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  • Jan
  • 23

Don’t Say, ‘Cheese!’ Say, ‘Daiya!’

Posted by at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

daiyacheddarOne of the biggest stumbling blocks for many people interested in going vegan is giving up cheese. Quite honestly, from the experience of my partner, Ken, and me, many vegan cheese alternatives have been disappointing. But that was before we discovered Daiya.

Now there’s a vegan cheese that not only tastes great but also shreds, melts, and even stretches! We love pizza, and Ken makes some incredible varieties, but before Daiya, we always missed that unique taste and texture of cheese. But Daiya’s Mozzarella Style Shreds now make our pizza perfect—and cruelty-free. Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds are also available. Between the two, just about every traditional cheese recipe can be made easily—and deliciously—vegan.

At the risk of “preaching to the choir,” it’s important to remember that cheese is a dairy product that contributes substantially to the horrible treatment of cows and the destruction of the environment. It is also unhealthy—since it’s loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat (and usually lots of salt). So it’s not good for the planet or our bodies-and certainly no good for cows! Daiya, on the other hand, is dairy-free as well as free of the artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics that are so common in many products derived from real milk.

Recently, Daiya’s mozzarella and cheddar-style shreds have become more readily available in 8-ounce packages in the refrigerated section of many larger or specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods. Our local natural food store, as well as the natural section of a large grocery chain in our area, now carries Daiya. It can also be sent right to your home from vegan stores like Pangea or Vegan Essentials (which also offers Daiya in 5-lb. blocks, which we have yet to try). If you want to find Daiya in your area, search here.

So far, so good, but what about the cost, you ask? Well, as The Frugal Vegan, I’m pleased to report that Daiya’s cruelty-free product (at about $5 per 8-oz. package) is comparably priced to full dairy cheese. If you want to save some money, try purchasing it in 5-lb. bags for around $40, bringing the 8-oz. cost down to about $4. We’ve done that and then divided the shreds into smaller sealed containers, which we then pop in the freezer (it freezes quite well too). Even when we open an 8-oz. package, we will freeze the unused portion in a sealed container. At room temperature, it thaws in just a few minutes to be pliable.

With Daiya’s initial success, we hope that the company adds additional varieties and styles. Oh, the possibilities! Check out this great recipe for cheesy garlic biscuits featured on PETA Prime earlier this year-it uses Daiya cheese.

Have you tried Daiya? If so, what did you think about it, and what recipes have you been using it in?

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  • Kelly says:

    I love Daiya as well but I wonder, is replacing one unhealthy and cruel food with another processed, not real food, healthy? I am a new “vegan-friendly” eater and I have a problem with replacing whole foods with highly processed ones. Also, environmentally, palm oil is just as cruel to the animals that live in the forests being torn down to grow palm trees, plus the destruction of the plants. I am torn!

  • Steven says:

    Daiya’s fine in small quantities – too much of it and you realize just how much it tastes like (heavily) salted glue.

  • bob says:

    After going vegan, for many years I gave up making my favorite pizza recipe because of lack of good vegan melting cheese. DAIYA!!!! Wow, pizza again!

  • Randell says:

    I first tried Daiya on pizza in the Las Vegas, NV Whole Foods, of all places. Couldn’t believe it, had to check three times to believe it was vegan. Six months later we had it in our town. I think we had quesadillas for a week straight. Great on salads, grilled cheese, vegan scrambles. Add it to Road’s End organic Mac & Chreese for some serious flavor.

  • Rick Thompson says:

    Patty, Looking at the ingredients, there’s no soy and it is GMO-free. Here’s the ingredients for the cheddar shreds: “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 flavours, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), annatto.”
    For more information or to contact Daiya, just go to their website: http://www.daiyafoods.com.

  • Ingrid says:

    Thanks for the information. I too miss cheese… a lot. I saw the Daiya cheese at my local Earth Fare but didn’t think to try it since most faux cheeses aren’t very good. I will definitely buy it the next time I go.

  • Michele says:

    This stuff kicks butt! There’s so many recipes you can use it in as well.

  • Lela says:

    How do I get this cheese in Europe ??

  • Paul says:

    I just love Daiya cheese! Giving up cheese was the hardest part of becoming vegan for me. But with Daiya cheese, I am rediscovering many of my old favorite things that I had given up for lost several years ago. Now if they could only make a Daiya version of camenbert!

  • Emanuel says:

    Hello, is Daiya available in the Netherlands? 😉


  • Meagan says:

    Damn! And now I’m living in a country that charges so much extra money to have things delivered in fro the US,so if I were to purchase it from Vegan Essentials,I’d have to pay double.:( Finally,one of my dreams coming true,a truly wonderful vegan cheese and I have to be stuck all the way over here. Maybe if I can just get someone to send it to me as a gift…..

  • Patty Bowers says:

    Is it soy? Is it GMO-free?

  • Lee says:

    Daiya is very tasty, but I was disappointed when I flipped the package over to look at the nutritional information. There is really nothing to it, but that unfortunately includes calcium. Unless they find a way to add calcium to the product, I’ll only use Daiya in conjunction with soy or rice cheese. Blended with rice mozzarella, it ‘aint half bad!

  • Rick Thompson says:

    Daiya has just announced that they will be introducing a Pepperjack flavor, which will hit stores shelves in mid-March!

  • Phyllis says:

    I LOVE Daiya cheeses!!! Chesse has finally been tastefully veganized. 🙂 I love to use it when making pizza to but I also find it makes terriffic nachos. Just put some chips on a micrwave safe plate, top it with some of the cheddar style Daiya and pop it in the microwave until the Daiya melts. Then load up with favorite toppings – Fantastic brand Taco “meat” is a favorite, plus tomatoes, chopped onions, and black beans. Quick, easy, vegan and tastes so good I can eat the whole plate by myself…and often do.
    I’ve also used it with whole grain pasta for vegan mac ‘n cheese.
    In Atlanta it is $4.35 for an 8 ounce bag of Daiya shreds at Whole Foods and I don’t think that’s expensive at all when I see Papa John’s commercials for $10 pizza. I can get at least 2 pizzas out of 8 ounces and 3 I think 3 plates of nachos. Plus I love the conveience of having it shredded in it’s resealable package.

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