The Best Vegan Cream Cheese Choices for A Delicious Vegan Breakfast – Includes Best Brands
When going vegan, it can feel like you’re giving up a lot of tasty foods. Cream cheese is, for many, one of the big ones that get seriously missed when it comes to breakfast time.
But, the vegan cheese revolution is here! Not only do you have a choice of great vegan cheeses to choose from at the supermarket, it turns out making your own is pretty easy too.
This article will list out all the best vegan cream cheeses that are an excellent substitute for the dairy versions. No vegan will have to go without their precious cream cheese ever again!
The Best Vegan Cream Cheese Brands
First, let’s begin with the top brands you can buy in supermarkets. These cream cheese have been selected for their quality and their avoidance of nasty ingredients like palm oil and hydrogenated fats.
Plain, simple, and delicious. Kite Hill’s vegan cream cheese is a firm favorite. With 8 simple ingredients, they have created a delightful cheezy spread with almonds as the base.
The brand uses age-old techniques to produce its cream cheese. Using cultures, their range of cream cheeses is the best out there. I don’t like to think of vegan products as alternatives; they’re just great products in their own league.
Kite Hill offers several flavors, including plain, chive, everything, ranch, and garden veggie.
One of the best cream cheese spread out there using soybean oil. Perfect for your morning bagel, and it comes in a wide variety of great flavors, including plain, herbs and chive, garlic and herb, and whipped.
The texture of Tofutti is very creamy and tastes just like regular cream cheese. Tofutti was actually the original vegan cream cheese made available to the public. Watch out, there is a hydrogenated oil and non-hydrogenated oil version. Go for the latter if you want to watch your waistline and heart health.
If you don’t mind buying products using palm oil, you may want to consider this delicious vegan cream cheese spread from Follow Your Heart. It’s unbelievably creamy using soybean oil as the base ingredient.
It is non-hydrogenated and comes with a slightly salty taste. The latest versions of Follow Your Heart contain no soy if you don’t wish to consume soy in your diet. I highly recommend the “Vegan Gourmet” version of this cream cheese.
Nuttin is one of the healthier brands of vegan cream cheese. It uses cashews as the base ingredient and excludes any nasty ingredients. There are no oils or thickeners to be found on the ingredient list, either.
Flavors of Nuttin include plain, cracked pepper, Italian herb, and spicy (delicious!). The texture is creamy but not oily. Perfect for your morning toast or bagel. For those who can’t decide, you can buy a variety pack to try all the flavors. Nuttin is also perfect for mixing into a wholesome and healthy creamy pasta dish.
Violife is now one of the biggest vegan brands out there, and they have excellent vegan cream cheese. Made using coconut oil, it’s creamy but not too oily. It also comes with some much-needed B12.
There are a whopping nine different flavors to choose from, including plain, herbs, garlic and herb, cheddar, cheddar, cheddar and onion, black pepper, hot peppers, tzatziki, and tomato and basil. You won’t find any hydrogenated oils, either making it a semi-healthy choice for your cream cheese needs.
Possibly even softer than dairy cheese, Daiya is a firm favorite among vegans. You get the choice between plain, chive & onion, garden vegetable, and strawberry (weird but wonderful).
Each flavor is delicious on top of a bagel or English muffin, and each has a slightly sweet taste. Therefore, it’s quite useful if you want to create a vegan cream cheese frosting or even a vegan cheesecake.
Award-winning and absolutely delicious. Cheese is a popular vegan cheese brand, and their cream cheese is pretty impressive. There are six flavors to choose from, including original, cheddar style, chives, garlic and herb, spring onion, and sweet chili.
Each product comes in a classic round tub, and the texture and looks are just like regular cream cheese. Slightly dense at first but soon melts on top of your toasted bagel and easily spread. The flavors vary, some are salty, and some are sweet.
Miyoko has just five simple natural ingredients, and it tastes fantastic. This is cultured cream cheese, and it really does make a difference to the flavor. Not only are Miyoko’s products palm oil-free, but they’re entirely oil-free too.
Flavors to choose from include plain, scallion, and fish-free lox (seaweed). You can use the plain version for baking as it makes great-tasting frosting and works well in cheesecakes.
Treeline has successfully created a great range of nutty, soft cream cheeses using cashews that have been cultured with probiotics. This is as luxurious as it gets when it comes to vegan cream cheese, and the result is divine.
It’s a natural product and excludes all emulsifiers, thickeners, binders, preservatives, and added flavors. Each variety of Treeline cream cheese is consistent in texture and great taste. You have the choice between scallion, green peppercorn, chipotle-serrano pepper, and herb and garlic.
Wayfare recently changed all their packaging to a lovely green and vibrant vibe. The product itself is still its delicious self, though. There are just two flavors to choose from, including original and onion and chive.
The Substitution Dilemma: Some Milk Alternatives Used In Vegan Cream Cheese
As with any vegan alternative, there are always lots of options when it comes to the ingredients. When you buy regular cream cheese, it contains cow’s milk, and that’s it. But because there are so many plant milk available, you have lots of choices when it comes to the ingredients of your vegan cream cheese.
Soybean oil, isolated soy protein, and even tofu are found in some vegan cream cheese brands, such as Tofutti. Soy is great because it doesn’t have a strong flavor, and it’s high in protein.
There is a lot of controversy over soy. Mainly about how good it is for health and the environmental impact of farming soybeans. Most soybeans come from the Amazon Rainforest.
Unless you have a specific sensitivity to soy, it’s unlikely to affect your health in any way. And NO guys, it will not give you “man boobs” this is a ridiculous misconception that has been repeatedly debunked by medical professionals and researchers.
As for the environment, make sure you buy USA-grown soybeans where possible and organic-certified, non-GMO, and Fairtrade. No food is perfect. They all carry an ecological footprint.
In my opinion, cashew is the best ingredient for vegan cheese. All the best vegan cheeses I’ve tasted have been made using cashews. You will find some of the top brands for vegan cream cheese using cashews as their base for this exact reason.
Cashews, once soaked and whizzed up in a food processor, become ultra-creamy and have a similar texture to regular cream cheese. Cashews have a slightly nutty taste that works really well when making vegan cheese.
Vegan cream cheese made using almond milk is a popular choice for many brands and consumers. Almond milk is rich in flavor and creamy enough to create beautifully textured and delicious cream cheese.
Some vegan cream cheeses using almond milk are really thick and almost clotted. If you like this style, then almond milk cream cheese is perfect for you. Due to the amount of water and processing required to produce almonds, it is the most environmentally-friendly option you have.
Coconut oil is another very popular base ingredient for all types of vegan cheese. In my opinion, these are some of the worst-tasting vegan cheeses you can buy. However, some brands have been able to make good vegan cheese using coconut oil.
My issues with cheese using coconut oil are that it is slightly greasy and often tastes very processed and, in some cases, completely tasteless. In some products, the taste of coconut overpowers the entire experience.
Ingredients to Watch Out For
Unfortunately, labeling is still a bit of an issue when it comes to vegan products. Especially now, there is a rise in “flexitarian” products, which look like they’re vegan and are marketed like they’re vegan, but they contain some animal products.
So, be mindful when you’re shopping and make sure you read the labels carefully. Ingredients you may want to avoid include:
Just because the packaging is green and looks vegan does not mean it is. Many products are now being marketed as ethical and healthy when they are not. This is what’s known as “greenwashing,” and unfortunately, it’s on the rise.
You may be surprised to see several vegan-looking products that have milk-derivatives such as lactose and casein in the ingredients on closer inspection.
Go over to Go Dairy Free for a full list of dairy derivatives that you should look out for when buying any product.
Probably one of the most controversial ingredients on the planet. Palm Oil is mostly grown in Indonesia’s country, and its quick rise to popularity for pretty much every product you can imagine has led to widespread deforestation.
Indonesia is home to the majority of the world’s remaining orangutans. These beautiful creatures face extinction as palm oil continues to threaten their habitats and the homes of many other beautiful creatures that dwell in these ancient rainforests.
You will find some brands of vegan cream cheese using palm oil as a key ingredient. In fact, over 50% of processed goods on earth contain palm oil.
Palm oil is also the highest-yielding oil crop on the planet. Therefore, deciding whether it is ethical or not is not as simple as one may think. Yes, palm oil causes deforestation, but other oils may cause far more deforestation as they require even more land to be cleared to produce less oil.
You can buy products that use organic and Fair Trade palm oil. It’s essential to do your own research on palm oil and make your own decision on whether you would like to use it or not.
Hydrogenated oils are commonly used in many processed foods, including cream cheese. Hydrogenated oils help extend the shelf life of a product and cut costs. These oils are liquid unsaturated fats that are turned into solid fat using hydrogen.
These oils are also commonly known as “trans fats.” So, what’s the issue? Hydrogenated oils are incredibly high in fat and can lead to quick weight gain and, over time, lead to heart issues due to the high levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Avoiding hydrogenated oils is your choice. If you do want to avoid it, read the labels and look out for the name before buying.
Make Your Own Cream Cheese
If you don’t fancy spending the cash to buy vegan cream cheeses or you can’t find one you like, you can try making your own right at home. It’s incredibly simple too. All you need is a few ingredients and a good food processor or blender.
My favorite recipe is from Simple Veganista. All you need is raw cashews (soaked overnight), water, lemons, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend it all up, and you have vegan cream cheese in a matter of minutes.
Once you have the recipe down, you can add different flavors such as garlic, chives, rosemary, onion powder, roasted red pepper, and even jalapenos. You can get really creative and create your perfect vegan cream cheese!
Just because you’re vegan does not mean having to miss out on cream cheese. The vegan cream cheese brands listed in this article look and taste just like the real thing. So, get your bagels out and start spreading!
If you don’t fancy buying the brands, try making your own using the recipe linked above and let me know how it goes. Get creative!