Vegan-Friendly Cream Cheese 101

Do you have a dairy allergy or are you vegan? Do not worry, because there are plenty of vegan-friendly cream cheese options available.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best vegan-friendly cream cheese brands on the market.

We will also share some delicious homemade vegan cream cheese recipes with you!

Is Regular Cream Cheese Vegan-Friendly?

No, regular cream cheese is not vegan-friendly or dairy-free – for example, the Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese Spread. Regular cream cheese is made from milk and cream, which are animal products. Thus, it is not suitable for people who follow a plant-based diet or have dairy allergies.

What about Keto-friendly? Lactose? FODMAP? Read details.

Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Vegan? Contain Gelatin?

Philadelphia brand of cream cheese does not contain gelatin or rennet in the ingredients list (read How It’s Made), so it is vegetarian-friendly, but not vegan.

The good news is that there are launching vegan versions of Philadelphia cream cheese in the UK. The Philadelphia vegan cream cheese is made using oats and almonds and is claimed: “as good as the Original”.

For now, you may want to try another vegan-friendly cream cheese brand.

Is Greek Cream Cheese Vegan?

No, Greek cream cheese is a variety of cream cheese and it’s not vegan-friendly or dairy-free. For example, the Greek cream cheese & Greek Yogurt by Green Mountain Farms is made from milk, cream, lactic acid, stabilizers, preservatives, and bacteria cultures. See USDA ingredients.

It’s claimed to be the healthier alternative to cream cheese as it provides 4x more proteins with half the fat content.

Is Cool Whip Vegan?

Cool Whip whipped topping is not vegan. The Ingredients of Cool Whip contains sodium caseinate, which is derived from cow milk and is not appropriate for vegan or dairy.

Is Plant-Based Cream Cheese Good?

Plant-based cream cheese may not necessarily be a better or healthier option.

Take Miyoko Vegan Cream Cheese USDA as an example, where it’s made of cashews and coconut cream. It actually provides similar calories, protein, calcium, and sodium to Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s nutrition.

In addition, the carbohydrate content is much higher (75%) than Philadelphia’s. In ~2 tablespoons, it contains 4 grams of carbs. So, it may not be good for people with lactose intolerance, keto, or a low-FODMAP diet.

However, it’s having a 28% lower fat content than regular cream cheese. It’s also listed with no detectable cholesterol, but according to WebMD, it could be more of a threat than with little cholesterol.

Non-dairy Substitute: What Brand of Cream Cheese is Vegan?

There are plenty of vegan brands on the market that offer plant-based cream cheese such as Kite Hill, Violife, Daiya, Follow Your Heart, and Miyoko’s.

For example, Kite Hill makes a variety of almond-based vegan cream cheese. Their ingredients are mainly almonds, cultures, enzymes, stabilizers, and acids.

Violife offers a vegan cream cheese alternative that is dairy-free and soy-free. It is made from coconut oil and potato starch.

Daiya’s Cream Cheese is similar. It’s made from coconut oil, tapioca flour, and coconut cream.

Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese is made of coconut oil, Safflower Oil, potato and corn starches, and other ingredients.

Vegan cream cheese can be made from a variety of plant-based ingredients such as almonds, cashews, coconuts, potatoes, safflower oil, etc. Therefore, the nutrition and taste may vary.

Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese – It’s Easy!

You can also try making your own vegan cream cheese at home with simple ingredients like almonds, cashews, and coconut cream.

Use lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and nutritional yeast to give it a tart and cheesy flavor.

Instruction:

To make vegan cream cheese, mix 1 cup of soaked cashews with 2 cups of hot water for an hour. Blend on high until the mixture becomes a thick puree.

In a food processor, combine the almond mixture, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder. Blend until smooth.

There you go! You can use it right away or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a thicker consistency.

Reference:

  1. Healthline – Sodium Caseinate
  2. Follow Your Heart – Cream Cheese
  3. Kite Hill – Cream Cheese
  4. Daiya – Cream Cheese