I love products that help make vegan diets effortless. Lately, I’ve become a devoted fan of the Follow Your Heart company, which makes it especially easy to whip up many of the foods I love—homemade pizza, traditional potato salad, and mac ‘n cheese. I’ve been using their Vegenaise for several years. It’s a huge leap forward in taste and texture from the tofu mayonnaise products of the past. In fact, it tastes more like real mayonnaise—the old-fashioned homemade kind—than commercial mayonnaise does.
More recently, I’ve discovered their Vegan Gourmet line of dairy substitutes. I recently used the sour cream and cream cheese substitutes in place of my usual favorite Tofutti brand for my favorite mushroom strudel recipe and was very happy with the results. The sour cream has a nice kind of tangy flavor that makes it perfect on top of black beans or burritos, too.
And while, I’m not a huge fan of most brands of vegan cheese, I really love the Vegan Gourmet cheese alternatives, which come in Cheddar, Monterey jack, mozzarella, and nacho flavors. And as the labels proudly boast, they melt! Admittedly, “melt” might be somewhat of an overstatement for what this cheese does. But it softens enough when heated that you can mix it into pasta or scrambled tofu and get a very nice cheesy kind of consistency.
None of these products are particularly low in fat—which is actually part of the reason for their success in vegan cooking. Their higher fat content provides some of the creaminess that is important for some recipes. I find all of the Follow Your Heart products at my local food co-op, and have seen some of them appearing in more mainstream grocery stores, too. You can check their website to locate stores that carry them.
Mmmm, Love Follow Your Heart cheese and mayo too! But I did not know they made sour cream. I’ll have to check that out!
Thanks for the heads up on it!
Follow Your Heart products are THE best!! I still haven’t tried the sour cream or cream cheese since my Whole Foods doesn’t carry it. But they must be amazing judging from Vegenaise and all the cheeses they make. I’ve found the cheese very easy to melt on pizza if you slice it very thinly and don’t shred it. If it still doesn’t melt, putting it under the broiler for a bit seems to do the trick.
I think the sour cream must be fairly new because my food co-op just started carrying it. Hope you both can find it! And I’m going to try slicing the cheese rather than shredding to get better “meltability.”
The cheddar kind is good melted in a bowl of grits – vegan cheeze grits! The only problem I saw was that it is incredibly hard to make microwave queso with it. It would harden up as it cooled. Or maybe I wasn’t doing it right, lol. It was the first and only time I tried it.
I love your columns and read them from the Examiner when I get links to your posts via Google Reader of my blog. I just read the peanut butter entry and loved it! I’ve been vegan for almost 2 months and have to lose weight. I have my own blog at http://healthyeatinghealthyplanet.blogspot.com/ telling my experiences. If you’d care to correspond, my email is wskimmer at gee mail dot com.
When you put the mozzarella into the oven it more than melts. It turns into a very thin liquid but it re solidifies quickly. The taste of the stuff is fantastic but the texture is all wrong. I love it regardless of that little flaw.
I tried melting the nacho cheddar in the oven this weekend, and it definitely didn’t work as well as the monterey jack or mozzarella. Must be the difference in fat content. I think the cheddar has half the fat as the others.