Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
Ever since my elimination diet showed that my stomach problems were due to dairy, I’ve been trying to avoid it. Unfortunately, dairy has had a starring role in my diet for most of my life and I needed alternatives.
While I’m not a big milk drinker, I love cheese, yogurt, chocolate, ice cream, froyo and dairy laden baked goods. So, avoiding dairy was actually a lot harder than I thought I would be.
Since I couldn’t fathom just cutting all those things out of my diet, I decided to do some research. With the number of lactose intolerant, vegan and dairy-free people in the world today, I knew there had to be tried and true alternatives that I could turn to.
5 Dairy Substitutions to spice up dairy free eating
1. Dairy Free Cheese for regular Cheese
This has been seriously hit and miss for me- mostly miss. All the vegan/dairy free cheeses I’ve found and tried in the last couple weeks have been the completely wrong texture and they don’t melt. I know that great dairy free cheese substitutes exist but I haven’t found any in my neck of the woods yet. So no sweet potato pizza for me 🙁
Unlike nutritional yeast, using dairy free cheese in place of the regular stuff would be pretty simple. It’s just finding the right one that’s the problem.
2. Cocoa nibs for semi-sweet chocolate chips
Semi-sweet chocolate chips are a staple in my pantry. I put them in almost everything I make, from oatmeal to brownies. So when I realised that they were making me ill, I felt, well, ill. They contain a negligible amount of ‘milk products’ that can add up- especially if you throw chocolate chips into dishes by the handful 😳
Cocoa nibs are a good alternative to chocolate chips since they’re pretty much pre-processed chocolate. They have no milk, sugar etc. and don’t exactly taste the same so I wouldn’t substitute them 1:1 right off the bat. So far I’ve gotten by with replacing half the chocolate chips with cocoa nibs but experiment until you find a ratio that works for you.
Dairy free chocolate chips and some dark chocolates would also be great alternatives.
3. Nutritional Yeast for Cheese
I went out and bought a big bag of nutritional yeast as soon as I decided to go dairy free because I’d heard it’s a great cheese substitute in certain dishes. I’ve cooked with it twice now – both pasta dishes – and both were just okay.
Nutritional yeast is supposed to be great for pasta dishes, ‘cheese’ sauces, salad dressings and sprinkled on pizzas but there’s definitely has a learning curve and I’m still somewhere at the bottom. I’m not giving up though!
4. Nut, Coconut or hemp milk for cow’s milk
I substitute nut milk for cow’s milk in a 1:1 ratio for most recipes unless it states otherwise and have been doing so for years. I mostly use almond milk but recently I’ve been switching it up with coconut milk and loving it.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do is make my own nut milk so I’m going to use this as an excuse to actually try it. Wish me luck!
5. Banana ‘ice cream’ for Froyo
I’m a fro-yo fiend and I almost cried when I realised that I wouldn’t be able to go to Menchies anymore. Then I discovered banana ‘ice-cream’. You literally just blend frozen bananas and you’re done. So much easier than walking all the way to Menchies if you ask me. It’s healthier and cheaper too!
Some other fro-yo and ice cream substitutes I enjoy are sorbets and So Delicious dairy free cold treats.
What about you?
What other dairy substitutions to do you make in the kitchen? Do you have any tips for cooking with nutritional yeast? Found a dairy free cheese that melts yet?
Share in the comments below!
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