Let’s clear the air here for a minute: I’m a scratch cook – I mean, I literally do scratch cooking for a living, so generally convenience food isn’t on my radar. I’d probably not had Kraft Dinner for at least ten years before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. However, as life has gotten busier (and the kids have gotten hungrier), I have found that keeping an emergency stash of easy to make products is essential to maintaining sanity. Our family has several allergies, in addition to gluten – among them, dairy; so we’ve used Daiya in our house since it premiered. When I saw this box of Daiya Cheezy Mac on the store shelf, proudly proclaiming that it was *also* gluten free, I had to see if this was one worth keeping for those last minute food ’emergencies’.
It sooooo is. Read on.
Daiya Cheezy Mac comes in a shelf stable box with dry noodles a liquid Cheeze packet, similar to the Velveeta cheesy mac available in some locations. The product comes in three flavors: Delux Cheddar Stule, Deluxe Alfredo Style, and Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie.
Each box of these weighed in at 10.6 ounces, with a suggested three servings per box (once cooked).
Kraft Dinner (Macaroni and Cheese) weighs in at 7.25 oz with 3 suggested servings.
Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese weighs in at 12 oz., with 3 suggested servings
At our store the Daiya Cheezy Mac was $4.90 per box
The Kraft Dinner costs about $1.57 and the Velveeta costs about $2.50 where I live.
To compare the total serving costs, I decided to both give the cost of each serving as outlined on the boxes and to give an equivalency (gram per gram analysis) to show the cost per eating if all quantities are the same.
- Total cost per serving for Daiya brand: $1.64
- Total cost per serving for Kraft Blue Box brand: $.52
- Total cost per serving for Velveeta brand: $.83
- Total cost per serving (equivalent 100 grams) for Daiya brand: $1.64
- Total cost per (equivalent 100 grams) for Kraft Blue Box brand: $.76
- Total cost per (equivalent 100 grams) for Velveeta brand: $.74
As you can see, as usual, the gluten free brand of product costs slightly more than twice what the regular gluten containing counterpart costs, when all factors are equal. Since I pretty much expect that, it came as no real surprise, especially as this is reaching for both the gluten free and dairy free specialty markets.
As far as being a sufficient side dish – we found we needed to ‘fill out’ the servings with additional pasta to satisfy everyone, so if you are feeding anyone older than 3 or 4, plan for this box to only make 1 (entree) or 2( side dish) servings.
Texture and Flavor:
What can I say?? If you like real, homemade mac and cheese you might be slightly disappointed – we always find Daiya’s flavor and texture to be more similar to American processed cheese than anything – but if you grew up liking boxed mac and cheese, you’re going to love this stuff.
Less tangy/sharp than the kraft powdered cheese, this is definitely more reminiscent of Velveeta shells and cheese than anything else.
My extremely picky husband and sons – who often turn their noses up at Daiya, when I think it’s just fine – said the mac and cheese was good – and believe me, that’s a high compliment when it comes to ‘fake cheese anything’ in this house.
Top Eight: Our boxes did not list any allergens. The company itself said that their products are free of ” dairy (casein, whey, and lactose), soy, and gluten. f there is something in particular you are allergic to, be sure to contact our team for more allergen information.”
The product did contain onion.
Yes, and you should also be able to find it in stores nationwide.
TASTE OR TOSS
This is a great product for keeping on hand for last minute cooking.