Dairy is one of the leading foods being moderated, reduced, or completely eliminated today—and not just those who are lactose intolerant. Even those that consume dairy are being more careful to forego conventional dairy in lieu of the nasty secrets that conventional dairy hides. Dairy is one of the leading foods linked to cancer, along digestive issues, a sluggish system, allergies, and skin conditions. But it’s also one of the hardest foods to give up for many people. Cheese, ice cream, and a number of other dairy-based foods are dishes we grew up on and have strong ties with even into adulthood. When you think about the idea of giving up with milk in your coffee, butter on toast, yogurt with cereal, and cheese toppings on food, it can seem a little discomforting.
No one likes anyone else to try to mess with their food routine, especially when we have memories associated with certain foods or they fit into a part of our favorite meal routines. But the truth is, as hard as dairy is to give up, it’s also one of the easiest to replace. And, not only do you not miss it once you get rid of it, but you also won’t believe how much better you feel! In fact, most people that quit eating dairy or moderate their intake can’t believe they didn’t make the switch sooner. So if you’re looking to do that too, here’s a way to switch out the cow’s milk products for some pretty stellar, delicious options that make you feel energized, healthy, and keep your system movin’ without the moo milk!
Stir in some almond milk (or any other plant-based milk) into your cup of coffee instead of milk.
Use coconut creamer instead of heavy cream in coffee and teas.
Use nutritional yeast on toast, scrambles, and veggie dishes at breakfast.
Use coconut yogurt in a smoothie or with your cereal (or better yet, with your oatmeal versus cereal).
Make overnight oats with chia seeds and coconut yogurt in place of dairy yogurt and milk to get your calcium boost for the day.
Make oatmeal with whipped bananas and coconut milk to make a creamy dish in place of dairy.
Use coconut butter on toast in place of butter.
Replace the cheese on a sandwich with a plant-based option (cashew cheese rocks!) or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast with smeared avocado for a cheesy creaminess.
Make a plant-based salad dressing instead of using dairy-based dressing.
Top a salad with avocado and almond slices instead of cheese.
Spread some mustard and spicy condiments on a hearty veggie burger instead of mayo or cheese.
Use hummus, avocados, or nut butter smeared on a sandwich instead of mayo.
Make a creamy noodle sauce with cashews, hemp seeds, or hummus instead of Alfredo sauce.
On the go? Make a quick, protein-packed smoothie that’s full of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and sustaining complex carbs with fiber.
Snacks and Desserts
Eat a handful of almonds with some berries, a kiwi, or a green apple for a low GI snack in place of cheese and crackers.
Eat some berries, apple slices, celery, and grape tomatoes with a creamy, protein-rich hemp cheese.
Have a smoothie or vegan shake instead of a milkshake.
Make chocolate banana pops in place of dairy-based pops.
Use tahini as a dip in place of sour cream with celery, grape tomatoes, carrots, etc.
Make vegan ice cream or enjoy some coconut ice cream from the store.
Top a veggie burger with BBQ sauce instead of cheese and mayo.
Use cashew cream in risotto or casserole dishes in place of sour cream and cream cheese.
Use avocado in your tacos in place of dairy cheese and sour cream.
Try a variety of cheese alternatives on all your pizza recipes with everything from nutritional yeast to cashew cheese, or go without the cheese altogether!
Make spaghetti with nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan (yes, it’s actually just as good and even has a similar texture!).
Make a vegan lasagna without cheese and use a variety of gooey, creamy replacements that taste just as good!
We know, no cheese … really?? Yep, really! Not only will you have more energy, less skin problems, a better focus during the day, and less food cravings for dairy foods when you eliminate them, but plant-based options really do taste amazing. And, in the meantime, you might just save a life, lower your risk for disease, possibly lose weight, reduce acne and hormonal problems, all while keeping you satisfied and satiated.
What are you going to make first at your next dairy-free meal?
Lead Image Source: Kale, Caramelized Onions and Quinoa Tacos