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What is Dairy-Free Vegan Cheese Made Of?

Cheese is one of the most beloved dairy products across the world. With thousands of varieties, enjoying a nice table cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Until recently this was a delicacy reserved only for the dairy eaters out there. But now,as a result of the growing popularity of vegan and other dairy-free diets, the number of dairy-free cheese substitutes is also on the rise.

Vegans and dairy-free people can now enjoy a range of cheesy delights. Vegan cheeses are made from various plant-based ingredients that are now available in various selections and flavours.

The innovation in vegan cheese production, flavour and variety is producing some of the best non-dairy cheese products that are now not-so-surprisingly delicious and totally accessible in all of Australia’s capital cities.

Let’s look at some examples of what vegan cheese is made of.

Soy Protein

Soy may be the most common ingredient for plant-based mock meat/dairy/egg products - the same goes for cheese. In fact, soy has been used in cheesemaking for decades

Tofu’s varying degrees of firmness and texture have made it a good option for replicating the consistency of cheese. Despite being low on its own flavour profile, tofu is very good at one thing - taking in the various seasonings and flavours you add to it to make it more like ... cheese. Word of warning - check that any  soy-based cheese you’re about to gobble doesn’t  contain casein, which is a known milk protein. 

Tree Nuts and Seeds

Cheese alternatives can also be made from different types of raw tree nuts and seeds like pine nuts, almonds, cashews, and seeds like sunflower and sesame. Nut-based cheese products are actually quite a popular DIY vegan cheese option as they’re relatively easy to make at home as it requires minimal processing. Typically, the nuts or seeds are soaked and blended. They are then fermented with the same types of bacteria used to make dairy cheese. Additional ingredients are also included, like salt, nutritional yeast, herbs, and other seasonings to add flavour. Some of the more popular nuts and seeds used in cheesemaking are below:

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Coconut

If you’re not the type of person who likes meal prepping, there are now many, many pre-made plant based cheeses in grocery stores made from the above ingredients.

Flour-Based Cheese

Another great alternative is the use of a combination of starchy flours to make cheese. These include potato, tapioca, arrowroot, or even all-purpose flour. As part of the cheesemaking process, they are typically combined with soy milk, cashews, coconut, almond milk, or white beans. 

While tofu is perfect for making blocks of vegan cheese, flour-based cheeses have a more sauce-like consistency. The results may vary depending on the particular recipe and ingredients used. Whatever the result is, they’re suitable cheese substitutes for vegan diets.


Those are just three of the most popular raw substitutes for making non-dairy cheese. There are numerous other ways of making cheese products, and they come in almost every form that traditional dairy-cased cheese does. 

Through Buy Vegan, you can discover a wide variety of vegan-friendly products that are of the highest quality. You can search our directory to find some of the highest-rated products and their reviews from our growing community of vegan and plant-based advocates in Australia. From vegan cheese to organic household products, our directory is filled with information on vegan  products.

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