Need some alternatives to dairy that taste great and are readily available? If you’ve recently cut out dairy from your diet, you might miss those creamy and salty textures and flavors from your beloved milk, cheese, and butter. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives to dairy you can find in your local supermarket! Check out these delicious dairy-free options that some argue taste even better than traditional dairy foods.
1. Almond Milk
If you’re a die-hard cereal and milk person, you might miss this quintessential breakfast food. Thankfully, there is a ton of alternatives to dairy and milk that taste great and are good for you. Almond milk has almost half the RDA of calcium—that’s even more than traditional cow’s milk! Almond milk works great in cereals, pancake/dessert recipes, and even in your morning coffee, so drink up!
2. Coconut Ice Cream
Over the years, I’ve tried just about every dairy-free ice cream on the market. Some have tasted absolutely horrible but I can safely say that coconut milk ice cream is my favorite dairy-free alternative to traditional cow’s milk ice cream. The creamy and decadent coconut milk performs much better in an ice cream compared to almond, rice, and soy milk. Definitely include a pint of this on your next grocery trip.
3. Rice Cheese
For the longest time I had a love-hate relationship with cheese. I would momentarily love the taste and texture of shredded cheese on my tacos, but after eating I would immediately feel sick and regret my choices. Rice cheese is a fantastic shredded cheese alternative with a great texture and taste. It also melts pretty well, making it useful for dairy-free versions of your favorite casseroles and other baked dishes that might include cheese. Because it’s become so mainstream, you can find it at most grocery stores.
4. Cashew ‘Sour Cream’
One of my favorite alternatives for sour cream and yogurt is soaked cashews. Simply soak the cashews for a couple of hours, then blend with a high speed blender and a little water until it reaches the desired consistency. I like to season my cashew sour cream with all sorts of spices and herbs depending on what kind of mood I’m in. Do what works for you!
5. Nutritional Yeast
Do you miss being able to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on your favorite Italian pasta dishes or soups? Try nutritional yeast instead! It’s rich in B Vitamins, which are important if you eat few or no animal products. Nutritional yeast also adds a nutty flavor and texture that’s similar to cheese. Sprinkle it on soups, salads, steamed veggies, or my personal favorite—popcorn!
6. Full-Fat Coconut Milk
Full-fat coconut milk is a godsend in the dairy-free world if you ask me. It helps give a creamy and rich texture to soups and other dishes that use heavy whipping cream or milk. Even though coconut milk is high in saturated fat, don’t worry! Food scientists and nutritionists are only now learning that the saturated fat in coconut milk operates very differently from saturated fat found in other food sources like meat and dairy. A touch of coconut milk might be all you need to make a dish go from good to great!
7. Vegan Butter Spread
For all you butter lovers out there, I’ve got a great non-dairy butter alternative for you! There are plenty of vegan butter and non-dairy butter spreads that taste phenomenal. No longer will you have to eat your toast dry or eat super bland pasta. A dollop of non-dairy butter is a healthy and easy swap for anyone!
Going dairy-free isn’t as hard as you’d think. With all the options and alternatives, you can definitely omit dairy from your diet and not miss it one bit! What are some of your favorite dairy-free alternatives?