Daiya is a non-dairy cheese that is commonly used among many vegans as a cheese substitute. It is not 100% in comparison to regular cow’s milk cheese as far as taste but the texture is pretty close. It does not melt as well when used in a dish such as a grilled cheese sandwich but it does nice on pizza baked in the oven. The texture is something that turns many people off since it can turn very runny when hot and then gets thicker as it cools. Sometimes it is easier to think of vegan ‘substitutes’ as not substitutes but something completely new. This is one of those cases.
We noticed the Daiya Vegan Macaroni and Cheese in our local Whole Foods Market last week and then we purchased it this week as our ‘something special’. We try to find something new and exciting at least once a week. It doesn’t always happen seeing as we live in a small town but we attempt to make it happen. Thankfully we saw this on the shelves along with Earth Balance Macaroni and Cheese which I hope to try out this next week. Genki Husband wanted to have Daiya first while I wanted to try out the Earth Balance. The Daiya in our area is sold for $4.99 while the Earth Balance is sold for $2.99. The prices may be different in your area.
Cheese to macaroni ratio was just about right even though when you start to cook the dish, it appears there is hardly any pasta. It is similar to Kraft premium (is that what it’s called?) that contains the clear plastic envelop of pasta only Daiya uses whole brown rice pasta. Then there is a aluminum envelop package contains the liquid cheese. The process is exactly the same as the traditional Kraft style brand. Tip: If you are in college and have no stovetop burner, you can make pasta in the microwave, it just takes a few more minutes to wait for the pasta to steam. Once you mix everything together give the dish a few minutes just to cool down a bit so the cheese sauce will thicken a bit.
Pros: Easy to make and needs no special ingredients.
Cons: 1. One box contains 3 servings. Normally servings are 4 since a family traditionally has around 4 people or 2 people with leftovers for 2 people. Even numbers are always better right?
2. Each serving is extremely small- EXTREMELY! I would probably say 1 box would serve about 2 kids, not 3 adults. 1 box might fulfill the hunger of 1 adult.
3. Calorie content is extremely high at 300 calories per serving! 9g of fat! That’s a ridiculous amount of both for such a tiny serving.
Of course all of this is just my personal opinion and might not account for anything but it is what we saw for this new product. Normally I do love Daiya cheese and appreciate what the company is doing for mainstream veganism. But unfortunately I think this product is not the greatest example of proper vegan food. We make a delightful vegan macaroni and cheese dish from nutritional yeast and it is about 1/2 the calories and fat content with a larger quantity. Would we buy again? Seeing as I did not eat more than a few bites and turned it down, no I would not buy again.
Oh, She Cooks! A blogger friend of mine also just did a review of Daiya Macaroni and Cheese so I would love to share with you one of my favorite bloggers and also her personal opinion/review. Check her out here! It’s funny since I was working on this article just as she was hers and published it. Great minds think alike.
Have you tried this out? Leave your opinions in the comment section below.