Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dairy Free Product Review: Treeline Treenut Cheese

I noticed this "cheese" at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and it reminded me of a nut cheese the chefs were sampling back when I was interning at Pure Food and Wine in New York City. There was a local guy making a fermented cheese from cashews which was exciting news for a vegan and raw restaurant let alone for those of us who are vegan or allergic to dairy. (I wonder if this is the same cheese....)

As a dairy free eater, it is really hard to replace cheese in recipes as well as just missing how easy it is to eat as a snack with crackers.  There are plenty of soy, rice and almond cheese replacements out there, but I haven't found any that I like. They either mess with my stomach (way too many chemicals and fillers) or they just aren't like real cheese so I would rather go without.  

This tree nut cheese may just have changed that for me. Treeline is non- dairy, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and artisan-made in Hudson Valley, New York. I have tried the two available creamy products, Herb-Garlic and Scallion and loved them both. They have a smooth texture and the taste is slightly tangy.

The ingredients are simple: cashew nuts, filtered water, l. acidophilus, dried scallions, sea salt, lemon juice, white pepper, garlic and onion powders, dried parsley, basil and oregano. The price tag is a little steep, $7.49 for 6oz. Looks like it is available at most Whole Foods stores.

I topped the crackers above with some pesto and a crunchy garlic chili condiment called Chile Crunch.

I am looking forward to putting this cheese out at my next party and see if the regular dairy eaters notice. There are a few recipes on the Treeline website using their cheeses in macaroni and cheese and risotto. I wonder how this would work in a salmon mousse instead of using cream cheese. I think it could also replace goat cheese in a beet and arugula salad. Yum!

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