I saw an article in a magazine recently that talked about dairy-free substitutes for those who are avoiding dairy for whatever reason. Since I need to eat dairy and soy free, I thought I would create my own list of substitutes that can be used every day.
Avoiding dairy and soy can seem difficult, but there are so many great products out there that make the tasks so much easier. This list is broken down into 10 tasty categories:
Butter – Olive Oil and Coconut Oil are two great substitutes for butter or margarine. Earth Balance makes a gluten/dairy/soy free Natural Buttery Spread that I use constantly. We use it to bake and as a spread and it works quite well. It has zero grams of trans fats and is a great source of ALA Omega-3s. They also have an Organic Coconut Spread that works well for cooking and baking.
Cheese – My favorite cheese to use is made by Daiya Foods. Their cheese comes in shreds (cannot be eaten raw) and wedges that are meant to be eaten straight out of the package. I use both versions to make macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesy mashed potatoes, cheese sauce, nachos, etc.
Chocolate – hands down my favorite chocolate comes from Enjoy Life Foods. I used their mini and mega chunks for baking because they taste great and the melt wonderfully. I like dip pretzels, marshmallows, and fruit in their melted chocolate for a quick and easy treat.
Cream – I don’t know what I would do without So Delicious’ coconut creamer. I use it in baking, cooking, and as creamer in my tea. MimicCream also makes creamers that can be used in coffee/tea and in cooking/baking that are nut based.
Ice Cream – Truthfully, I don’t care for dairy/soy-free ice cream because for me they just don’t have that great creamy texture. The brands I have seen most often on store shelves are: Good Karma Organic Rice Divine, Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss, Rice Dream, So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream and Ice Cream Bars, and Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent Coconut Milk, so try them and see which ones you like.
Milk – Almond milk is my favorite, but I like to cook with unflavored coconut milk. There is also hemp, oat, potato, and rice milk. Vance’s Foods makes a great powdered mix that can be used as-is for baking and it can be combined with water for drinking.
Parmesan Cheese – Eat in the Raw makes my favorite vegan parmesan called Parma. It is made from Raw Organic Walnuts, Red Star Veg Support Nutritional Yeast, and Celtic Sea Salt. It is a great addition to salad, pasta, pizza, baked potatoes, etc. We always have a large bottle in the refrigerator. Nutritional Yeast is also a great product to use on its own to achieve that salty, cheesy goodness of parmesan cheese.
Soy Sauce – believe it or not, Coconut Secret makes Coconut Aminos, which is a soy-free soy sauce made from coconuts that tastes just like regular soy sauce. I actually think it tastes better because it isn’t as salty and it doesn’t have a bitter or metallic aftertaste.
Whipped Cream – MimicCream Healthy Top is made from a healthy blend of organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Almonds, Cashews, Sweet Almond Oil and natural cane sugar. SoyaToo Rice Whip is a spray rice whip cream. I haven’t tried either of these products, but I have heard they are both quite tasty.
Yogurt – I don’t eat that much yogurt, but I do use it in recipes from time to time and when I do I turn to Amande Yogurt and So Delicious. Amande is made from almond milk, it is fruit juice sweetened, and it has a creamy taste. So Delicious offers both a traditional cultured yogurt made from coconut, and a Greek-style yogurt. Both work well in cooking/baking.
What is your favorite gluten, dairy, and soy-free substitute?