On the PlantFit Podcast (episode 2) I vent about my frustration about the excitement surrounding Blue Bell, the dairy industry and talk a bit more about how to get your veggies in.
I also dug up a post from 2013 and included it below with more information about why you should ditch dairy once and for all.
Cheese was the last thing I gave up when I went vegan. I loved it in every form and flavor. One of my favorite snacks growing up was a block of cream cheese with steak sauce poured over the top to eat with crackers. And, cheese balls? Don’t even get me started. I made excuses for a long time about how hard it would be to give it up and that I just didn’t think I could do it. The truth is, I still hadn’t accepted the full truth about dairy and its impacts on my health and animal lives. It wasn’t until I read this post from No Meat Athlete that I stopped making excuses and made a commitment. I read this in March 2011 and haven’t had dairy (or eggs) since then.
At first, I saw cheese EVERYWHERE and felt completely overwhelmed. I bought cheese substitutes and found that Daiya brand was definitely the best among the options. Yet, I didn’t really like the taste of it and ate less and less of it as time went on. I don’t even eat Daiya cheese anymore and just leave cheese out of recipes if they even call for it. Most of the recipes I cook now are vegan to begin with, so it’s really not even an issue.
What I have found is that I love to make my own cashew cheese and other spreads instead of using fake cheese products. Cashew cheese is probably my favorite. Check out these links for cashew cheese and other spreads recipes:
- Choosing Raw
- Oh She Glows: Basil Cashew Cheese
- Forks Over Knives: No Cheese Sauce (this is currently my FAVORITE cookbook)
Another product that I would recommend for cheese is Heidi Ho Veganics. I sampled all of their products at a Farmer’s Market in Portland and had some on an appetizer dish at Portobello’s Restaurant. It was all delicious and leaps and bounds above the other cheese substitutes I have eaten. And, guess what!? They will ship the products to your home! (2015 update: Heidi Ho is in local Whole Foods in Houston and even more dairy alternatives like Kite Hill and Chao are amazing!!)
So, here is the thing about dairy. It is addictive. Don’t believe me? Check out this link that explains how the protein, casein, in dairy causes your body to actually crave it. It takes more time for some people than others to work through an addiction. For me, it was a no brainer commitment once I fully understood the dairy industry and how it fuels the veal industry. For others, it may not be as easy to let go of. You have to find a solid reason to let it go, though, whether it be for your health, the environment or for animals. Once you have a reason and it’s rooted, it’s much easier to commit. You should also find foods that fill the void that dairy can leave. Fill that void with healthier plant based alternatives that nourish your body. Commit and you can let go of cheese. As a recovered cheese addict, I promise it is possible.
What are your favorite cheese/dairy substitutes?