Many of us grew up adding milk to our morning bowls of cereal, sneaking a slice of cheese for an afternoon snack and enjoying a dab of butter on our baked potato at dinner. But it can be a different story once we hit adulthood. While dairy can be a good source of protein, the milk fats in traditional sources like buffalo, cows, goat, and sheeps’ milk can cause food intolerances and inflammation. Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the body and this manifests in various forms including acne, bloating, digestive issues, headaches, and more. One of the best ways to avoid these unwanted symptoms is to remove dairy from our daily diets. If you are someone who lives with dairy challenges, here are five tips for going dairy-free, perfect for beginners.
Dairy-Free for Beginners: Tips on How to Substitute Dairy for Plant-Based Foods
#1 Ditch Conventional Dairy Milk for Nut or Seed Milks
When ditching conventional dairy sources, one of the simplest swaps you can make is switching cow’s milk for a plant-based milk made from nuts or seeds. Some great go-to options include: almond milk, brazil nut milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut nut milk, hemp milk, macadamia nut milk, oat milk, pistachio milk, pumpkin seed milk, sesame seed milk, sunflower seed milk, and walnut milk.
#2 Substitute Dairy-Based Cheese for Plant-Based Cheese
Instead of a slice of traditional dairy-based cheese, select a dairy-free, plant-based option like wildCREAMERY brie, Made from cashews, this dairy-free brie is creamy and rich in texture and mild and tangy in taste. You may even consider creating a plant-based cheese board that includes an assortment of bread, crackers, hummus, Kalamata olives, pretzels, plant-based brie alternative, nuts, seasonal fruits, and vegetables.
#3 Swap Butter for Alternative Butter
Another simple swap to make when adopting a dairy-free, plant-based lifestyle is switching dairy-based butter for a plant-based alternative. Many plant-based butter alternatives contain ingredients like coconut oil and work well in baking or cooking. These alternatives serve as a great replacement for dairy-based butter options. If you are in a pinch, you can also use other plant-based alternatives like avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil. Check out wildCREAMERY’s cultured, European-style butter.
#4 Switch Store Bought Salad Dressings for Homemade Salad Dressings
It may sound surprising, but store bought salad dressings can contain dairy, (Yikes!) In order to avoid any unwanted dairy in your favorite salad dressing, look for options that are dairy-free. You can even make your own homemade salad dressings.
Tip: Give your salad a zesty flavor with a spoonful of salsa, a generous splash of sugar-free sriracha sauce or get creative and use up that leftover sauerkraut brine.
#5 Trade Whey Protein for Plant-Based Protein
If you love your morning smoothies post workout, take a closer look at your protein powder and upgrade your whey protein, which is an animal by-product, to plant-based options like hemp or pea protein. Plus, plant-based proteins contain many of the nutrients found in plants themselves.
Instead of completely ditching your favorite dairy-based foods from your daily diet, consider adopting a plant-based, dairy-free lifestyle. Swapping conventional dairy for dairy-free options can be easy and effortless. Simply incorporate these five tips and you can start enjoying a dairy-free, plant-based lifestyle today.
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