Eliminating dairy from our diets can be difficult, especially because so many foods carry a comforting memory with them, like cheesy casseroles every year on holidays. Luckily, there are many replacement products and cooking swaps you can use to mimic the taste and consistency of those beloved dairy dishes you remember. You can stop eating dairy while having your smoothies, mac and cheese, and cheesy veggie dishes, too. Here are five steps to eliminating dairy from your diet.
1. Swap cow’s milk for non-dairy milk
Eliminating your milk consumption is easy because there are so many vegan milk options to choose from. They’re often fortified with vitamin D and B 12. In most grocery stores, you’re bound to find these types of milks: hemp, rice, soy, almond, cashew, and more. By swapping one milk for the other, you’re making an almost effortless choice that is cruelty-free. The varying types of non-dairy milks have varying tastes, as well. Coconut and almond milk is good for smoothies and baked sweets. Soy milk is great to use for buttery, creamy-tasting sauces, and casseroles. Brands like Silk are sold virtually everywhere. Even better, try making your own nut milks. With five ingredients, you can make homemade hazelnut cashew milk or sprouted sunflower seed milk.
2. Replace packaged cheese with packaged vegan cheese
Like milk, cheese is another easy package swap. These days you can find almost any flavor, from cheddar shreds to pepper jack slices. The taste, cut, and texture vary so much from brand to brand. Try simple steps for cheese replacement. Put vegan cheddar-style slices on your sandwich, or Daiya vegan cheese crumbles on a baked potato instead of dairy, packaged shredded cheese. With two cups of vegan mozzarella cheese shreds, you can make vegan hot corn dip.
3. Make dairy-free cheese at home
Eating vegan alternatives to cheese is a great step toward eliminating cheese entirely from your diet. But some vegan products can contain palm oil. Others contain preservatives or carry a high sodium and fat content. The healthiest way to enjoy a vegan alternative to cheese is to make your own cheese at home. For a gourmet vegan cheese, use cashews nutritional yeast and Kumbucha tea to make herbed kombucha fermented cheeze.
4. Learn how to cook with nutritional yeast
Every vegan cook needs to know about nutritional yeast, since it can be used for cheesy, vegan sauces and products. Nutritional yeast can be used as a thickening agent and is a good source of fiber, complete protein, and several B vitamins. Aside from the many benefits to the stuff, it’s great to transition from dairy cheese products. Without milk and cheese, nutritional yeast gives this cheesy vegan mac n’ yeast its creamy, cheesy consistency. Try replacing sprinkled cheese with nutritional yeast sprinkles on top of pasta.
5. Make nuts your new best friend
Soaking and chopping up nuts can provide a base to some fantastic, vegan creamy sauces. Specifically, use cashews. You may be surprised at the sweet, creamy taste that you get with cashew cream. For a super healthy, raw vegan snack, make cashew cream cups. For a savory, party-friendly side dish that packs some spice, try making a plate of zucchini fritters with lemon basil cashew cream.
Image Source: Smokey Pesto Vegan Cashew Cheez