Going dairy-free does not mean you have to give up the great flavor of your favorite foods. Think of it as giving them a healthy makeover instead! Lots of great dishes can be prepared without dairy by substituting a tasty alternative or by adding more spices and flavors from other ingredients. You will feel better, enjoy less bloating and improved skin appearance, and may even see some weight loss as well. This just goes to show there are many reasons why eliminating dairy can be quite healthy!
Embrace Non-Dairy Milk
First thing's first, when it comes to giving up dairy, finding an alternative to cow's milk is key. Soe may feel lactose-free milk is enough, but others may want to go even further and try something such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or one of the other many non-dairy milk alternatives. Quite a few individuals claim soy ilk tastes the most like cow's milk, so this is a good place to start. Some may even wish to try tricks like adding coconut milk to their coffee or soups in place of cream. Coconut milk is great for stir-fries as well! Almond milk makes a great addition to cereal, and there are yogurts made with it as well.
Top Pizzas With Nutritional Yeast
Though it may be a surprise to some, pizza can still be delicious without cheese. Start by piling up more of your favorite ingredients in place of cheese on top of the pizza. Add more sauce, vegetables, sausage, ham, pepperoni, pineapple, and then top with nutritional yeast, which is an inactive form of yeast with the same coloring as cheese. Some even say it tastes quite a bit like cheese! It is high in B vitamins and antibacterial and anti-viral properties to boost immune health. Sprinkle some on pizzas and pasta just like regular parmesan cheese.
Watch Out For Hidden Dairy In Unlikely Foods
If you are trying to eliminate dairy, be aware that it lurks in lots of unlikely food sources. Choose broth-based soups such as chicken noodle in place of creamy soups. Many baked foods such as store-bought granola bars and other packaged foods may contain milk or cheese products. This means looking at labels is important, and also searching for packaged products specifically marked as being free of dairy. When ordering oatmeal at a restaurant, ask for water in place of milk. Some restaurants also add milk to eggs, so be sure to ask for them to be made dairy-free..
Blend Bananas Together For Creamy Ice Cream
Did you know blending frozen bananas has the same consistency as ice cream? It is just as creamy and delicious and it even melts like ice cream. Your eyes will not know the difference! Freeze several ripe bananas overnight or for at least four hours. Once frozen, blend in a high-speed blender and add in your favorite additives such as frozen strawberries, peanut butter, raw cacao powder, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend again and enjoy just like a bowl of ice cream, but without the dairy attached!
Try Cashews In Place Of Cheese Sauce
When blended in a cream sauce, cashews are surprisingly creamy and take on the consistency of cheese. Die-hard cheese sauce lovers may notice a slight difference in taste, but the appearance is exactly like real cheese so adding this sauce to your dish will at least make it look the same. With some help though, most will not notice the difference.
In a high-speed blender, mix the following until creamy: one and one-half cups raw cashews, three tablespoons lemon juice, three quarter cups water, one and one-half teaspoons sea salt, one quarter cup nutritional yeast, one half teaspoon chili powder, one half glove of garlic, one-half teaspoon mustard and a pinch of turmeric and cayenne pepper. Use as needed to replace cheese sauce.
Get Creative With Bagel Toppings
If grabbing a bagel on your way to work is part of your morning ritual, try experimenting with other toppings in place of cream cheese. These might include roasted red pepper hummus, peanut butter, raw honey, or even a few slices of avocado and turkey. If you have a few extra minutes, try topping your bagel with a poached egg and some natural, sugar-free jelly for a healthy dairy-free treat that is just as tasty as the real thing. There are even non-dairy cheeses out there, such as cashew cheese, that can help individuals make the transition.
Make Your Own Dairy-Free Ranch
Some individuals cannot live without ranch dressing. If this applies to you, instead of depriving yourself, make a homemade version without the dairy. To do this, Mix one cup of non-dairy mayonnaise, one-quarter cup coconut milk, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, one-half teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder, one teaspoon dried dill, and salt and pepper to taste. This recipe will keep for one week in the refrigerator. You can dip vegetables in it, spread it on sandwiches, use it as a salad dressing, or even put it as a topping on meat dishes.
Make Your Own Almond Cream Cheese
Almond cheese is hard to find in stores, unfortunately, but the good news is that it is very easy to make at home. Almond cheese is delicious spread on cookies or other baked goods. To make almond cheese, start by soaking one cup of raw almonds in water overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain them well. Add to a high-speed blender with one-half cup filtered water, one half teaspoon sea salt, and one teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. The final product should look just like cream cheese!
Make Your Own Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is delicious, right? It would be a shame to sacrifice it when going dairy-free, so it's a good thing this is not necessary! All you need to make your own homemade dairy-free whipped cream is a can of full-fat coconut milk and a whisk. You can also add in some honey or coconut sugar for a hint of sweetness. Start by adding the coconut milk to a mixing bowl and use a whisk to beat the mixture for two minutes until soft peaks form. Scrape the bowl down and continue. If adding in honey or sweetener, be sure to beat another two minutes.
Add More Spices Or New Ingredients
If your favorite dish seems dull and lacking since omitting the cheese or milk from it, all is not lost. Instead of going back to eating dairy, try supplementing more flavors from different sources. This would be a great time to experiment with new vegetables or spices. Why not consider experimenting with different types of foods in a stir fry such as Farro in place of brown rice and arugula in place of spinach. The different flavors and ingredients might be enough to help you forget about the lack of dairy! Somes special spice blends can really hit the spot as well. Frequent experiments can often be enough to trick your taste buds into forgetting about dairy altogether.