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Many of us are wanting to look our best and feel our best every single day… and that starts with what we eat. Common food sensitivities include gluten and dairy... What easy dairy free alternatives for a dairy free diet are available?
Why Dairy Free
I shared in an earlier post about going Gluten Free Dairy Free… and why we decided to do it.
It wasn’t completely new information about how gluten and dairy can cause inflammation in our bodies… but I think I had to have a wake up call to get back to the basics of how I wanted to eat and fuel our bodies for health.
Keto was a really good first start for me because most of the keto recipes are also gluten free. I’m thankful for all the bloggers and influencers sharing their success with the keto diet. For me, it wasn’t about weight loss, but health.
Because of that, I need to go even further.
When I started to learn more about the foods that cause the most inflammation in our bodies, I discovered that gluten and dairy were top of the list.
Because of this… and other tests that we had run to get a better picture of our health, we have transitioned to eating gluten free and dairy free.
What I was most resistant to start was dairy free… even though I knew… I knew it would be for the best.
Usually if you are having trouble giving up a food… it can be an indication that it is the very food giving you the most health issues.
So with kicking and screaming (okay… maybe not that dramatic), I started looking into dairy free alternatives.
Dairy Free Alternatives
Our family already wasn’t buying regular cow’s milk. So this was something we had already swapped many many years ago. We use almond milk primarily in our recipes and such. My girls eat their favorite gluten free cereal with almond milk. Now, there are lots of options on the market. We also use coconut milk.
Butter… This actually was easier than I thought. Coming from a keto diet, I added butter to everything… even my coffee sometimes, ha! So I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find something to replace it.
To my surprise, there are many dairy free butters in my local grocery store. I really like Earth Balance because it is also soy free.
Yikes, this was a hard one for me. If you know me at all, you know that coffee is my favorite food group, lol. I usually order a latte when I go to a coffee shop, so that means that I like my cream.
Most dairy free coffee creamers are loaded with sugar and junk that I just don’t want. I tried a couple of liquid ones and they just didn’t taste right.
What I have decided is my favorite… after many many trial cups (in the name of research, of course!)
I have decided that my favorite coffee creamer is powdered coconut milk or unsweetened powdered coconut creamer.
I think because everyone likes their coffee a certain way, the only thing I can suggest is just try different products until you find the one you love.
I didn’t realize how much cheese I ate until we went dairy free. Now, the only cheese I usually eat is one our once a week pizza night (my daughter has been making us a paleo pizza every Friday from this recipe). We can usually buy dairy free mozzarella from our local grocery store. It doesn’t melt quite the same… and I find that we use a lot less because less is more when you are dairy free.
My husband and daughter also like melted cheese on their burgers, and we found a dairy free sliced cheddar cheese that melts nicely and they seem to like it!
I bought a dairy free cream cheese from the store and it didn’t really pass my daughter’s taste test for her gluten free bagel… We’ll keep trying. I haven’t tried it in any other recipes to really give it a yay or nay.
This was a big one… like a really BIG one. My husband makes this awesome alfredo sauce that the whole family loves… but it is basically a plate of dairy… haha. I was SO nervous to try a paleo version or dairy free version because I didn’t want to waste a lot of ingredients if the family didn’t like it.
I was really surprised how the cashews turned into an amazing cream sauce… and I have seen several dairy free recipes using cashews! I’m going to try a few of them out and see if they pass the taste test too.
With Keto, I was cooking with a lot of butter, and this was probably the easiest to switch to dairy free options. We primarily use coconut oil and avocado oil for cooking. In baking, I have tried palm oil shortening and it worked well for making a crust. In cookies and such, I usually use melted coconut oil instead of butter.
Are you interested in starting a gluten free dairy free diet?
Recipes to Try:
Additional notes: You don’t have to do it all at once to count.
If it seems like a lot to change all at once… then don’t! Just make one change and focus on that for a week. By the end of a month, you will have swapped out 4 different products for dairy free alternatives.