My Quest for the Best Plant-Based Cheese

Just over 5 years ago, my relationship with food changed. I went on a vacation to Costa Rica and while I was there attended a raw cooking workshop (total life changer). Previous that that I had been a picky pescatarian for the majority of my life. 

During the workshop and in the year that followed, I learned a ton about food, nutrition — and really got comfortable experimenting. I tried new plant-based recipes, raw cooking, every different type of nut, and spent a lot of time with my food processor. I didn’t get hung up on diets or allergies, instead I just focused on whole foods and paying attention to what made me feel good (and what didn’t).

Since then, I’ve been on a plant-based journey, and these days Elliot and I prefer eating plant-based to anything else. Vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts and grains for the win.

One thing I had to figure out early on was how I would replace cheese (the dairy kind!). I used to love cheese, but I knew it didn’t agree with my gut. Back then, I turned to Daiya cheeses. I didn’t like it at all, but at the time, there wasn’t a ton of options on the market.

Since then, plant-based companies have exploded in Canada! From coast to coast, there are a ton of plant-based lovers and artisan creameries bringing dairy-free cheeses to our community. 

Best Plant-Based Cheese in Vancouver

I pretty much buy every dairy-free cheese I can get my hands on. I’ve been on the hunt for the best. :) In 2017, I crossed the border for cheese, attended a cheese-making workshop,  filled my suitcase with Italian nut-cheeses, participated in Blue Heron’s pre-order cheese subscription, and continually refreshed Vegan Supply’s website for new products in stock. 😅

So, here you go…

The Holy Grail of Plant-Based Cheeses: 

Note: I’m crossing my fingers that Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze will be available in Vancouver soon. The “voursin” looks amazing & it will no doubt hit the holy grail list. 

Making Plant-Based Cheese at Home

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

Plant-based cheese sauces are super easy to make at home. Hard cheeses are a bit tricker – and definitely require more patience. One of my favourite toppings is nutritional yeast — love the cheezy flavour! It’s great sprinkled on popcorn, roasted veggies and buddha bowls.

If you’re keen to whip up a plant-based cheese or three, my favourite recipes are:

Parmesan cheese is also super easy to make. I combine brazil nuts (a handful), a clove of garlic, and a wee bit of salt, then blend it up in a food processor. It stores well in fridge for a few weeks or the freezer for a few months.

Happy New Years. May all your 2018 cheese dreams come true.