If someone suggested I give up dairy two years ago, I’d have laughed. I wouldn’t have even considered it. How could I? That would mean giving up cheese, butter and ice cream. I couldn’t do that! After chocolate, they were my three most favorite foods.
But a lot’s happened recently, and to my own disbelief, I’m now dairy-free. Once I learned about the health hazards of dairy (see: Milk…It Does a Body Bad!), I decided to give it up. This wasn’t easy. For the first few months I craved dairy and I gave into temptation over and over again.
At first, I felt like I’d died and gone to hell. But as time went on and I found great-tasting substitutes for the foods I used to love, it didn’t feel so bad anymore. In fact, now I love being dairy-free.
If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. I would have been skeptical too. But the thing is; there are great products to replace every dairy food you desire. There are some not-so-great ones too, but over time I’ve learned what’s good and what’s crap.
So today, I’m going to share the good stuff with you. I want to give credit to the book, Skinny Bitch: Book of Vegan Swaps, for introducing me to many of these products.
Celeste’s List of Delicious Dairy Substitutes
- Luna and Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss – This stuff tastes like heaven. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate. This is not something I eat often because due to the coconut milk, it’s high in fat. Still, for occasional indulgences it’s fab!
- Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy – I’ve tried a lot of soy ice creams, but this is the only one that I serve to company. Guests will never guess Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip is dairy free.
- Sharon’s Sorbet – All I can say is that you won’t miss ice cream when you’re eating a bowl of this. Try the Raspberry.
- Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – I don’t use a lot of this because it’s made with canola oil and my husband and I get most of our oil from whole sources (e.g. olives, avocado and nuts). For occasional splurges, like when I bake cookies, this is my go to brand. I made vegan Christmas cookies with Earth Balance last year and my family gobbled them up. And while my parents were visiting recently, my dad asked if I had any butter for his morning toast. I gave him Earth Balance and asked him if he liked it. He said, “It tastes just like butter.”
- Daiya – The first few cheese substitutes I tried were awful, but Daiya made me swoon. Use it for pizza, lasagna and nachos. You won’t be disappointed!
- So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt – I don’t eat a lot of yogurt, but for my occasional cravings this is what I get. Eat it as is or blend it into a smoothie. Try the Strawberry.
- 365 Organic Almond Milk, Unsweetened – When I first gave up dairy, I used soy milk, but I eventually switched to almond milk because I like the taste better. I like this brand because it tastes good, is organic and has only 40 calories a cup (that’s 50 calories less than non-fat milk!).
- Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza – Who says great tasting pizza has to have cheese? I rarely make pizza with cheese anymore. For a tasty no-cheese pizza recipe, check out my Roasted Pepper and Zucchini Pizza. If you’re not in the mood to cook, however; Amy’s is delicious.
I appreciate anyone who takes the time to say hello! I love receiving your comments and questions, so please contact me. Email: celestedimilla(at)yahoo(dot)com (pardon this funky spelling…it helps prevent spam).
Image courtesy of marin / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Oh the cherry choc chip ice cream sounds delicious!
I don’t miss dairy products either.
Hey Ally! Yes, the cherry choc chip ice cream is wonderful. I’m guessing that you don’t have Trader Joes in Australia so I probably made you drool for nothing. Sorry about that!
No need to apologise. You are right. I haven’t seem any Trader Joe’s products in my local area. I’m fairly certain we don’t have them in Australia (yet?). We have So Delicious and Tofutti.
I do like reading about products that other vegans enjoy, even if I can’t buy them!
I quite enjoy So Delicious almond milk ice creams, coated in chocolate and nuts. Yum!
Hey Ally! Now you’re making me drool!!
Do you find most of these products at Whole Foods, I’m guessing? I’m going to have to ‘bookmark’ this post! 🙂
Dairy is a tough one for me to give up as well….especially since I’m from the “dairy state”….it’s almost a part of my identity….lol
Hey! Whole Foods does carry most of these items, but you can find some of them at regular grocery stores. You can get Earth Balance Buttery Spread and a good almond milk at most grocery stores (at least the ones I’ve shopped at). Trader Joes, Sprouts, Henry’s and any natural market are also good places to go.
Giving up dairy is challenging – I certainly won’t lie to you about that. What really helped me to do it was watching the movie, ‘Forks Over Knives.’ If you have even the slightest interest in your health, I highly recommend this movie. It’s mind blowing! Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://www.forksoverknives.com/ Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it!
I actually heard about that movie- years ago. Never watched it, but I should put it on my “list” of movies to watch…. 🙂
If you do watch ‘Forks Over Knives’, I’d love to hear what you think about it:)
Yes, will do! 🙂
Pingback: 7 Tips for Giving Up Dairy | Honk If You're Vegan
Thanks Celeste, I printed this article and I’m going to take it to the grocery store with me 🙂
That’s great! I hope it’s helpful. One problem is that not all grocery stores carry these items. And even the ones that do, you might have to ask to find them because they don’t always have them in the same place as the other dairy items. Good luck!
Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag for me, by the makers of So Delicious. I was pleasantly surprised to find it in the freezer section of Target recently. It’s definitely non-vegan guest worthy. Peanut butter and chocolate is a classic combination. Yum! The Turtle Trails and Chocolate Obsession (also So Delicious) are also scrumpdiddlyumptious! 🙂
I’ve never had Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag, but it sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing – I’ll look for it the next time I need a treat. I’ve also never tried Turtle Trails, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had Chocolate Obsession. Great tips Cowgirl – thank you chica!! Celeste 🙂
Pingback: 7 Tips for Giving Up Dairy | Honk If You're Vegan
Gonna try some of these. Already use Sharon’s sorbet which is great and healthy because real fruit. Your picture is a great ad for going vegan if people need more of a push than just the moral ones.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment – I appreciate it! And I think you’re so right about people needing more than moral reasons to go vegan. My first reasons had nothing to do with morals at all – I just wanted to be healthier. At first I didn’t think I’d succeed with veganism because I thought it was giving up too much. As I learned how to cook this way and discovered yummy meat and dairy alternatives I realized that it wasn’t a sacrifice at all. I love eating this way now! Celeste 🙂
Pingback: It’s My Blogiversary!!! | Honk If You're Vegan