I have a small obsession with cheese. It took me awhile to realize it, because cheese is sneaky. It wasn't until I challenged myself to replace animal products with non-animal products that I realized how much I depended on cheese. I add it to everything! It is such an easy, versatile, and delicious product. That being said, I still wanted to try some non-dairy cheese alternatives. Below are some suggestions I stumbled upon. Share any of your alternatives that I didn't mention in the comment section!
1. Nutritional Yeast: If you google cheese alternatives, this will be one of the first to pop up. I had never heard of this until fairly recently. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is in the form of flakes or powders. It is a significant source of B-vitamins (it can be fortified with B-12 vitamin). It has a strong flavor that is similar to that of cheese. This is why it has become a popular condiment to sprinkle on top of food in place of cheeses like parmesan. Its initial smell is very strong and nutty. With imagination, you could link it to a cheesy smell. I can see how it became a popular replacement for shredded cheeses; but don't expect this to completely fool you. I found this to be a great option for a cheese replacement if I am looking to add something to a dish that needs a little extra flavor.
2. Tofu: Is there anything tofu can't do? It is sometimes used as an alternative to cheese, although it isn’t a complete cheese replacement. It can be used to add to sandwiches or salads for a similar texture to cheese, but don't expect it to taste like its dairy version. That being said, I did try this Feta Tofu Cheese recipe, and the flavor is pretty close!
3. Non-dairy cheese recipes: Cheese may have been one of the last frontiers for non-dairy options, but today you can find several recipes for making non-dairy cheese recipes at home! I plan on sharing a few of the ones I try over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, start looking into a few basic ones like the Feta recipe I shared above and let me know your thoughts!
When it comes to cheese, at least for me, a lot of times I added out of habit. Do I really need to have cheese on my sandwich? Does that dish really need cheese, or could I add a spice or condiment to replace it? For me, I often don't really need the cheese. Of course, a good cheese platter will probably not be replaceable with non-dairy options, but when adding it to mixed dishes, consider one of the options I mentioned above, or try omitting it completely. You might not miss it at all!