Cheese-tastic!

I love cheese because it tastes good on almost anything but regular cheese made from cow’s milk isn’t the best choice for our diets.  I’ve been reading a lot of articles about how we shouldn’t eat dairy.  Yes, I have a degree in Nutrition but since it is such a new science, new studies come out every day.  This was one of the things I loved about college because I was growing as a student along with the science that I was learning about.  Studies show that about 75% of the population cannot genetically digest dairy (lactose intolerance).  Many people might say, “We need 2-3 servings of dairy in our diet, the USDA recommends it in the food guide pyramid, to help prevent diseases like Osteoporosis”…

My little model with both cheese varieties

However, recent studies have shown that the  truth is, there has been little or no success in preventing osteoporosis by eating dairy products. As Americans, we consume excessively large quantities of calcium, yet the risk of osteoporosis continues to threaten millions of Americans. Most people are not aware that the US already has one of the highest calcium intakes in the world. Calcium deficiency caused by an insufficient amount of calcium is not known to occur in humans, even though most people in the world don’t drink milk after they are babies. In fact, nations with the highest levels of dairy consumption are the same nations with the highest rates of osteoporosis.  So you might say, “why not try soy milk or soy cheese?”  I disagree with that choice as well because soy can cause problems to our hormone levels.  Soy is one of the largest genetically modified foods and has one of the highest percentages contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.  Soy has now been linked to cause cancer, lower libido, cause thyroid problems in babies, and many other side effects.  So I went on a quest to find a good cheese not made from soy or dairy at whole foods I found the following two choices (I made 2 separate quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas):

Sample #1 made from tapioca

tapioca cheese alternative

Brand Name:  Daiya

Flavor:  Mozzarella

Melting consistency: very good and it even stretches like real cheese

Smell: it smells like cheese but in a way that you can tell its not REAL cheese

Taste: yummy, not too strong but a nice flavor

Cost: $5.99 for the package (pre-shredded)

Overall Grade: B+

Sample #2 made from almonds

almond cheese alternative

Brand Name:  The Original Almond Cheese

Flavor:  Monterrey Jack-Jalapeno

Melting consistency: it melts and sticks to the tortilla but isn’t stretchy like real cheese

Smell: no smell except for the Jalapeno flavoring

Taste:  delicious, especially because of the flavoring

Cost:  $3.99 (on Sale) for the package

Overall Taste: B

Overall I would not eat these cheeses by themselves but they each have their own taste and flavor to add to a meal.  I could see baking some yummy casseroles or even trying some homemade pizza with the tapioca cheese alternative.  Although I didn’t grade either cheese with an ‘A’ I think its about changing mindset regarding ‘cheese’ and I think both of these are a hit!

Namaste

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