Time and time again, people claim that the food item they crave the most as a vegan is cheese.  Why is it that cheese is so hard to give up?  Would you believe me if I told you cheese is a drug?  It is shocking and probably sounds a bit crazy, but it is the truth.  The protein found in dairy, called casein, acts like a low dose of morphine in our brains, causing the same euphoric feeling associated with drug use.  Evolutionarily, this makes sense because this happy feeling ensures that a baby animal will continue to drink milk from its mother.

But if this morphine-mimicker is found in all dairy, why is it that these strong cravings are mainly associated with cheese?  Cheese is concentrated milk, so it has a higher concentration of casein than milk, meaning that a block of cheese floods your system with these feel good hormones.

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Now, this would all be fine and dandy if cheese was chock full of vital nutrients, but the truth is that its effect on your health is also similar to that of a drug.  Cheese is full of cholesterol and has been linked to everything from heart disease to cancer.  While weening yourself off of dairy may be hard, there are now wonderful vegan cheeses on the market that make the transition much easier.  With brands available like the 10 listed below, you no longer have to suffer through cheese cravings.

1.  Daiya


No vegan cheese list would be complete without Daiya cheese.  Their line of products are the pinnacle of vegan cheese, tasting amazing as well as melting and stretching just like the real thing.  Their cheeses are free of dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, and nuts.  Their incredible line of dairy free cheese alternatives include shreds, slices, and wedges.  With flavors like cheddar, swiss, provolone, jack, jalapeno garlic havarti, mozzarella, and pepperjack, all your cheese dreams can be fulfilled with daiya cheese.

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2.  Teese Vegan Cheese Alternative

Teese Vegan Cheese Alternative claims to taste, melt, and stretch better than any other cheese alternative on the market.  Teese is the perfect choice for pizza, grilled cheese, nachos, and macaroni and cheese.  These gluten-free and soy-free cheeses come in four flavors: mozzarella, cheddar, nacho, and creamy cheddar.  Get ready to bite into cheese bliss with this cheese alternative.

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3.  Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternative

Follow your heart has a line of Gourmet Vegan Cheeses and Gourmet Vegan Cheese Shreds.  Their vegan gourmet cheese come in blocks of mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, and nacho.  These soy-based cheeses are perfect for cutting for sandwiches, salads, crackers, or any other way you could think to use a block of cheese.  Their gourmet cheese shreds are soy-free and melt just like the real thing.  They come in three flavors: mozzarella, cheddar, and fiesta blend.  All their cheeses are gluten-free and non-GMO verified.

4.  Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese

dr cow

Dr. Cow makes aged tree nut cheeses, all of which are fresh, simple, and creamy.  Their cheeses have no preservatives, stabilizers, artificial ingredients or additives, and are all organic.  Their tree nut cheese options include aged cashew nut cheese, aged cashew and hemp seeds cheese, aged cashew and crystal algae cheese, aged cashew and brazil nut cheese, aged cashew and dulse cheese, aged macadamia nut cheese, and aged macadamia and hemp seeds cheese.  These uniquely wonderful cheeses are bound to be a hit at your next wine and vegan cheese party.

5.  Parma! Vegan Parmesan

Parma! makes vegan parmesan that is deceptively realistic.  Made with only a few simple ingredients, it is perfect for sprinkling on pasta, pizza, salads, popcorn, or any other savory goodies.  Their original flavor is made with only three ingredients: walnuts, nutritional yeast, and Himalayan salt.  They also have two other flavors: chipotle cayenne, which will give your food a smokey cheesy flavor, and garlicky green, which is a mix of garlic, seeds, and kelp, giving your foods nutrients and a flavor kick.  You definitely cannot go wrong when adding any of these flavors to your foods.

6.  Nacho Mom’s Vegan Queso

Nacho Mom’s vegan queso has been hailed as a healthy and delicious way to spread cheesy queso on all of your food.  Their three vegan queso flavors are called ultimate, fire roasted, and voodoo.  The ultimate queso is their original flavor, packed with spice and cheesy flavor.  The fire roasted queso is a gluten free cheese spread with with the smokey flavors of fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and spices.  The gluten-free voodoo queso is made with black beans, giving this spread additional creaminess and depth of flavor.

7.  Wayfare We Can’t Say It’s Cheese Non-Dairy Spreads

Wayfare makes a line of cheese spreads called We Can’t Say It’s Cheese that taste and melt just like the real deal.  Their spreads are made with real, non-GMO verified ingredients that will make you feel good about putting them on just about anything.  We Can’t Say It’s Cheese spread flavors include cheddar, hickory cheddar, and mexi-cheddar.

 

8.  Bute Islands Foods Sheese Vegan Cheese

Bute Island Foods makes an incredible range of vegan cheese alternatives called sheese.  With this brand on the market, you can no longer say that there is no such thing as a realistic tasting vegan cheese.  The soybeans for their cheeses are IP sourced and non-GMO.  They offer 11 different gluten-free flavors and a multitude of different styles and textures, including melty mild cheddar, melty red cheddar, smoked cheddar, medium cheddar, strong cheddar, mozzarella, blue, cheshire, cheddar with chives, edam, and gouda.

9.  Food For Lovers Queso

 

Food for Lovers makes a creamy vegan queso that is bound to satisfy all of your Tex-Mex cheese needs.  This product is said to have a creaminess that you never thought you would experience without dairy.  Made with nutritional yeast, tomatoes, and green chiles, this queso dip is simple yet delicious, coming in both original and mild flavors.

 

 

 

10. Tofutti Soy Cheese Slices

If you haappen to have a hankering for good old-fashioned American cheese, or a realistic grilled cheese sandwich, then Tofutti soy cheese slices are exactly what you need.  They make individually wrapped cheese slices that look, feel, and taste exactly like conventional cheese slices.  They make both American and mozzarella slices for your cheese needs.

If you loved these recommendations, you can browse through some more amazing product recommendations here!

Image Source: Jennifer/Flickr