Say (Vegan) Cheese

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Everyone knows the satisfaction that sparks when you pull apart a warm grilled cheese and get the epic cheese stretch. Luckily, plant-based people don’t have to miss out on this gooey goodness.

Vegan cheeses were given a bad rap when they first started hitting the market around 2013. But over the years, there has been enough research and revamped recipes to give you a very healthy alternative to cheese. In this blog cost we’re dishing on the do’s and don’ts of vegan cheeses.

The DO’s of Vegan Cheese

Miyoko’s

INGREDIENTS: Filtered Water, Organic Cashews, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca, Agar, Organic Cultured Sugar*, Sea Salt, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Cultures. *Used as a natural preservative. Contains no added sugar.

Reasons we love this cheese: less than 10 ingredients, very good melting abilities, and you can eat a margherita pizza guilt free.

Camembert

INGREDIENTS: Sunflower Seeds, Water, Coconut Oil, Salt, Herb Blend, Garlic Powder, Cultures

We will take all the protein we can get! This cheese offers 5 grams of protein per serving, 90x the antioxidants of dairy cheese and is packed full of nutrients. When shredded, this cheese makes a mean grilled cheese.

Parma!

INGREDIENTS: Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Himalayan Crystal Salt,           Organic Hemp Seeds

Parma! is a SUPERFOOD, meaning it is a concentrated source of nutrients.  It is an excellent source of Omega 3’s, B vitamins including B12, trace minerals, and all the goodness of hemp seeds grown without pesticides. It is also a complete protein. This is perfect for topping a Caesar salad or pasta dish.

Violife, Feta

INGREDIENTS: Filtered water, Coconut oil, Potato Starch, Salt (sea salt), Glucono Delta Lactone, Flavor (vegan sources), Olive Extract, Vitamin B12

This cheese is simple, tasty, and allows you to enjoy a Greek salad the right way.

Nutcheese

INGREDIENTS: Nutmilk, Coconut oil, modified food starch, potato starch, sea salt, natural flavor, annatto, cultures

This is the best melting vegan cheese we have tried and we approve these ingredients for sure.

Vegan Valley

INGREDIENTS: Filtered Water, Organic Raw Cashews, Organic Lemon Juice, Gluten Free Tapioca Non-GMO Nutritional Yeast (not fortified), Sea Salt, Organic Garlic, Organic Citric Acid (Cassava), Organic Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin and Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Nutmeg and Organic Crushed Red Peppers. Allergens: Contains Cashews

This cheese is a sauce for pasta lovers!

The Honest Stand

INGREDIENTS:Water, Potatoes*, Cashews*, Carrots*, Onions*, Vinegar*, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder (organic)

This brand of cheeses makes delicious cheese dips for any nice get-together with friends.

The DON’Ts of Vegan Cheese

Daiya

INGREDIENTS: Filtered water, tapioca starch, coconut oil, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, vegan natural flavors, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, potato maltodextrin, potato protein isolate, lactic acid (vegan), konjac gum, xanthan gum, yeast extract, annatto (color), turmeric (color), inactive yeast, potassium chloride.

Canola Oil speaks for itself- big no no. This cheese also contains trans fats, which is partially hydrogenated oils, carbs and starch which are not sugar BUT once you digest them, they will all turn into SUGAR!

Bio Cheese

INGREDIENTS: Water, Coconut Oil (21%) [non-hydrogenated], Starch, Modified Starch (E1404, E1450), Sea Salt, Vegan Cheddar Flavours, Olive Extract, Colour: B-Carotene

This cheese has been given a bad rep of resembling melted plastic when its cooked – yikes.  We are not totally appalled at these ingredients but would love to avoid all the starches.

Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS: Water, Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Vegetable Glycerin, Arrowroot Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Pea Protein, Salt, Natural Vegan Flavors, Rice Maltodextrin, Lactic Acid (non-dairy), Sunflower Lechtin, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (Color), Powdered Cellulose (To prevent caking)

This cheese has a very gritty consistency, does not melt well, and second ingredient is canola oil. Always steer clear of the ingredients you cannot pronounce! 

The Original Almond

INGREDIENTS: Almond Base (Filtered Water, Crushed Organic Almonds), Casein (Milk Protein), NON-GMO Expeller-pressed Canola Oil, Food Starch Modified (NON-GMO Potato), Natural Flavors, NON-GMO Vegetable Glycerin. Contains less than 2% of the following: Olive Oil, Sodium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Psyllium Husk (A Natural Fiber), Calcium Phosphate, Organic Annatto.

This cheese has milk proteins, canola oil, and natural flavors that are definitely not approved.

We know it’s cheesy, but we think vegan cheeses are GRATE 😉 when done correctly. Some may ask why you should opt for vegan cheese. Here are some answers to those questions.

Scientifically, why should I eat less cheese? What does cheese do to my body?

  • Cheese has a very high-fat content and about half of its fat content is saturated fat which is known to raise cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol levels boost your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Cheese also has a very high sodium content and excess sodium in your diet may increase blood pressure which also puts you at higher risk for stroke and heart disease.
  • Humans are also the only species that continue to consume milk in their adult lives. But they are also the only species that consume the milk of other animals. Cow’s milk is not meant to feed humans. Between the proteins, sugars, and growth hormones and antibiotics used for milk production, cheese causes an incredible amount of inflammation.

Who else agrees that cheese is inflammatory? 

  • Tom Brady + Gwyneth Paltrow do, and have you seen their bods?! The whole idea is to focus on foods that reduce harmful inflammation in the body and promote healing and fighting off diseases and illnesses

How would my life change if I ate less or cut out all dairy products?

  • Cutting out or reducing dairy would help your skin because usually it’s the hormones and sugars in the dairy that amplify oil production in your skin. It would also significantly decrease your risk for certain cancers. Dairy consumption offsets hormones in our bodies due to the estrogen it contains from the female cows, excess estrogen increases our risk of female cancers and excess estrogen in men puts them at a higher risk for testicular and prostate cancer.
  • Cutting out dairy will improve digestive functions because you only produce lactase (the enzyme needed to break down dairy) when you are an infant/child. Therefore, as you grow up, you no longer have the proper enzyme to break it down, leading to digestive discomforts such as constipation and diarrhea.
  • Reducing inflammation in your body will also help reduce pain and aches such as headaches and joint pain.

How has going dairy free helped other people? Maybe it would help me too?

  • People who have gone dairy free say that it has helped improve their acne, regulate their digestive system and allow them to be more consistent and less bloated. It has also helped them lose stubborn belly fat, decrease inflammation which often occurs in thyroid and as a result they have seen improvement in energy levels and metabolism.

What does the future look like for the dairy-free industry?

  • More and more people are experimenting with giving up dairy and are realizing just how better it makes their lives. This gives the dairy-free industry a positive outlook on the future. A dairy-free future would mean a healthier future for animals and humans, a cleaner environment, and overall a more sustainable future for all.

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