Cheetos were one of my favourite junk foods before going vegan. I loved everything about them, except the rush of guilt I felt afterwards and neon orange cheesy residue that lingered under my finger nails.
However, as a fairly new vegan I do miss the crunch and sharpness of a good Cheeto and so I went on a mission to find it’s vegan counterpart. There aren’t a lot of companies who are competing in the vegan Cheetos market, I know, shocker. However, you don’t need multiple brands to make a Cheeto because Earth Balance has already created the most amazing vegan alternative to this cheesy snack.
I was skeptical at first, I thought they would either taste like artificial cheese or nutritional yeast. Disclaimer, I love nutritional yeast, but let’s be real here, nooch (nutritional yeast) tastes nothing like Cheetos.
I stopped over at my local Nature’s Emporium to pick up a bag, which only came in an aged white cheddar flavour. After looking online, I discovered that this is the only flavour it comes in, but hopefully they release more flavours in the future! I already have some sick flavour ideas, so if Earth Balance is hiring, shoot me a message.
They had a similar look of a Cheeto, but of course were not orange at all. I was surprised when I tasted these because they tasted exactly like a Cheeto, but better! They had that sharp cheesy taste to them and the perfect crunch. I even got my dad, who is not a fan of cheese, to give them a try. He loved them! We prefer the Earth Balance puffs to regular Cheetos because I find these to be less salty and more natural tasting, which is surprising since there is no cheese. These have the authentic white cheddar taste you’d expect without being artificial.
Of course these aren’t as cheap nor as easy to find as a normal bag of Cheetos, but if you are willing to make a trip to your local Whole Foods, these will have your taste buds and omnivores fooled!