Kite Hill Cream Cheese – Plain

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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We tried the Kite Hill plain after we sampled the chive — and expected this flavor to be less exciting than its chive version. But while it’s not chivey, it is no less delicious.

kite-hill-plainAmong three tasters of a good many vegan cream cheeses over the years, this is the hands-on favorite. This almond-milk-based cheese is perfect for those who want a simple and very good, very authentic vegan cream cheese.

plainIt would likely be great in recipes, but unlike other vegan cream cheeses, it doesn’t have a too-sweet or artificial flavor. It is just plain delicious.

Kite Hill Cream Cheese – Chive

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

This is my new favorite cream cheese. I used to be addicted to Daiya’s chive & onion cream cheese for bagels, but now it’s this Kite Hill variety. I haven’t looked back.

img_5770This Kite Hill cream cheese is perfect … light, fluffy, creamy, with a wonderful flavor if you like the chives. It’s delicious and flavorful enough to use on crackers, veggies, and crusty bread.

kite-hillOf all the cream cheeses we’ve reviewed, Kite Hill stands so far above the rest. No longer will we ever have to say “it’s pretty good for a vegan cream cheese” — this is just delicious, period. (Stay tuned for our review of the plain version!)

Treeline Green Peppercorn

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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We love Treeline‘s many cheeses, especially the French-style spreadable cheeses, and so were thrilled to discover a new flavor (to us, anyway) at a local grocery: Green Peppercorn.

This one is indeed, exactly as the package reads, “mild yet subtly tangy” — it’s terrific on crackers but mild enough to put on bagels as a cream-cheese substitute if you like a little bit of flavor.

This vegan cheese has the wonderful consistency all of Treeline’s spreadable cheeses have, and if you like pepper, you’ll love this — the pepper flavor gives it a nice kick. If your local store doesn’t have it yet, check Treeline’s website to learn more. Because you definitely want this in your fridge.

Parmela Aged Cheddar Shreds & Mozzarella

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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With a local grocer stocking these new cheeses from Parmela, a pizza party was clearly in order.

First, a few words about Parmela Creamery’s aged nut cheese — these cheddar shreds were delicious to eat out of the bag (which is not even close to true of most vegan shreds, most of which are waxy and/or taste very artificial). But these aged cheddar shreds, which are cashew-based, are flavorful and have a smooth, creamy texture.

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We also tried Parmela’s aged mozzarella, which comes in a cube ready for either slicing or shredding.

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This mozzarella is good enough to eat plain, on bread or crackers — it is mild and has a nice authentic texture.

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And both cheeses melt beautifully and taste wonderful on pizza (especially with mushrooms, tomatoes, and Field Roast sausage). They’d likely be delicious in any recipe calling for cheddar or mozzarella.

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Visit Parmela online for more info on their offerings (and then contact your local stores to get them to carry this stuff).

NuCulture Garden Herbs cashew spread

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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At the same time we tasted NuCulture’s Bacony Chipotle cashew spread, we sampled its Garden Herbs variety.

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Like the spicy chipotle flavor, this one is light, creamy, spreadable — and delicious.

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And while it doesn’t have the kick of the Bacony Chipotle, it’s herbs and spices are lovely, and it’s wonderful on crackers and bread. It’s perfect for anyone who’s looking for a less eye-watering snack, and it would be glorious on a bagel.

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Check out NuCulture’s website to learn more and to find recipes. We look forward to trying (once we can find them!) the other two cashew spreads soon!

NuCulture Bacony Chipotle cashew spread

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

We were delighted to discover two NuCulture cashew spreads at our local food co-op (stay tuned for the review of the Garden Herbs variety).

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NuCulture has four plant-based spreads (including a dessert flavor, pumpkin spice), and all are vegan as well as gluten- and soy-free. The Bacony Chipotle is slightly bacony and incredibly spicy (in a great way).

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We enjoyed this spread on crackers and fresh bread, and it would also be delicious on a baked potato or as a dip for french fries … it’s light and creamy in texture and would be incredibly versatile on just about anything you wanted to add a bit of spice to (or make that a lot of spice).

NuCulture offers recipes on its website, and we also discovered that this variety, combined with the Garden Herbs flavor, created a wonderful cool-hot sensation (but that’s as far as we went, recipe-wise). Stay tuned for our next review…

Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Cream cheese is one of those foods that is really hard to replicate, and I finally found a cream cheese I like in Daiya’s Chive & Onion. Then I heard that Trader Joe’s has a vegan cream cheese.

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This TJ’s version was recommended by a friend who doesn’t like Daiya and hadn’t found a palatable cream cheese until this one. So, I was very eager to try it.

IMG_7437The texture is quite good — softer than you might expect of “real” cream cheese — and the flavor is wonderful: very creamy, with none of the tang that Daiya has (which made the plain style too sweet for me). So this is a much mellower, milder cream cheese.

IMG_7442Because the texture isn’t as smooth, I made my bagel with half Daiya and half Trader Joe’s — and while I like the smoother and thicker Daiya texture more, I prefer the Trader Joe’s flavor. So…I will probably continue to enjoy both (though maybe not half and half every time).

Whatever your vegan cream cheese preference is at the moment, it’s well worth checking out the Trader Joe’s version — it’s among the best around!

Daiya Margherita Pizza

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

When we saw this in the freezer section, we couldn’t resist. Every once in a while, you just need to make something quick and easy … and Daiya always delivers (Daiya’s Cheezy Mac is another great quick meal).

IMG_9912This pizza was remarkably flavorful, and its simple and delicious basic ingredients make it perfect for adding fresh veggies.

IMG_9913The cheese melts and browns beautifully, and the crust was thin and crispy.

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I highly recommended keeping this fast and yummy meal in the freezer for those times when cooking isn’t possible (or when you’re just feeling lazy…like me). There are many other varieties (including spinach & mushroom, fire-roasted vegetable, and “cheeze lover’s”), and we look forward to sampling them all.

Miyoko’s Pub Crock Cheddar with Onions

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Now that winter is on its way — as well as the holidays — it’s time to think of what sort of cheese you can curl up with, as well as serve to guests. Miyoko’s Pub Crock Cheddar with Onions is another terrific Miyoko’s creation.

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This cheese comes not in a wheel like so many other Miyoko’s cheeses but in a tub; it’s far softer and very spreadable.

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This new spread, according to its website description, “combines our farmhouse cheese with Oktoberfest vegan lager from Iron Springs Brewery, just down the street from us here in Fairfax.” Along with onions and mustard seeds, the combination of ingredients is wonderfully flavorful and is perfect on crusty bread.

pub cheese2Don’t miss this new one, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner; this is a cheese vegans and omnivores alike will love. And remember, this month Miyoko’s will donate 1% of all online sales to Farm Sanctuary!

Parmela Creamy Treenut Original

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

We finally found Parmela cheeses locally, which is a beautiful thing. (We tasted Parmela’s creamy black pepper a while back, which we’d found in another state.)

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This creamy treenut original is simple but has a nice light, fresh flavor. While it’s not as flavorful as other spreadable cheeses, it’s really lovely and would be especially tasty used on bagels as a replacement for cream cheese.

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And keep an eye out for other Parmela products. Parmela used to make a parmesan-style cheese we loved, though apparently it’s been discontinued, and I haven’t seen anything other than the spreadable cheeses in stores. You can order through Parmela’s website — but the site offers only brief descriptions of the cheeses, with no photos or ingredients lists. And, confusingly, Parmela’s grocery request form lists cheeses that are not on the website at all. But, here’s hoping all this gets sorted out because we’d love to try each and every one of these cheeses.