Is There Life After Dairy?

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My husband and I are in Boston this week, so I’ve decided to repost some oldie but goodie posts while I’m away. I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get home. Have a beautiful week!

Is There Life After Dairy?

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.

Delicious Dairy Subs!

Ice Cream

  • 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.
  • So Delicious Minis Coconut Almond Bars – These snack-sized chocolate and almond coated coconut milk ice cream bars are amazing!
  • So Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert – All I can say with this one is that your dairy-eating friends will gobble this stuff down!

Butter

  • 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.”

Cheese

  • 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!

Yogurt

  • 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.

Milk

  • 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!).

Pizza

  • Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza – Who says great tasting pizza has to have cheese? I rarely make pizza with cheese anymore. My Pesto, Kale & Artichoke Pizza is quick, healthy and yummy. If you’re not in the mood to cook, however; Amy’s is delicious.

Dairy-Free Recipe Links

There are so many wonderful dairy-free recipes, and I’ll put a post together with more of them soon. For now, here’s a few to check out.

Tofu Chocolate Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

PB Banana Ice Cream + Homemade Magic Shell

Fig, Walnut & Date Ice Cream

Image courtesy of marin / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
Aside | This entry was posted in Health, Plant-Based Diet, Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Is There Life After Dairy?

  1. Yummy, I ❤ almost all of them that you've listed! Have a great weekend.

  2. bikerchick57 says:

    I found a new soft cheese that I love – Nutty Cow Nut Cheese. I comes in three flavors. I have the maple pecan, which I’ve been putting on my gluten-free waffles. I am going to try their ricotta soft cheese next and make the avocado dip recipe on their website. Yum?

  3. Have fun in Boston! This is a great post!

  4. Sophie33 says:

    Have fun in Boston indeed! 🙂 yeahh! Yes, there is life after dairy,…I agree but we can’t find this lovely brand: so delicious over here but I found this wide brand of tasty products in several vegan supermarkets in Berlin! 🙂 Lucky you! x

  5. lizziefit says:

    Great post, Celeste! I gave up milk long before becoming vegan so the rest wasn’t a major challenge for me. I don’t miss it at all, especially after finding out all of the health negatives! Keep spreading the word 😉

    • You’re so lucky that giving up dairy wasn’t an issue for you! It doesn’t happen often, but even now I occasionally get tempted by dairy (like by the cheesy pizza that my mother-in-law tempted us with right next to the vegan one – I only ate the vegan one, but I thought about eating a slice of the other one!). Mostly, however; I love eating vegan these days. Thanks for all your support chica! Celeste 🙂

  6. Poppy says:

    Hey Celeste, I hope you are having a great time. I have added you as a member of my WordPress family with the WordPress Family Award! http://bunnykitchen.com/2013/09/09/wordpress-family-and-sunshine-awards/

  7. Dear Celeste — If you are in LA, you are lucky to have two Real Food Daily restaurants. I never miss dairy when I’m eating there. As many people age, they discover they can’t digest dairy (I never could). What finally got me to give it up was that the allergist promised that I would immediately lose 10 lbs if I did and he was right. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ll keep an eye on yours from now on!

    • I live in Southern Orange County, about an hour from LA on light traffic days, but it’s usually a much longer drive. I’ve been to Real Food Daily once, and I’d love to go back. There are so many great vegan restaurants in LA, however; that we typically try ones we haven’t been to when we get out there. Two other vegan restaurants in LA that I really love are Café Gratitude and LA Vegan Crepes. Both are soooo wonderful! I wrote a post about LA Vegan Crepes (spoiler alert – I took a photo of a Hollywood star while I was there!). http://honkifyourevegan.com/2013/03/04/vegan-crepes-and-a-star-sighting-in-beverly-hills/. Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

      • Oooo! I gotta try that vegan crepe place! Sounds yummy! We have a Cafe Gratitude here in Berkeley and I don’t love it. Too expensive and they ask you about your feelings. !!!! I always see famous people at Real Food Daily but if I were you, I wouldn’t take the 405 for ANYTHING — even gold-plated vegan food!

    • I’ve only been to Café Gratitude once, and both my husband and I loved the food we ordered (and their Key Lime Pie was out of this world). I hear you about the prices and the whole “feeling” concept, however. I didn’t realize there was one in Berkeley. I’ll be in the Bay Area for a week around Thanksgiving, so please share if there are any restaurants you think we should try. And LA Vegan Crepes is delish – I hope you get there one day. Celeste 🙂

      • We have hardly any vegan places that I like! An exception is Cha-Ya, a DIVINE vegan Japanese place that has recently expanded, due to demand. They are very close to downtown Berkeley, a quick walk from downtown Berkeley BART if you are staying in SF. They don’t have their own website but you can read about them here: http://www.happycow.net/reviews/cha-ya-berkeley-1481. You will pass Cafe Gratitude on your way. I’m planning to be in LA soon and I’m staying not far from LA Vegan Crepes. I can’t wait!

    • It’s funny that there are so few good vegan restaurants in Berkeley – you’d think it would be a vegan haven! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I live in Laguna Beach, which is known as a funky artist town, and yet there are very few vegan restaurants. Actually, there’s only one specifically vegan restaurant. Go figure! I’ll check out Cha Ya when I’m out – thanks so much for the tip! Celeste 🙂

  8. Geraldine says:

    Second try to comment. Love Luna and Larry products. So delish and filling too. I’m all for cutting down or back on dairy. I still eat some but not nearly as much as I use too. Great post. Hope this goes through this time.

    • Looks like your comment made it through! Sorry that you had trouble with that – I wonder what went wrong the first time. Anyway, thanks for your comment! And I have to agree with you – Luna and Larry products are probably my faves on this list! Have a beautiful week! Celeste 🙂

  9. aouatt77 says:

    Thanks I use most of these products and started to use Daiya last year and I love it. Kids can’t tell the difference. Thanks again for sharing.

  10. taunelyons says:

    I seriously love the So Delicious coconut milk ice creams. Nom! Also, Dr. Cow cheeses too. I don’t know if you’ve tried them but they’re so good. Makes me want to buy the Uncheese Book to see if I can make some fermented cheesy goodness, too. Here’s their website if you’re interested: http://www.dr-cow.com/where-to-buy/

    I’m relocating with my dude in a month back to southern CA and can’t wait for all the dairy free options again! Dallas has many great culinary options, but nondairy isn’t really on the top of that list. Ha!

    Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I’ve never had Dr. Cow cheese. I just checked the link, and it’s available in select California locations, but none of them are close to where I live. I suppose the next time I’m in Los Angeles I’ll have to pick some up.

      That’s great that you’re moving back to SoCal. I’m in Laguna Beach, where are you moving to?

      Celeste 🙂

      • taunelyons says:

        It’ll be worth the wait!

        How awesome, Laguna is so beautiful and artsy! We’ll be in Huntington Beach. I’ve never lived in OC only San Diego & SF area but I’m excited for the change. Hoping its at least a little hippie… lol. 🙂

    • Huntington Beach is pretty cool and I’d say it’s got a bit of a hippy vibe, or at least a surfer vibe! I’m sure you’ll love it! Celeste 🙂

  11. Pingback: What’s wrong with dairy? | Sunshine and Slaughter

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