The biggest challenge for non-dairy diners is to find a tasty, melt-able completely dairy and casein-free cheese. Having tested and tasted scads of non-dairy cheeses that had the texture and taste of rubber, I was fairly skeptical about trying the Daiya non-dairy cheeses that reportedly melt like dairy cheese, while containing no casein or dairy products.
We purchased the cheddar style shreds and the mozzarella style shreds at our local Earth Fare for $4.89 per 8 ounce bag. We first tested the mozzarella style product on my homemade whole grain pizza crust and simple sauce.
While the mozzarella style did sort of “melt” it had a very soft texture but did not melt completely. The Daiya mozzarella style shreds did stretch nicely and had a pleasurable mouth feel. The taste of the mozzarella style non-dairy “cheese” missed the mark for us as mozzarella. Our youngest, who is dairy-free, could not eat the pizza with the Daiya shreds. However, for myself, I didn’t mind the taste at all, it was reminiscent of a Parmesan flavor which I enjoyed. In addition, when I used the mozzarella shreds in combination with the cheddar in a casserole, we had positive reviews.
Based on the cost of the cheese and the mixed reviews from the the family, we will be purchasing this product in the future but only for specific recipes, but not ones where the cheese is featured, such as pizza.
The Daiya cheddar style shreds were used with seasoned ground beef for tacos and again with refried beans and corn for tostada casserole. Both dishes were a hit with the family and made the youngest happy even though we went to a buffet, she could not eat most of the food available but we had brought her tostada casserole from home which we heated up for her at the buffet. The cheddar style shreds, like the mozzarella style shreds did melt to a good degree, but not 100%. When we stirred the Daiya cheddar style shreds into the beans it did have a smooth consistency which was pleasing to the eye and palate for all of us. This one hit the mark.
Based on the cost of the Daiya non-dairy cheese and the variety of dishes we can use it in, and the positive reviews from the family, we will be purchasing this product on a regular basis. Our non-dairy children are much more willing to stay non-dairy when they have dishes that they can enjoy that seem “normal.”
Daiya non-dairy shreds are:
- Cholesterol free
- Trans fat free
- Dairy free
- Free of all animal products (vegan)
- Free of common allergens including: dairy (casein and lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts (excluding coconut)
- Free of artificial ingredients
- Free of preservatives
- Free of hormones & antibiotics
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).