I’ve always wondered why people would go vegetarian but not vegan. I mean, vegetarians still eat things like eggs and dairy which means animals still suffer as a result. If you’re doing it out of compassion for the animals, then going vegan would make the most sense.
“I want to go vegan, but I love cheese.” – Words said by many non-vegans
Personally I’ve never felt that way about cheese, but I understand we all have our difficulties. But it’s 2017 and the vegan cheese industry has come a long way. There are vegan cheeses now that replicate the taste and textures of real cheeses quite well – they stretch, they melt, and they’re delicious.
Top Brands of Vegan Cheese
So if you’re interested in trying them and wonder where to buy vegan cheese, here are some of the top brands of vegan cheeses, their products, and some of the places where you might find them. Keep in mind the availability of brands and flavors may vary slightly from store to store.
-Cheese Slices (pepper jack, smoked gouda, provolone, garden herb, mozzarella, american)
-Cheese Blocks (nacho, monteray jack, cheddar, provolone, american, garden herb, mozzarella)
-Parmesan (grated and shredded)
-Shreds (cheddar, mozzarella, pizzeria blend, fiesta blend)
-Cheese Slices (american, mozzarella)
-Cream Cheese (garlic & herb, french onion, herb and chives, better than cream cheese, whipped, non-hydrogenated)
-Sour Cream (plain, non-hydrogenated)
-Cheese Slices (cheddar, american, pepperjack, mozzarella)
-Shreds (mozzarella, cheddar, mexican)
-Cheese Snack Size Bars (white american, white cheddar & meatless bacon)
-Cream Cheese (plain, chive & garlic, strawberry)
-Spread & Dip (chive & garlic, plain)
-Parmesan (plain, soy-free)
Note: Make sure it says “vegan” on the label, some of their products are not vegan!
Where to Buy?
Look for the products at the end of the regular dairy/cheese aisle, there’s usually a small section devoted to vegan/vegetarian cheeses.
- Whole Foods Market
- Gelson’s Market
- Sprouts Farmer’s Market
- Other stores focused on natural foods
And finally, a review of my favorite brand… Daiya cheese. These are products I have bought repeatedly myself and recommend to anyone wanting to dip their toes in the vegan cheese market for the first time, I have also found many others online who loved it and uses it regularly.
Daiya Cheese Review
The Daiya Foods is a company based in Canada that sells a variety of dairy alternative products. Their “cheese” products are made from cassava and arrowroot, all their foods are totally vegan, free of dairy, soy and gluten.
This is the brand of vegan cheese I often pick up at the stores myself, they are pretty easy to find and available almost anywhere. If you live in Canada or the US I’m sure you’ve seen some of their products before at some point, usually at the end of the regular cheese aisle.
These products expire in the fridge within about 2 weeks, but they do keep pretty well in the freezer. So if you’ve bought several of them at one time, just keep one in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer.
-Shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, pepperjack)
I don’t like to eat this stuff cold, but when it’s melted it’s deliciously gooey and stretches like real cheese. You’ll know it’s not real cheese, but it has enough of a cheesy flavor to it that it will satisfy any cheese cravings. I used the shredded cheese plenty of times to make home-made pizza, pasta dishes, burritos, tacos and pizza pockets. It’s pretty high in fat just like regular cheese, not the healthiest of vegan food, so if you want to be healthy then certainly limit your use of this.
-Slices (cheddar, provolone, swiss)
I think the flavors of the cheese slices are better than real cheese, and this is probably my favorite Daiya product. I make sandwiches and burgers with it, and it tastes good hot or cold. I often just put a slice in between two slices of bread and it’s a great way to enjoy it. This is one of those products where you just might be able to trick non-vegans into thinking it’s real cheese…
–Wedges (cheddar, Jack, Smoked Gouda, Jalapeño Garlic Havarti)
It’s very easy to use this for any recipe that calls for cheese. You can eat it as a snack, or chop it and grate it into your foods like macaroni and cheese. Daiya also has their own product line of boxed macaroni and cheese if you don’t want to make your own.
-Cheesy Mac (cheddar, alfredo, white cheddar style veggie)
The noodles and sauce are gluten-free and soy-free. The cheese sauce is thick and has the right consistency for mac n cheese. A lot of gluten-free pastas usually falls apart if left overnight or cooked for a bit too long, but these ones doesn’t do that. This is a very convincing mac n cheese for vegans who really miss their comfort foods.
-Cream cheese (plain, strawberry, chive & onion.)
I don’t eat cream cheese often, but I’ve had the chive & onion twice and I’d say it’s not too bad. It’s flavors and texture is creamy and smooth, imo it’s indistinguishable from real cream cheese. It can be put in the freezer if you can’t finish it in 2 weeks, it defrosts pretty well and doesn’t lose much of it’s creamy texture by too much.
-Frozen pizzas (margherita, mushroom & roasted garlic, cheeze lovers, fire roasted vegetables, supreme, bianca)
Their pizzas are gluten-free and soy-free. The pizzas that I’ve tried were all made with thin crusts, maybe that’s the only negative thing I would say about their pizzas. I would like to see thicker crusts, I’m not a fan of thin crusts as it tastes more like a cracker than a pizza. But I do like the flavors, toppings and uses of their Daiya cheese on the pizza.
Where to Buy Daiya Products?
As mentioned above with the other vegan cheeses, you can usually find them in places like Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Albertsons, Gelson’s Market, Vons, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, and other stores that focuses on natural foods. They can usually be found at the end of the regular cheese/dairy section, and the frozen pizzas would be in with the regular pizza section.
For those people out there who are vegan or trying to be vegan, having cravings of these comfort foods are normal. If you have ate cheese all your life then you’ve probably associated them with feelings of comfort, so going vegan can be a bit uncomfortable at first, and these vegan cheese products can help make this transition a bit easier.
Going vegan is different for everyone, some find it easier and others find it harder, but everyone can do it if they really wanted to. You vote with your dollar in what you spend your money on, and every meal is a chance to make the right choice by going with vegan options.
If you have tried some of these products written in this article, let me know what you think of them in the comments below.