In honor of Veganuary I wanted to share three of the most common and consistent reasons people say they can’t go vegan.
Reason #1: I could go vegan, except for cheese. I love cheese too much!
Reason #2: Ditto #1, but with bacon.
Reason #3: It’s not convenient. What if I need to grab something from a fast food joint?
Have no fear, I am here to address these issues. For the next three posts I’ll be addressing these reasons one at a time. Up first—Cheese!
Now I love cheese just as much as the next person. I’ve been cow-dairy-free for close to 12 years now, but still enjoy some of the goat’s and sheep’s milk varieties occasionally.
I understand cheese cravings. I have a major grilled cheese obsession, especially late at night and if there’s a cheese board at an event you bet I’ll be set up right next to it. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the AMAZING selection of vegan cheese available nowadays.
Twelve years ago…sure cheese would have been difficult for me to give up, but there’s such a large variety—and widely available I might add—that vegans around the world are rejoicing! And guess what? So many of them are delicious and good enough to satisfy even the most devoted dairy cheese lover!
Do they taste like dairy cheese?
Sometimes, depends on the brand and type of cheese. Dairy cheese is made from curd and since vegan cheeses don’t contain the milk protein that yields curd, they obviously will never be the same. But genius food scientists have found ways for vegan cheese to rival their dairy counterparts in taste and texture.
Can they be used in a variety of ways (Pizzas, sandwiches, salads, pastas, etc)?
Yes! Products now come in everything from soft cheese, block/wedge cheese, shredded cheese, and sliced cheese to cream cheese, nacho/queso cheese, and even ricotta cheese.
Are all vegan cheeses fantastic?
No, but not all dairy cheeses are either.
Since they’re vegan they must be healthier?
Not necessarily. Just like dairy cheese, vegan cheese (depending on the brand and type) may be highly processed. Check individual packaging for nutritional information.
Vegan cheeses today are made from nuts (like almonds or cashews), tofu, root vegetables (like cassava), vegetable oils, tapioca flour, pea protein and more. If you have a tree nut allergy or soy allergy, please read all labels throughly before purchasing.
I feel like so many people have a skewed—and for some reason, negative reaction—when you mention vegan food and veganism. They all assume it’s going to taste terrible or that all vegans can eat is salad. This is so far from the truth.
With people judging vegan lifestyles before really understanding the issues, ends up damaging the movement.
The best way to understand something—and this goes for pretty much everything—is to be open and try it for yourself. At least try and look at the situation from another’s point of view.
I LOVE x3 finding new vegan products or restaurants! Thankfully LeBraun is open to trying new things and supporting me in my dietary needs/struggles/preferences.
I may have put together the cheeseboard but he was the one who couldn’t stop eating off it. :)
Discovering the best vegan cheese is really a trial and error, personal preference kind of experience. Whenever I see a new brand or flavor at the grocery, I’ll try it out. But in order to save you time, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites to share with you today!
Note: All items on my cheeseboard are gluten-free and vegan!
Dark Chocolate Almond Bark
Red Seedless Grapes
If I only had a larger cheeseboard…
I would have included more of my favorites! I tried to include a good mix of something for every occasion. Yum! In no particular order:
Black Sheep Voursin Vegan Cheeze (in you happen to be in British Columbia)
RELATED: For more information about vegan cheeses, check out the big list on PETA’s site.