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Dairy is one of the hardest habits to kick when transitioning to a strictly plant-based diet. That’s partly because dairy has something called casein, a protein found in dairy products that have actual “opiate molecules built in.” Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, calls it “dairy crack.”

Yet, it’s not just the addiction that’s the tough part, it’s also the realization that dairy is harming your body, primarily causing unwanted inflammation. How does it work? Turns out that “saturated fats promote inflammation within the body,” and many “higher-fat dairy products such as cheese, cream, and whole milk” have a greater content of saturated fat. Therefore, the more higher-fat dairy products you consume, the greater the risk you may be at for increased chronic inflammation.

Alright, you wanna kick that dairy habit, but you love those dairy products? Here are 15 recipes that pose excellent, tasty, and just-like-the-real-thing supplements to get you over that hump in your dairy-free diet! Plus, each of these also contains at least one or more ingredients that will help you fight bodily inflammation to make the most of removing dairy from your fridge!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

1. Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

Dairy-free Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

Source: Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

This Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez recipe by Annie Oliverio is a wonderful vegan cheese to keep in the fridge. It’s easily spreadable, filled with flavor, and loaded with luxurious cashew goodness! Don’t forget that anti-inflammatory garlic.

2. Tofu Gouda

Tofu Gouda

Source: Tofu Gouda

Allergic to nuts? Maybe you’re just not a fan of those other nut cheeses you’ve already tried? This Tofu Gouda recipe by Alejandra Olmedo may be the perfect middle ground! Loaded with protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3s, isoflavones, and healthy satiating starch, this “gouda” will fill that cheese void while also filling you with nutrients.

3. Cashew Brie

Vegan Cashew Brie

Source: Cashew Brie

When it comes to soft vegan cheese, cashews truly are the creme de la creme! This Cashew Brie recipe by Hailee Repko uses a few cups of soaked cashew to get that creamy blend, along with a bit of maple syrup, brown rice flour, thyme, and pistachios. The result is a brie you’ll crave more than the dairy version, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory berries, cinnamon, and hemp seeds.

4. Pure Almond Mylk

Pure Almond Mylk

Source: Pure Almond Mylk

If you’re a beginner in the dairy-free diet, almond milk is truly a must in your kitchen. This Pure Almond Mylk recipe by Nikki and Zuzana provides a slightly sweet yet very mild version that’s perfect for supplementing out that cow’s milk void! Alright, we know this is a great dairy-free alternative (already fighting that inflammation), but did you know that dates are also anti-inflammatory with their high levels of magnesium!

5. Brazil Nut Milk

Vegan and dairy-free Brazil Nut Milk

Source: Brazil Nut Milk

Possibly, you hate almonds? Maybe you’re looking for a bit more selenium in your diet? No matter the reason, try spicing up your nut milk with this Brazil Nut Milk recipe by Desiree Rodriguez, which requires only three simple ingredients: brazil nuts, dates, and water, and is loaded with anti-inflammatory dates.

6. Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

Source: Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

Oat milk is incredibly popular right now! And for good reason. This vegan and nut allergy-friendly alternative is a touch sweeter, much thicker, and adds that froth that most dairy-free drinkers dearly miss. This Simple Vanilla Oat Milk recipe by Kelly Williams is just as easy to make as the nut versions with oats, maple syrup, and some vanilla flavoring (whether it’s seeds, bean, or extract!). Plus, oats are an excellent high-fiber ingredient for an anti-inflammatory diet.

7. Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter

Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter

Source: Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter

When you choose to kick that dairy habit, you may begin to panic about the whole “no butter” thing. What about baking? What about spreading that melty ingredient on a slice of toast? Well, you’re in luck! This Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter recipe by Rhea Parsons is a wonderful allergy-friendly, anti-inflammatory ingredient-rich recipe that sources its “meat” from cashews, coconut oil, guar gum, and lecithin while infusing flavor with apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

8. Vegan Butter 

Vegan butter

Source: How to Make Your Own Vegan Butter

Not as worried about those allergies? This How to Make Your Own Vegan Butter recipe by Deb Gleason is a perfect staple vegan butter to have in your fridge, plus, it’s infused with anti-inflammatory turmeric and extra virgin olive oil.

9. Homemade Butter

Homemade Vegan Butter

Source: Homemade Butter

Haven’t hit the spot yet when it comes to that butter substitute? This Homemade Butter recipe by The Rose and Bean may be the perfect fit! With cashews, coconut, and lecithin for the “butter,” this recipe leaves out the guar gum for those looking to avoid this somewhat processed ingredient. Where’s the anti-inflammatory action? Did you know that coconuts are not only anti-inflammatory, but the oil has shown anti-microbial effects? Yep!

10. Avocado Banana Yogurt

Avocado Banana Yogurt

Source: Avocado Banana Yogurt

Yep, that yogurt in your fridge is 100 percent dairy and must go! Don’t fret, though, you’ll find a great replacement. Such as this super unique Avocado Banana Yogurt recipe by Nikki Stokes. Incredibly simple with only five ingredients, yet brimming with nutrients and inflammation-fighting avocados and bananas!

11. Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt

Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt

Source: Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt

Want to take it a step further with your non-dairy yogurt adventures? This Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt recipe by Nikki and Zuzana is a great place to head next. It’s not only got super gut-friendly probiotics, but you only need two ingredients: young coconut and those probiotic capsules. Plus, integrating fermented foods into your diet can help reduce inflammation by increasing your gut health!

12. Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews

Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews

Source: Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews

One of the health benefits of dairy yogurt is gut-friendly probiotics. Yet, you don’t need the dairy to get those, just the fermentation. This Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews recipe by Magdalena Pienkos combines the health benefits of gluten-free millet and cashews with a homemade starter and a bit of delicious vanilla bean.

13. Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Source: Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

You’ve got your staples figured out, but what about that delightful dairy-filled ice cream? This Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe by Caroline Doucet will save your day! Created with delicious high-fat coconut milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and Medjool dates, this ice cream is not only nutrient-rich but also dairy-free.

14. 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream

4-Ingredient Strawberry Dairy-free Ice Cream

Source: 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream

A second option for those ice cream aficionados out there! This 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream recipe by Sarah Aldrich calls for full-fat coconut milk cream, frozen strawberries, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. That’s it! Once again, this is a far healthier option than any dairy-based ice cream! You may think there’s no inflammation-fighting in this recipe but don’t second guess that full-fat coconut. Healthy fats not only help fight inflammation, but coconut is another great inflammation-fighting ingredient.

15. Soy Milk Kefir

Soy milk kefir

Source: How to Make Soy Milk Kefir

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have a bit of kefir in your fridge. This How to Make Soy Milk Kefir recipe by Joyce Gan is a great dairy-free version with only two ingredients: water kefir and soy milk. Kefir itself has been known to help fight inflammation by boosting gut health, but this kefir is based around soy, which is also known to reduce inflammation due to isoflavones.

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Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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