Vegan cheese gets a bad rap, but in recent years it’s come on in leaps and bounds. If you need to use cream cheese in a recipe, you can use one of the many vegan cream cheese alternatives. There are lots of different types available, and cream cheese is one of the better examples of dairy-free cheese alternatives available in supermarkets (some products are still rather questionable!).
If you’re making a savoury recipe that calls for soft cheese like ricotta, goat’s cheese or cream cheese, then vegan cream cheese will work well. To find out more about the different brands that are available in most supermarkets, check out Good Housekeeping’s guide to the best dairy-free cream cheese.
Or, for a healthier, unprocessed alternative, why not consider making your own dairy-free nut cheese? This vegan cream cheese recipe by The Spruce Eats uses almonds and nutritional yeast to create a smooth and creamy spread. Nutritional yeast gives it a delicious nutty, cheesy flavour – and because it’s packed with protein, B vitamins (including B12) and minerals like zinc, selenium, and manganese, it’s a much healthier alternative. You can buy nutritional yeast from Holland & Barrett.
If you’re making a creamy dessert, like chocolate mousse or cheesecake, silken tofu is by far the best dairy-free sub. Making indulgent desserts out of tofu might seem strange, but tofu is a great replacement for common dessert ingredients like butter, cream, cream cheese and even eggs, and works well at bringing all the other flavours together.
Tofu is also high in protein, rich in minerals, and an anti-inflammatory food, so it’s also a much healthier alternative – and because it’s low in fat and contains no cholesterol, it makes great low-calorie desserts. If you still feel unsure about using tofu in sweet treats, just check out these delicious tofu-based desserts from The Spruce Eats!
If a recipe calls for blue cheese, camembert, brie or herb cheese, then check out Honestly Tasty, which is easily the best new vegan cheese brand available in the UK. Their dairy-free alternatives of gorgonzola, camembert, brie, and Boursin may make you reassess everything you think you know about vegan cheese – and because they melt beautifully, they work really well in cooking, too!
If you’re interested in making your own dairy-free cheeses, check out the video below.