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Vegan Cheese Challenge Week 3: Daiya AKA “Vegan Crack”

Posted Oct 05 2010 8:02am

Since my own body doesn’t like dairy products (can you say bloat and acne, anyone?), I have been eating a dairy-free diet for over 10 years now. The major issue about not eating dairy has been….not eating dairy. As much as I know it doesn’t work well in my body, I really did like the taste.

After I cut out dairy for health reasons, I started to learn about how the cows are treated on factory farms. I didn’t feel comfortable consuming foods from animals that are truly tortured. I also didn’t like the environmental impact that producing milk and cheese has on our shared air, water, and land resources.

So, I abstain. But I still crave cheese. It’s a natural, and common, food craving. Cheese contains opiate-like chemicals called casomorphins which act like opium in the body – that’s right, cheese makes your body feel good just like morphine does…           I hear. Since I’m on a search for “cheese” that doesn’t mess up my digestive system, skin, and the planet, I have discovered what might be called “the crack cocaine” of dairy-free and vegan cheeses: DAIYA.

It melts, it tastes good, and it’s easy to cook with. Now, when I say “tastes good” let me be honest. It doesn’t taste like French brie. BUT it does taste like pretty high-quality pizzeria shredded cheese, which is more than good enough for me.

I also love that Daiya is created without most of the top food allergens including soy, dairy (casein or lactose), gluten, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts (excluding coconut).

In honor of my dairy-free and gluten-free clients, friends, and readers, I now present:

To Diaya For Nachos:

3 big handfuls of corn chips

(my absolute fav is Xochitl Organic chip s pronounced so-CHEEL; seriously, spring for the 9-pack box. They’re amazing.)

1 cup shredded Diaya chedder


Lay the chips out on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the Diaya cheese evenly over the chips. Turn up the broiler and set the chips about 6 inches under the flame. Broil for 6 minutes. Make sure the cheese and chips don’t burn, but do cook long enough for the Diaya to melt – because it does!

Eat with your favorite salsa, guacamole and vegetarian bean dip. These chips are perfect for an upcoming football or baseball viewing party! Just choose a vegan, gluten-free beer from’s list to go along with it! Live a little!

My rating over all:

A Big Ol’ Vegan Gold Star!

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