Traditional pizzas are not vegan, and it’s not only because of pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. Even if you opt for only meat-free toppings, pizza still won’t be vegan because of the cheese. That’s when vegan cheese comes along – but what is vegan pizza cheese?
Vegan pizza cheese is a dairy-free cheese substitute. Instead of milk, it has soy, seeds, beans, or nuts as the base. Since vegan cheese is lower in calories and saturated fats, it can make pizza meals significantly healthier while keeping a similar taste. It’s an excellent choice for people on a low-fat or dairy-free diet.
If you’re engaged in veganism or just want to learn how to enjoy a healthier yet delicious meal, make sure you find out more about vegan pizza cheese.
Smart people came up with the idea of vegan cheese made without dairy that can be suitable for all those who choose not to eat products that come from animals. Perfected over the years, they now come close to traditional cheese and have become one of the crucial ingredients of vegan pizzas.
However, vegan pizza cheese can be a more suitable choice even for non-vegans. Naturally rich in calcium and proteins, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and other cheeses used as pizza toppings are also high in saturated fat and salt. Although delicious, cheese isn’t exactly the healthiest food.
Therefore, vegan pizza cheese can be a good option for people on a low-fat diet. Additionally, it is also a decent substitute for all those who suffer from more severe lactose intolerance.
Take a look at the table below to compare nutrition facts for mozzarella and vegan cheese:
|Nutrition elements per one ounce (28g)||Mozzarella||Vegan cheese|
|Calories||85 kcal||70 kcal|
|Saturated fat||3.7 g||1.1g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.2 g||0.5 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||1.9 g||1.8 g|
|Cholesterol||22 mg||0 mg|
|Sodium||178 mg||194 mg|
|Potassium||22 mg||129 mg|
|Sugar||0.3 g||6.7 g|
|Protein||6.3 g||3.3 g|
Vegan Cheese Ingredients
The main ingredient of each cheese is milk, so how is cheese made without it? Since it can’t be any kind of animal product, all vegan cheeses are plant-based. Here are some of the most common vegan cheese ingredients:
- Soy – tofu cheese is a perfect vegan pizza topping. It is made from soy proteins and is very low in saturated fats. Silken tofu is my favorite soy option, but keep in mind that it must be seasoned because it doesn’t really have any taste.
- Nuts (cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans) – flavorings need to be added, as well as nutritional yeast and extra probiotic cultures.
- Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin),
- Vegetable oils – usually coconut oil (some even use coconut milk or cream).
- Arrowroot or tapioca starch – ingredients that will help vegan cheese thicken and get a more cheese-like texture that can stretch and melt.
Keep in mind that these cheese come as blocks, dips, or cream, but they can also be shredded. Shredded vegan cheese is, of course, the best choice for vegan cheese pizza if you’re looking for a traditional texture and look.
Not all pizza places have excellent vegan pizza cheese. I even succeeded at finding out those that are disastrous. Therefore, I searched for the best way to make vegan cheese at home. Cashew mozzarella cheese was by far the most delicious one – and here is how to make it.
First of all, the ingredients you will need are:
- Cashews (raw),
- Nutritional yeast,
- Miso paste,
- Arrowroot or tapioca powder,
- Lemon juice,
Blend all the ingredients. Heat and stir the mix – you’ll soon see the mixture slowly thickening. Let it cool down to room temperature and put it in the freezer overnight, it will allow the mixture to harden, so it can be shredded when the time comes. This delicious cheese will melt once you put a pizza in an oven.
You can experiment a little with the toppings, even if you want to stay true to the vegan pizza idea. Aside from regular ones, such as mushrooms and red onions, try adding spinach, jalapenos, olives, artichokes, eggplant, or any other vegetable and fruit you see fit. Even pineapple – I don’t judge.
The same recipe from above can be used by anyone who’s allergic to nuts or is not particularly nuts about them (pun intended). All you need is a slight twist. Instead of cashews (or other nuts), use seeds or white beans. The rest of the procedure stays the same.
Vegan Cheese Pizza Can Be Delicious if It’s Made the Right Way
Vegan cheese on pizza tastes a lot better than it sounds, but you can’t use just any type of vegan cheese. It may take some time to find a place that uses (or sells) the right vegan cheese, and, honestly, you may not be entirely successful in making it from your first try. However, believe me when I say it’s worth a fuss – and I am not even vegan.