How To Make Your Dairy-Free Life Tastier
Being dairy-free can be a challenge in a dairy-filled world, whether you are lactose-intolerant or live a vegan lifestyle. You often can’t just run to the corner store to pick up your favorite non-dairy milk that is only sold at that health food store across town. You may even feel forced stop eating some of your favorite foods altogether. If you don’t eat dairy, then these seven food hacks are for you. They will make your dairy-free life easier and tastier.
Miss the Creaminess That Real Dairy Gave Your Coffee? Try Coconut Milk
If you used to love real dairy cream in your morning coffee, then almond, soy, or other plant milks may not give it that same super-creamy texture you once enjoyed. Non-dairy coffee creamers should be avoided, because they are often unhealthy and filled with high-fructose corn syrup solids and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
You can give your coffee that delicious, creamy texture that real cream did in a healthier way by pouring just a little coconut milk in it. Not only is coconut milk creamy and delicious, but it is also healthy and easy to find at virtually any grocery store. The oil in coconut milk can also give you a natural energy boost, and you may find that it gives you so much extra energy that you can skip that soda later in the day.
Loved Pasta Alfredo? Try This Delicious, Milk-free Recipe
Packed with full-fat cream and butter, pasta Alfredo has earned the nickname of a “heart attack on a plate,” due to its high saturated fat content. You can create a healthier and dairy-free version of Alfredo sauce with two simple ingredients – healthy cashews and nutritional yeast flakes.
To create this version of Alfredo sauce, simply blend one-cup of soaked cashews (soak them in water for three hours, and then drain off the excess water) with one-half cup of water and 3 T. of nutritional yeast flakes in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy. Then, place the mixture in a small pan and heat it on the stove top for just a minute or two while stirring. Finally, drizzle it on whole-wheat pasta, add your favorite steamed veggies, and enjoy!
Cashew Cream Can Also Be Used to Make Cream-based Soups
Who knew that cashews were such an important pantry staple for vegans and the lactose intolerant? To make creamy soups, first whip up the same mixture of cashews and water as directed in the healthy Alfredo sauce recipe, but omit the nutritional yeast. You can then use it as a substitute for dairy cream in any of your favorite creamy soup recipes.
Broccoli cream soup is packed with healthy antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Potassium. You can also make asparagus cream soup, creamy tomato soup filled with healthy lycopene, or even cream-of- mushroom soup to include in those favorite mushroom-soup based recipes.
No Milk for Your Morning Cereal? No Problem if You Have Leftover Rice!
Nothing can ruin your morning like pouring your favorite bowl of healthy cereal and then realizing that you are out of your favorite non-dairy milk. Don’t worry, because if you have leftover rice in your refrigerator, you can whip up healthy rice milk in just a few seconds. No leftover rice? Start by cooking the rice as instructed on the package.
Then, just blend one-quarter cup of rice with one cup of water in your blender for a minute or two until fully mixed. You can add in pinch of sea salt, a drop of vanilla extract, and a little of your favorite sweetener, if desired. You can then pour it right on that healthy cereal and enjoy it, so you won’t have to go hungry until lunchtime.
Got Nuts? Then You Also Have Dairy-free Cream Cheese
Whether you miss spreading cream cheese on your morning bagels or long for that favorite slice of cheesecake you used to enjoy as an occasional treat, you don’t have to go without cream cheese when there is such an easy, delicious recipe for dairy-free cream cheese. Best of all, you only need three ingredients to create it — cashews, vinegar (apple cider is best, but you can use white vinegar in a pinch), and lemon juice.
To begin, soak one cup of cashews in water for 12 hours. Then, drain off any excess water. Next, place the cashews in a food processor or blender and add 2 T. of vinegar and 1 T. of lemon juice. Blend until creamy. You can enjoy it right away or thicken it up by placing the mixture in the middle of a clean towel (or cheese cloth if you have it) and squeezing out any excess moisture.
Tired of Banana Ice Cream? Replace the Cream in Any Ice Cream Recipe with Coconut Milk
You likely know that you can throw frozen bananas in a blender to create a healthy, delicious ice-cream substitute, but your favorite flavors may not combine well with banana.
It is a little known secret that you can replace the cream in any homemade ice cream recipe with healthy coconut milk. This works well when using ice cream machines, but if you don’t have one, you can just freeze the ice cream mixture in an ice cube tray and then blend the cubes in your food processor until creamy.
Bonus tip for vegans: If the ice cream recipe calls for an egg, replace each egg with 1 T. of corn starch and 2 T. of water.
Miss Healthy Yogurt? Use This Trick to Make an Affordable Dairy-free Probiotic Drink at Home
If you miss eating yogurt, because it was such a convenient way to consume healthy probiotics, you will love the news that you can turn any juice, dairy-free milk, or even water into a probiotic beverage. All you need is a water kefir starter culture and your favorite non-dairy beverage.
First, pour your favorite beverage into a large glass jar. If the beverage is sugar-free, then add a tablespoon of sugar for every cup of beverage you want to create. This will be “food” for the healthy bacteria. Then, add 2 T. of water kefir grains. You can make just one cup of beverage if you want, but the grains will work on up to four cups of liquid at a time.
Place the mixture in your turned-off oven or another warm spot in your house for 36-48 hours. Strain off the grains and set aside to use again next time (you can reuse them indefinitely). Cool, then enjoy your healthy, tasty, non-dairy probiotic beverage.