Vegan cheese is a non-dairy alternative to regular cheese made primarily from soy, nutritional yeast, solidified vegetable oils, nuts or tapioca flour. It has the benefit of being generally healthier than traditional cheese as well as lacking any animal products.
Vegan cheeses made from different sources have different characteristics. Soy-based cheeses look shiny or slick and have a rubbery consistency, while nutritional yeast cheese has a noticeably different texture than regular cheese. Though typically lower in fat and calories than traditional cheeses, vegan cheeses may be highly processed in an effort to match the taste and consistency of normal cheese more closely.