The question I hear most often when I tell people that I am vegan is “But don’t you miss cheese and dairy?” The truth is that I really don’t miss it, and I am about to share 35 of the best reasons why in this cookbook.
When I started searching for non-dairy cheese alternatives, my first stop was the alternative health food store where I found a number of commercial, non-dairy cheese alternatives. But what I discovered is that some of these cheese alternatives are flavorless, strangely textured, or are made from questionable ingredients. If you read the packages carefully, you will see that many vegan cheeses are made with refined sugar (who wants sugar in their cheese, anyway?) “flavoring,” “thickener,” “acidity regulator,” “natural vegan color” (scarily vague, no?), and hydrogenated vegetable oil. More often than not, soy and soy bi-products are used, which can be difficult for some people to digest. Also, at an average of $4.29 for a 12 ounce package, these vegan cheeses are not inexpensive!
The good news is that you can make your own non-dairy, totally delicious and healthy vegan cheeses for a fraction of the cost of commercially produced cheese alternatives. (There are basically three kinds of vegan cheese types: those that use nuts as their base; soy-based cheeses that use tofu at their basis; and hard cheeses that use agar, a vegan gelatin substitute. You will learn to make all three kinds in this cookbook.) After testing, adapting, and working my way through hundreds of recipes and variations, I have selected only the best of the best to include here. I have also selected cheeses that range from the very easy to gourmet (though still very do-able) fancy-pants party cheese balls. Gluten, wheat, and soy free recipes are also included here. Simply put, there is something in here that everyone can make and enjoy. Finally, I have added two appendixes that include recipes for classic dishes that use the cheeses in this book, both savory and sweet.