I can't believe no one has yet mentioned Daiya! Cheese was the one thing I had a hard time giving up, too. Daiya saves my butt every time. It's very meltable, and works perfectly in all recipies that call for cooking cheese. Also, it is cheese-like, but not a cheese impersonator. It has a nutty flavor, and no soy. That being said, it's tough for hard cheeses. Daiya has a block cheese (I really dig the Havarti flavor for crackers) but it's still not a HARD cheese.
I agree with the others - there is no substitute for cheese. Every vegan alternative I've tried is horrible in my opinion. I've learned to live without it, though, and now the smell of melted cheese is actually gross to me. I never thought that would happen when I was a cheese-a-holic!
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It's true that there really isn't anything much out there--but like Skinny Coconut, I would recommend The Uncheese Cookbook. I've made the Swiss fondue (omnivore husband liked it too, if I hadn't made it myself, I would have sworn there was real cheese in it).
Many of the recipes in the Uncheese Cookbook won't be exactly like their cheesy originals, but you and your family will probably enjoy them very much anyway!
I have had the same problem. I am proly just going to go without because after reading some stuff (namely the book Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating) and it really is terrible how bad the dairy and egg industry is! No matter how you slice it.
There is a vegan fast food place by me (tasty but not healthy!) and their cheese is OK, and melts good…but it still isn’t cheese.
But for me at this point, not wanting to give up cheese cause it “tastes good” isn’t working anymore. Because that is what meat eaters say…
Good luck! Let me know if you find anything! I will ask the owner of that place and see what he uses.
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I agree with Nicole. The substitutes aren't very good. If you want to eliminate cheese for ethical reasons, there may be another alternative- you may not have to. You can buy dairy products from ethically responsible farms where the animals are not harmed. If you have access to an Amish, Mennonite(or something similar) dairy in your area, you could buy all your products from them. They normally sell whole sale and will often deliver the products to you. They tend to be family run farms that treat the animals well. They are not run like the factory farms- no crowding or animal abuse and they don't use pesticides or antibiotics. Do a google search on organic co-ops in your area and hopefully you can find something.
There are some organic/free range brands on the market like "CABOT" (which doesn't use animal derived Casein) but you'd need to check into their practices to see if the farms are really cruelty free.
However, if you want to eliminate all animal products from your diet no matter what, then you will just have to live without the cheese.
Hope this helps!
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Hi I agree with Nicole and the skinny Codconut, there are not really any Vegan hard cheese out there. However I don't know if you know about the Tofutti brand and their Vegan Creme Cheese?! It's excellent. They also have Vegan Sour Cream that I use some times to make things a little saucier. For example a tbsp or two together with Meat substitute products; such as crumbles or the animal free chicken strips or animal free beef strips.
For hard cheese I sometimes step aside the Vegan idea but stay close to my ethical thinking regarding treatment of animals - I use Hard (cow milk free) locally produced Goat cheese. My son is allergic to Cow milk dairy but he sometimes wants the hard cheese. The goats are kindly treated and is produced here locally. They only distribute to local markets and stores. Maybe you would consider something like that? Depending on where you live though. If you come from a 100% Vegan stand point I more than respect your choice and maybe then this is not an idea for you, but if you are Vegan for also for ethical reasons then it might be OK to have hard or soft local goat cheese once in a while..
You can also make your own Almond cheese or nut cheeses. They are both vegan and raw. For recipes visit rawfoods.com Cei
Edited by: CEI63_NM at: 1/11/2007 (10:49)
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I found a site that lists vegetarian cheeses made without animal rennet: http://cheese.joyousliving.com/
I would say that the best advice is to slowly wean yourself off of cheese if that is your ultimate goal. There is no substitute. There are plenty of awesome "creamy" vegan sauces and the like, but nothing can mimic all of the properties of cheese. You'll have to approach soy cheese or vegan cheese/sauces as a totally new sort of food. That's what made it easy for me.
Also, if you're interested, the best vegan cheese in my opinion are the Tofutti Slices, but they have transfat in them. The next best is Follow Your Heart cheese (http://www.followyourheart.com), which is awesome for pizza and such.
The same company makes THE BEST dairy free mayo ever! Vegenaise is sooo tasty. Not the healthiest thing ever, but it livens up sandwiches and tofu egg salads and anywhere else mayo is needed.
You could also give the Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak a try. I got it for Christmas but haven't made anything from it yet.
Good luck into phasing dairy out of your life.
Oh, and if you're interested, give almond milk a try if you haven't already. I think it's a great smooth drink, especially the chocolate. I always like alternatives to soy since so much of it can be found in veganalogues, as I call them.
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No vegan cheese will melt of taste right- at least in my experience. There are several differnt soy or "veggie" cheese on the market, but many aren't vegan because they contain the milk biproduct casein. Casein is what gives cheese (and soy cheese) it's melthy quality. Vegan cheeses don't have it and therefore will not really melt or have the best texture.
When I was vegan, I tried several and wasn't ever satisfied with them, so I just chose not to eat them. It's really a poor substitute when what you really want is the flavor and texture of cheese! However, I guess the best overall that I had was by Galaxy, but on the package the brand name appears to be "Vegan". Here's a link: http://www.galaxyfoods.com/ourbrands/usa/v egan.asp
Hi! I've been a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for abut 9 or 10 years now. It started with my giving up meat for lent one year, and during that semester I did 3 or 4 dissections on any kind of creature you could name (I was pre-med at the time) and finally couldn't look at the insides of anything again. No, I take it back. It really started out longer ago than that--I was always mildly grossed out by meat, even as a kid, and I have always been one of those people who feels acutely the suffering of all the world. So it just seems that being a vegetarian is something i have come to gradually and naturally over time.
Now here is my question: For ethical and health reasons, I want to get all dairy out of my home. Milk is easy. My hubby and son already like soy milk. But soy cheese is a whole other problem. Hubby and I love cheese in almost everything. But I have a lot of trouble with the soy substitutes. Most of them don't melt right and they taste like plastic. I also can't find the variety in soy cheeses that I can in the regular kind.
Can anybody suggest a good brand of Soy cheese? Or at least, a good, easy-to-find brand of vegetarian cheese? Thanks!
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