One of the things I miss most being celiac is cheese, specifically cream cheese. One of my favorite meals used to be a delicious bagel and cream cheese with sliced green olives on top. Ahhh, memories….
Having found a decent cheese alternative in the past year, I decided to take another look at the cheese alternatives out there. I came across Kite Hill cream cheese style spread. Their chive flavor won a sofi™ Award in 2017 so I figured I’d try it out!
KITE HILL CREAM CHEESE STYLE SPREAD
When I do these food taste tests, I always have my husband do them with me so I can get another perspective. It proved really interesting in this case, because I really didn’t care for the Kite Hill cream cheese, but my husband really liked it.
That said, we only tried it straight up on crackers and bread. I think I would enjoy it in a recipe, if it’s one of many ingredients.
We tried the plain and chive cream cheese flavors. A really nice aspect of Kite Hill is the user friendly packaging. It’s easy to open and easy to reseal. It’s also immediately dippable. It’s soft enough that you don’t need to heat it up or mix it with other ingredients to make it smooth and yielding.
My husband and I thought the chive was better than the plain because it was more in line with a traditional cream cheese flavor. The plain flavor was pretty flat, but it would probably be a good base ingredient for recipes or a good addition to a complex dish.
WAYS TO USE IT
I think the plain would probably be good as a topping on a taco, baked potato, or Greek dish. My husband actually went to the spice cupboard and added some spices to it, which made it quite delicious.
It seems like it could also be sweetened. If you wanted to add some sugar and cinnamon, and put it on top of a cookie, it would probably make a pretty good cream cheese icing.
I didn’t have any veggies on hand when I tried this, but it would probably be quite delicious as a vegetable dip. It may also work well as a sour cream substitute.
Kite Hill’s cheese spreads are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, kosher, and have no artificial flavors or preservatives.
The ingredients for the plain are: almond milk, salt, enzyme, xanthan gum, guar gum, lactic acid, and cultures. The chive flavor has the additional ingredients of chives and white pepper.
While I’m not a huge fan of emulsifiers (thickening agents), xanthan gum and guar gum are much better than others such as carrageenan, polysorbate 80, cellulose gum, etc.
However, be aware that guar gum can be an allergen in people with soy allergies, has been associated with pulmonary embolism in high doses, and may cause bowel obstruction in high doses.
I think Kite Hill cheese style spread will be hit or miss—some people will love it and some won’t care for it. That said, I think it’s a good cheese alternative to use as an ingredient for toppings and recipes.