Need Help Going Dairy-free? Here are 6 Great Substitutes

If you're reading this, you’re likely considering (or already are) removing dairy from your diet. You may have an intolerance, have been told to eliminate dairy, or just want to eat less of it.

Either way, dairy is not an essential nutrient, and there are lots of things you can have instead. These include not just milk, but also yogurt, butter, parmesan, and even pudding and ice cream!

Dairy-free products are becoming more and more popular. Nowadays you can easily find them in the grocery store. But read your labels! Some contain way too much sugar, or other ingredients you may not want to eat or drink.

I've put together some simple recipes to make delicious dairy-free foods right in your kitchen.

Go ahead and try my dairy substitutes.

Delicious dairy-free milk

Dairy-free milk is so easy to make and flavour yourself. You can make milk out of just about any nut or seed. You can even make alternative milk out of grains like rice, oats, or quinoa. And you can flavour them too.

It just takes a high-powered blender, some water, and cheesecloth to filter out any remaining bits. Making your own “milk” is so popular that now stores sell nut milk bags!

For flavouring, you can add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla extract. You can also sweeten your milk with soaked dates, maple syrup, or honey.

Here’s a simple process:

To make a very simple dairy-free milk just soak ½ cup of almonds, coconut, or even hemp seeds for a few hours (if you have the time). Soaking is optional, but it makes the blending process easier and the final milk creamier.

Then drain the soaking water, rinse, and add to a blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend on high until smooth (about 1 minute). Add your flavourings, if desired.

Next, strain through a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer, or a few layers of cheesecloth.

If you want to make a dairy-free cream, just blend your nuts, seeds and/or grains with 1 cup of water instead of 2 for a thicker, creamier, dairy-free milk.

Delicious dairy-free yogurt

Technically, with the right yogurt starter probiotic culture, you can make yogurt out of any dairy-free milk. The most common one to ferment into yogurt is coconut milk. But you can use almond milk or other nut or seed milk.

The trick here is with the fermentation. Follow the instructions on the label of the yogurt starter culture, and enjoy a creamy dairy-free yogurt in a few days.

Delicious dairy-free butter alternatives

Nut and seed butter is a great spread substitute for just about anywhere you’d use a dairy butter. Plus, they have the bonus of fibre, protein, and other nutrients that real butter doesn't have.

Have you tried coconut butter? (also sometimes called coconut manna) It’s a great dairy-free substitute for butter. You may have heard of it’s cousin, coconut oil, but coconut butter is different. It’s thicker and creamier and works as a great butter alternative in recipes.

Of course, coconut oil is also a good substitute for butter. You can fry with it, bake with it or use it to pop popping corn in a pot on your stove.

I love the mild flavour of coconut oil in anything I bake with bananas. Try it out, it tastes better than butter!

Delicious dairy-free parmesan

If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much it tastes like grated parmesan. Plus, it contains some B vitamins as well.

It’s a salty, cheesy, flaky powder that you can use wherever you want to add a pop of savoury flavour to any dish.

Try this: After you've popped your popcorn, sprinkle it with a bit of nutritional yeast for a salty, cheesy flavour.

While we’re on the subject of cheese… there are a number of companies who now make “fauxmage.” Nut-milk cheeses are becoming more and more popular. Check your local health food store’s fridge section. You just might be surprised!

Delicious dairy-free puddings

Did you know you can make a delicious and thick pudding without dairy? That's right; the plant kingdom has some natural thickeners that are full of fibre.

You can make a chocolate pudding with avocado. Here’s how:

Take one whole avocado and blend it up with ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup dairy-free milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and honey or maple syrup to taste. Then add dairy-free milk to thin if desired.

For chocolate chia pudding, use ⅓ cup chia seeds and place in food processor with 1.5 cups dairy-free milk. Wait for 5-10 minutes until the seeds soak up the liquid. Then add ¼ cup cocoa powder, tsp vanilla extract, and honey or maple syrup to taste. Blend into a smooth pudding.

Delicious dairy-free ice cream

N’ice cream is another delicious dessert made with frozen bananas. I’ve included the recipe for this below.

Conclusion

Dairy-free is easy! Making delicious dairy-free yogurt, milk, butter, parmesan flavour, and even pudding and ice cream is simple.

Are you going to try any of these recipes? Do you have a great one to share as well?

Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe (dairy-free): Chocolate Almond N'ice Cream

Serves 2

2 bananas, chopped and frozen
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. almond butter, unsweetened

Instructions

  1. Add chopped frozen bananas to a food processor. Pulse or lightly blend until almost smooth.
  2. Add cocoa powder and nut butter. Pulse or lightly blend until mixed.

Serve immediately & enjoy!

Tip: Try different nut and/or seed butter. Or instead of cocoa powder and/or seed butter, use just the bananas with a ½ cup of frozen berries. The recipe combinations are endless.

References:

https://www.thepaleomom.com/the-great-dairy-debate/

https://www.thepaleomom.com/5-easy-swaps-favorite-dairy-products/

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dairy-substitutes

https://yumuniverse.com/plant-powerful-dairy-free-milk/

Selina Rose
A holistic nutritionist, writer, non-granola yogi, and coach dedicated to helping you find sustainability in your health so you can play full-out in life (whatever that looks like for you).
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Author: Selina Rose

A holistic nutritionist, writer, non-granola yogi, and coach dedicated to helping you find sustainability in your health so you can play full-out in life (whatever that looks like for you).