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Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Follow-Your-Heart Dairy-Free Cheese Shreds (plus coupon and contest!)

If you live dairy-free, you may still be on the hunt for that cheese substitute that brings you closest to that melty, ooey-gooey bubbly goodness that we used to know!

There are lots of cheese substitutes out there and I have probably tried them all. Some are better than others, but between funky texture issues, odd flavors and a host of melt ability and ingredient issues, it just doesn’t seem worth the trouble, so I mostly do without.

A couple of weeks ago, Follow-your-Heart contacted me and asked if I would like to try their new Vegan Gourmet Cheese Shreds.



Follow-your-heart products are a staple in my house. I have used their Vegenaise for near 10 years now as our only “May0”. Not because of any kind of restrictions, but because we just love the flavor of it!

A few months ago their diary-free cream cheese and the dairy-free sour cream have joined our list of staples. Follow-Your-Heart just have this way of making non-dairy so tasty!

In addition to being dairy free and cholesterol free, their new shredded cheese alternatives are also lactose free,  soy free (!), gluten free, Non-GMO Project verified and contain no preservatives or trans fats!

So, of course I jumped at the chance to try their new cheese shreds!

I got to play with 3 flavors, the cheddar shreds, the mozzarella shreds and the fiesta blend shreds.

Of all three flavors, the cheddar shreds were probably my favorite. They seemed to be closest to the “real” thing! Does it taste exactly like cheddar cheese? No. But close enough for me, especially when incorporated in recipes!

Do they melt? Oh yes, they do! They take a tad longer than regular cheese, but they melt beautifully!

It is more of a soft melt and reminds me more of a melted American cheese kind of consistency, rather than other kinds of melted cheeses! It works beautifully in cheese sauces!



And in these Grain-free Cheddar Bacon Spinach Muffins:



{I replaced the parmesano regiano with 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast.)


And it took this Dairy-Free Mexican Queso Dip/Sauce to a whole new level!



And it brought these Quesadillas back into my life.



Since the cheese shreds melt a tad differently to “normal” cheese, I adopted a different way of preparing the Quesadillas when using the vegan shreds. It’s a quick and easy way to a perfectly melty Quesadilla!


I sprinkle the cheese shreds in the warm pan first, and let them melt.



Then I cover it with a tortilla and press down a little. The melted cheese shreds will no adhere to the tortilla and are already mostly melted.



Now turn the tortilla around, add the shredded chicken/meat/veggies (or just nothing like my kids prefer it,) spread the quesadilla sauce on the remaining tortilla and cover the fillings with it.



Now let it cook for about one minute, then flip it around to cook the other side and you have the perfectly crispy Quesadilla, complete with lovely melted cheese inside!



One other, quite delightful little thing I discovered about these shreds, is that, unlike ANY other cheese substitute I have tried, these cheese shreds actually turn into that slightly golden brown and crunchy cheesy goodness when you melt it/cook it long enough. Just like real cheese!


Those little crispy cheesy bits taste the most like real cheese to me! I have so far refrained from just sprinkling the cheese shreds in the pan and letting them all become crispy, cheesy little nuggets, but I think the day when I will do just that is not far off!


If I would have to find one con, then it is that the shreds are just a bit on the salty side for our liking. I find I can adjust most of my recipes to accommodate that, but for some recipes it may be harder to do so!


You can try the shreds for yourself with this $1 off coupon from Follow-Your-Heart here.



Follow-Your-Heart  are also running a recipe contest until the middle of September to launch their new shreds  and you will receive a higher coupon value after you submit a recipe to the contest.

Check out all the great recipes that have already been submitted!

Not to mention the fantastic prizes for this contest! Go check it out! And let us know if you enter one of your recipes to the contest, so we can all go and vote for it!


If you feel like voting for my entry,  it’s the Dairy-Free, Grain-Free Cheddar Bacon Spinach Muffin.

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Birgit Kerr