Feta cheese, traditionally made from dairy, is not vegan due to its animal milk content and often inclusion of rennet. Vegan feta alternatives are available, made from tofu or nuts like almonds and cashews, providing a similar texture and taste.
Is Feta Cheese Vegan?
If you are following the vegan lifestyle, then obviously, you will not wish to eat any products derived from animals.
This includes all dairy products.
So, as feta cheese is typically made from sheep or goat’s milk, then clearly it can’t be vegan.
And as if that wasn’t enough, it will usually contain rennet too.
Rennet is an enzyme that helps feta cheese to set, but it is produced in the stomach of a mammal.
That’s the second reason why feta cheese is not suitable for vegans.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on this tasty treat!
Many specialty stores now stock vegan-friendly feta cheese, and it is now being commercially produced due to demand.
The most common replacement for feta is tofu.
It has a firm texture that can be sliced or cubed, giving a similar look and feel to feta.
Tofu can be used just as it is but is rather bland.
It does easily soak up seasonings to enhance the flavor.
Many vegan-friendly options have the addition of lemon juice or vinegar to give that tangy, almost sour taste that feta is known for.
Vegan feta will also be stored in brine to give it that essential salty taste.
If you are making your feta cheese, you might want to think about adding miso or garlic powder to make it more savory.
And if the vegan feta is going to be used in a traditional Greek salad, then a sprinkling of oregano will finish off the dish!
Is Any Cheese Suitable for Vegans?
So, now that we know that feta is not vegan, surely that applies to all cheeses?
After all, they are all made from milk.
Strictly speaking, there are no vegan cheeses, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find other options that are not dairy-based.
The most easily found types of vegan cheese are Cheddar, feta, Gouda, and mozzarella.
Vegan Cheddar is particularly popular and now found in many mainstream stores.
It can be flavored with red pepper, paprika, or turmeric to add color and a spicy twist!
Gouda has a delicious nutty taste, and it’s, therefore, no surprise that the vegan option is made from cashew nuts!
Most vegan cheeses are made from plant-based ingredients such as firm tofu, soybeans, cashew nuts, almonds, or peas.
Even rice and potatoes can be used for feta cheese.
To be honest, any type of cheese can be made vegan, beginning by substituting cow’s or sheep’s milk with almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
These are also ideal for those who are lactose-intolerant.
Vegan Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is not vegan as it is made from milk.
It may also contain rennet which is an animal byproduct.
Commercially produced vegan feta cheese is available and will most probably be made from tofu.
No type of cheese is vegan when made in the traditional way using milk, but there are other options available.
You can still enjoy feta cheese as part of your vegan lifestyle if you know where to look!
Perhaps you would enjoy reading another one of my articles where I discuss rennet in feta cheese.
How do you use vegan-friendly versions of traditionally animal-based products?
Let us know in the comments below!