Here are five dairy-free alternatives to reach for when you are craving cheese. A cheesy flavor can go a long way to making a recipe sing. Cheese and crackers, Mac and Cheese, Cheese Pizza and more are all standard recipe favorites – but how do you satisfy your craving for cheese if you are staying away from dairy? Here are five delicious options. And a few of them are quite healthy as well!..
Cheese: Five Dairy-Free Alternatives
1. Cashew Cheese
Cashew or “nut cheese” is actually quite easy to make at home. It’s a process similar to cheese-making and will allow you to make a cheese-textured block of nutty goodness. There are even companies like DrCow who have mastered the art of aged cashew cheese – and trust me, I have done many taste tests with real cheese lovers – and the DrCow cashew cheese is always a winner. “This isn’t real cheese??” is always heard when I serve DrCow. It has a tangy flavor and dry texture just as real dairy cheese does! But since DrCow ages their cheese for months – it can be hard to replicate their process at home (at least if it’s that tangy taste you are seeking). Basic cashew cheese is easy. And can be prepared in one day. Try making your own cashew cheese as a baked appetizer or even a perfect ricotta substitute…
Baked Cashew Cheese
Step-by-Step Cashew Cheese Making
Dr Cow Cashew Cheese Review
Cashew Ricotta Cheese – perfect in lasagna
SuperBowl Cashew Cheese
2. Nutritional Yeast
A healthy way to achieve that “cheesy” “ultra-savory” flavor you adore is by using nutritional yeast flakes. Nutritional yeast can be found in most health food stores like Whole Foods – and is perfect when used in cheesy mashed potatoes, Mac and Cheese pasta and more. Plus, it really is incredibly healthy for you and contains numerous amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Feel good (really good!) about this cheesy flavor alternative.
About Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional Yeast Mac and Cheese 1
Mac and Cheese 2 (my favorite – paired with peas!)
3. Daiya Cheese – it melts!
You may have heard of this vegan, dairy-free cheese brand because it is famous for “melting” just a as real cheese would. This product is perfect for Cheese Pizza and cheesy paninis like Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Many pizza places are starting to carry Daiya as a vegan-options for customers. They have three cheese flavor options: cheddar, pepperjack and a white cheese similar to mozzarella. Daiya comes in bags – pre-shredded. There are also other brands of dairy-free, vegan cheese like Follow Your Heart – it comes in blocks rather than shreds. The flavor is amazing, but doesn’t melt as well.
Daiya Pepperjack Panini
Angry Birds Pizza
Broccoli Cheddar Pizza
Cheesy Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Sandwich with Cheese
4. Cream Cheese – Tofu Based
When you are making cream cheese frosting, vegan cheesecake or perhaps a cream cheese bagel – you’ll want something smooth and creamy, white and spreadable. Tofu cream cheese can do all these things! Plus, it’s much healthier than traditional dairy cream cheese since it contains less saturated fat.
Pinky Strawberry Cream Cheese Bagel – vegan?
5. Cheese Dip
If you are craving a cheese dip you may want to consider using nuts again – but in less firm manner. Mu Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cheese Dip was a bit hit at my last holiday party. Smooth and creamy and totally dippable. Just add some crackers and crostini and you are good to go! Kids will love this fun to dip option – especially since it has a slightly sweet taste..
Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cheese Dip