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Vegan Feta Cheese
Vegan feta cheeses bring centuries of Greek tradition and flavor excellence to the tables of modern vegans. Feta and similar white cheeses are a central element of Levantine and Mediterranean cuisine. Traditionally, feta cheese is made from cow’s milk, or from a mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk, and aged in brine for a salty savor.
Advancements in the production of vegan cheeses have brought about the dawning of a new age for vegan cheese lovers. Vegan feta cheese can be just as tangy, salty, savory, and moreish as the beloved traditional cheese on which it is based.
Vegan feta cheese is soft, slightly granular, and crumbles easily, with a characteristic sharp tang. It’s great as a table cheese, in salads, in baking, and in delicious dishes from around the world.
Non-dairy feta cheese is safe for lactose intolerant people, packed with vitamins and nutrients from the plant-based ingredients used to make it. It crumbles, bites, cuts, melts, and cooks just like dairy feta!
What is Vegan Feta Cheese?
Dairy-free feta cheese can be made from a variety of ingredients. The base is usually formed from coconut oil, tree nut milk, or tofu. Maize starch, oat fiber, other texturants, and thickeners such as carrageenan and guar gum are added along with salt.
Bacterial action separates the vegan feta cheese, just like in the production of dairy feta cheese. The resulting soft white dairy-free feta cheese is crumbly, tangy, salty, and moreish.
It can be plated, put in a sandwich, put on a cracker, baked into a pastry, crumbled over a salad, or enjoyed as part of a Greek-style lunch buffet. These are just some of the possibilities. Anything dairy feta cheese can do, so can non-dairy feta cheese.
Things to Keep in Mind About Buying Dairy-Free Feta Cheese
First up, the benefits: vegan feta cheese is natural, cruelty-free, and just as versatile and delicious as its dairy-based rivals. There are high concentrations of calcium and other nutrients in non-dairy feta cheese. Natural plant lipids in vegan feta have replaced all the potentially unhealthy animal fats in dairy feta.
It’s important to be aware that vegan feta cheese is often made with tree nut milk and oils. People with nut allergies should always check the ingredients and allergen warnings before purchasing or consuming vegan feta cheese.
Dairy-free feta cheese is made with rennet from natural, plant-based sources such as nettles, cardoon thistles, or artichokes. While vegan and plant-based, those with allergies to rennet should be aware of its presence in vegan feta cheese.
PlantX offers Bute Island Greek-Style Sheese, a crumbly coconut oil, and potato starch-based vegan feta cheese with the bright, tangy, saline flavor profile of traditional dairy feta cheese.
Top brands of Vegan Feta Cheese available on PlantX
Try these amazing plant-based feta cheese substitutes and find your favorite!
VioLife - Just Like Feta Block comes in a classic block ready to slice, dice, enjoy! Coconut oil-based and crumbly, VioLife - Just Like Feta Block is perfect for sandwiches, cheese platters, and picnics.
Follow Your Heart - Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles comes ready-crumbled to be sprinkled over salads or for garnishing delicious savory phyllo pies. Based on coconut oil and potato starch Follow Your Heart - Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles are the perfect ready-to-use vegan feta substitute.
Health Benefits of Non-Dairy Feta Cheese
Vegan feta cheeses are made from natural ingredients. This means that dairy-free feta cheese lacks many of the chemical additives, colorants, preservatives, texturants, and flavorings that are present in many dairy feta cheeses.
While not consuming medically dubious food additives is vital for the health of the body’s systems and overall wellbeing, non-dairy feta cheese has more to offer than its absence of toxins. Nutrients abound! Particularly of note is the high calcium content of most vegan feta cheeses - great for bone and tooth health as well as skin and hair condition.
Want more deliciousness? Here is a recipe for vegan Spanakopita
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek spinach phyllo pie. This is a recipe for an egg-free Spanakopita that uses vegan paneer or vegan ricotta and vegan feta cheese to create a dairy-free, vegan dish that is delicious and carries the flavors of its Greek homeland well.
Defrost 8 phyllo pastry sheets. Preheat your oven to 356 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees celsius.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add 3 or 4 cloves of chopped garlic and sauté. Add one chopped green chili and one finely chopped onion. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of washed and finely chopped spinach.
Cook until the spinach is wilted (2 or 3 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add half a cup of crumbled vegan feta cheese, a quarter cup of crumbled vegan paneer, and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper. Salt and season to taste.
Brush an 8-inch baking dish with olive oil. Cover the base of the pan with a phyllo sheet. Brush the base sheet with oil and add another sheet. Repeat twice more, for 4 sheets of phyllo laid on the base of the dish.
Add the spinach and vegan feta cheese mixture and spread evenly. Cover the filling with a phyllo sheet and brush the sheet with olive oil. Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 phyllo sheets covering the filling. Brush the top sheet with olive oil and place the dish in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the phyllo pastry is brown and the filling is warm.
Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does vegan feta Cheese melt like dairy feta cheese?
Yes! It runs slightly thinner than melted dairy feta but retains its great flavor. More, once melted and set it will remelt on reheating without cloying or burning! This means dairy-free feta cheese works great in sandwiches, grills, and melts!
How long does vegan feta last?
The shelf-life of dairy-free feta cheese varies a lot depending on what it's made from. Generally, Vegan feta will keep for 5 to 7 days if refrigerated. It is wise to consult the packaging for specific storage instructions. Non-dairy feta cheese should not be frozen, as this will cause separation of the fats and ruin the vegan feta.
What is non-dairy feta cheese made of?
As with most vegan cheese, vegan feta cheese is made with a variety of different base ingredients. There are many roads to success! Common bases include tofu, nut milk, and coconut oil. Thickeners like guar or xanthan gum and carrageenan are often added alongside oat fiber, maize starch, and potato starch. Salt and natural colorants such as carotenes are also common.
Is dairy-free feta cheese good for your health?
In moderation! Too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing. That said, vegan feta cheese tends to lack the dangerous, cholesterol-encouraging animal fats found in their dairy rivals. Plant-derived nutrients are present in all the varieties of non-dairy feta cheese, especially calcium.
Does vegan feta cheese contain rennet?
Yes. The rennet used in the production of vegan feta cheese is derived from plants. People with rennet allergies should beware when consuming non-dairy feta, or vegan cheeses of any kind, as plant-based rennet is a common ingredient in vegan feta cheese.