A few years ago I was a vegetarian, who dabbled a little in vegan. I felt it was the best choice for me for many reasons, reasons which I will get into another time. After the birth of my first son I have had issues with dairy, so every now and then I reach for dairy alternatives. I know that some people, my husband included, think I should just grab a pill to help me with my sensitivity but I personally don’t want to do that since my sensitivity is not that alarming.
When I use the dairy alternatives, I really do notice a difference. Especially when it comes to occasional bloating and allergies. I am notorious for getting “summer colds” that last for months on end. These colds are accompanied by a dry cough that lingers for the duration of summer. After many doctor’s appointments and x-rays, the only thing I learned was I didn’t have asthma. The cough is less when I don’t consume a ton of dairy and I don’t get as many “summer colds”. (I call them that because my husband doesn’t like it when I say that I am allergic to summer.)
While I understand the idea of giving up dairy sounds daunting, but a slow transition into a dairy-free lifestyle will make the biggest changes. For me, I found that by limiting my consumption of cheese (processed cheese), milk I feel healthier and just overall better. I think it is hard to describe how much different I feel, and how I notice a difference when I drink too much milk!
Part of the transition is finding dairy-free products that don’t taste horrible. For those of you in the States, I know it is easier now than it was when I first started my journey. Where I had to make my own almond milk. Now there are so many options for you to try, the possibilities of you finding a tasty replacement are endless.
Today I am sharing some of my favorite dairy alternatives. Want to know what I use in my kitchen? Keep reading……
I never ate too much yogurt in the states. I don’t know if it was the variety or the texture but I just didn’t flock to it like crazy. In France, the texture and the flavors are just so different that I find I am having more and more yogurt than ever before. My favorite is soy-based vanilla that I find here in France. When I was in the states I would indulge in Ripple in vanilla. It’s a great texture and you won’t miss the dairy. I also enjoy other brands such as Diamond Blue, Silk, and Daiya, which also include probiotics in their formulas for digestive benefits.
2. Cream Cheese
If you’re a cream cheese lover, you’ll be surprised to know that the almond-based cream cheeses out there can be pretty good. Kite Hill has a tasty spread that can also double as a veggie dip.
I’ll be honest: I am not into almond milk, I know I should give it more of a try but that nutty flavor just kills me. If I am to have almond milk then it has to be chocolate. For me, the brand I use is Silk for both soy and almond. I will use plain for my coffee because I add vanilla college from Dose & Co.
4. Ice Cream
Ice Cream is a tough one for me, and to be honest there were not a lot of brands I loved. However, Ben and Jerry’s has a new line of vegetarian and vegan ice creams that are sure to please. My favorite is the cookie dough, and my one true love Phish Food.
As a French woman, butter is much more than an ingredient or something you spread on bread, it is a way of life. So finding a butter that doesn’t have dairy in it and actually tastes like butter is hard. However, it has gotten a lot easier over the years. While France is slowly getting into vegan foods, in the States there is Earth Balance. This butter is the closest to butter you can get and not miss the real thing. Here in France, I use the Fruit d’Or which is creamy and buttery.
What are some of your favorite dairy alternatives?
I’m all ears for new ideas. Let me know in the comments below.