What Is Vegan Cheese Made Out Of?
What Is Vegan Cheese Made Out Of?
Cheese is a universally-loved food, and it’s one of the reasons we all adore pizza so much. Just like the rest of Fresh Brothers’ menu, we offer traditional pizzas plus those made with dietary alternatives – including vegan cheese! Vegan cheese is usually made from soy, nuts, vegetable oils, and various other natural ingredients like peas or arrowroot. Vegan cheese is seen as a healthier alternative to cheese by some, and may reduce your risk of heart disease due to its lower content of fat. It’s also a tasty substitute for traditional cheeses for those who engage in veganism, stricter vegetarian diets, or simply dairy-free lifestyles. Read on to see common sources of vegan cheese, how it’s made, what it tastes like, and why we use it!
Some Common Sources of Vegan Cheese
There are quite a few ways to make vegan cheese, and each has its own benefits and flavor profile.
Soy and Tofu
Soy is one of the most common ingredients for plant-based cheese. Soy is derived from soybeans, which are legumes native to East Asia. Vegan cheese is often made with tofu, or another form of soy proteins.
Nuts and Seeds
Tree nuts and seeds are another popular base for vegan cheese. A lot of people use them to make vegan cheese at home due to their availability in every grocery store. Nut and seed-based cheese is typically fermented with extra probiotic cultures, and has nutritional yeast or flavorings added. Some common nuts and seeds used for vegan cheese are almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.
Tapioca starch and flour are great for vegan cheeses. Tapioca is the starch extracted from cassava plants’ roots, often used as a thickener and texture-adder in soups, stews, gravies, and baked goods. Tapioca gives cheese stretchy, melty properties, and even allows it to brown like you see pizza cheese do when baked.
Coconut comes in a few forms, and coconut milk, cream, and oil are all often used for vegan cheeses. It’s high fat, which allows it to mimic the creamy, dense characteristics of cheese. Of course, coconut doesn’t taste much like cheese, so added flavoring is needed!
How Is Vegan Cheese Made? (And How Does It Taste?)
Vegan cheese is made through somewhat similar steps to traditional cheese-making. First, it’s necessary to separate out plant proteins from overall plant matter, with the plant protein sources from one of the foods above. Most commonly, bacteria is used to separate out the plant proteins. Then, thickening agents, oils, and other ingredients are added to help create a more cheese-like consistency. These added ingredients also improve the taste and, later, the fermenting steps. Just like normal cheese, the vegan cheese process requires giving the cheese time to sit, which allows bacteria to break down the plant protein even further.
Vegan cheese comes in many styles, just like normal cheese! You’ll find it as cream cheese, blocks of cheese, soft spreadable cheese, grated cheese, cheese dips, and of course, shredded cheese. Shredded cheese is what we use for our pizzas, giving them a traditional look and texture.
Vegan cheese tastes great, and recent advancements have allowed vegan cheese to melt, ooze, and bubble just like normal cheese. It’s coming closer each and every day to more traditional tasting cheese, and some people can hardly tell the difference!
Choose Vegan Cheese Options From Fresh Brothers
Our menu supports a whole range of pizza options, plus vegan alternatives for all of our other menu offerings. We make our pizzas with Daiya’s shredded vegan mozzarella, and have plenty of vegan-friendly toppings too! When you stop by Fresh Brothers, you’re choosing fresh, healthy meals for the whole family, no matter their dietary preferences. Order online now!