Product: Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Pure Live Culture Cashew Cheeze – $7.99+
Not surprisingly, one of the things I miss the most is real…actual…cheese. My lactose intolerance has not only gotten worse over the past year, but it makes indulging in things like cheese…virtually impossible anymore. The same goes for ice cream, but, I sometimes try and pray that the lactase enzyme supplements help (sometimes they do…more often than not…they don’t). But cheese and I don’t really get along at all these days.
But then…by magical happenstance (perhaps rainbow unicorn pixie dust)…one day while “just browsing” at Whole Foods, I stumbled upon Heidi Ho Organics, which was apparently featured on Shark Tank and has really made a name for itself in the vegan cheese market. I figure there must be a vegan cheese markets. Vegans love cheese too…they just don’t eat it. But, obviously, they want to…because vegan cheese is made. And consumed. A lot.
Heidi Ho was created by Heidi K. Lovig, a fanatic about farm-to-table dining, sustainability, seasonal menus, and buying local. This vegan chef honed in on her skills during her time living on the Big Island of Hawaii in a sustainable community where she managed an eco hostel and farm. She trained with vegans and raw foodies from around the world, thus developing a deeper connection to the ingredients she uses in her cooking. Lovig moved to Portland a few years ago and began training at Le Cordon Bleu to obtain her degree in Culinary Arts. With a focus on local, organic, and sustainable practices, she turned her attention to the environmental issues humans have created due to food supply structures and our current system of distribution. At her side is Lyssa M. Story, “the Boss” at Heidi Ho. She runs the show and is the brains behind every facet of its operations. From HR to business plans and projections, to law, licensing, accounting, banking, money, organization, and keeping Chef Heidi on track. Story has an extensive background in the food and beverage industry, and attended the Western Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu, where she received an Associates degree in Occupational Studies – Hospitality and Restaurant Management. Story was raised on the standard American diet, which, over time, jeopardized her health. At the age of 22, she began a plant based and whole foods diet.
So, these two ladies set out to create delicious plant-based cheezes using ingredients that are healthier for their consumers…as well as the planet. Hedi Ho is the future of cheese – aiming to be the cheese that creates change. They take great pride in the values they uphold in their company and products. They sell cheeze that is superior in flavor and quality over the rest on the market.
Guess what…they succeed. The introduction of this plant-based comfort food is a game changer for vegans out there. They say on their Web site that their Ne Chevre Pure Live Culture Cashew Cheeze is “a delicious live culture cashew cheeze made from simple plant-based ingredients. It’s like goat cheese without the goat.” In fact, Ne Chevre means “No Goat” in French. So…that’s really straight forward. HAHA!
The Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Pure Live Cultures Cashew Cheese is a fantastic spreadable cheese that would be perfect for crackers, or sprinkled over salads, or even just spread across a savory gluten-free bagel (which is what I did with it! Oh, and then later did it again, topping it with marinara and dried basil for bagel pizzas…oh yeah!). Who needs vegan cream cheese when you can spread a non-goat goat cheese over something packed with tomato and basil flavors, right? A great product to pair with white wines, grapes, walnuts and spicy jams, this is a versatile and crazy-good spread. I loved the texture (creamy, not gritty) and the wow-power of the flavor (not as strong as goat cheese, but bringing this powerful flavor that mimics goat cheese). Seriously, this would be good in just about anything. Maybe even subbing it for ricotta cheese in lasagnas or such. I know, for me, it upped my bagel game to 11. Heidi Ho Organics may have created the Spinal Tap of vegan cheese here. I honestly loved the sharp, tangy and creamy mouthfeel that came with each bite of this cheese. It had a bit of a salty flavor, but it didn’t distract from the flavor of the cheese itself. Beyond impressed!! No surprise though, as I fell in love first with the Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Lava Cheeze (which I thought I reviewed, but didn’t), and the Heidi Ho Organics Creamy Chia Cheeze Sauce and the Spicy Chia Cheeze Sauce (also didn’t review that one…what is wrong with me??!)
So…now that I’ve went on and on and on with how (honestly) fantastic the Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Pure Live Culture Cashew Cheeze is…let’s take a look at what makes it that way. I absolutely adore an ingredient list that has ingredients that I, not only recognize, but also can pronounce. The Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Pure Live Culture Cashew Cheeze is made from organic cashews, water, sea salt, organic lemon, live cultures, nutritional yeast, and citric acid. All Heidi Ho vegan cheeses are organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, low in sodium, and low in fat (although they taste like they are SO fattening…so you gotta love that little added bonus!).
Speaking of which, how about these nutritional facts?! A serving of the Heidi Ho Organics Ne Chevre Pure Live Culture Cashew Cheeze is 1 ounce (28 grams…or about 1 tablespoon). This serving will provide you with 80 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 4 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 1 gram sugars, and 3 grams of protein.
I have now tried (but apparently need to blog about two of them) the four (4) versions of Heidi Ho Organics products that my Whole Foods currently carries. And I am absolutely enamored with them. They are a bit pricey, but you do get what you pay for. Heidi Ho Organics definitely delivers a delicious, amazing, and high quality product. I’m beyond impressed.
Also…it’s already gone…
I am not ashamed.