Cheese is one of the most favorite dairy products across the globe. However, with rising popularity of dairy-free diets, it becomes a concern whether cheese can be included in restricted diet plans. If you too have switched to a plant-based diet recently, you may want to find out whether cheese is allowed for you.
So, is cheese plant based? No, cheese is not plant based. It contains no plant-based ingredient and is purely an animal product. It is obtained through a process that involves the coagulation of milk and an animal-based active ingredient called rennet.
Let us try to find out whether there is an alternative to cheese to suit a plant-based diet.
Top 3 Cheese Substitutes For A Plant Based Diet
A plant-based diet does not encourage the use of dairy products. However, it is possible to use alternative cheese products made without any dairy or animal-derived ingredients. Plant-based cheese products like Daiya mozzarella and cheddar shreds are low in fat and provide a good amount of dietary protein and calcium.
It is a good idea to check the labels before consuming a product to make sure the ingredients are plant-based and the level of sodium is not too high. This type of cheese products are not a healthy source of protein but you can surely rely on them for enjoying grilled foods, pizzas and dips as occasional treats.
Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
A dairy-free, plant-based alternative to regular cheddar cheese, this product is made to resemble the stretchy structure of traditional cheddar cheese. It is free from gluten, soy, lactose, dairy and casein and is completely plant-based. It uses tapioca flour, pea protein, coconut oil, canola and sunflower oil and other plant-based ingredients.
Every ¼ cup of this cheese has 90 calories with a fat content of 6g. It also provides 7g carbohydrates, 1g protein and 1g dietary fiber. The sodium content is high at 10% of the daily value. It is easily available and affordably priced and suits a variety of recipes from soups, sauces and sandwiches to tacos, nachos, pizzas and a lot more.
Daiya Cheese Spread
A creamy, savory cheese style spread from Daiya, this product is a great alternative for those who want a dairy-free spread for dishes that need a flavor boost. It is produced using coconut cream, a plant-based ingredient along with dairy-free starch.
It is available in a variety of flavors including chive & onion, garden vegetables and strawberry. A serving size of 2tbsp of this cheese spread contains 60 calories and a total fat of 5g. It is also high in sodium and should be used occasionally when following a healthy diet.
Miyoko’s Organic Mozzarella
Very similar in texture to original mozzarella, this dairy-free cheese product tastes delicious when melted on pizzas or used fresh in a salad, making a great cheese substitute for plant-based diet followers. It is made to slice, melt and shred and uses organic cashew milk to keep it vegan and plant-based.
The cheese also uses coconut oil, mushroom extract, tapioca starch and sea salt. Each 1oz serving of the product delivers 60 calories and 3g of total fat. The cheese is also available in a smoked variety.