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Vegan cheese alternatives

So I am trying to go vegan after being a lacto-ovo vegetarian for over ten years. I have had no problem giving up milk, butter, eggs, etc., but have really wanted cheese the last couple of weeks (I know, everyone says that cheese is the hardest thing, that eventually I will not miss it). Whole Foods had the "Follow Your Heart" brand on sale today, so I bought one of each flavor. I tried the "Nacho" flavor and it was DISGUSTING, both raw and melted. Does anyone know if the other flavors are as bad? I would hate to open them just to throw them out- I would rather get my money back. I also bought the "Daiya" shreds and they are OK. Are there any other brands that are any good?

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  1. Daiya is probably your best bet,
    There;s also "sheese" that kind of reminds me of that cheddar cheese that comes in the red tub...

    1 Reply
    1. re: micahg

      2nd the vote for Daiya. I had to go dairy and soy free while BFing my milk-allergic baby and this was a great find.

    2. You can get your money back from WFM regardless of whether you've opened the packages or not.

      1. From what I hear (haven't tried them all), the Nacho flavor is the most popular flavor of Follow Your Heart.

        If you want truly great vegan cheese, see if you can find Dr. Cow cheese: http://www.dr-cow.com/products/aged-c...

        It's cultured and aged. And delicious. And quite expensive.

        It may be enough to inspire you to make your own--which is the best thing to do, anyway. There are tons of recipes out there for seed and nut cheeses; even Chocolate and Zucchini gets into the act: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi... (I have not tried that recipe, however)

        4 Replies
        1. re: guilty

          Thanks, I am going to try this cashew cheese recipe. I mixed some macaroni with the FYOH nacho stuff and just started throwing things in (nutritional yeast, herbs, garlic, hot sauce) but it still had this plastic chemical taste.

          1. re: NCVeggie

            Sorry about the FYH cheese; I hope you were able to return the other flavors.

            If you're looking for a firmer cheese than that recipe makes, you can use cheesecloth to let the cheese drain instead of just leaving it in a bowl. I also prefer onion to garlic in cashew cheese, but I prefer onion to garlic in most situations.

            1. re: guilty

              Yeah, I actually used both in the first batch. I also made a second batch with some pimentos, roasted yellow pepper and hot sauce (left out the lemon juice and wine). It looks and tastes somewhat like nacho cheese, and is especially good warmed up. I will have to try the cheesecloth idea next- thanks!

              1. re: NCVeggie

                I'm glad the recipe was at least somewhat successful; I like adding peppers as well. Sundried tomatoes are also a tasty addition when blended with the rest of the ingredients.

                The spreadable "cheese" is pretty great when put on top of a casserole and baked. If you're into that kind of thing . . .

        2. I have not tried these, but I was reading this blog a few weeks ago and there was a cheese comparison:

          http://justthefood.blogspot.com/2010/...

          1. The Kitchn did a post on vegan cheese this week:
            http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/th...

            I have never tried vegan cheese so I can't offer any useful advice but thought I'd pass along the link.

            1. I think I have officially tried all of the varieties of vegan "cheese" worth sampling at this point (save for the "Dr. Cow"- I couldn't find a way to get it without paying a ridiculous amount of money)

              I ordered several varieties of "Sheese," "Teese," and "We can't say it's cheese" (these names just get better and better, don't they?) online and found both varieties of "Daiya" shreds at a health food store. I melted them all on tortilla chips, both by themselves and combining different flavors, including some of the leftover "Follow Your Heart" varieties just to be fair. Here are my results:

              Follow Your Heart is still disgusting (surprise!)

              I literally had to spit out all of the Sheese. Gouda was the worst, the medium cheddar and the smoked cheddar were almost as bad (those were the only ones I tried) People absolutely rave about the blue cheese variety, though. Go figure.

              The Daiya is pretty good, though the cheddar definitely has a noticeable fake taste.

              The mozzarella Teese is edible and melts well but the cheddar was just plain bad.

              The biggest revelation was the Wayfare Foods products. They are really pretty tasty. They only come in dips and spreads, so I heated them separately in the microwave. The cheddar spread was good, but I could not stop eating the hickory smoked spread (with tortilla chips topped with pickled jalapenos- it really tasted like eating nachos!) I have to try the Mexican flavored dip. They are made from oatmeal, so I guess they are gluten free too, if you're into that.

              All in all, if you want to sample vegan cheese, the "We can't say it's cheese" products by Wayfare Foods are your best bet, and you could always pick up some Daiya mozzarella shreds or a log of Teese for a pizza. Life without cheese gets easier after the first week or so, by the way.

              Thanks for your help everyone!

              1. There used to be a local product in KC called Playfood, made from cashews. It was marketed something like cheese whiz, only in a squirt rather than a spray bottle. It was really tasty stuff, but I believe the owners had a dispute over intellectual property rights when they broke up. Heidi Van Pelt is still in the area, and has a restaurant called Fud. But, I haven't seen Playfood in any of the markets that used to carry it. Anyone know if her other half got the rights and the product is now out in LA where he lives?