A few weeks ago, I actually had a dream about what I thought was a fictional item: rice cheese. I enlisted my husband to create such a product for me and lo and behold, he finds this magical item. It DOES exist!!
At Whole Foods, we picked up a bag of rice cheese by Galaxy. We chose the shredded mozzarella flavored shreds. Our main uses for the cheese was as a topping for whole wheat pasta and eggs. While it had a bit of a grainy flavor to it, for the most part, I didn't taste too much of a difference.
I decided to conduct a nutritional analysis of rice cheese versus cow's milk based cheese. The nutritional information on rice cheese is on the left hand side and from Galaxy brand. The cow's milk cheese is on the right hand side and is Sargento brand.
Rice cheese has less fat, saturated fat, less cholesterol, more vitamin A and calcium but also more sodium and less protein. Obviously the serving sizes are different, 1/3 of a cup versus 1/4 of a cup so you get less cheese if you use cow's milk based cheese. I'm unsure how to convert all the nutritional information to equal out but I would guess the protein would be equal since the difference is negligible and the sodium would still be higher in rice cheese.
Overall, for folks that can't or won't do dairy, I do believe rice cheese is a viable alternative to cow's milk cheese. I have heard Daiya brand rice cheese is quite tasty as well, so if I get the chance to get to Whole Foods again, I will have to compare the nutritional analysis of those two cheeses. I would also like to compare the preservatives listed in each of these cheeses but I find myself not quite as knowledgeable of all the ingredients. That may be a longer post in the future dissecting each of the ingredients. If any of my readers have any knowledge on rice cheese, please feel free to share in the comments section. It's still an exciting new prospect for me!