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Vegan feta is a food that can be substituted for dairy-based feta cheese and fits into the vegan lifestyle. Since most dedicated vegans abstain from eating any types of cheeses, options such as vegan feta can flavor dishes such as Greek salads. The main ingredient that gives this feta alternative its texture is tofu, and experienced vegan cooks often report that using the correctly-textured tofu is important for a desirable result. These types of feta substitutes usually have an appearance and taste quite similar to regular feta cheese.
Cooking with feta cheese is a popular option among people seeking a low-fat cheese option. Feta has less fat than other cheeses because it is often made with skim rather than whole milk, and it also usually has less sodium. Since feta cheese is made with animal-based products, it is normally not part of a vegan diet. Dairy-free vegan meals with feta can often have the same sharp and flavorful taste from vegan feta made from seasoned tofu pieces.
One of the first concerns with making vegan feta is selecting tofu that is firm enough to resemble the texture of regular feta cheese. Some types of uncooked tofu are usually too soft to use for vegan feta without crumbling too much. Vegan cooks usually recommend tofu labeled extra-firm for this type of feta recipe. Since the tofu will be mixed with liquid and dry flavor ingredients, many recipes call for large cubes of tofu that usually hold their firmness better than small crumbled tofu pieces.
Flavorings for vegan feta often come from added spices such as oregano, minced garlic, basil, and black pepper. Many recipes also call for red wine or apple cider vinegar to give this feta alternative its needed tart flavor. Some vegan cooks also like to mix in miso paste for added thickness and flavor. This popular soybean-derived ingredient is frequently used in various vegan dishes to create textures similar to those of meats or cheeses.
Both the wet and dry flavor ingredients for vegan feta are typically blended together in a separate mixing bowl before the cook pours them over the fresh tofu pieces. Some recipes include instructions to let the feta marinade for about one hour to allow the tofu to absorb the flavoring. The resulting tofu pieces often taste and look similar to dairy-based feta cheese, although this vegan recipe typically has a shorter shelf life.