Daiya-A dairy-free cheese that melts!

I found this cheese alternative 6 months ago, and am so happy to finally get to tell you that it is available in retail stores! It is a delicious dairy free alternative(no lactose or casein) that is also Free of: gluten, soy, cholesterol, trans fat. It contains lots of calcium too. Most importantly, it melts and tastes great!

When I was diagnosed with an allergy to dairy, I could not imagine life without cheese. I could give up milk, yogurt and the rest, but don’t take my triple creams and salty crumbly cheddar away from me! I lived in Switzerland where I ate cheese everyday and the thought of never enjoying it again was very upsetting to me.

At my doctors urging, I stopped eating dairy for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, of  not one tiny bite of any dairy; upon my first inhale of the day, I had a new understanding of what clear breathing was suppose to feel like! At the age of 35, I experienced my first day with no congestion and how great it felt to breathe completely clearly. Wow, I had so much more energy, and my stomachaches were greatly reduced too. Okay, I had to admit that NO piece of cheese or any other form of dairy was worth it to me any longer. So, from that day forward I have not eaten any cheese.

I decided to try all the cheese alternative, soy, rice etc…Have you tasted them? In my opinion, they all tasted like cardboard and my biggest complaint was that they do not melt.

I was told that Amici’s Pizza has great Gluten-free and Dairy-free pizza. So, as you may have read in my previous article-they do and I love it. I went on a mission to find out what this dairy-free cheese was that they were using on their pizza because it was so good that I double checked to see if it was real cheese. It melts, it tastes like cheese and is so delicious. I was assured that it was dairy-free and not made from soy. What-not made from soy? What was it made from I wondered?

I was on a trip and asked if Whole Foods had a gluten-free/dairy-free pizza in their deli and they did. Guess what? It was the same cheese and they gave me the name of it. I could not get to my computer fast enough to research it and find out where I could buy it.

I found out that it is made from tapioca and a few other ingredients. It was developed by a food scientist(of course)-brilliant. I ordered both flavors-cheddar and mozzarella. With the cold pack and 2 day air shipping it cost me a fortune-$50, and worth every penny!I do not recommend that we eat this all the time, but it is a great treat and high in calcium(15%)!

The great news it that it is now available in retail stores including Draeger’s Markets(www.draegers.com) in the Bay area, check/request it from your local health food store. It is available in 8oz. packages(bags) in cheddar and mozzarella under the name “daiya” and it costs about $5.55-much more affordable than having it shipped! Look in the refrigerated section near the other alternative cheeses.

So far I’ve made rice macaroni and cheeze, omelets, quesadillas and burritos and they’ve all been superb. I will try it in a Quiche this weekend. All of these recipes will be in my next cookbook-stay tuned. It does not taste so good cold-it really needs to be melted. The shelf life before opening is about 6 months, but once opened you need to use it within 7 days. However, I have kept it in the freezer which works great.

I also was so happy to find that Amy’s is using daiya in their New Rice Macaroni and Cheeze which is dairy and gluten free. It comes frozen and can be reheated in the microwave or oven. However, it is about $7 per serving! It is very good, but I prefer to make it for much less at home. Make Brown Rice Macaroni, drain and pour sauce over it and mix. For sauce: Stir in one cup of daiya into”cream” sauce pg. 98 of No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, buy a personally autographed copy on this site. Let us know how you like it.

Daiya 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, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavors, vegetable glycerin, sunflower lecithin, calcium citrate, xanthan gum, citric acid, annatto, vegan bacterial cultures.

For more information and recipes go to: www.daiyafoods.com

See my article on this site under Amici’s Pizza-for gluten-free pizza crust go to: www.stillridingpizza.com

Have your cheeze without suffering for it. Enjoy and Be Well, Chef Lauren

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5 thoughts on “Daiya-A dairy-free cheese that melts!

  1. I found out about 2 months ago that I am intolerant (possibly allergic) to dairy and maybe wheat as well. One of my friends has celiac disease. I made mac & cheese with Bionaturae elbow macaroni and Cheddar-style Daiya. OMG!!! So good! It tasted very similar to my standard recipe for mac & cheese. I will definitely make this again. Daiya may have saved this girl from utter destruction.

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