A Look At Vegan Cheese
- 16 Jun, 2020
The most important reason that people resist turning into vegan is cheese. Cheese is the most loved and popular dairy product which is used all over the world. It is used in almost all the dishes for extra delicious texture and taste.
After researching about the census, the USA itself consumes 17-20 kg of cheese per person in a year.During olden times, it was not that popular and having a vegan lifestyle was not a cup of tea. As the popularity is increasing, it has become more of a trend. With the period of time, many substitutes have also been developed.
For the people who are already on a ketogenic diet need to take care of the low carbohydrate and high fat diet. On top of it, if you are one and have decided to go on a keto diet then it is a lot to cook.With the growing popularity, vegan choices have become numerous and delicious with the time.
Vegan cheese has also become popular and can be bought from any supermarket. Vegan cheese is generally made from plant based ingredients. Plant based ingredients have various choices and every ingredient has its own taste.
Still, many times non vegetarians cannot guess that the cheese is non dairy.In this article, I will be mentioning more about the source of vegan cheese and its health effects. In the end there will also be two of my best recipes which taste a lot like cheese.
VEGAN CHEESE SOURCE
Vegan cheeses have had various options since the 1980s. There are multiple flavored varieties which have been prepared to form a cheesy texture.These varieties have come so close to the taste of cheese that it can even fool the non vegans.
You can either cook them or buy from the stores. If you are on a certain diet such as keto diet or paleo diet, then it is advised that you prepare it at home.The packaged vegan cheese or for that matter milk cheese could have many added ingredients which might not be mentioned in the contents.Some of those ingredients are:-
Soy or soya bean are plant based legume which is a very common food product for vegans and vegetarians. It is astonishing to know that cheese can be prepared from soya beans.
There are different types of brands which actually prepare cheese from soy. Some of the packaged brands also offer certain products which are cheesy such as tofu or soy proteins.
The soy based vegan cheese shall not contain casein which is milk protein. The casein present in the soy cheese has the texture just like real cheese and also melts like real cheese. But you must keep in mind that casein is not a vegan product.
even if you are a person who has become vegan because of lactose allergy then casein should be a product of concern because it might have hidden lactose content in it.
NUTS AND SEEDS
It will be quite shocking to know that cheese alternatives can also be made from nuts and seeds. You can easily get certain vegan cheese from the market but to avoid artificially added products, you can also make it at home.
They are really easy and one of the easiest recipes. One such recipe you can find down below.
The maximum preparation you are required to do is to soak the nuts overnight. These soaked nuts and seeds are then blended and fermented with other vegan products to make alike cheese.
The nut and seeds based vegan cheese might include macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
Nuts and seeds are completely vegan and taste a lot like cheese. You can also get the texture like cheese by adding certain added compounds. To get a cube like structure, you can add agar agar in a vegan cheese.
It is not surprising to know that cheese can be made from coconut. It is known that there is coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil.
The fat content present in coconut makes it a lot creamier and cheese like presence. But if you don’t add certain ingredients in it then it won’t taste much like cheese. It will give you a tinge of coconut flavor.
To give coconut milk a lot more texture and taste like cheese then you may add agar agar, cornstarch, potato starch and lime. This will mimic the exact texture of the real cheese.
To boost the flavor of coconut based vegan cheese you are also supposed to add salt, garlic powder, onion powder and also yeast if you are fine with it.
You might also find some vegan cheese packets in the market which contains all purpose flour added with other ingredients.
It has been noticed that you cannot use any other flour but only those which are starchy. Starchy flours include tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, and all purpose flour.
These starchy flours are then added with the other ingredients such as coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashews or any other beans.
You must keep in mind that if you want a block like vegan cheese then you must use flour in less quantity. Larger quantities of flour will make the consistency of a cheese just like sauce or cheese dip.
Vegan cheese made up from vegetables is not a common concept. It is hard to give it a texture of cheese and can be high in carbohydrate content.
Potatoes and carrots are the most important and basically only source of vegan cheese. These vegetables are used to make a perfect base for the vegan cheese.
These types of cheese also do not result in a block style cheese. The consistency is more like gravy and is very soft. It can be used in making other dishes which require cheese in a gravy form such as Mac and cheese.
These vegetables are supposed to be cooked and boiled until it becomes soft. These vegetables are then blended with other ingredients like water, olive oil, salt and spices.
Aquafaba is the remaining water from the cooked or boiled legumes. This water is generally thrown away but if processed and concentrated then this gives the consistency just like egg whites.
Aquafaba is also used in baking as a substitute for eggs. But it is mainly used by vegan chefs and is not that popular between common people.
The vegan cheese made from aquafaba allows the cheese to melt just like the real dairy cheese when heated.
The aquafaba made vegan cheese does not have any binding quality that is why certain ingredients are added to increase the binding property in it. It may also involve cashews or coconut cream.
VEGAN CHEESE: A HEALTHY CHOICE
Vegan cheese does not have a constant nutritional value that is why we cannot be sure about the contents in it. As mentioned above vegan cheese can be prepared in various ways. It also depends on the quantity and how often you consume it.
Certain types of vegan cheese can surely be a part of a healthy and balanced diet. If you want to get all of the nutrition on the basis of vegan cheese then that is not true. Vegan cheese cannot be the sole source of nutrition no matter how you prepare it.
The vegan diet or vegan food products contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and is fiber rich. Due to the high fiber content, it leads to better digestive health and also helps to feed the good gut bacteria.
If you buy a packaged vegan cheese then the nutrition content depends on how highly processed ingredients they have. More processed the ingredients will be, the healthier it will be.
The vegan cheese made from whole foods tends to be much healthier because it keeps the natural nutrition in it even after preparation of the vegan cheese.
The pre-made vegan cheese normally contains a high amount of refined oils, preservatives for long term usage, food color for the attractive color of the cheese and also extra artificially added sodium.
If you are buying a pre made vegan cheese then keep in mind to consume it in minimal amounts.There are also certain types of vegan cheese which is prepared by nuts and seeds. They are cooked and boiled. To give it a texture of dairy cheese, many spices, herbs and vegetables are also added.
They might not be highly processed but contain a higher amount of nutritional value. They provide high quantities of fiber, healthy fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Consumption of nut and seed based vegan cheese also include the intake of vital micronutrients.
The bottom line is that there is no problem in consumption of vegan cheese. It is itself a healthier option until and unless there are added ingredients in it. If you are not into cooking then make sure to not consume pre made vegan cheese in high amounts.
KETO VEGAN CHEESE RECIPE
There are many vegans who start a ketogenic diet. For them, the choice of above ingredients is narrowed down considering the carbohydrate and fat level.
In keto diet there should be a low carbohydrate diet and high fat content in the diet. The pre made vegan cheese packets can harm your body and increase your weight.
If you want to continue with your weight loss procedure then it will be a must to prepare a vegan cheese yourself. It will not only satisfy your cravings but also will not disrupt your ketosis.
CASHEW BASED KETO VEGAN CHEESE
For keto dieters, cashew based keto vegan cheese has been invented. It is easy to prepare and no cooking required. All you need to do is to collect all the ingredients together.You can store this vegan cheese for about 7-10 days.It has a net carbohydrate of 3 grams per serving.
- 1 cup of cashews
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup of water
- A pinch of salt
- Take a bowl and add cashews in it.
- Add room temperature water to the bowl, such that it covers the surface of cashews.
- Cover the bowl with either tissue paper or towel so that no dust could enter in the bowl.
- Let the cashews soak overnight.
- Rinse the cashews and take ½ cup of fresh water.
- In the blender, add soaked cashews, water, salt and coconut or olive oil.
- Blend the mixture until it's smooth.
- Let it set for a few hours and you cashew based keto vegan cheese is ready to eat.
HERBS AND CASHEWS BASED KETO VEGAN CHEESE
The name of the cheese might be long but the procedure is as simple as the previous one. It is my personal favorite because the taste is very much like the cottage cheese.You can also make many dishes using this. It will add flavor to your dish.It contains 3 grams of carbohydrate, 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein.
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 clove of grated garlic
- ½ teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of black salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of basil leaves, dried
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- A pinch of dried dill
- A pinch of thyme
- Soak the cashews overnight. Cover the bowl with either tissue or towel.
- Rinse the cashews and fill the bowl with fresh water
- In a blender, add the soaked cashews, coconut or olive oil.
- For the flavor and cheesy texture, ass lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Blend the mixture for at least ten minutes.
- Transfer the mixture in another bowl and add all the dried herbs. Mix it well to make a smooth paste.
- Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- You can store this vegan cheese for 7-10 days if stored in the refrigerator.
You can make a block style vegan cheese if you add three spoons of agar agar into the cheesy mixture.
Agar agar will provide the soft vegan cheese with the binding property and form a gelatin like structure which can be sliced into vegan cheese slices.
This can then be grated on the pizza and other dishes as well.
You also need to make sure that you do not use any kind of milk sugars because they are also not a part of the diet.
This is all you need to know about vegan cheese which is an alternative way for dairy cheese. Dairy cheese is unhealthy and could affect your diet but vegan cheese will not affect your ketosis in any way.
Vegan cheese has been proven to be the best substitute for cheese and butter. The preparation of the vegan cheese is also easy and does not require any extra-ordinary ingredients.
Hope you like the vegan cheese.