That is, until we found Daiya (pronounced Day-ah). It is free of milk, soy, and gluten (completely vegan, actually). Initially we didn't use it because it contains pea protein, and that was one of Bubs' sensitivities. But pea is a food that we successfully added back into his diet (one of the first ones I wanted to reintroduce because of this cheese!), so now he can have Daiya cheese!
Daiya makes a whole line of cheeses that are vegan and free of soy and gluten. They make slices (cheddar, swiss, and provolone), shreds (cheddar, mozzarella, and pepperjack), wedges (cheddar, jack, and jalapeño garlic Havarti), and cream cheese styled spreads (plain, chive and onion, and strawberry). They also have a line of gluten-free pizza that is free of milk and soy (cheese lover's, margherita, fire roasted vegetable, and mushroom and roasted garlic).
The shreds are specifically designed for melting. We use the cheddar for things like mac & cheese, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, and quesadillas. And we like the mozzarella for things like pizza (and pizza puffs) and fettuccine alfredo. Sometimes I use cheddar and mozzarella together to add a nice flavor.
|Mac & Cheese before baking|
|Mac & Cheese dinner|
|Quesadilla made with GF tortilla and cheddar and mozzarella Daiya shreds|
I also use the shreds in recipes that don't require melting. Since this particular type of cheese is designed for melty goodness, it has a different texture than real shredded cheese when eaten right from the package. But I haven't heard any complaints! Bubs loves his pasta salad with the shreds.
|This pasta salad was made for my nephew who is allergic to milk. The noodles are not GF, but the cheese is milk-free Daiya cheddar shreds.|
I use the slices in sandwiches and for snacks like cheese and crackers. The wedge is also nice for snacks and small chunks or cubes of cheese.
I am eager to try the Daiya cream cheese style spread. There is a recipe for cheesecake on their website that looks absolutely amazing! I haven't seen any of this cream cheese in my local stores yet, as it is a new product just hitting the shelves. And since I live smack dab in the middle of the country, we tend to get things last. :) But I will continue to look for it whenever I pass by the refrigerated section of our health market, and I'll snatch a tub or two when I can.
I would also love to try their line of pizza, but unfortunately Bubs is still off tomatoes and garlic (both of which are ingredients in their pizza). Once these foods are successfully added back into his diet, we will be sure to give them a try. It is difficult to find pizza that is free of milk, egg, and gluten. Here's your answer!
|Notice the Daiya shreds in his pasta salad and on his burger? Hard to see, but they are there!|
So, needless to say, we love Daiya cheese! We always have a drawer full of the shreds in our fridge, and we keep slices on hand as well. What a great alternative to cheese for those with special food needs. I am so happy this product is available so Bubs can enjoy cheese again (he loves it just as much as I do)!