We’re not vegans in our house and we love just about every kind of cheese, so we’re not the most likely candidates to go out and eat vegan cheese. But when we recently had an opportunity to sample Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet vegan cheese, curiosity got the best of it and we decided to see what all the buzz was about.
Follow Your Heart is a company that started as a vegetarian market and restaurant just outside of Los Angeles in 1970. Today, the company produces branded vegan products like cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and salad dressings. Staying true to their earth-friendly beginnings, they manufacture their products in a state-of-the-art solar-powered facility known as “Earth Island.” In their non-dairy cheese products, they have committed to using only sustainably grown and harvested organic palm oil. The vegan cheese shreds we tried are dairy free and cholesterol free, as well as lactose free, soy free, gluten free, Non-GMO Project verified and with no preservatives or trans fats. Plus, it’s carried in just about every grocery store near us, so it’s not hard to find.
And now… what we learned… These shreds are close enough to regular cheese that no one would ever notice if we put them in a salad like this Cinco de Mayo vegetarian salad we made. (We used lettuce, peppers, kidney beans, red onions, green onions, cilantro, and a combination of vegan cheddar shreds and vegan fiesta blend cheeses).
But what really worked best for us was when we melted it. This cheese apparently melts at a higher temperature than regular cheese, so you have to have some patience (and don’t eat it straight out of the pan). But once it did melt (in this case we were cooking quesadillas between two corn tortillas in a cast-iron pan), the cheese was ooey-gooey and perfect – and our 7-year-old asked for more, and more, and more.
We also tried the mozzarella cheese for pizza. We cooked this pizza with the oven at 475 degrees and everyone ate the pizza without even thinking twice about the cheese (“It’s very creamy,” was one of the comments we heard).
Bottom line: We like it. We really like it. For our everyday routines, we’re probably not going to abandon our regular favorite cheeses, but if we’re every cooking for vegan friends or someone who needs to eat dairy-free, this is a great option. Plus, we like the general earth-friendly philosophy of Follow Your Heart, so we know we can make a good choice without sacrificing in the way of taste.
Blogger disclosure: Follow Your Heart sent us packages of the vegan shreds to sample, but we did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own.