If you’re reading this, you likely already are or may be considering going dairy-free. You may have an intolerance, have been told to eliminate dairy, or just want to have less of it.
Did you know that dairy is inflammatory and also mucous causing? If your kids (or you) are suffering from a cold and the congestion that comes with it, you should consider removing dairy from your diet and I bet you’ll see a decrease in your mucous, congestion or both!
Whatever your reason for wanting to eliminate it, dairy is not an essential nutrient, and there are lots of things you can have instead. Yes, you read that right. Dairy is NOT an essential nutrient. Calcium is…but there are many other foods you can eat that contain more calcium per ounce than dairy does. For a short list of calcium rich foods, click here.
The good news is that dairy-free products are becoming more and more popular. You can easily find them in the grocery store, but make sure you read your labels! Some contain way too much sugar, or other ingredients you may not be able to pronounce….and chances are, you wouldn’t want to eat or drink them anyway.
I’ve put together some simple recipes to make delicious dairy-free foods right in your kitchen. So, go ahead and try these 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.
It just takes a high-powered blender, some water, and cheesecloth to filter out any remaining bits. 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.
My absolute favourite to make is cashew milk. It’s super simple and requires no straining #causeaintnobodygottimeforthat. To make this super-simple dairy-free milk, here’s my go-to recipe.
If you’ve got time to spare or want to explore making different types of nut milk, try this: Soak ½ cup of almonds, coconut, or even hemp seeds for a few hours. Soaking IS optional, but it makes the blending process easier and the final milk creamier…so, soak the nuts. Then drain the soaking water, rinse, and add to a blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend on high until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Add your flavourings, if desired. Then 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. #easypeasy
2. 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. Coconut milk is also paleo, keto, AIP and lowFODMAP friendly. #bonus
The trick here is with the fermentation. I like to use Cultures for Health yogurt starter. Follow the instructions on the label of the yogurt starter culture, and enjoy delicious dairy-free yogurt in a few days.
And if you have an Instant Pot….try this coconut yogurt recipe.
3. Delicious dairy-free butter alternatives
I’ll be honest, I encourage people to eat butter. It’s great for cooking, baking and it’s a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). It’s good for you…and unless you have a milk allergy, butter can be consumed by people who are going dairy free because butter is the fat of cream. The protein and carbohydrates are no longer present. If you have a milk allergy however, butter is off the table because it could contain trace amounts of milk/cream.
My alternative for butter is coconut oil. It’s a great substitute for butter and also very versatile. You can fry with it, or even bake with it (use the extra virgin type so that the coconut flavour does not overpower the other flavours. My FAVE use of coconut oil is to cook popcorn with it on the stove…SO FREAKIN DELISH!
4. 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.
TIP: After you’ve popped your popcorn, sprinkle it with a bit of nutritional yeast for a salty, cheesy flavour.
5. 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. 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.
6. Delicious dairy-free ice cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Exactly! Even if you are going dairy free, you can still enjoy this sweet treat. N’ice cream is another delicious dessert made with frozen bananas. I’ve included the recipe for this below.
Which recipe are you going to try? 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
Photo credit: A Food Centric Life
- 2 bananas, chopped and frozen
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 tbsp almond butter, unsweetened
- Add chopped frozen bananas to a food processor. Pulse or lightly blend until almost smooth.
- 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.