March marks five months of dairy free eating. For the most part I would consider it easy. It is surprising how much eating habits can adapt to restrictions with time. Even my cheese loving husband has consumed many dairy free meals and agrees there are little benefits for including dairy in his diet. The kids, although fans of mac and cheese and pizza, drink little milk and rarely show interest in yogurt or slices of cheese.
Ordering at restaurants is the hardest part of eliminating dairy from my diet. Milk and butter have dairy free almond substitutes that I use in my cooking, although not available in many local dining spots. Luckily, most servers are understanding and accommodating of food allergies.
Really the hardest part is pizza and lately I've been thinking a lot about nachos.
Daydreaming down the aisle of Whole Foods the other day my eye caught the words vegan cheese. Isn't that an oxymoron? I wondered. Confused, but, interested I bought it on an impulse.
"Melts decently in the oven if I remember correctly."
"Tell me what you think..I'm a Daiya fan, but always open to new things!!"
"This is my favorite brand of cheese. It's harder to find but its great on baked spagetti, alfredo and the cheddar version for mac and cheese, and tacos."
"I would never eat that in a million years."
"I like the Daiya cheese the best. It actually melts, stretches and doesn't stink (and I think it tastes good.)
Although Daiya brand seems to be a favorite, I tried out the Follow your Heart brand that also makes the popular Vegenaise. The ingredients and nutritional facts for the Follow your Heart Mozzarella Vegan Gourmet are as follows.
(vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-gmo)
Filtered Water, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Inulin (Chicory Root Extract), Soymilk Powder (Soybeans), Soy Protein, Agar Agar, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor (Plant Sources), Carrageenan, Lactic Acid (Plant Source).
Intrigued, I decided to begin my experiment with nachos.
The consistency is different, but it did melt. I ate them all.
In conclusion, if you are in the mood for cheese, but on a vegan or dairy free diet this is a nice substitute. It fills the void. To be clear, it does not taste like cheese. But, it is edible.
Do you think vegan cheese is worth it or worthless?
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