Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Best Dairy Free Vegan Cheeses for Christmas

Top 10 Dairy Free Vegan Cheeses for Christmas


Yep, it's true,  even vegans, those with lactose and dairy allergies and food in-tolerances or those who avoid dairy for ethical or other health reasons can enjoy a cheesey Christmas.

Here's a list of our top 10 favourite Christmas dairy free vegan cheeses


Vegusto Piquant Dairy Free Cheese

Swiss dairy free vegan cheese to smile for
A delicious, award winning Gruyere-like, good mature cheddar alternative that could rightfully take it's place on any cheeseboard in any restaurant without having to provide a warning with a wag of the finger introducing it as "The Vegan Cheese". Awesome with home made chutneys or pickle. Available online or from selected (selective) natural health food stores. Free from palm oil, wheat and soya. Made with nut butters.

V Bites Blue Cheezly

This used to be a deliciously creamy French blue cheese, almost like a mild Bleu d'Auvergne but recent batches have had a light crumbly texture more like a young Blue Vinny or Blue Stilton. It goes very well with a Doves Farm digestive biscuit, a glass of Christmas port and most red wines. It makes an excellent Christmas starter toasted onto oatcakes with walnuts and avocado and a little cranberry jelly to garnish.


Vegusto Mild Aromatic

Mildly Aromatic Vegusto Dairy Free Cheese
This stunning dairy free cheese is a little like a cross between a fine creamy ewes milk version of  perhaps Double Gloucester made in the style of Welsh Caerphilly cheese-makers. Melts in the mouth and goes particularly well with English  mustard.


Bute Island Smoked Sheese




Sheese from the island of Bute was one of the original dairy free brands in the UK. Now the hydrogenated fat has been removed and it's been reformulated a few times most recently for Tescos Free From range, it has a loyal following of fans. The texture is quite like that of those Austrian smoked cheese wrapped up in plastic like a sausage although far less rubbery and with a more subtle more naturally smoked flavour than the brown sausage dairy original. Delicious with some thin slices of cox - like tangy apple.



V Bites (Redwoods) Cranberry Cheezly Cheddar

Cranberry cheese for dairy intolerants
The V Bites Cranberry Cheddar version opens up all sorts of cheesy Christmassy possibilities but it seems it is now only available in a multi-pack along with the alternative Blue Stilton and Red Leicester cheezly versions. (Not really a hardship). Just like a Wensleydale this cheese fairly cries out to be eaten with hot apple pie or strudel. Available from Holland and Barrett

Vegan Dairylea - Vegusto No Moo Melty

Dairylea / Laughing Cow / Baby Bel alternative
If you have kids and they are hooked on bite sized very mild creamy wax or foil packaged kid's cheese then you may consider this dairy free alternative the Vegusto No Moo Melty. I'm sure there is potentially hours of Christmas family fun to be had as the kids wrap up slices of No Moo in foil or poke onto the end of a wooden skewer and dip into a bowl of hot  red candle wax. In any case it is the ultimate dairy free pizza cheese, although if you want to grate it you may find it easier to freeze it first as it's like trying to grate mozzarella. Available online


Dairy Free Cream Cheese

US based Tofutti were one of the first to produce vegan dairy free cream cheese. Many an early vegan cheeseboard was shoved into gourmet zones by coating Tofutti in freshly crushed black peppercorns, tossing a spoonful in paprika or rolling some in freshly chopped herbs from the garden. The hydrogenated fats have been replaced with a mixture of palm fruit, soy and olive oils to reach a healthier more environmentally friendly formula. Tofutti was produced initially to allow Jewish people to enjoy meat and fish with cream cheese as kosher laws forbid dairy and meat to be served together. There's always been a bit of a love / hate relationship with Tofutti and vegans in the UK as Tofutti tried to avoid being labelled vegan. Many others who understood the market better have filled the gap and the fluctuations in supply with a variety of creamy flavours at more competitive prices. French and German alternatives are truly gourmet, rivaling French Bousin , Tesco have a cream Sheeze version in their Free From range.


Dairy Free Mozarella -MozzaRisella

If you are looking for free range green grazed Buffalo milk mozzarella then perhaps you'll be disappointed but if you are used to the very mild rubbery pizza fodder that is generally available you'll be amazed. Mozzarisella makes a credible salad with tomatoes, virgin olive oil, fresh ground black pepper and lots of basil. Unusually for a vegan cheese it not just has no dairy it has no soy or nuts in it and is made mainly from rice so gets a big tick on the allergen and food intolerance front. Honestly, the best thing about it is the Spinach ravioli they make with it which is truly amazing. there's been various 'rella' / vegerella, ricerella type cheeses over the years - this one looks like it ticks enough boxes to be here to stay.


Vegan Cambembert - Kite Hill  White Alder Nut Cheese



We got very excited when we heard about this (still yet to taste it). Tal Ronnen  the number one vegan food chef in the USA ( fed Oprah, advised Yves, consultant to Lyfe Kitchen )  has obviously spent some time and effort getting involved with French Cheese makers and Californian almond growers to take vegan dairy free cheeses to the next level. Here's how Kite Hill describe it ;

"White Alder is a soft ripened velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes"  

If you live in the San Francisco bay area we are soooo jealous. In the UK I think we may have to wait some time before some dedicated and well financed individual sets their goats free and starts making cheese from nuts - perhaps in Ireland there is someone somewhere...or the Highlands of Scotland ? or Wales?


Home made Vegan Cheeses


It is very easy to make dairy free cheese at home especially if you are tolerant to soya milk.

Foods for Life Dairy Free Cheezey topping

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple sweetened soy milk (hot)
1/2 cup of cold pressed rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon yeast flakes
1 teaspoon of  bouillon powder/marmite/ yeast extract
1 teaspoon mustard
1 dessertspoon tomato ketchup

Method
Heat soy milk until just too hot to touch
Blend with oil using stick blender (not electric whisk)
Whilst still blending add tomato ketchup and mustard until oil and milk emulsify into mayo consistency
Add herbs and other flavouring to taste.
It will thicken a little once cool but if you need it thicker, say for a quiche, or a pie then add some mashed sweet potato or some oat flakes.

Don't say Cheese say Cheeze!

If you suspect you are suffering from a dairy or other food intolerance come to a Foods for Life Nutrition and Health Clinic in Harley St London, High Street Croydon, or Beaulieu New Forest . For a biochemical laboratory test to find out exactly what's going on in your digestive system or professional advice on how to heal your gut and support your immune system to reach optimal health email clinic @ FoodsforLife .co.uk .


 














1 comment:

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