Dairy-free Substitutes​ for Feta Cheese?

Feta cheese is made using whole milk, and has a mild to sharp taste, as well as a salty flavor. It is white in color, grainy in texture and crumbles easily. Feta does not come with a rind. Just like many other kinds of cheese, the feta was traditionnally manufactured via adding enzymes to milk from goats, sheep or cows.

Since it contains some sort of milk, feta cheese is not dairy-free. What about mozzarella? read here.

Instead, it is a rich, creamy and soft cheese that comes from Greece that has been made for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known reference to feta cheese was seen in Homer’s Odyssey where he wrote on the technology used to make this kind of cheese.

Feta cheese does, however, contain much lesser lactose than some dairy products, so it is fine for lactose intolerant person to eat a moderate amount of it. Read lactose in feta here.

Feta cheese is lower in fat and calories than some other types of cheese like cheddar. It is also high in sodium and calcium content. Since it crumbles easily, it is great for adding to salads, putting on pizza, and can be made into dips as it melts easily. It is often used in several Greek dishes.

Feta will get sour if you let it dry out, so it must be kept in oil or brine solution. It is better when fresh, but if properly kept in the refrigerator it can last up to 3 weeks. Those that came in brine can last for a few months.

What is an allergy to Feta Cheese?

If you are allergic to feta cheese, you likely have either a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant. There is an actual difference between these two problems, though some may think they are the same because they can have similar symptoms. However, if you are allergic to milk it has something to do with a problem with your immune system — antibody IgE reacting to milk protein, while if you are lactose intolerant it has something to do with problems with your digestive system — lack of enzymes to digest lactose.

A lactose intolerant person’s body can’t break down the sugars in milk because their body lacks the correct enzyme, which is lactase. You can sometimes grow out of a milk allergy and lactose intolerant. 

Symptoms of a milk allergy include:

  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Rash around the mouth
  • Tightness in throat

Symptoms of lactose intolerance are:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Other differences between lactose intolerance and dairy allergy are the fact that most milk allergies occurred more frequently in children under five years old, and by getting older, their body may persist to it. However, you can be lactose intolerant as a teen or adult, and this usually last a life time.

Non-dairy Substitutes for Feta Cheese

Even if you are allergic to dairy, there are several things you can substitute for feta cheese if you are allergic to it. This way you won’t miss out on the delicious flavor of the cheese.

Almond Feta Cheese – There is a type of non-dairy almond cheese and it is very much like feta cheese. It has the same consistency and crumbly just like feta cheese. It can be found in places like whole foods stores. Be careful though as some of these types of almond cheeses still are not 100 percent dairy-free and can contain casein, so read the labels before buying it.

Learn how to cook mozzarella, feta, cheddar style non-dairy cheese in an hour here in this book.

Nutritional Yeast – While this product is not a cheese, it has a cheeselike flavor when sprinkled on foods. It can be used to add a savory taste and is also rich in Vitamin B12.

Tofu – Tofu can also be used to mimic cheese, but usually is used in place of mozzarella or provolone. It can also be mashed up and used to substitute for ricotta or cottage cheese.

Daiya Cheese – Another non-dairy substitute for cheese, this is free of lactose and melts well. It can be used on dishes like pizza or pasta and is available in many cheese flavors. It is vegan.

Cashew Cheese – This is another non-dairy cheese made from nuts. It can be made into a creamy spread and used for things like a cheese log. Sometimes a substitute for nacho cheese is made using soaked cashew nuts and nutritional yeast, which turns out gooey and is therefore excellent for dips.

The bottom line is that if you enjoy feta or other cheese, you can still enjoy the texture and a cheese-like flavor by using some of these kinds of non-dairy substitutes.

Question: Why feta smells like my feet? Answered.

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