25 DAYS OF DECEMBER – DAY 9 THE VEGAN CHEESE BOARD

25 DAYS OF DECEMBER – DAY 9 THE VEGAN CHEESE BOARD

The Vegan Cheeseboard

Being vegan  or lactose intolerant doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite Christmas traditions, and that includes the festive cheeseboard. Huge advances in plant-based food alchemy means that the very best vegan cheeses now rival traditional dairy cheeses in taste and texture.

Arjuna’s very own vegan cheese connoisseur, Jo, takes you through their recommendations for a vegan cheeseboard.

 

Tyne Chease

If you are strapped for cash or table space, and only have room for one vegan cheese, then I would absolutely recommend going straight for one of Tyne chease’s divine organic cashew-based rounds. Packed full of probiotics and made in the UK near the River Tyne, these cheeses are my number one choice for any cheese board (and not just because I’m from the North East!) They may have a hefty price tag, but every crumb is worth it, and it will stand its own with any cheese pairing. Due to the range of flavours they stock, many of their cheeses are also an excellent bet on their own, with or without crackers!

Try: Cashew Truffle for a decadent cheese based experience!

 

Nutcrafter Creamery

This Glasgow based company caused much excitement in Arjuna when we started stocking their “Vhalloumi”, but their “Aged” range would go brilliantly on a cheeseboard. These cheeses are classified as “soft”, like a Brie or a Camembert would be. Try their Aged Chive Chévre or Extra Aged Charcoal

 

Violife

We stock a huge range of Violife, mainly because their cheeses are so versatile. Whether it’s topping a pizza or making a Mac ‘n’ Cheese sauce, Violife has something suitable. Like a Farmhouse Red Cheddar, we think their Cheddar or Smoked Blocks would go perfectly with crackers and a little chutney, for something a little different, try Violife Creamy with Herbs for a change in texture on your cheeseboard or why not try the blue cheese for stilton like dairy free alternative.

 

Sheese

Sheese is a brand of vegan cheese made using of coconut oil, they have a huge range from vegan cheddar with chives to a red leicster, cheddar alternatives with caramalised onions, spreadable ones with or without herbs and even a greek style block! With 30 years experience of making cheeses they are a great on a cheese bord when looking for different flavours.

 

Homemade vegan cheese!

If you have the time or the inclination, you could consider making your own cheese! It is a relatively simple process, and something you can talk about with pride at the Christmas dinner table. Try this recipie from the Minimalist Baker   which only requires 8 ingredients (all sold at Arjuna) and is naturally gluten free.

Or if you are feeling a little more adventurous then their are recipies vailbel online for making dairy free camenbert! This one by Bosh looks amazing, and again all the ingredients can be found at Ajuna , YUM

 

TOP TIPS FOR ASSEMBLING YOUR CHEESEBOARD

Pick a variety of cheeses.
We recommend choosing 2–4 different cheeses, depending on the number of people you’re feeding, and look for cheeses of different textures and flavours for a more interesting experience. Or if your like my co worker Hollie why not go all out and have about 10 types of cheese then use the left overs up in recipies like making your own mac ‘n’  cheese for meals for the week.

Pair with savoury items…
Think olives, sun-dried tomatoes and other anti-pasti. Cheese traditionally goes very well with meat, and this is no different for vegans. Tofurky and Vegusto make several excellent meat-style deli slices that you could try (Hickory Smoked or Smoked Ham style deli slices are my favourite and again available in Arjuna).

And sweet items…
Try thinly sliced pears or apples, grapes, berries, figs, or dried unsulphered apricots.

Choose your spreads.
Try to have at least one savoury and one sweet spread. I recommend olive tapenade, a mixed berry jam and your favourite chutney.

And finally, pick your bases
There’s a huge variety of crackers to choose between, from hearty oat-based crackers such as Nairn’s Super Seeded Oatcakses, to delicate crispbreads (for example, Easy Bean Chickpea or Amisa Buckwheat). Make sure to find out if you are catering for any gluten-free guests, and pick your bases accordingly. A range of textures is preferable.

And if you need a hand putting together your cheese board then you can always pop into Arjuna where we will be happy to help you!

 

 

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