DAIRY FREE CHEESE SUBSTITUTES

Dairy is a very common food sensitivity, second to gluten.  We are frequently asked by customers for recommendations for cheese alternatives.  In today's market there is an impressive array of options, although sometimes it involves making a special trip to some less known markets.   This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we did narrow the list to products that are truly casein free.  Some of the best alternatives are nut based, however there are  more nut-free options becoming available all the time.  Please let us know if you are aware of other products we should add to this list!

1.  Parmela’s.  Cashew based cheese.  Available as shredded, block and spreadable options.  Our favorites are the Spreadable Pepper and Kalamata Olive.  The “mozzarella” style shredded is pretty good too.  Pea protein free.  Available at Whole Food’s and PCC markets. $$ 

2.  Follow Your Heart.  Nut-free cheese using coconut oil and misc. starches.  Several sliced varieties, as well as a shredded “parmesan”.  The sliced “gouda” has a rich smoky flavor that we love, great paired with ham in a sandwich. Available at Whole Food’s and PCC markets. $

 3.  Vtopian.  Cashew based, artisan-style cheese , wedge or block style.  A gourmet line of unusual flavor combinations:  Port wine “cheddar”, Caramelized Onion, Macadamia / cashew "camembert", Aged “cheddar”, Peppercorn “Brie”,  Chive & Dill, etc.  Unbelievably smooth and creamy. This is a cheese you can create a cheese platter with for entertaining, no one will know this is vegan cheese.   The only local retailer is Vegan Haven in the University District of Seattle.  Whole Foods Bellevue occasionally carries for the holidays, and has ordered this in per our request on one occasion.  There are also online sources. $$$ 

4.   Violife.  Nut-free, sliced and block style, vegan cheese made in Greece. “Parmesan”, “Mozzarella”, “Gouda”, even a “Blue Cheese” that tastes just like blue cheese!  This cheese has a fantastic melt quality.  The only local retailer is Vegan Haven in University District of Seattle.  An amazing price point.  Veg News Magazine product of the year award for 2017.  $

5.   Miyoko's  Creamery.   Artisan style soft and hard cheeses and even a vegan butter, made primarily from coconut oil and cashews, but some products contain soy and or chickpea.  Variety of flavors., including a soft mozzarella. Visit Miyokokitchen.com for a full description of products.  Available at Whole Foods, PCC Natural Markets, Vegan Haven.  $$

6.  NU Culture Foods.  Portland based.   Four varieties of vegan creamy, spreadable cheese:  "Bacony" chipotle, Garden herbs, Pimento paprika and a seasonal Pumpkin spice ( October through January).  New Seasons Market Mercer Island, Vegan Haven. $$

7.  Daiya.  Nut-free but does contain pea protein.  Shredded, block and spreadable varieties available.  Available at almost every Natural food store retailer, as well as QFC, Safeway, etc.  This is the cheese used as a vegan option at most pizzerias offering a GF crust.  Economical.  Slight off flavor, but widely available and economical.  $

$ = $6 or less per package

$$ = $7-12 per package

$$$  = $12 and up per package