There are many stores that stock vegan cheese. At Nutracity, we stock vegan cheese alternatives in our online vegan nutrition store as part of our vegan products UK line. Before we go into the different products stocked at Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store, it is important to know what vegan cheese actually is and what ingredients are used to make vegan cheese. Cheese generally speaking is very popular in the UK market.
According to countrysideonline.co.uk, cheese is bought by 98% of UK households, with the average Brit eating 30g a day. This may sound like a considerable amount, but in France, Italy and Greece, they all eat roughly twice as much cheese per person as they do in the UK. The UK cheese export market is worth £675 million and in 2018 alone, British producers made a massive 465,000 tonnes of cheese.1
The vegan market is becoming ever more popular as well as other diets that encourage following a dairy-free regimen. This has resulted in dairy-free substitutes becoming available. Some vegan cheeses are made from plant-based ingredients and come in different flavours and types. These can be purchased from stores such as Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store as well as crafted from unexpected ingredients at home.
Soy is one of the most common ingredients for a plant-based animal-product substitute and this also applies to dairy-free cheese. Some brands offer cheese-like products made from different forms of soy protein for example tofu and other ingredients such as vegetable oils and gums. These can be added to mimic the texture of cheese. Vegans should be aware though, that some of these soy-based products contain casein, a milk protein, which technically would not be considered vegan, but may be appropriate for those who are using a dairy-free diet to manage any lactose allergies. We do not stock this type of dairy-free cheese at Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store.
One of the most popular types of dairy-free cheeses that vegans may make at home are those made from different types of tree nuts and seeds. If you are a vegan that prefers to buy these kind of products instead then we do stock this range at Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store. One of the biggest advantages of this type of dairy-free cheese is that it requires less processing than its other dairy-free counterparts. Typically, the nuts or seeds are soaked, blended and fermented with the same types of bacteria used to make dairy cheese.2 Other ingredients such as yeast, herbs and salt are added for flavour. Common nuts and seeds used for this type of dairy-free cheese are macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Coconut is also a very popular ingredient in dairy-free cheese alternatives whereby coconut milk is combined with cream and oil. Coconut is very creamy and has a very high fat content so additional products like carrageenan, corn starch/potato starch and tapioca are added to mimic the density and texture of cheese. Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and lemon juice are added to mimic the flavour of cheese as the natural coconut flavour does not imitate cheese very well.
Another type of dairy-free cheese is flour as a base combined with soy milk, almond milk, cashews, coconut, or white beans. Root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots are also popular bases for dairy-free cheese when combined with oil, salt and spices. These extra ingredients all it to achieve a creamy consistency.
Vegan cheeses come in different styles such as shredded cheese, like mozzarella and cheddar cheese, these are commonly used to top pizza, and tacos. Then there is the cream cheese type for spreading on bagels/toast etc. Next, we have the blocked and sliced variation for putting inside sandwiches and crackers. One of the most common is parmesan-style dairy-free cheese. This is done as a grated texture and is best for topping pizza, pasta or popcorn. Finally, there are nacho cheese dips that are good to eat with vegan tortillas as well as other vegan crisps/snacks.
Now that we have learnt a little bit about the process of dairy-free vegan cheese, let’s look at some of the products at Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store. So, the first product is Free & Easy Cheese Sauce Mix (130g) for only £2.09 This product is a great dairy-free vegan alternative to make a lovely cheese topping for pasta dishes as well as other dishes that you would normally have with a nice cheese topping. It is made from natural ingredients and is free from artificial additives and preservatives.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients; Rice Flour, Cornstarch (Non-GM), Non-Dairy Cheese Flavouring (12%) (contains Soya), Vegetable Bouillon Powder (Salt, Maltodextrin, Potato Starch, Yeast Extract (Gluten Free), Sugar, Dried Vegetables (5.8%) (Onion, Parsnip, Parsley), Sunflower Oil, Spices (Lovage, Turmeric, Pepper, Garlic, Mace, Nutmeg), Spice Extract, Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide)), Powdered Onion, Potato Flakes, Sea Salt, Ground White Pepper. As we can see, for only £2.09, you can have a great dairy-free cheese alternative on a vegan diet at an affordable price.
The second product is a nut-based dairy-free cheese alternative suitable for vegans in the form of Pimp My Salad Cashew Parm Cheez Eco Jar (120g) for £5.99 This is more expensive than the previous product but it is made from more expensive ingredients and is of a higher quality as it is made from so few ingredients. The ingredients list is as follows; cashew nuts (55%), sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, dried kale, lemon peel, Himalayan pink salt. So only six ingredients, and it is highly nutritious. It is also gluten Free and dairy Free, suitable for plant based protein, paleo and keto, diets as well as being GMO Free.
Finally we have the Good Carma Flavour Fusion Vegan Parmesan variations available as oregano, original, garlic and chilli flavours. These are made with very few ingredients and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, have no artificial flavours and no artificial preservatives. Let’s at the ingredients for the oregano flavour; Ground Almonds (Nuts), Yeast Flakes with added B12, Himalayan Pink Salt, Oregano. We can see that this is a great alternative at a reasonable price of only £5.25 per 100g. This may be considered expensive to some, but considering how natural and healthy the ingredients are, the price is justifiable in my opinion.