Almond cheese vs regular cheese: which is better for you?

Until last week, I did not realize almond cheese existed.  When I mentioned it to my mom, she was really surprised.  But, as I found out after a visit to Whole Foods, almond cheese does indeed exist.  Contrary to what you might think, there is dairy in almond cheese.   Neither regular cheddar cheese nor almond cheese contain lactose, though.

Almond cheese is made mostly from crushed almonds, but also contains casein, which is protein derived from non-fat dairy milk.  It gives the almond cheese it’s nice texture.  If you scroll down the Wikipedia page for casein, you will see that it is not without its controversies.  However, neither are any other foods.

Nutritional value of cheddar cheese

Nutritional value of almond cheese

In almond cheese vs regular cheese, nutritional value is where we see almond cheese really take the lead.  The cheddar information is on top.  As you can see, they both have 7g of protein, but the cheddar has 10% of your daily cholesterol whereas the almond cheese has none.  They are almost tied in sodium, but the cheddar has 9 times as much fat along with 30% of your daily allowance of saturated fats.  The almond cheese also contains MORE calcium (yes, more!) than the cheddar.

I often worry that these weird “food alternatives” are going to be highly processed, but the ingredients list is pretty short and is rife with the word “organic.”  Based on all this information, I decided to give it a try.

My first experiment was to shred it onto my salad like I usually do with cheddar.  It shred perfectly and tasted quite fine.  (There are a lot of ingredients in my salad, so the cheese isn’t necessarily the most dominant.)  I cut off a small piece of cheese and just popped it in my mouth, and that tasted good, too.  It definitely had the same consistency as a block of traditional cheese.  Additionally, I found a bunch of recipes online for making your own almond cheese.  If it’s easy enough to make at home, then it can’t be too processed!


Tonight was my final test – melting.  Well… nobody’s perfect!  I made a small grilled cheese sandwich, and, while it got warm and soft, it never actually “melted.”  Despite this one flaw, I’m really digging the almond cheese.  It’s so much healthier for you and tastes great.  As a devoted fan of Cabot cheddar, I have to say that they do put out a good product that is non-GMO and made in the greatest state in the country.  But if you eat too much of it, it’s going to have its effects.  Try almond cheese for a low-fat alternative.

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