will require refined coconut oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw cashews and tapioca starch. Kappa carrageenan is added to this cheese to transform it from liquid to solid-state. Other than being an alternative to mozzarella cheese it also has health benefits. Cashews provide around five grams of protein per ounce, and are high in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, they are also a great source of magnesium. Rejuvelac is a probiotic used in the recipe of this cheese, this probiotic can help in better gut health.
5. Vegan cream cheeseThis cheese is one of the most nutritious cheese in the vegan category. It can be done in several ways but the most common is made basically with raw cashews, coconut cream or non-dairy yoghurt, lemon juice, onion and apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. If you feel like adding more ingredients, you can add any fresh fruit of your choice to make it sweet. You can also add a combination of vegetables, herbs and spices to enhance the taste of the cheese. This cheese is inexpensive and very healthier than common cheese unless it is bought from the store as they add ingredients like preservatives or refined oils.
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