I have always been a skeptic of non-dairy cheeses. I always just thought they were frankenfood. Daiya recently contacted me to see if I would be interested to try their “cheese”, and I happily agreed because it would be a great way to test out the product and see if I can stop calling it “frankenfood”. I was especially interested in Daiya cheese since it is gluten free, dairy free, and soy free–perfect for those with allergies and/or food sensitivities.
You may ask, well what could it be made out of? Tapioca flour, oil, and pea protein mainly.
Ingredients: Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).
I don’t have a problem with any of these ingredients. So far, so good.
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 cup serving) 90 calories, 6 g fat, 7 g carbohydrate (1 g fiber), 1 g protein, 280 mg sodium.
I would categorize this product as 1 fat serving.
Taste and Texture
I tested out the cheese on top of some broccoli and cooked it right next to real cheddar cheese (picture on top). The middle cheese is the Daiya mozzarella shreds, and the bottom is the Daiya cheddar shreds. You can see how real cheddar cheese sinks into the vegetable. The other melts right on top.
But, yes, it does melt! It melts pretty well, too. I would say it melts much better than fat free cheese. I would prefer this non-dairy cheese over fat free cheese any day.
The taste is pretty darn good for a fake cheese product. It almost reminds me of the taste of nutritional yeast. I would say that Daiya did an excellent job creating a healthier cheese analog for those who can not eat dairy and are looking for something that reminds them of cheese.
I prefer the “cheese” not fully melted. When it completely melts it almost starts to taste slimy because of the oil, but that is understandable. So, I just make sure to add my Daiya at the very end of cooking so that it does not fully melt.
I also recommend nut “cheeses” for those who can not eat dairy, but can eat nuts. Cashew “cheeses” are super tasty. I love to make cashew cream sauces for pasta and other dishes. I would rate nut cheeses as my number one favorite cheese alternative, and then Daiya would be number two!
Have you tried Daiya yet?