May 12, 2017

The Best Ingredients to Substitute for Goat Cheese

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If there's one thing I love most, it would have to be cheese! There's something about its gooey and savory taste that bodes well in a lot of dishes. But what a lot of people don't know is that cheese isn't only made out of cow's milk, but from goats as well. Goat cheese is a favorite ingredient known for its tangy taste, giving different flavors to various dishes. But if you or a loved one aren't a fan of the taste, then what's a substitute for goat cheese that still leaves your taste palate satisfied?

​Read on as I show you what goat cheese is and food you can choose from to use as a substitute for goat cheese!

What is Goat Cheese?​

Goat cheese is only curdled milk produced by a goat. They are also called chevre, which is French for "goat." The primary source of chevre comes from France, but is also available in many countries from around the world, namely from the European side such as Italy and Norway.​

Compared to cows, the milk production of goats is from March to October, as they have better flow during the warm months. After the milk is curdled and created into cheese, they are aged for a few months, which is why there are more cheeses available during the summer season.

Goat cheese has a tart and earthy flavor, known for its unique tang and scent. It's very strong, as the taste comes from the goat's milk fatty acids. While both goat and cow's cheese have a similar fat content, they have entirely different flavors based on both body and what they eat.​

What's great about goat cheese is the fact that it's low in calories (70 calories per ounce) and with lesser fat content than other types of cheeses. It's low in sodium and contains the enough protein and vitamins to sustain excellent health, making it an attractive addition to healthy dishes like salads.

​There are many types of goat cheese according to its freshness and texture or moisture content. It would also depend on the brand and how they culture their milk to offer both unique taste and feel of cheese when eaten. You can even create your own goat's cheese!

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What to Know Before Substituting Goat's Cheese​

Now that you know what goat cheese is, you'll need to take note that there are things you'll need to consider. Like mentioned, goat cheese contains individual fatty acids that create its flavor. Also, the process of culturing the milk and creating it into cheese is different.​

What I'm trying to say here is: You won't find the perfect replacement for goat cheese with the specific features, regarding flavor and texture. The best thing you'll be able to find would be a substitute similar in taste, or something that feels like goat cheese (either crumbly or soft).

​So you will want to try either culturing your cheese based on your diet or to use other replacements such as other types of cheese. You can also choose other ingredients that have a similar taste or texture as goat's cheese.

The main advice I can give you when considering the ideal substitute for goat cheese would be to choose something based on either the flavor or texture. Decide which one is the more important factor for your recipe, so you know what substitute is best to use.

What to Substitute for Goat Cheese​

Based on flavor and texture, here are the top ingredients you can use to substitute for goat cheese:​

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is soft and mild-tasting, so while it doesn't have the sharp and tangy flavors of goat cheese, the consistency is just right. It's creamy and still delicious, but take note of its high-fat content and use less of it if needed.

Mascarpone

Mascarpone is very similar to goat cheese regarding texture. It's very smooth and creamy, similar to goat's cheese. You can use these in desserts or dishes for a softer bite to it. But take note, Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese used in many desserts for its sweetness. It has a different taste compared to using goat's cheese.

Manchego

This Spanish cheese has an aged taste since it is usually aged from two months to two years. It comes from sheep's milk and one of the most popular types of cheese in Spain for its rich and creamy flavors. Manchego can be used as an excellent substitute for goat's cheese regarding flavor, as it has the aged taste. But, the Manchego isn't smooth and a bit too soft to use for dishes that need a crumbly or hard base.

Ricotta

Ricotta is usually made out of sheep's milk, with a similar flavor as compared to goat's cheese. It's best used for those who need cheese lower in fat. It's great on pasta since it easily melts, or salads because of its firmness.

While both Ricotta and goat's cheese have similar tastes, the former is firmer, so it may not be ideal for dishes that need a softer consistency.

Vegan "Goat's Cheese."

If you're on a vegan diet or lactose intolerant, then you'll still be able to create your version of VEGAN goat's cheese and get a similar taste and consistency.

While both Ricotta and goat's cheese have similar tastes, the former is firmer, so it may not be ideal for dishes that need a softer consistency.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cup of Macadamia nuts (soaked for over half a day, then drained and washed)
  • Half a cup of Cashew nuts that were soaked similar to Macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • A tablespoon of unpasteurized Miso
  • A teaspoon of salt
  • Water

What to Do:

  • Blend all the ingredients together while adding a bit of water to help everything blend. Depending on the strength of your blender, it will take five minutes until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
  • Add the ingredients to a jar and cover it tightly, storing it in a dark area at room temperature for a whole day. You can also choose to our it in the fridge for the cheese to firm up quicker.

​How to Use Goat Cheese Or Its Substitute

Now that you know the different types of alternatives for goat cheese and how to choose the one for your dish, the next question is: How can you create a great dish with these ingredients?​

Here are some tips and ideas to consider when using a substitute for goat cheese to add in various dishes:

  • If you choose a different type of cheese as a substitute for goat's cheese, then store it well through covering it in waxed paper (loosely) and refrigerating it. You can also choose to put it in a container.
  • Serve cheese at room temperature to get a fresher taste, unless it is baked into bread or pizza.
  • Great ideas you can use for any substitute for goat's cheese include salads, dips, spreads for bread, or even as toppings on pizza and meat (namely, chicken!).
  • If you have cheese or ingredients that are a bit harder than goat's cheese, you can soften it using plain yogurt, which will also give it more of a tangy flavor. Adding water or milk can also give a creamy texture, especially if you're using firm cheeses as a substitute.

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​In Conclusion

When it comes to creating dishes with goat cheese, you'll be able to find various substitutions that will still keep your dish tasty and have the soft and crumbly consistency for people to appreciate!

I hope that this article helps you become more knowledgeable on what to substitute for goat cheese. Now you know what to use when you're out of goat cheese or don't like the ingredient.​

Do you have any more questions or suggestions on what to substitute for goat cheese? Then post your thoughts down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.​

    Claire J. Ruiz

    I'm Claire, and my passion is cooking. I believe that food is what actually unites people and the dining table is where we set aside our differences. When we eat we become vulnerable because enjoying food requires a different level of trust and surrender to the person preparing your food. Sharing and enjoying food is one of the most intimate experiences in life.​

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