Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your love of cheese. There are so many vegan alternatives that are tasty and easy to work with. Here’s how to give up dairy when you love cheese!
Veganism has been growing in the last several years and I have to say the question I’ve been asked the most is “How did you give up cheese? I could never! It doesn’t even hurt the animals, right?”
The quick and dirty of the dairy industry without the gory details:
The dairy industry is a cruel reality for animals. Females are artificially inseminated, carry their babies for around 9 months (like humans), just to have their loved baby taken away from them within days of birth without being given the opportunity to receive the nutrients they need from their mother’s milk… just so that humans can use the milk for profit. Female babies are then stuck with the same life as their moms, and males are sent to meat farms.
Did you know a cows lifespan is 20+ years? On a dairy farm, they’re kept for 2-3 “lactation cycles” (an average of 5 years) until they are discarded for a meat farm.
But using these sentient beings is not necessary anymore. There are so many delicious alternatives to cheese that it’s easier than ever to give up dairy cheese!
Please remember, veganism does NOT have to be perfect. It’s a change in lifestyle and just like anything, it can take time. If you can’t give up cheese right now, cut it out most of the time until you’re ready to give it up, or cut out meat and other animal byproducts and guess what, you’re still making a difference!
A couple of staples to keep on hand:
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- Nutritional yeast is a great alternative for cheese flavor. My favorite is using it on pasta or broccoli!
- Avocado, mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes are a great alternative to add creaminess. Mix it with a little olive oil (FYI Mediterranean olive oil is life changing!) sea salt, and nutritional yeast to create a beautiful alternative with the yummy creaminess.
- Tofu is a delicious alternative to Ricotta when seasoned properly in dishes like lasagne!
- Hummus is a good replacement for flavor and creaminess on sandwiches and bagels.
Cheesy vegan items you need to try:
- Vegan mac and cheese:This mouthwatering pumpkin & sweet potato or the classic mac and cheese in a box that I could eat 3 boxes of in one sitting (also found at Target). If you love the Velveta style mac and cheese, Daiya makes a vegan, allergy-friendly box mac and cheese that will hit the spot!
- It doesn’t taste like chikn Melty Stretchy Goeey Vegan Mozzarella recipe. I recently tried this recipe and have made it 3 times since. It’s easy, tasty and versatile. I can’t wait to make a spinach artichoke dip with it! She’s also got recipes for “Ricotta I like a lotta”, nacho cheese and Feta in her book Fuss Free Vegan. Check out her cheesy vegan garlic bread that makes your mouth water!
- Daiya cheddar cheese slices for grilled cheese and quesadillas
- For nacho cheese, Daiya makes a zesty cheese sauce that would be perfect for parties in a crock pot.
- Go Veggie parm cheese is a serious favorite of mine and a staple in the fridge.
- If you’re craving Cheetos, these aged white cheddar puffs are a super good replacement or these chickpea puffs.
- A replacement for Cheeze-Its are these vegan cheddar squares.
And the list goes on and on. I love trying new recipes and food items found at the grocery store.
Have you tried any life-changing vegan cheese? Or are you too scared to give them a whirl? Let me know your favorite brands below!