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Cravings Health Packaged Food Plant-Based Products

8 Vegan Cheeses You’ll Want To Add To Your Plant-Based Bucket List

Groundhouse’s Vegan Burger

For the majority of my life, I’ve experienced the bitter taste of lactose intolerance in my gut and in my soul. As a result, I simply avoided milk and cheese at all costs. Unfortunately, the siren song of a juicy burger with a hearty slice of cheese or a piping hot pizza straight from the oven would often haunt me.

As many coworkers have pointed out when I mention how much I miss cheese, we now live in an age where plant-based cheese alternatives are bountiful. Some are developed enough to just hit the spot, while others are so close that you actually can’t tell the difference between them or the real thing.

Check out some of the top vegan cheese brands currently in the market, each accessible through the click of a mouse or a trip to a speciality store. Going to make a bucket list to get my hands on each and every one of these. Stay tuned for a follow up with my thoughts!


Follow Your Heart

One of the more popular brands of vegan cheese slices, you’ll find Follow Your Heart on the menu of viral vegan burger chains like Monty’s Good Burger. I’ve had their cheddar on many a vegan burger, and frankly, it tastes nearly identical.

Kite Hill

 

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While Kite Hill is probably best known for their yogurts, they also produce almond milk-based cheeses such as ricotta. According to fellow Foodbeast, Constantine Spyrou, their plant-based ricotta is probably one of the best vegan cheese substitutes he’s had.

Miyoko’s Creamery

 

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The passion project of award-winning vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, Mikoyo’s Creamery is believed to be one of the first brands to bring vegan cheeses into the mainstream. Mikoyo produces high-quality cheeses from nut milks that even include artisanal vegan cheese wheels.

Violife

The first time I got to try Violife cheese, it was at a Natural Food and Products Expo. Violife makes a variety of vegan cheese options like cream cheese, parmesan, feta, smoked provolone, and cheddar. However, their take on queso was truly a mouthwatering experience.

Good Planet Foods

 

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Good Planet Foods prides themselves in a variety of tastes that tailor themselves to the consumer. What draws me to their brand of cheese is that the slices come in a bevy of unique flavors such as garlic and herb, hot pepper, and tomato basil.

Parmela Creamery

 

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Parmela Creamery draws from the subtle flavors that come from cashews. The company utilizes a slow-aging process for their nut cheeses that unlocks rich authentic flavors. Products include cheese spreads, meltable slices, cheese sauces, and meltable shredded cheese.

Wayfare

 

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A good smoked salmon bagel is something I’ll never turn down — even if the lactose gets the best of me for the rest of the day. Fortunately, Wayfare Foods specializes in dairy-free cream cheeses (with flavors like onion chive, green olive, and jalapeño) that may be the perfect solution to my bagel predicament.

Bute Island

 

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Foodbeast’s Analiese Trimber, a fellow lactose-intolerant soul who’s tried nearly every iteration of vegan cheeses, told me that Bute Islands was one of the best vegan cheeses she’s experienced.

“My favorite was the Greek style,” she said. “It was fashioned after feta cheese and their rendition was super creamy and slightly tangy, just like a good feta.”

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Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Tastemade/Snapchat

Hack Your Lactose Intolerant Body With These Tips To Enjoy Dairy

Maybe your struggle with lactose intolerance defined most of your eating habits for years or perhaps you finally realized your lattes don’t have your stomach’s best interests at heart (the delicious bastards). Whatever the case, as a long-time sufferer of unusual intestinal reactions, I know your pain.

Luckily for you, I’ve dealt with all the embarrassing gurgles and side-clutching spasms in order to save you from yourself. My five years of trial and error need not go in vain.

 

Are you even lactose-intolerant?

lactose intolerant

Before you heed any of my sage advice, you should check with your doctor to see if you actually have a milk allergy. I may be intolerant to guys who wear trilby hats, but I’ve never gone into an anaphylactic shock from them brushing against me.

 

Don’t cut out dairy

dairy-products

Going cold turkey will just make your inevitable moment of weakness incredibly uncomfortable. I went a month without any dairy only to be struck down by a creme brûlée cheesecake. Decadence never hurt so good.

Start out by having small doses of dairy on a daily basis and increase the amounts as you start to notice fading symptoms.  Progress will be long and slow, but now, as soon as I enter certain restaurants, servers start slicing up cheesecake.

 

Grab some chocolate milk

chocolate-milk

Flavored and whole milk contain more fat which softens the Ronda Rousey-force lactose blow to your stomach. Chocolate milk, in addition to being a time machine to your childhood, can also prevent your other muscles from cramping up after a workout.

You’d think the low-fat or low percentage milk would treat you right, but you’re just getting the same dose of lactose with half the flavor.

 

Change your cheese habits

cheese-assorted

Pick up some Brie (unicorn milk aged and curdled by a fairy godmother) and other aged cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan. Truth be told, most cheese contains very little lactose, but if this is a sensitive area in your diet, buy sharp/extra sharp Cheddar instead of mild because they age for much longer. The fresher the cheese, the more likely you’ll turn into a hot air balloon.

 

Quit the cow bias

sheep

Sheep and goat’s milk/cheese have comparable lactose levels to cow’s milk, but many people find them much easier to digest. Try them on their own before you add any to sauces or other recipes; they’re much creamier bases.

 

You can gain tolerance

dairy-products-milk-shake

Not of trilby hats, that’s unforgivable. Nowadays, I can have a gigantic milkshake and as much pizza as I want on a first date without feeling like the Alien is about tear through my abdomen. If you get your body to grow accustomed to lactose, every day doesn’t have to be soy/almond/tofu alternatives (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

Consuming entire bricks/wheels of night cheese a la Liz Lemon is still a forever alone activity, but honestly, it’s worth it.

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Health

Apparently, 65% of the World Drinks Goat’s Milk Over Cow’s Milk

goat-on-a-cow

Despite America’s countless milk mustaches and the iconic “Milk, it does a body good” campaign, 65 percent of the world drinks goat’s milk over cow’s milk.

It’s worth noting that this worldwide preference for goat’s milk has happened without any high-powered marketing campaigns or celebrity endorsements. The simple reason for goat milk’s popularity seems to be the relative ease with which it’s produced.  One goat, which can produce an average of a gallon and a half of milk a day, more than enough for a single family, takes up less space and needs less feed than a dairy cow. This provides impoverished countries or homes without refrigeration, a cheaper and easier way to consume dairy.

Not only are goats easier to keep than cows, but goat milk is less likely to cause lactose intolerance (because it contains less lactose molecules) and is easier to digest than cow’s milk. It also contains less fat and is naturally homogenized, which means the fresh milk won’t separate, like cow’s milk tends to do.

While redditors are still contesting whether these statistics are true, there’s  little doubt that goat milk consumption is better for  the environment and for both cows and goats alike.  The jury’s still out on which one tastes better, but we bet milk from a happy grass-fed goat tastes pretty darn good.

Think “Got Goat Milk?” should be the new slogan? Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever tried it!

H/T Reddit + PicThx Goats on Things

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Hit-Or-Miss

Map of Milk Consumption & Lactose Intolerance Around the World


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Living in a country that not only fosters, but encourages mass consumption of ridiculously decadent food fare, I find it a little surprising that the United States is NOT the number one consumer of dairy products. I mean we live in a land that throws chocolate in and around basically any food imaginable along with copious amounts of bacon and we’re neither the lead consumer of milk nor pork per capita, believe it or not. I might even be a little disappointed at those facts if I weren’t suffering from three simultaneous heart attacks right now.

I’m kidding of course about the heart attacks. But seriously, it seems that most Americans just don’t have the same love and affection (and possibly lactose tolerance) as certain parts of Europe with countries like Sweden consuming between two and three hundred Kgs (that’s 440-660 lbs for us ‘Mericans) of milk per capita per year. Meanwhile, China’s consumption of milk is among the lowest with 37 Kgs (81 lbs) per capita per year. This next image illustrating the percentage of each country’s population allergic to lactose–a sugar found in milk and dairy products–might shed some light on these statistics.


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It turns out that over 90% of China’s population is allergic to lactose, which might explain it’s low consumption. I’d probably be less inclined to eat something that gave me indigestion, but I am still a sucker for rest-stop sushi. C’est la vie.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s population of lactose intolerant individuals is right around 4%. Back over in the US, lactose intolerance varies by race with about 74% of African Americans, 87% of Indians and 14% of Caucasians with some kind of lactose allergy.

via Visual News