Like many people, I have started leaning into a heavily plant based diet for both health and environmental reasons, but one of the things I have always struggled to cut out of my diet is cheese, largely because I haven’t been able to find any really good alternatives! This coming January is the perfect time to have a go at going full vegan in the spirit of Veganuary, and I have tried out lots of cheese alternatives from Violife in preparation, to make sure I’m still going to be able to get my all-important cheese fix!
Previously, I have tried quite a few different types of vegan cheese and cheese alternatives, but never found anything that quite hit the spot. While getting used to any non-dairy cheese is always going to take a little bit of getting used to, I have been really pleasantly surprised with the products I’ve tried from Violife – on the whole they feel very similar to their dairy counterparts.
Out of all the products I have tried, the smoky cheddar flavour slices are definitely my favourite, and I am suitably impressed with their similarity to traditional slices of dairy smoked cheese! The taste is so similar that I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if it wasn’t for the slightly different texture. I find the Violife slices to be a little less floppy than the dairy version, but that’s not something that bothers me in the slightest.
I’ll be honest, I enjoyed this cheese so much that I could have happily eaten the whole pack by itself, but I managed to resist the temptation and add a few slices to my favourite wholemeal bread with some lettuce and cranberry sauce for a delicious (and slightly festive) sandwich. A really yummy cheese sandwich is something that I never thought I could enjoy on a vegan diet, but this sandwich begs to differ. The original slices also work excellently in a sandwich, and again, the taste is pretty spot on. The texture is again, a little bit different from dairy cheese, but when it’s in a sandwich you really can’t tell the difference.
A really refreshing cheese alternative that I’ve not seen before is the Violife Le Rond, which is basically a vegan alternative to Camembert. I am a lover of smelly French cheese so was very interested to see if this alternative would live up to my expectations. In short, yes it did! I popped it in the oven and got some crusty bread and tomato chutney ready to accompany it. The Le Rond went melty in the oven and when I tried it, I was incredibly impressed with the Camembert flavour – it was absolutely delicious with bread and chutney! I have since been on the Violife website where there are loads of fantastic vegan recipes and spotted a recipe that uses Le Rond as the main event in a cheesy vegan burger – obviously I am going to have to try this!
The last vegan cheese I want to shout about is the Violife grated cheese which I made cheesy mash with. You really can’t go wrong with cheesy mash and it’s the perfect accompanimentto so many dishes, although I will happily eat a bowl of it with nothing but baked beans! Adding a generous handful of grated Violife adds the most delicious cheesy flavour, and like the other things I’ve made with Violife, I probably wouldn’t know it was vegan!
In essence, if you’re a cheese lover and that’s stopping you from swapping to more plant based meals, I really would urge you to give Violife a go. I never thought I would find a vegan cheese that would satisfy my love of cheese, but it really is good stuff!
*I received some Violife samples but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own