My friend asked me if I could tell her more about what made the transition to Dairy-free eating easier for me. I thought - that needs to be a blog post. Dairy free is really awesome, and I feel so much better than I used to, and now I know how to eat without dairy which is quite a feat! It's been over a year, and I love it! Here are some of my favorite substitutes:
Almond Milk is my favorite for anything that is not savory. We like regular Almond Milk the bast for cereal, they also have unsweetened and vanilla. (actually they make lots of flavors, but those are the ones we stick to. Almond milk also has 50% MORE CALCIUM than dairy milk! Cool :)
Soy Milk is excellent for savory things. We always get plain because we are not big fans of vanilla soy milk. So we get plain and use it to make sauces (cashew cream), and to cook any savory dishes with. I actually mix half soy milk and half almond milk into my breakfast muesli because Soy milk is full of PROTEIN (and Almond milk doesn't have much protein.
Avocado: Avocado is nature's butter. It is full of healthy fats. I love to make avocado toast with a spritz of lime or lemon juice and some salt and pepper for a savory snack. You can slather it on bread to eat with your dinner, and you won't miss the butter or the cholesterol!
Coconut Oil: I really like using coconut oil for baking (if I want to use oil instead of applesauce),
Olive Oil: This is a given substitute, but you would be surprised at far a little bit of olive oil can go!
Margarine: We very rarely use margarine. But if ever we do, we like to get Earth Balance. (I still want to do more research about margarine)
Avocado: I love to put avocado on my sandwiches, salads, soups, really anything that I used to put cheese on. It has truly been a saving grace and has eased my transition to dairy-free. People think avocados are expensive, but if you consider how much cheese costs, and how much healthier avocados are, it's not so bad. Costco sells very good ones in bags that are usually 6 for 5.
Hummus: I also put hummus on sandwiches, use it (with some soy milk to thin it out) as salad dressing with some herbs, put it in soups to make them creamier, dip veggies in it. The sky is the limit! I also use it to make delicious pizza. Slather the pizza crust in hummus, and then cover the hummus with pizza sauce, then add your toppings. There is no greasiness about it, but you still get to enjoy the deliciousness of pizza! (especially it you add avocado after you bake it). You can get hummus from the store (Costco sells a big tub for $5), or you can make your own. Here's my homemade recipe.
Nuts: Nuts have kept my diet full of enough healthy fats, and much more good nutrition than I used to have when I ate dairy. Cashews are a go-to in our house. We make cashew cream all the time. They make an excellent cream sauce:
-Soak 1/2 cup cashews in water overnight, drain and rinse
- add 1/2 cup of plain non-dairy milk, blend on high until very smooth
You can make your own sour cream with cashews (add a bit of lemon juice, salt and apple cidar vinegar), and also sweet creams for desserts (add some lemon juice and maple syrup), etc.
Nutritional Yeast: This is has nutty cheesy flavor, and I put it in everything I can. Here is a good explanation of Nutritional Yeast, what it is, why you should use it, and how to use it.
There are many more things I would like to say about eating dairy free, but those will have to come later.
But here are a few of my very favorite cookbooks and blogs that have helped me out a lot!
Oh She Glows - she also has an amazing cookbook!!
Peas and Thank You - This cookbook helped me a lot to make the transition, although it has more processed vegan food than I would like, so I often alter the recipes: