Is Feta Cheese Vegetarian?
Have you become a vegetarian? Or, perhaps, you have heard that many people in the world are becoming vegetarian, and you just want to give it a try, right? Experts believe that with vegetarianism, humanity will survive from all the miseries created by himself. They think that we don’t have any other choice but become a vegetarian. What does it mean?
Well, vegetarianism is an easy concept. It means that you have decided to stop eating meat. You are a vegetarian when you care about the life of other animals too. Or, as a vegetarian, you are worried about all those negative consequences of the meat industry on planet earth and want to do something about it.
Yes, vegetarianism has lots of positive impacts on us and the world we are living in. When we say food x or food y is vegetarian food, food comes from an animal cruelty-free industry.
We need to be careful here. As a vegetarian, you can eat animal-related products such as ice cream, yogurt, milk, and cheese. However, some vegetarians are worried even more. They have decided to stop eating meat and only refuse to consume products that are coming from animals. For example, these people don’t eat dairy products because they know animals are being tortured and annoyed to produce milk and other products.
Sometimes, we call them vegans. Ice cream, yogurt, milk, and cheese are all forbidden for vegans. However, there is good news! Right now, we have a vegetarian substitution for all these products. We have vegetarian yogurt, milk, and cheese. One of the most famous dairy products is Feta cheese. It is very delicious and popular in many countries in the world.
So, here, I am going to ask a fundamental question. Is Feta cheese a vegetarian product? Can vegetarians eat it without feeling guilty? Well, the answer is NO! Feta cheese is not a vegetarian product. Don’t worry! There is a vegetarian substitution for it.
That's great news for people who are vegetarian but still love it. In this review, we will first introduce Feta cheese and say why it is so popular among people. Then, we will introduce substitutions for this product. There are several brands in the world producing vegetarian Feta cheese. We will review them and describe their characters. Let's get started.
What Is Feta Cheese?
As we said, Feta cheese is one of the most popular dairy products in the world. Here are some of the features of this delicious cheese.
- It is originally from Greece.
- It is made out of sheep's milk. One of the differences between sheep's milk and cow's milk is that it contains more fat. Many people like Feta cheese because of the higher levels of fat in it. It is safe to say that Feta cheese has been around for centuries as ancient Greek used to eat it.
- The flavour of the cheese is salty and tangy. As it gets old, it becomes more saline and sharper.
- The colour of the cheese is white with small holes and a crumbly texture.
- For people who like Feta cheese but are a bit worried about their health, Feta cheese is usually mixed with 30% goat's milk.
- In some countries like the US, factories make Feta cheese out of cow's milk. However, the quality can vary a lot.
- Some other famous cheeses are Cheddar and Parmesan. Some people are wondering what the difference between Feta and different cheeses is. Well, first, compared with Cheddar and Parmesan, Feta has more calcium and B vitamins but less fat. Also, Feta is not as soft as them.
- People who are on a salt-restricted diet shouldn’t overeat Feta cheese.
How Is Feta Cheese Made?
Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and the US are among the countries with the highest production of Feta cheese. Interestingly, although the cheese is initially produced in Greece but very little is coming out of this country because it is so prevalent in the country, and people eat it all. Cow's, skimmed, and partially skimmed milk are used to make Feta cheese.
What about the original and traditional way of producing Feta cheese? You can find this method in Greece. Let's have a quick look at it. First, factories add two essential compounds, rennet and casein, to raw sheep's or goat's milk. Sometimes, both types of milk are used.
Then, the milk is thickened. After that, this condensed milk is separated, pressed into moulds, and drained of excess whey. The final product is usually cut into smaller pieces. In the next stage, these pieces are dried for two days. Also, salt will be added. Finally, these pieces will be submerged in brine and preserved for several months before getting ready. These products will be sent to supermarkets for being sold.
Feta Cheese – Is It Good Or Bad?
So, this is an important question to ask. Is Feta cheese good or bad? There are both positive and negative points associated with Feta cheese, even though it is not a vegetarian food and causing damages to our planet (we will talk about this a bit later). Now, we are going to review the pros and cons associated with Feta cheese. Let's start with positive things about Feta cheese.
Nutritional Facts Of Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is one of the most nutritious dairy products. In a 100-gram serving size, you can find 55.22 grams of water in it. Also, there are 14.21, 21.49, and 3.88 grams of protein, total lipid (fat), and carbohydrate, respectively. It is also filled with several elements. There are 493, 19, 337, 62, 1139, 2.88, and 0.03 Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, and Copper. Other compounds you can find are Selenium, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Pantothenic acid.
Health Benefits Of Feta Cheese
Several diseases can be avoided by eating Feta cheese. For example, you will prevent certain types of cancer. Also, your immune system will be more potent against pathogenic agents. If you are suffering from headaches and migraines, you should know that Feta cheese can minimize the risk of getting them.
Histamine is one of the compounds which improves your immune system. Also, different probiotics are responsible for restoring the balance of people's gut and limiting symptoms of leaky gut or irritable bowel syndromes.
Cataracts and macular degeneration are two eye-related diseases. Interestingly, these diseases can be avoided by eating Feta cheese because it contains enough amount of riboflavin. Anemia is another disease that is related to low levels of iron in our bodies. Iron can be obtained by eating Feta cheese.
What about the cons of Feta cheese? There is not a lot. First of all, you might be allergic to Feta cheese. Hives, wheezing, stomach upset, itchy skin, and anaphylaxis are some of the symptoms when you are allergic to Feta cheese. Also, nearly 70% of all fat in Feta cheese is saturated fat. This could damage your body because it could compromise your cholesterol levels and general heart health.
Why Should We Stop Eating Feta Cheese?
Ok, it seems that Feta cheese is delicious and excellent food. So, why should we stop eating it? Well, it is not only about Feta cheese. It is about all animal-related products. The first reason we have to forget Feta cheese is that this product is completely against animal rights.
What do I mean here? To produce milk, the primary material for Feta cheese, you need to feed sheep and cows on farms. So, you have to keep them somewhere and let them grow. However, the reality of today's farm industry is that animals are kept in horrible situations.
They cannot move too much or take care of their cabs. Why? Because every day, we need more and more milk. It is against animal rights. They can feel pain and misery just like humans and shouldn’t be treated like this.
Regardless of the cruelty producing milk has for animals, it isn't perfect for the environment and earth. Why? If you want milk, you have to have thousands of sheep and cows. So, you have to destroy forests and jungles and create agricultural lands to provide food for your livestock.
It will badly contribute to global warming and make the situation of our living even worth than before. So, we have to become vegan not only it is animal's right to enjoy their life, but also because we cannot survive if we continue destroying our planet just for the sake of providing food for our livestock. It has to be stopped.
Vegetarian Feta Cheese
What is vegan Feta cheese? Well, it is a user-friendly version of regular Feta cheese. It is not made out of milk. So, you don’t have to torture any animals to have that. Let's talk about vegetarian Feta cheese and how it is made.
How To Make Vegetarian Feta Cheese?
You can find thousands of recipes on the internet. Here, I am just explaining a few of them.
One Of The Most Popular Recipes
There are many different recipes for you to make Feta cheese. However, there are some main ingredients you can always use. Here, we are going to talk about one of the most popular recipes on the internet. For this, you need
- firm tofu,
- lemon juice,
- white vinegar,
- nutritional yeast,
- garlic powder, and
- onion powder to the blender and blend.
Now, if you want to make vegetarian Feta cheese, just follow my lead.
- First of all, use non-stick spray and distribute it on the surface of a loaf pan or square dish and put it aside.
- Now, you will need agar-agar powder. You have to add a cup of water to a spoon of agar-agar powder and let it boil in a container.
- When the liquid starts to boil, wait for one minute while you are stirring it.
- You should know that agar becomes like jelly very quickly.
- So, as soon as one minute is passed,
- just pour the water and agar into the blender and add other ingredients that I introduced before.
- Do you remember that you prepared a loaf pan with a non-stick spray on the surface?
- Now, it is time to pour whatever you have in your blender into a loaf pan.
- After that, just put the final product for a while inside the fridge.
- After one hour, you can take the product out of the fridge.
At this point, you will have a solid cubical product very similar to Feta cheese. You have to slice the product into several smaller cubes. Pour all the cubes into a small bowl and add some flavours if you like. Your Feta cheese is ready!
A Very Easy To Make Vegetarian Feta Cheese
This is another recipe I found online. I tried it once, and it was straightforward. That's why people usually name this cheese a homemade vegetarian Fete cheese. Compared with other recipes, it needs fewer materials and is perfect, especially when you want to use it for pizza or pasta salad.
This recipe is a nut-free one. The main ingredient is marinated tofu. First, cut the tofu into several pieces. After that, you have to stir together the marinade and finally marinate the tofu. That's it! Done is done. Ok, you might ask what the marinade is, right? The marinade has several ingredients itself. You need olive oil, dried herbs (like oregano, thyme, basil, etc.), red paprika, sea salt, and pepper.
Sometimes, vinegar or lemon juice are added too. A fascinating flavour to add is nutritional yeast flakes, but it is optional. The first thing to do is draining the tofu and quickly drying it with a kitchen towel. Now, you have to cut the tofu into several pieces to keep them in a jar.
For making the marinade, you just need to stir the ingredients and pour them into a small bowl. After this, gently pour the marinade over the fete cheese cubes. Seal the jar and shake it for a few seconds firmly. Finally, keep the pot with all its ingredient at least overnight. Sometimes, you can keep it more too.
5 Ingredient Almond Feta Cheese
This is another interesting recipe. It is especially very good for pouring on salad and pizza. What do you need to make this nice vegetarian Feta cheese? It doesn’t require too many things.
The ingredients for it are:
- 1/2 cup raw almonds,
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast,
- 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice,
- 1 teaspoon salt, and finally
- 1/2 cup water.
There are 12 easy and simple steps you need to follow.
- You have to let almonds soak for nearly two hours in hot water which is followed by skinning them.
- Now, you have to make a smooth paste by adding almond kernels and water into a food processor.
- After adding other ingredients, you have to process it until you get a smooth material.
- Adding water is possible here.
- Next, pour the product into a colander lined with a cheesecloth and start squeezing it.
- You have to keep this product overnight to have a big mass of almond cheese.
- If you want the product to shape in any particular shape, you can transfer it to a cling-wrapped bowl.
- Lining a tray with baking paper and flipping the bowl onto the tray is the next step.
- Also, bowl and cling wrap must be removed before
- baking the product for 20 minutes over in 325F.
- You can make some pits to make the cooking process easier.
- This is usually followed by another 30 minutes of baking until the cracks start to appear on the top of the cheese.
- Finally, you can cut the product into cubes and store them in an airtight container in a refrigerator.
You can eat still eat it even after several days. This Feta cheese is very nutritional as the total calories, carbs, fat, protein, and sugar in it are 1347, 34, 108, 56, and 12 grams, respectively.
Baked Macadamia Feta Cheese
This is another cool recipe you can have to enjoy your Feta cheese. Just like the previous recipe, this one is very easy too. This is again dairy-free and another nut-based cheese. For making it, you will need
- 2 cups of macadamia nuts,
- 1/4 cup lemon juice,
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar,
- 3 garlic cloves,
- 1 tablespoon raw virgin olive oil,
- 3/4 cup water,
- 1 teaspoon sea salt,
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and
- 1 tablespoon dried herbs like oregano or rosemary.
You can make this Feta cheese in just 30 minutes.
- First, you have to soak the macadamia nuts for 12 hours before you start making the cheese.
- After that, you have to pour them into a high-speed blender.
- You will get a smooth mixture after adding other ingredients to the blender.
- Use a four-layered cheesecloth and scoop the mixture into it. make the mixture like a ball to be tightened. Any extra liquid must be squeezed out by applying pressure by your hands.
- After that, put the final product for 12 hours in the fridge.
- Just like the previous product, start baking it in the oven for 30 minutes until the colour of the Feta cheese becomes golden.
- Finally, add to your salad and enjoy it.
Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Feta Cheese, Instant Raw Vegan Feta Cheese, and Greek Salad With Homemade Feta Cheese are some other recipes you can find. Just follow the steps and enjoy your Feta cheese.
Some Nice Tips And Tricks You Should Know About Making Vegetarian Feta Cheese
- Cashews are a bit hard. So, if you don’t have a good blender to blend cashews, you have to soak them before using them. professional blenders can easily blend even the hardest cashews. However, even when you decide to soak it, it shouldn’t be too much, just five to ten minutes top. If soaking didn’t solve the problem, you would want to add one or two tablespoons of water more.
- If you don’t have access to agar-agar powder, it is fine. You can use agar flakes instead of that. However, with agar flakes, you have to use this type of agar three times more than agar-agar powder. If you don’t add enough agar flakes, the final Feta cheese will be a bit too firm.
Vegetarian Feta Cheese Brands
You should know that vegetarian feta cheese is a popular and lovable product in the world. That's why many brands have invested in it. Here, I am going to get you familiar with some of these brands.
This is one of the brands that produce According to its website, Violife produces yummy food free of animal products. also, preservations and GMOs are not used in their products. Many people are allergic to compounds such as soy, nuts, gluten, and lactose. If you are, you don’t need to be worried about anything since Violife's products are free from all allergens. Where can you find Violife's products? well, they are everywhere, including Publix, Walmart, and Kroger.
Follow Your Heart
This is another brand that produces vegetarian Feta cheese. They call it dairy-free feta crumbles. They trust their product so much that they say by eating it, you will feel as if you are in a sunny seaside café in Greece! The birthplace of Feta cheese. Their product goes very well with Mediterranean salad, spanakopita, or roasted beets and cucumbers. The ingredients that the company uses for its dairy-free feta are filtered water, potato starch, sea salt, organic coconut oil, and some other things like natural flavours, vegan cane sugar, phosphate, lactic acid, and potato protein.
Millions of people in the world love Feta cheese. Even when they turn into vegetarians, they might want to enjoy the taste of Feta cheese. Is it possible to be vegetarian and enjoy Feta cheese at the same time? Of course! It is possible thanks to vegetarian Feta cheese. Here, in this review, we first said why we need to leave normal Feta cheese and then introduce some of the famous recipes for making vegetarian Feta cheese on the internet. I hope you have found this article helpful. We will come with new content very soon. Take care.
I trust you enjoyed reading the article on Is Feta Cheese Vegetarian? Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about Is Feta Cheese Vegetarian in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.
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