The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Years ago, when I first tasted plant-based cheese, my immediate reaction was, I can’t believe people actually eat this stuff! The texture reminded me of a pencil eraser and the taste was extremely salty. No cheesy flavor, just salt.
Fast-forward to today, and it’s a totally different experience. In fact, the flavor and texture of plant-based cheese is so close to true dairy cheese, you’ll swear you’re eating the real thing.
Plant-based cheese sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? While dairy cheese is made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk, plant-based cheese uses Fx-approved ingredients like blended cashews, coconut oil, nutritional yeast (deactivated yeast with cheesy undertones), live active cultures for fermentation and herbs and spices to mimic the flavor and texture of traditional cheese without any animal products.
Vegans aren’t the only people enjoying plant-based cheese these days; those with dairy sensitivities and those looking to eat fewer animal products are incorporating them into their daily diets, too!
I’ve personally tried more than a dozen plant-based cheeses from Heinen’s and here are my favorites.
Nuts for Cheese (Located in the Specialty Cheese Department)
Rich and creamy, made from organic cashews, fermented with house-made cultures and aged to perfection, Nuts for Cheese will quickly become your new favorite plant-based cheese.
With flavors like Black Garlic, Un-Brie-Lievable (a plant-based take on brie), Smoky Gouda, Super Blue, and Pink Peppercorn, there’s a flavor for every member of your family!
Try them on a charcuterie board, in dips or creamy pasta sauces and even on pizza!
Treeline Dairy-Free Goat Style Cheese (Located in the Specialty Cheese Department)
If you like the earthy, buttery and tart flavor of traditional goat cheese, you will love Treeline Dairy-Free Goat Style Cheese. This fermented plant-based cheese contains live active cultures of friendly bacteria, just like yogurt! And, with only 90 mg per serving, Treeline is a great choice for those following a low sodium diet.
Elevate a salad with Treeline’s Original flavor or spread their Garlic Basil variety on gourmet pizza or veggie sandwich for bright and creamy richness.
Violife Cheddar or Mozzarella Shreds (Located in the Dairy Department)
On those occasions when salads and tacos call for cheese—and let’s be honest, that’s every occasion—Violife Shreds are a true lifesaver. They taste just like real shredded cheese!
Another winning feature of Violife is that their shreds actually melt, which is a common challenge for many plant-based cheeses on the market. This makes both varieties an ideal choice for warm applications like omelets and Portobello pizza.
Primal Kitchen Spicy Queso-Style Plant-Based Dip (Located in the Grocery Department)
Primal Kitchen Spicy Queso-Style Plant-Based Dip is a delicious, non-dairy solution for nachos, whole grain tortilla chips, veggies, burritos, and more. Each jar is packed with Fx-approved ingredients like tomatoes, carrots, jalapenos, red bell peppers and pumpkin seed butter to give it a super creamy texture. This is plant-based cheese at its finest!
Reducing your consumption of animal products has never been easier or more enjoyable. You won’t feel the least bit deprived now that you have these plant-based, Fx-approved solutions to satisfy your cheesy cravings. Try a few on your next trip to Heinen’s. I promise you won’t be disappointed!