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Whether you practice a plant-based lifestyle or are fully vegan, you have probably ditched a number of foods, like dairy, meat, and seafood. Some may have been easy to eighty-six from your life, but others were undoubtedly a bit more challenging. (Looking at you, cheese).
While a variety of cheeses that are made for vegans have hit the market, not every brand has perfected the exact taste and texture of dairy-free or plant-based cheese—but some have come pretty darn close.
Meet the expert: Stephanie Wells, RDN, is the owner of Thyme to Go Vegan Nutrition Services, a private practice specializing in vegan and plant-based nutrition.
“Cheese is an animal-based product traditionally made from dairy products such as cow's milk, goat milk, or sheep milk, meaning that cheese is not naturally vegan,” explains Stephanie Wells, RDN, owner of Thyme to Go Vegan Nutrition Services, a private practice specializing in vegan and plant-based nutrition. Instead, she explains that vegan cheeses are made from plant-based ingredients meant to mimic the color, flavor, and texture of dairy cheese. “Ingredients vary based on the brand, with some vegan cheeses based on a blend of oils and starches and others created from plant-based milk like cashew, coconut, or oat milk.”
From coconut oil-based cheeses to nut-based cheeses to tofu as the star of the show, our team put more than 80 different cheese-less cheeses through the wringer, errr, grater. The Women’s Health test kitchen (with the help of WH editors, co-workers, and friends) tasted every kind of cheese you could think of including cheese blocks, cheese dips, cheese sauces, cheese slices, cheese spreads, cream cheese, and queso.
The results are in and these are 15 of the best dairy-free, plant-based vegan cheeses we could find.
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