Living by experiences

To those who know, nothing feels more fulfilling than embracing a healthy plant-based eating lifestyle. Whether at your home dining table or restaurant, you can promptly attend to your hunger pangs with quick nutritious meals. Indeed, the growing  appeal of a plant-based eating lifestyle today provides us with many varieties to choose from. These include both quick nutritious meals on one side, and vegan processed meals or vegan junk foods on the other. Unfortunately, most individuals get it wrong by jumping from consuming animal products to unhealthy processed plant-based products. In addition, there is tug of war amongst the various food movements, including plant-based life-stylers themselves. Ideally, we should go for nutritious plant-based meals such as high protein vegetarian meals that keep us healthy and energetic. Let us examine a vegan ricotta recipe at hand, for instance, a dilemma arises: Is vegan cheese healthy or not? We shall explore the healthiness or lack of it, of processed vegan cheese. 

To those who know, nothing feels more fulfilling than embracing a healthy plant-based eating lifestyle. Whether at your home dining table or restaurant, you can promptly attend to your hunger pangs with quick nutritious meals. Indeed, the growing  appeal of a plant-based eating lifestyle today provides us with many varieties to choose from. These include both quick nutritious meals on one side, and vegan processed meals or vegan junk foods on the other.
Veggie pie attempt with vegan ricotta

High protein vegetarian meals

This one is a spoiler alert and it boils down to being aware of processed vegan cheese. Have you had any luck where cheese substitute held up while baking under high temperatures? By and large, vegan cheese is drummed as your dairy-free alternative to cheese. However, do you have any idea of what constitutes that beloved processed vegan cheese you often source from your local supplier? The usual suspects include soy milk, tree nuts and seeds (cashew), coconut, starchy flours (e.g. arrowroot, tapioca flour), and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. On their own, these ingredients are good but something odd happens when you try to make soy taste like cheese when it doesn’t rot the same way cheese does.

Unfortunately, most individuals get it wrong by jumping from consuming animal products to unhealthy processed plant-based products. In addition, there is tug of war amongst the various food movements, including plant-based life-stylers themselves. Ideally, we should go for nutritious plant-based meals such as high protein vegetarian meals that keep us healthy and energetic.
plant-based Egusi stew with fufu

For starters, Ricotta literally translates as “recooked”. It is the Italian version of cheese from recooking dairy milk leftover of other cheeses. Vegan ricotta recipe is one  of  those unfulfilling cheese making ways you’ll probably experience. While proponents praise it as one of those versatile, high protein vegetarian meals,  the truth is that it is not palatable nor does it deliver the same appeal of ricotta. Honestly, a bowl of so-called quick nutritious food mainly made of soy milk, vinegar, and salt is an inedible health food. These soy-based cheeses often have an inferior calcium content compared to real cheese. Given that dairy cheese alternatives are not an option, your vegan cheese alternatives have to be rich in calcium and other important minerals. The sad reality is that vegan cheese alternatives are hardly able to supply these crucial nutrients. 

These soy-based cheeses often have an inferior calcium content compared to real cheese. Given that dairy cheese alternatives are not an option, your vegan cheese alternatives have to be rich in calcium and other important minerals. The sad reality is that vegan cheese alternatives are hardly able to supply these crucial nutrients. 
Vegan cheese slice made sandwich salty

 Is vegan cheese healthy

Increasingly, the marketplace is being flooded by delicious versions of vegan cheese. The proliferation of vegan alternatives originates from the growing consumer awareness of the plight of cattle from the demand for cow’s milk cheese. Indeed, eating animal milk puts great distress to mother cows which suffer repeated physical and emotional abuse during milking. Similarly, their calves are deprived of sufficient breast milk as human greed claims the vastness of it to make such products as processed cheese.  Fortunately,  we can choose to go the other way by refusing to support this selfish cycle of pain to animals. Neutrally speaking of course. One sure way of doing this is either making the vegan ricotta recipe or living without diary cheese.

To sincerely answer the question, is vegan cheese healthy?, one will need to listen to their body and taste buds. As explained earlier, Ricotta, literally translates as “recooked”, and based on the plant-based ricotta recipe out there, you will notice, the almonds and cashews are not “recooked.”  Realistically, you cannot “recook” or bake almonds and cashews at 350 degrees the way you would for a regular diary ricotta recipe. The almonds and cashews will burn (which they did!), and these are the main ingredients they use to create vegan ricotta cheese. I believe plant-based people need to let go of some cheese cravings or incorporate real cheese into their lifestyle if you cannot part ways with dairy cheese.

This Vegan ricotta recipe, not edible

Processed plant-based cheese is very processed (tons of chemicals), often containing preservatives, sodium, and color additives. As such, it does not work for every baked recipe. This is my experience and opinion on the matter. I tried vegan cheese products thrice (3x) already and so far the results are NOT edible. Instead of reaching for the nearest vegan cheese, it would be wise to first check out the ingredients in it and consider skipping the recipe or use small amounts of real cheese. Ensure that the levels of saturated fats and sodium are within healthy limits for you. Essentially, most vegan cheeses use coconut oil as a base, which often contains high amounts of saturated fat. Have you tried to bake coconut oil or palm kernel oil at high temperature? It becomes burnt, which impacts the chemical makeup of the oil and negatively affects our body. Saturated fat has well-known negative health implications, including heart disease and reduced life expectancy. 

Using vegan cheese does not hold up to the cooking temperature compared to a normal diary recipe. Soy cheese is not made with balanced ingredients to permit the cook varying usage.  Rather, its industrial processed nature makes it highly susceptible to burning. One could bake or cook the vegan cheese pie for a shorter time at lower temperature but the food still turns out tasting subpar. Generally, the building blocks of these vegan processed cheese are indeed anything that the manufacturer chooses to add in it.  Now that you know this, still wondering if vegan cheese is healthy?
Vegan cream cheese made tart inedible

 Using vegan cheese does not hold up to the cooking temperature compared to a normal diary recipe. Soy cheese is not made with balanced ingredients to permit the cook varying usage. Rather, its industrial processed nature makes it highly susceptible to burning. One could bake or cook the vegan cheese pie for a shorter time at lower temperature but the food still turns out tasting subpar. Generally, the building blocks of these vegan processed cheese are indeed anything that the manufacturer chooses to add in it.  Now that you know this, still wondering if vegan cheese is healthy?

Quick nutritious meals

To emphasize, plant-based life-stylers should not rely on vegan processed meals as reliable high protein meals. In fact, regular cheese from animal products  pack a greater protein content than most vegan alternatives, vegan ricotta recipe included (change my mind). It is important to remember there are just as many unhealthy vegan foods as conventional ones.

In order to fix yourself or loved ones a truly quick nutritious meal, you may want to opt for a bechamel sauce. This is optimal to use in place of cheese and it provides similar creaminess. Remember to season the heck out of it, lol. I believe this option saves us from depending on vegan cheese.  In this regard, a high protein vegetarian meal will be free of gums or fillers in the ingredients.

There are reasons why I’m vegetarian in the streets and I’m plant-based at home. This flexibility makes life less stressful. Having an open mind allows me  to eat plant-based 90% of the time while I’m out and about. Thus, I expect the cooks to serve me something with cheese (i don’t enforce it). With this flexibility, chefs often end up cooking something wonderful even when they add little cheese. It is only on vacation when desperate times call for diary measures, yep I eat real cheese and eggs on vacation. 
Opting between vegetarian and Plant-based

There are reasons why I’m vegetarian in the streets and I’m plant-based at home. This flexibility makes life less stressful. Having an open mind allows me  to eat plant-based 90% of the time while I’m out and about. Thus, I expect the cooks to serve me something with cheese (i don’t enforce it). With this flexibility, chefs often end up cooking something wonderful even when they add little cheese. It is only on vacation when desperate times call for diary measures, yep I eat real cheese and eggs on vacation. 

A’las

One of the best ways to lead a healthy eating lifestyle is to arm yourself with information relating to foods. So study your grocery ingredients information before grabbing that processed vegan cheese from the store.  Would love to hear your take, comment below.

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