Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Daiya Product Review

In the land of health-focused vegan food blogging there is a large push for homemade goods, which I fully support. Being able to select our own ingredients is a powerful means to taking our well-being into our own hands. But what happens when extreme exhaustion and fatigue set in and the DIY home cooked meal idea actually becomes an obsessive fixation that robs us of our mental health?

As an example, let me tell you about my past week. Our car (we only have one for our family at the moment), had a couple of hundred dollars worth or repairs, which left me doing some logistic work to figure out how to get to my job. We got the car back from the shop and after less than a week of driving it, the belt snapped. We took it in for a couple more hundred dollars of repairs. I had to figure out arrangements to get my son to his home school science course. We got the car back and a small ding in the windshield had turned into a sprawling 10-inch long crack. We opened our wallets again, got the car back with a new windshield and less than a week later it started making a high-pitched metallic squealing sound. We had hit the tipping point, got a rental car, and then a pipe burst in our 150 year-old house, soaking the ceiling through and forcing us to shut off the pipes for a few hours.

Needless to say, this was NOT a week for dehydrating the perfect raw food pizza crust for 10 hours. And I didn't have 6 hours to soak cashews for a cram sauce. Heck, I didn't even have time to buy groceries. And if anyone had suggested in my stressed out mentality that I should "just eat a salad", I would have bitten them. My son was also grumpy from being dragged from waiting room to waiting room, and annoyed at having plans canceled. This is where my favorite Daiya product really shines.

Sometimes in life you need a pizza. You need comfort and convenience and to let someone else do the work for you. And as we live out in the country, where I am more likely to find a dinosaur bone than a place that delivers vegan, gluten-free pizza, Daiya is the answer. Since my son is a picky eater, we stick to the Cheeze Lover's. Not only is it gluten-free and vegan, but it is soy-free as well, which gives it a big leg up on the competition. Plus, let's face it, Daiya cheese melts better than any other cheese on the market. If texture is important to you, Daiya is your answer. My son was truly grateful for a treat and I could put my feet up and save my sanity for a night.

I tried the sliced Daiya in cheddar and provolone as well. While they can be eaten cold, they really are best melted. Paired with gluten-free bread Daiya slices make an excellent grilled cheese for adults and children alike. For people who suffer from food allergies, Daiya provides a chance to enjoy those "normal food" that usually must be avoided. They are also a great solution if you are desperate to taste lasagna again.

I recommend Daiya products as comfort treats, for allergy sufferers, and for family meal times when you want everyone to eat the same meal. The only modifications I would like to see made to these products would be if they switched to 100% coconut oil, instead of also using some canola/ safflower oil. But considering what is used in most packaged products, Daiya is still far ahead of the game!

I'm grateful that there are companies paying attention to dietary restrictions, but also to taste. Remember in elementary school when it would be announced that it was pizza day in the cafeteria, or at summer camp when Friday came and everyone was overjoyed that there was a pizza party? It eases my mind to know that my family and I can have these breaks. Even those concerned with their health deserve a pizza party every once in awhile!

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