Plant-Based Budget-Friendly Cheese

You might be thinking to yourself… this woman is obsessed with cheese.
First recipe? Is cheese. First review? You got it: cheese.

Well, you’re not wrong.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: bad vegan cheese. If you’re vegan, you’ve had it. If you’re not vegan, you’re probably making a stink-face at the fact that I think that there is “good vegan cheese” and you’re thinking I’m nuts. Well, my friend… joke’s on you. Because the only thing nuts around here is my cheese.

I bought these cheesy-bad-boys this past weekend when the husband and I went to Vancouver to celebrate his birthday. If you read my last post, you know how much I love Vegan Supply. No, I’m not sponsored by them. They are just ridiculously amazing and have tons of things us allergy-ridden folk CAN ACTUALLY EAT. What a concept. Why can’t everyone be more like them?

The ones that are in this post are also more budget-friendly options than the crazy-expensive fancy vegan cheeses that are like $20-$30 (read as: millions of dollars). Those ones I just stare at and internally scream “WHHHYYYYYYY” as I caress the glass door that encases them… because why does someone have to go and be so mean and separate me and cheese like that? Rude. (One day when I have saved up some cheese-money I will do a fancy cheese post, though. Because no one can keep me away from my love of cheese. No one.)

Anyway. First up is a brand that both did wonders… and somewhat of a disservice… to the dairy-free everythang industry. I know that when I first tried Vegan cheese – it was Daiya. And then I was all like HAHAHAHAHA……. well, that was a good run. And never again. Here’s the thing, though. I found the only actually GOOD Daiya cheese. And it’s the Smoked Gouda Style block. We have this at our home pretty regularly, as you can buy it from stores like Save On Foods, Safeway and Superstore for about $5.50. They are based out of Vancouver too, so it’s kinda cool that a pretty big vegan company has it’s roots here! This cheese has got a really great Gouda flavour (not very much smoke at all, for anyone who doesn’t like the smoke-y tastes in things – you’re safe on this one), good cheesy texture and minimum of that really special “Daiya taste”. You know what I mean. I have it with Granny Smith apple slices for a snack or, most recently, mixed it in with the other cheeses listed below to make the most amazing plant-based mac and cheese of alllllll time. Take that, KD. Just know that if you’re going to melt it down, it’s going to take a little bit of extra love. But who doesn’t have a little bit of extra love for cheese?

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Next up: Pulse Kitchen‘s Almond Gruyere. To me, it didn’t have the more bold taste normally associated with an aged gruyere. It tasted more like a young gruyere cheese – which makes sense with what it’s made of, since creamy and nutty are the normal taste profiles of a younger gruyere cheese. It was creamy and yummy and melted down super well. It’s definitely a semi-firm cheese and breaks apart easily when cut/touched/looked at. I think this one is more of a “putting it into/on things” cheese rather than an “eat it by itself” cheese, so it depends what you’re into, I guess! I bought this for $9.99 at Vegan Supply. I might buy it again if I was going to make that amazing mac and cheese again, but other than that I would probably venture out and try another one from their line, as I’ve heard great things of this Penticton brand’s cheeses!

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This next one blows my mind. Violife Parmesan. It looks like a block of parmesan. It smells like a block of parmesan. It grates like a block of parmesan. It tastes like a block of parmesan. BUT IT’S NOT TRADITIONAL PARMESAN. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC. Like, I wanna prank people with this cheese. Not that it would really be a prank… “OH HAHA YOU ATE SOMETHING DELICIOUS TOO FUNNY.”. But I think it would fool ANY omnivore. This Greece based company’s “parmesan” cheese sells for $8.99 at Vegan Supply, and man oh man, is it ever worth it. Salads, pasta, popcorn, bowls… endless options. I used to make cashew/almond “parmesan” and it doesn’t compare to this. I have no clue how they did it… but man, you gotta try this. Eating is believing, I always say.

(I’ve literally never said that).

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The last one I’m literally chompin’ on right now. It’s absolutely delicious. I keep glancing over at Thom to see if he has noticed that I’m eating the last of it… I have no self-control. I should share… but… I… can’t. Okay, I gave him the rest of it. Seeing him happy is better than any cheese, anyway. But back to the cheese! It’s my all-time favourite plant-based cheese thus far in my young cheese-filled life. Get this: I don’t like sundried tomatoes. I’m weird like that. This has sundried tomatoes ALL UP IN IT. And I eat it like it’s going out of style. It’s got an awesome seed-crust and is SO cheesy, soft and delicious. Plant Base Cheddahh is based in Vancouver and can be found at Vegan Supply for $17.99. “WHAT! That’s a lot!”, you say? It’s a whopping 454 grams. This thing is massive. Trust me, in taste alone it’s worth the price. But it’s easily enough to bring to a party. Or to eat for a week or two every day. Or to sit down in sweats and eat in one sitting. Why do all my blog posts always come back to me sitting in sweats eating large amounts of things…

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Another cheese not pictured, but well-tried and worth noting: Kite Hill Cream Cheese. ABSOLUTE BEST THING. I used to be a cream cheese fiend and this stuff is super close to the real deal. Wish I had a never-ending supply that I could eat daily. Because I would. It’s that good. You can get a “normal-sized cream cheese” container of it at Vegan Supply for $11.49. It’s constantly out of stock, though… hence why it’s not pictured here. This one isn’t local (they’re based in California) but, just like Violife, is SO amazing.

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I was going to end with a cheesy joke, but then I realized that wouldn’t be gouda.
Until next time, friends.

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