If you’re trying to eat less cheese or cut it out of your diet entirely, you’ll likely want to find a good cheese substitute. These days, there are plenty of imitation cheese products that will do the trick if you enjoy the taste of cheese. But if you don’t, there are plenty of other foods that can replicate the texture and consistency of cheese.
In this post, we’ll highlight a few of the most popular cheese substitutes. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or trying to eat healthier, you’ll be able to find a delicious cheese alternative that appeals to your taste buds.
Cashews are a versatile food that you can use to create dairy-free cheese, milk, and butter. It’s simple to whip up at home and can be made soft and spreadable or hard and sliceable. Plus, you can flavor it with a number of ingredients, including garlic, herbs, and spices.
In terms of taste, some people consider cashew cheese to be quite similar to dairy cheese, while others disagree. You might need to try various brands or recipes to find one that works for you.
Store-bought imitation cheese products
As vegan and lactose-free lifestyles have become more mainstream, the market has responded by producing an incredible range of non-dairy cheese products. It’s an exciting step for many people who have missed eating cheese in their diets.
You can find imitation cheese in just about any variety you like, including ricotta, feta, parmesan, and cream cheese. They’re also available in all sorts of textures, whether you want to sprinkle cheese on top of soup, spread it over a bagel, or dip your chips into it.
Hummus and tahini
On the other hand, if you don’t care for the taste of cheese, but you need something to flavor your food, hummus is an excellent option. It’s made from blended chickpeas and packed with protein, which makes it a healthy cheese substitute.
Hummus is easy to make at home or find in stores and can be used in countless ways. It’s ideal for dipping chips and veggies or as a topping on toast. If you don’t like the traditional hummus flavor, switch things up by adding hot sauce or a spoonful of vegan pesto on top.
Similarly, tahini makes for a tasty alternative to cheese that can be used in many ways. It’s produced by grinding up sesame seeds and combining them with olive oil to create a creamy paste that goes well on pita bread, falafel, or as a salad dressing.
Nutritional yeast is used in vegan recipes to add a cheesy flavor without dairy. As a complete protein, it’s quite healthy. Plus, nutritional yeast contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
Like other types of yeast, nutritional yeast looks like a beige or yellow powder. You can use it while cooking, but you can also sprinkle it on top of other food to replicate the taste of cheese. Try it on vegetables, pasta, toast, or anything else that needs a cheesy kick.
With so many delicious cheese substitute options, you won’t feel like you’re missing out too much on the real stuff. All of these ideas are easy to make at home or find on the shelves of your local supermarket.
For more dairy-free cooking ideas and tips, check out the Tastessence blog.