The biggest “complaint” that I hear from people trying to go vegan, or simply just trying to “clean up” their diet is the hesitation in giving up dairy – especially cheese! From pizza and nachos, to other cheese-filled comfort foods, the obsession for many is real and is hard to ignore! And even though there are more and more dairy-alternatives out there, most people are too addicted to what they know (ie, real cheese) to try anything else! Well thanks to Daiya and their extensive line of dairy-alternative products, you no longer have to feel like you are giving up anything – but can enjoy the same foods everyone else does – only ones that are better for you!
For MOMS & MOMS-TO-BE and Toddlers 18 Months+*,
Daiya (pronounced “day-ah” as in “have a nice Daiya!”) arose from a play on the words ‘dairy’ and ‘Dayaa’ which is Sanskrit for “loving, kindness, and compassion”. With their vision being to embrace their love of food, commitment to kind living, and compassion for people and planet, the creators of Daiya, long time friends and vegans, began their quest to produce a bubbly, stretchy, and vegan answer to dairy cheese back in 2007. Two years later, Daiya Cheddar Style and Mozzarella Style Shreds debuted, and the dairy-free cheese category was changed forever.
Since 2009, Daiya has gone on to produce numerous flavors of Shreds, Wedges, Slices and Cream Cheese, as well as multiple types of Pizza (which are also gluten-free), Burritos and even Desserts, helping to define a whole new level of enjoyment for dairy-free living.
Producing a whole line of dairy-free cheese options, Daiya prides itself in using the highest quality, naturally occurring ingredients possible. They also make it a point to get a non-GMO statement from all of their vendors and suppliers before working with Daiya, and that there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives used in any of their ingredients.
Certified Vegan, and of course dairy-free (including casein, whey, and lactose), Daiya also prides themselves in being free of soy and gluten, two of the other major allergens in today’s society. All of their products are also free of cholesterol, trans fats and MSG.
However, Daiya has/does use several controversial ingredients in their products, but combats the critics with explanations. These products include:
- Palm oil: although most of their products do not include Palm Oil, their vegetable glycerin contains small amount of palm derivatives. Furthermore, all of the palm oil they do use is sourced from Brazil, which is not a natural habitat for orangutans. Their supplier, which is certified by EcoSocial and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), works with several independent farmers to replace slash and burn practices with a sustainable organic system. The company helps preserve forests surrounding the plantation by only planting oil palms in degraded areas.
- Canola oil: Daiya no longer uses Canola Oil and instead uses Safflower Oil in their products. However, all of their labels contain the “canola and/or safflower oil” statement to allow them to toggle between the two in case of supply shortages.
- Titanium dioxide: “We use Titanium dioxide, a naturally occurring mineral, to keep our products’ base color consistent. Our level of use is well below the international standard, as well as the FDA maximum level of 1%. Unlike the Titanium dioxide that is used in cosmetics, the form that is used in Daiya products is not a nano particle. This ingredient is considered safe for human consumption by both the FDA and CFIA.
*I personally feel that the majority of people have at least some sort-of intolerance to dairy and would do best if they cut it from their diets completely. This is especially true for young children, as they don’t have the bodily enzymes to break it down – hence the reasons for gas, bloating, etc. [Personally, dairy gives me eczema.]
Daiya was made especially for this reason, so adults and kids alike won’t feel deprived from their favorite snacks and treats, but won’t have to deal with all the negative side effects from eating them either. Non-GMO and preservative free, I have no issues giving Daiya foods to my little ones, although it’s not going to be an everyday occurrence. [I say this because I really do try to feed my family the most minimally processed foods as possible, and reserve these types of items for “special” occasions – or nights where I am just scrambling to get food on the table].
WHERE TO BUY:
To find the store that carries Daiya products nearest you, please visit their Store Locator.
Although I do eat fish and eggs, on occasion, I basically consider myself a vegan (it’s easier to explain to people that way), and I truly enjoy the lifestyle that goes along with it. No, I don’t miss eating meat (I haven’t had red meat for nearly 20 years now), and I don’t find a need to substitute things with many of the fake, vegan-alternatives that can be found these days. This includes everything from ‘chicken-less chicken patties’ to yes, anything ‘cheese’ related.
With that said, I do enjoy a Vegan pizza every now and again, or even Nachos when made just right. And yes, Burritos are great too – although finding gluten and dairy free option [of these] isn’t very easy! That is until I discovered the products by Daiya!
Yes, Daiya has been around for nearly 10 years now, although their product line has continued to expand – as has the taste and quality of their products! In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much more I like their products now – compared to when I first tried them – as well as how much more extensive their line is! From more flavors and types of cheeses, to Burritos and even Greek Yogurt and Cheezecake, there really is a Daiya product for every taste and every meal! Plus, with all of their ready-to-heat-and-eat meal options, weeknight meals are now simpler than ever when you find yourself in a food-bind!
Are you a cheese lover but feel that eating dairy just isn’t agreeing with you?! Or are you simply looking for some quick and easy meals that you and your kiddos will enjoy – especially as school is back in full swing and weeknights are busier than ever?! Then you should definitely check out some of the tasty, cheesy foods by Daiya! Because it’s those small steps that make healthy living a lifestyle, so why not take one today?!
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