Dairy-Free Life Part 2: My Top Dairy-Free Alternatives

Today is Part 2 of my series focusing on going dairy-free. Part 1 gave overall tips for starting your dairy-free journey. Here, I provide a list of some of my favorite dairy-free grocery items below that hopefully hep you find tasty alternatives. Whenever I am cooking a new recipe, I easily switch out the dairy items for the alternatives below. I encourage you to try the best dairy-free alternatives to your favorite dairy products so that you can swap them out in your own favorite recipes!

Going dairy-free has not been too hard for me. I found that I was already eating non-dairy foods – Raegan is now lactose intolerant and our family largely stays away from items that cause her discomfort. Even when I still ate dairy, I preferred to use almond milk for just about everything. I’ve been dairy-free for a little while now, and being home a lot during this pandemic has allowed me to take time to experiment with different dairy-free products. Dairy products can be boiled down to milk, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, yogurt, and ice cream, so this lists provides alternatives for those items. When you go shopping, you may also notice that nearly all desserts contain some kind of dairy, so you will find that the list below is pretty heavy on dessert-like items.

Here’s a list of my favorite dairy-free alternatives.

  1. Silk Pure Almond Original Almond Milk – I’ve used this for years. Great for cereal, smoothies, you name it. I will say that you can taste the difference when using it for baking or making items like pancakes, but that has not bothered me too much. I’ve moved into using the Vanilla flavor for smoothies and baking, largely because the sweetness  tastes pretty good.
  2. Daiya Dairy-Free Mozzarella and Cheddar Style Shreds – These melt pretty well into whatever you’re making. I would not eat them by themselves because they do not taste as great on their own.
  3. Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread – I cook with olive oil and with this. It has substituted pretty seamlessly in stir-frying, baking, you name it.
  4. Daiya Cheddar Style Slices – I use these whenever I make sandwiches or turkey burgers.
  5. Reddi-wip Almond Non-Dairy Whipped Cream – Straight up delicious. I use it to top of desserts when I have them.
  6. Country Crock Plant Butter with Almond Oil – I recently started using this in place of Earth Balance whenever I’m in a store that does not carry it. This is cheaper but just as good.
  7. Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (“Ice Cream”) – I have missed milk chocolate like crazy while being dairy-free. This satisfies that craving and it’s my perfect treat after a long day in quarantine with the kids.
  8. Katz Glazed Donuts – Super yummy treat. This is my favorite little treat to share with Raegan.
  9. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese – I recently used this in a raspberry cheesecake croissant recipe. It held up extremely well and tasted even better!
  10. Kite Hill Cream Cheese  – This is made with almond milk. Pretty good substitute for recipes that call for cream cheese. Admittedly, this is watery compared to regular cream cheese, so I would not use this is in a recipe. Maybe try it on a bagel?
  11. Tru Whip  Vegan – Completely delicious and holds up very well in recipes.
  12. Forager Organic Dairy-Free Sour Cream – This is delicious. Literally a treat for me.
  13. Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream – I cannot stop singing the praises of this stuff! I recently used it in crème brûlée, ratatouille, and a plum crumble. It held up well in all three recipes!
  14. Daiya Cheezecake – I have had the key lime and strawberry flavors (I think), which were pretty good!
  15. So Delicious Coconut Yogurt – This tastes delicious. I’m a fan of the raspberry flavor.
  16. Oreos – I know, I thought they were full of dairy! Turns out that Oreos are vegan!
  17. So Delicious CocoWhip – A nice alternative to Cool Whip!

Hope this helps!

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Dairy-Free Life Part 1: Starting Dairy-Free

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Dairy-Free Life Part 3: Dinner – Turkey Tenderloin with Fennel and Cheddar Polenta

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