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Over the past couple of years, we have seen a significant rise in veganism, which is a great thing. If you ask individuals about what was the most difficult part about turning vegan, most of them won’t say giving up meat. This is because technology has allowed them vegan meat that is similar to real meat. A majority of people admit that the most challenging part about turning vegan was giving up cheese. It has kept and still keeps many people from becoming vegans. While there were vegan cheese options, the texture was not right. Whether it was soy cheese or rice milk cheese, most of them felt rubbery. And the fact that these cheese didn’t melt took all the fun away.
But now, some of the vegan cheese makers have figured out the formula to make cheese that melts and shreds like non-vegan cheese. This means that we could finally enjoy vegan quesadillas, lasagna, ziti, enchiladas, and pizzas. Here are some of the best vegan cheese that you can use for making quesadillas.
Why Choose Vegan Cheese?
Vegan cheese is a healthy option, granted that it is made using natural products. It eliminates the less healthy elements of cheese like fat while replacing it with the healthiest aspects of organic products. Following are the benefits of consuming vegan cheese:
- Along with being more natural and less processed as opposed to dairy cheeses, vegan cheeses are also very fulfilling. They offer a lot of energy in terms of carbohydrates and fiber. Vegan cheeses also contain quality proteins and healthy fats.
- Vegan cheeses have probiotic bacteria that protect intestinal flora or microbiota. Additionally, they do not have opioid peptides that cause constipation and intestinal permeability.
Best Vegan Cheese For Quesadillas
Violife Just Like Parmesan Block
This is a brand that is rapidly becoming a favorite among the vegan. This particular cheese has a great ingredient list which is free of dairy, preservatives, lactose, casein, nuts, soy, and gluten. Voilife’s cheese is coconut oil-based and fortified with vitamin B12. This has a flavor and texture, which is hard to normally find in vegan variants. It easily shreds like the standard chunk of parmesan that can make your quesadillas creamy.
- Texture similar to real parmesan
- Easy to grate or slice
- Safe for people with nut or soy allergy
- The coconut flavor is a bit distracting
Nooch It! Cashew Grated Cheese
This cashew-based vegan cheese will bring a great flavor to your quesadillas. Surprisingly, the ingredient list is short and is USDA-certified organic. It contains fair-trade cashews, brown rice flour, nutritional yeast, hemp seed, sea salt, and garlic powder. The garlic flavoring does take the flavor a notch higher. Moreover, the labels claim the cheese to be gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.
- It has great taste
- The texture is similar to real parmesan cheese
- It is made with fair-trade and organic cashew
- The cashew flavor comes across as strong
- It could be easily made at home
Miyoko’s Fresh Vegan Mozzarella
If you are missing shredding fresh mozzarella balls while making quesadilla or pizza, then you should definitely try Miyoki’s vegan mozzarella. It is made from organic ingredients and is perfect to be used on various dishes. It does not grate well as compared to other vegan cheese on the list. However, if you freeze it before grating, it will do a great job. This plant-based vegan cheese is free of palm oil, gluten, and soy. It is made of ingredients including organic cashew, filtered water, organic coconut oil, agar, organic tapioca, organic cultured sugar, sea salt, and organic sunflower lecithin.
- It can be most melted and shredded
- Free of palm oil, soy, and gluten.
- Made from high-quality organic ingredients
- It is difficult to grate
- The cheese is a bit expensive.
Kite Hill Original Almond Milk Cream Cheese Spread
A little unconventional to be used on a quesadilla, but you can certainly give it a try. Contrary to other vegan cream cheese, it spreads like natural cream cheese. Additionally, it also has a similar tartness that you would want in cream cheese. You use this vegan cheese to make a dip to go along with your quesadillas. Moreover, it is also gluten and soy-free, and non-GMO. One of the drawbacks of this almond-based cream cheese is that it does not last long, so you cannot stock up.
- It has an amazing texture and flavor.
- The short and organic ingredient list is impressive
- It spread like real cream cheese.
- It is a bit harder to find
- The cream cheese has a short shelf life
Siete Dairy Free Mild Nacho Cashew Queso
Queso dip is more than cheese. It is the perfect accompaniment to various snacks. And fortunately, going vegan does not mean that you have to give up on the delicious queso dip. The Siete dairy-free cashew queso is vegan, paleo, and loaded with flavor. The mild nacho flavor of this dish will instantly make you nostalgic. Whether you warm it up or have it cold, this is the perfect side to dip your quesadilla. The cashew-based dip is soy-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo, and non-GMO.
- It is paleo-friendly
- The queso is grain-free, dairy-free and soy-free
- The ingredient list is simple and straightforward
- It has great texture and flavor
- It was a bit expensive
- The queso must be refrigerator at all time
Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Cheddar Shreds
Cheddar is one of the best cheeses to be used in quesadillas. These shreds have almost a similar texture as the real cheddar. It can be used whenever you want to make quesadillas with cheese that melts seamlessly. These can also be used in dips. Although the product uses palm oil, it is sustainably grown from farms that are Rainforest Alliance-certified in South America. The cheese is also free of soy.
- It is soy-free
- The product melts very well
- The shred is a great vegan substitute for real cheddar cheese.
- It has a palm oil base
- The product only comes in a large package
Field Roast Chao Creamy Original Chao Slices
This vegan cheddar is made from fermented tofu and coconut oil. People have been raving about this cheese and for all the right reasons. The vegan cheese will go excellently with your vegan meat. It comes with vegan certification and is non-GMO.
- Made from high-quality natural ingredients
- It melts easily and does not get stiff
- The flavor and texture is spot on
- The coconut flavor stands out
What Are The Types Of Vegan Cheeses?
Vegan cheese makers are on the quest to bring the most authentic taste to the cheese. And with every passing year, they have tried to bring various varieties of vegan cheeses that include:
- Wedges and Blocks
- Cream Cheese
- Soft cheese
- Cheese Sauce
- Blue Cheese
What Are The Main Sources From Which Vegan Cheese Are Made?
The first-ever dairy-free cheese was created in the 1980s but was not especially palatable. Over the last years, the vegan cheese market has witnessed a significant transformation. Today, you will come across a myriad of varieties of vegan cheese. You can either make it at home or can be purchased from the store. Here are some of the sources of vegan cheese:
Tree Nuts and Seeds
Vegan cheese is made from various kinds of raw tree nuts and seeds. This is the most popular ingredient when making DIY vegan cheese because it is easy to make. Moreover, cheese made of tree nuts and seeds requires relatively less processing. Seeds or nuts are soaked, blended, and later fermented with bacteria that are used to create dairy cheese. Some of the other common ingredients of this cheese are nutritional yeast, salt, herbs, etc. Moreover, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are among the common ingredients to make nut-based or seed-based cheeses.
This is among the most common ingredients found in vegan cheese. There are many brands providing cheese products made from soy protein, like tofu. Additionally, other ingredients are also added to mimic the taste and texture of real cheese. Soy-based cheeses include casein, which is a milk protein. It is added to allow the cheese to melt.
Some vegan cheese is produced from a mix of various starchy flours, including potato, tapioca, all-purpose flour, or arrowroot. The flours are combined with almond milk, soy milk, coconut, cashews, or white beans. Generally, vegan cheese with high content of flour ends up becoming saucier instead of sliceable like vegan cheese.
It is the liquid from canned chickpeas. Although generally, we throw it away, Aquafaba is used in vegan baking. It is most commonly used as a substitute for eggs in baked products, but recently it has been used in vegan cheese. It is an easy-to-access cheese-making ingredient as it enables the end-product to melt when heated like the dairy cheese. The end products still need certain binding ingredients such as carrageenan, agar-agar, cashews, coconut cream, oil, etc.
While it is less common, certain kinds of vegan cheeses are made from root vegetables. Carrots and potatoes are among the most common sources. If done right, this vegan cheese comes extremely soft and like cheese sauce. The root vegetables are cooked until they are soft. Thereafter, they are blended with other ingredients such as spices, salt, oil, and water. Everything is blended until there is a smooth and creamy consistency.
Coconut milk, oil, and cream are other popular vegan cheese sources. The high-fat content of coconut creates creamy cheese-like products. Other ingredients are also included, such as cornstarch, carrageenan, agar-agar, potato starch, or tapioca. Together these ingredients create the texture and density of real cheese.
Considering the strong flavor of coconut, it does not alone replicate the taste of cheese; other ingredients are added to boost the flavor, such as onion powder, salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast.
Guide To Buying The Best Vegan Cheese
Here are some of the key factors that you should consider when buying vegan cheese:
The kind of ingredients used in vegan cheese determines its quality. Vegan cheeses with root vegetables and cashew as base offer natural creaminess. Tree nuts are the most common potential allergen in vegan cheese. So, if you have a nut allergy, you should avoid it. Secondary ingredients are where gums and fillers can sneak in, so you have to be careful. Therefore, whenever you buy vegan cheese, make sure to read the ingredients carefully.
The cheese that is more processed will be the ones that feel like the dairy cheese. Moreover, less processed cheese will feel a bit chalky or a bit grainy despite its flavor.
Look for products that have received organic certification. It implies that vegan cheese is free of animal products such as meat or dairy, honey, sugar, or any other by-products. If you are choosing vegan products for ethical reasons, ensure to look for the certification.
Although certain vegan cheeses come in rounds or blocks for booking, melting, or snacking, a lot of vegan cheeses do not have that property. This is why it is important to consider how you will plan to use vegan cheese. Commonly, you will have to choose between slices and shreds; there are also spreads, sauces, and blocks available.
People often complain that vegan cheeses don’t melt. And the ones that do melt are highly processed. Therefore ensure to check the packaging before making the decision.
The vegan diet has become increasingly popular. People are turning vegan due to ethical, health, or environmental reasons. A vegan diet may have different health benefits when done right. Quesadillas are great to have as a mid-snack or anytime you want. Fortunately, there are many delicious vegan recipes out there that you can explore. While the authentic taste of vegan cheese has always been an issue, today, there are many brands offering excellent varieties. Above, we have shared some of the best vegan cheese that will go well with your vegan quesadilla.