More and more consumers are finding ways to adjust their diets without giving up the flavors they love. This is especially true when it comes to cheese, but not all dairy-free cheese is the same. This guide will help you find the right fit for your taste buds and lifestyle.
What does dairy-free cheese taste like?
Milk plays a vital role in the familiar flavor of dairy-based products. Since dairy-free cheese doesn’t have that ingredient, it will always taste just a little different. However, some brands, including Vevan, take special care to create the most authentic flavors and textures possible.
The flavor of dairy-free cheese (sometimes referred to as lactose-free cheese) varies greatly, depending on what types of ingredients are used to make it. Vevan, for example, uses premium ingredients that are sourced from the best suppliers around the world. The versatile gluten-free and starch base has a perfect creamy texture that lets the flavors really shine. It makes it possible to create the exact flavor profiles our cheesemakers want, whether it’s sharp and bold, spicy with peppery notes or soft and creamy.
Is dairy-free cheese right for me?
People choose non-dairy cheese for dozens of reasons. They might be flexitarian or vegetarian, or they may have dietary concerns that require them to eat foods that are milk-free or lactose-free. Sometimes it’s because of ethical concerns about animals or the planet. Regardless, if you’ve decided to stop eating dairy cheese but miss the flavor and texture, it’s worth it to give dairy-free cheese a try. At Vevan, we hear often from fans who prefer our dairy-free cheese to the dairy version (or who sneak it into a recipe and their family never notices!).
Does dairy-free cheese include allergens?
One of the most common reasons people choose dairy-free cheese is because of dietary changes, like going lactose-free or dairy-free. However, many dairy-free cheese brands use nuts or soy as ingredients, so while they’re avoiding lactose, they may still be encountering other allergens. Someone with allergy concerns is likely to tell you the best dairy-free cheese is a starch-based recipe like Vevan’s, which is 100% allergen-free.
Does dairy-free cheese require special storage?
Generally, like traditional cheese, dairy-free cheese should be used within a week or two after opening the package. You can help keep it fresh by storing it in your refrigerator at 40ºF or less immediately after each use. It should also be stored either in its original wrapper or a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants.
What can I make with dairy-free cheese?
A high-quality non-dairy cheese can be used interchangeably with dairy cheese, whether as a delicious snack or in your favorite recipes. Vevan melts especially well compared to other vegan cheeses, which makes it a great choice for pizza, pasta sauces and burgers, but the authentic flavor and texture is also perfect for sprinkling over salads or enjoying on cold sandwiches.
Can I use dairy-free cheese in recipes the same as dairy cheese?
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely use dairy-free cheese in your favorite recipes. There are two main things to know about how cooking with dairy-free cheese is different from traditional cheese. One is that it will probably require a higher temperature to melt. For example, many recipes for dairy-free grilled cheese suggest microwaving the sandwich first to give a head-start on the melting process. For baked dishes, we recommend cooking Vevan at 425ºF to get the creamiest results and best melt.
The other difference is the way the cheese looks when melted. The brown color you see when cooking with traditional cheese is the result of dairy sugars and proteins (similar to the way baked goods or meat darken as they cook). Since dairy-free cheese doesn’t contain any dairy, it will not brown in the same way. However, Vevan was specifically created to work in recipes similarly to traditional cheese, so even if you don’t see the brown color, you can be confident that you can achieve a delicious gooey melt.
What styles of dairy-free cheese are available?
Two of the most common ways to use cheese are shredded and sliced, and fortunately, you can find both in dairy-free brands like Vevan. The shredded cheese is ideal for cooking or sprinkling over dishes, while the slices give a great melt on pizza or burgers.
Where can I find dairy-free cheese?
As it becomes more popular, grocery stores are adding more and more dairy-free options all the time. That means it’s increasingly likely that you’ll find dairy-free cheese at a wide range of retailers nationwide, from major supermarket chains to club stores to local grocers, not just specialty stores. It may be in different places depending on the store, so look in both the dairy and deli aisles to get a better idea of the options that are available. Also remember that if you’re not finding a brand you want to try, you can always put in a request with a manager.
Use our store locator to find where to buy dairy-free cheese near you.