Friday, April 19, 2013

The Dairy List

In the last month, I've had no less than five people tell me that they are trying to drop dairy. All have been mothers, trying to get rid of an allergen in their diets. So, this is the dairy list. The list of all the substitutes I've tried and liked (and a few I really didn't like).

My intention awhile back was to review each of these things individually, and at some point I will, but for now, I think it's more important to put the basics out there, to help people.

Not all of the products below are soy-free or gluten-free, but all are vegan.

I encourage you to label-read everything. Always. Butter substitutes fool sometimes, because people assume that margarine is dairy-free, when it often contains casein or whey. Be careful.

Butter substitute in a “spreadable” form:

I’ve found that almond is pretty good and so is soy milk. Rice milk tastes a lot like rice, so it’s not my favorite. I’ve not tried hemp milk or sunflower “milk,” but those are options, too. In the meantime, here are some good brands…
It's good to know that chocolate and vanilla versions of soymilk and almond milk are very yummy and can be heated for hot cocoa or used in lattes). A lot of the time, you can sub almond milk in things like mashed potatoes (which is delicious).

Ice cream
Rice ice cream tastes like it has rice in it.
Almond ice cream tastes a little nutty.
Coconut milk ice cream tastes a little like coconuts.
Soy ice cream is okay, but it depends on the brand and the flavor.
Tofu based ice cream sounds awful, but Tofutti cuties (ice cream sandwiches) are AMAZING.

Cheese is tricky. I think it’s the hardest thing to mimic. I used to be quite the cheese nerd, so I am also really picky about my fake cheese.

My favorite cheese is WayFare cheese spread, which I love on crackers, in tacos, or on burgers. It’s close in texture and taste to “cheese in a can” and is pretty delicious. I've also tried their pudding, which is amazing, and their sour cream, which was not amazing..

Most vegans rave about Daiya, which I think is okay. It’s not amazing, and I find it overwhelming to top a pizza with it. You're going to see it in the "fake dairy" section. It's just "meh," not amazing.

And fake rice milk cheese, tastes like rice, not cheese. A lot of fake cheese substitutes also have whey or casein, so watch out for that.

Soy yogurt is closest in taste to regular yogurt.
Almond milk yogurt tastes a little nutty.
Coconut milk yogurt tastes a little like coconuts.
All are good, just different. My favorites are almond milk and coconut milk.

Soy yogurt:


A lot of chocolate is already vegan. Yay! Except, I noticed in lower-quality chocolate (hershey, M&M's, ghirardelli) there is milk-fat used. Dark
chocolate is almost always vegan but, as you may have guessed, milk chocolate is not. Theo chocolate (not a purely vegan company) is really good about writing “vegan suitable” on the back of their bars that are vegan, but a lot of the time you can just read the label to see if there are milk products used. Some things are made on equipment that also processes milk-products. It’s obviously up to you, how picky you want to be with what you ingest, but in cases like this, it should state it on the product, near the ingredient list.


I have also recently become addicted to Enjoy Life's Ricemilk Chocolate bar. OMNOMNOM.

Are there any things you feel like you'd like me to add to the list, or are there things you've tried that I should try, too? Please let me know!

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