By our Naturopath Kelly Horne
When you need to go dairy free it can be hard if you are missing your favourite foods. If you want to be successful with this way of eating, you need to embrace some new foods or use old foods a different way. I have put together a list of 8 whole foods that taste yummy and can satisfy your dairy desires!
Coconut – Coconut is your new best friend! It will do pretty much everything that dairy will do. You can use it for milk or cream. You can make ice cream or yoghurt out of it. It can be used both sweet and savoury.
Almonds – nut milks are your best alternative for milk and almond milk is top of that list!
Cauliflower – Bear with me! Cauliflower is a great option to make creamy white sauce and sauce for pasta. I could make you an alfredo pasta sauce that you wouldn’t even guess I had use cauliflower in!
Cashews – Soaking and blending this nut (which is actually the seed of a drupe) can form the base of many delicious foods – anything from cheese and creamy sauces to decadent cheesecake!
Canned fish – Alright, so it’s not a substitute for dairy but what it does do is provide one of the best sources of calcium and minerals to keep bones strong!
Sesame seeds and tahini – Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. It can add creaminess and a nutty flavour to foods but one of the best benefits is its calcium content! Sesame seeds and tahini is a plant-based way to get your calcium if you are worried about going dairy free.
Savoury yeast flakes – It is also known as nutritional yeast. This is one of my favourite dairy substitutes because it’s so tasty and it contains B vitamins.
Macadamias – This little healthy fat bomb can be used in a similar way to almonds and cashews but I can do you one better! Try grating it over the top of your spaghetti bolognaise or caesar salad the way you would parmesan and prepared to be surprised!
*Bonus food* Soy – I haven’t put this in the top 8 but it deserves a mention for both positive and negative reasons. I left it out is because it is a food that is almost always genetically modified. If you eat soy, you should buy only organic sources to avoid that. Soy is also best to be fermented to help minimise the phytic acid and lectins that can stop absorption of minerals and cause damage to your gut. The fermented sources you will most easily come by is soy sauce, tamari, tempeh and miso – obviously not great as dairy substitutes! Soy milk and tofu do substitute well for dairy and provides a complete plant-based protein but they should only be used occasionally – definitely don’t use them as a staple in your diet.