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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

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).

The Cultured Kitchen Cashew Reserve

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 were delighted to find this Cashew Reserve spread from The Cultured Kitchen at our local co-op.

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The Cultured Kitchen makes two varieties (the other, Smokey Chedda, sounds amazing), and we sampled Herbs & Chives, which has a mild, delicate flavor. Especially lovely is the hint of lavender.

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The texture isn’t as smooth as some vegan spreads, but this is to be expected with a product as natural as this one. While we spread this lovely vegan cheese on crackers, given its consistency, it’s even better as a dip…and would be a beautiful addition to any holiday gathering.

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…

Miyoko’s 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)

As ever, Miyoko’s Creamery is always trying new and amazing things. We were thrilled to see a new cream cheese available, and we ordered it right away. (It’s not currently on the Miyoko’s website, but join the mailing list to be notified of new cheeses!)

miyokos-cream-cheeseThe cream cheese doesn’t have the smooth texture that others (such as Daiya) have, and it’s also quite sweet.

mcc2There’s a very pleasant nutty flavor, but there is also slightly chalky aftertaste. As one taster pointed out, “It doesn’t finish well.” In the end, we were split on the bagel factor, with half of us finding this new cream cheese lovely on bagels and the other half not so much.

m-ccIn the interest of further research (this is all for science, people), we decided to see how it would work in a recipe. The good news here is that it’s brilliant. Behold this double-layer, peanut butter-chocolate cheesecake (all vegan, naturally).

cheesecakeThis cheesecake turned out to be quite delicious — though keep in mind that this was a no-bake recipe, so we haven’t yet tried baking with this new Miyoko’s cream cheese. Still, given the success of this recipe, we’ll likely give it a try soon.

Most of all, you should give this new cream cheese a try yourself soon, and see what you think.

Daiya Cheezy Mac Deluxe Alfredo Style

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)

After tasting Daiya’s Cheezy Mac Cheddar, we were intrigued by this Alfredo-style variety.

Like the cheddar, this is quick and easy to fix (no more than 10 minutes), and the box contains everything you’ll need (well, except the boiling water). And because the macaroni is brown rice pasta, it’s gluten free.

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The sauce for this Alfredo-style variety is a bit stickier than the cheddar style, and it also has a stronger chemical flavor than the cheddar, as well as a slightly sweet, orange-zesty taste as well.

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So while we wouldn’t call this the best Alfredo-style pasta we’ve ever had, we were glad it was in the cupboard for a quick, simple meal.

Treeline Chipotle Serrano Pepper

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 love Treeline‘s French-style cheeses, and while our local co-op only has one variety, we found this Chipotle Serrano Pepper flavor at a California Whole Foods.

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The texture of this variety is ever-so-slightly chalky (probably not noticeable to most), but the spices are fantastic — hot and a little smoky.

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This cheese would pair very well with a light, crispy white wine, a sparkling wine — or any cool drink, for that matter — and due to its heat, it would be even better with veggies than with bread or crackers.