The Guide to Dairy Alternatives

Jillian HarrisFood31 Comments

Jillian Harris Guide to Dairy Alternatives

Good MOO-rning loves!! See what I did there?? LOL! Today I wanted to share a quick guide to dairy alternatives with you! I get asked on the daily about what my favourite vegan cheese it, which milk I use (soy/almond/cashew), whether or not I used eggs, you get the drift! So as I was rifling through my fridge the other week I started jotting down some notes to share with you in hopes to answer a good chunk of all of your burning dairy alternative questions!

Jillian Harris Dairy Alternatives

One of the things I’ve actually found is replacing milk to be the EASIEST! And this is coming from a past milk fiend! I’m not kidding, I used to chug like half a two liter of milk on the daily. Crazy right? I know. Thankfully I grew out of that stage. Now it’s a half liter of Rose. LOL. Kidding. Honestly, it probably took me about a week to replace milk but once you get used to it it’s so easy to stick with. Especially replacing milk in cooking and baking, I always use almond or cashew milk for this! My favourite almond milk is So Fresh from Earths Own (no, this isn’t a sponsored post!).

Of course making your own almond milk is really easy, I tried out Erin Ireland’s recipe for Almond Milk, take a look at how it went here and of course for the full recipe! PLUS you can also make an amazing almond cream for your morning coffee!! Here’s a quick recipe for you! If you don’t have time to make your own, or if you’d rather just purchase it, I love Silk Soy Creamer!

Jillian Harris Dairy Alternatives

For all of your nut milking needs … (click on the images below to shop)

So milk and cream have been easy for me to swap out but by far the EASIST of them all is BUTTER!! I literally didn’t notice a difference, to me, it tastes exactly the same!! My vegan butter of choice is Earth Balance’s Vegan Buttery Sticks!

I know (before you say anything … lol) that there has been a lot of chit chat about how much soy you should include in your diet! I’ve asked Doctor’s and Dieticians about this, and just like anything, it all about moderation!! I have soy in my coffee and I eat tofu about 4-5 times a week, so far I haven’t grown a third boob and I have just as much hair on my upper lip as I always have. LOL. For my favourite tofu recipes, click here! (Yes, my Crispy Buffalo Tofu recipe is also included!) …

Jillian Harris Tofu Buffalo WrapsJillian Harris Tofu Buffalo Wraps

Alright … moving on to the most difficult dairy-free replacement of them ALL … CHEESE!!! Just like milk, I have always loved cheese and we’ve pretty much cut it out of our diet but sometimes we give in and splurge on real cheese but we ALWAYS make sure it’s local and organic. I’ve STRUGGLED to find good dairy-free cheese some of them out there (I won’t name any names!) are crap and taste like plastic! YUCK!

But I HAVE recently found some amazing products which I’m really excited about! The Kite Hill line is AH-MAZING!! You can pick it up in the States at your local grocery stores, or online at Vegan Supply! We LOVE their cream cheese style products and they even have Justin AND Cassandra’s stamp of approval!! Cassandra even mentioned the other day that it tastes BETTER than real cream cheese!! WINNING!! Miyokos Kitchen also has amazing nut cheese, my favourite is their Aged English Smoked Farmhouse cheese!

My tip for you when looking for a great vegan cheese is to look for one that is nut based, not one that soy or pea-based! Also, Nutritional Yeast is also a great cheesy substitute, you can add it to pasta, salads, popcorn, etc! Speaking of Nutritional Yeast, you can also use this to make your own vegan parm cheese and it’s SO EASY!! Here’s the full recipe for you to try from Minimalist Baker!

Vegan Parm Cheese

photo credit

Here is another great article that I came across that gives you the low down on all things vegan cheese such as the different types of vegan cheese and how to flavour!! Here’s the link to the full guide!

Jillian Harris Dairy Alternatives

photo credit

There you have it loves! I hope I was able to answer most of your questions. Now I have one for YOU!! Have you tried replacing some of your favourite dairy products to a dairy-free alternative? If so, have you tried any that you absolutely LOVE that I haven’t mentioned above?? If so, make sure to share them with us below so we can give them a try!

Also, below are some great cookbooks loaded with vegan and dairy-free recipes!! Click on the individual photos for details!

xo

Jilly

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31 Comments

  • Kelley  • 

    I’m currently making the switch to dairy free! I’m just going to miss queso so much but I’m sure my body will appreciate it!

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      LOL!!! Yummm queso … I hear ya!! BUTTT there are a bunch of VEGAN queso recipes on Pinterest! Might be worth the try!! LOL!!

      • The minimalist baker recipe for queso cheese is AMAZING! And it’s made from eggplant so you can eat a whole bowl and not feel guilty! 😊🍆🧀

  • Victoria  • 

    Loved this post!! I’m a new mama and my 5 month old son is having major issues with cows milk/dairy while we exclusively breastfeed – for this reason I’ve been cutting it out completely. I agree that milk itself was an easy change and I’m excited to pick up some of that butter you recommend (I’ve been using olive oil instead thus far).

    I wanted to add cashew ice cream!! I wish I could recall the brand I had tried but the flavour was truffle chocolate, I picked it up at Save On Foods and it was to die for!! I’ve found the biggest struggle to be chocolate products – there is dairy in almost ALL chocolate, if you can hunt down a dairy free/vegan chocolate for us Jill that tastes as good as the real thing I’d be one happy mama!

    Love that you’re being a mindful consumer and inspiring us all to do the same, we are lucky to have all these alternative products to choose from and play around with!

    Keep this kind of mama-wisdom content coming please. Also your Insta Stories have been so fun to watch while I’m stuck breastfeeding – thanks a JILLion 🙂 (see what I did there?!)

    xo

  • Melanie  • 

    After Whole30, I’ve cut out all cheese and all milk. Except the occasional frozen yogurt. Thats something I can NEVER give up! The Califia Farms Almond/Toasted Coconut milk is absolutely amazing! Also, I love Nutpods for my coffee.

  • Hi Jill!
    Have you tried freezing any of the Kite Hill cheeses? Like if I bought a bunch next time I’m in the US, would I be able to freeze some for later use?
    Also, have you found the Miyokos brand in Canada, or only the US? If only the US, then same question as above about quality of it after freezing?
    Or I guess the real question may be, what kind of expiry date is on these nut cheeses? Is there even any need to freeze it? Does it actually expire? Lol!
    Thanks in advance! Great post BTW! I am always looking for ways to cut dairy, but besides changing up my milk to almond or cashew, I’ve otherwise just been avoiding cheese for the most part, because most of the alternatives I’ve tried have been gross! But I love cheese, and my effort at avoiding it are usually not very successful! Haha!

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Hi Beth!! I actually DID toss some in the freezer because I also stocked up … it’s my first time doing that though so we will see how they turn out when I thaw them but I assume they’ll be just fine!! XO

  • I found a new fave vegan ice-cream! Almond Dream Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. Add some chopped walnuts and it’s better than Maple Walnut ice-cream. They carry it at SuperStore and Choices.

  • Meghan  • 

    How do you ensure you are getting enough protein? Did you go vegan all at once, or was it gradual?

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Hi Megan! I’m not a “full vegan” … the process has been a slow going one and we still eat certain things like eggs for example but we get them from a local place right down the street from our home! I say do whatever works for you!! I’ve shared a few updates on my journey and progress here on the blog. Just search “vegan” and all of the blogs (including some awesome recipes) will appear!! XOXO

  • I love coconut milk and use it regularly in cooking, baking, and love it with my decaf espresso! For a treat I will warm some in the microwave with organic 85% dark chocolate for a ‘hot chocolate’ treat or to add to my espresso. Our favorite is the black tetra carton Real Thai (85% coconut and water, that’s it; no carrageenan etc.). Recently bought Trader Joe’s organic coconut cream, can’t wait to try it. For a dairy alternative treat…we love Gay Lea’s Coconut Whip Cream. Cheese, don’t eat often but recently tried Daiya’s Cream cheese and pretty good. Also just tried Earth Island’s Vegan Cheddar style slices and very good!

  • Thank you for this post. I’m a nursing mama who just had to go dairy free and am looking for milk protein alternatives! 😘

  • Katelyn  • 

    I have a 7 month old and I’ve had to give up dairy since he was 2 months in order to continue breastfeeding because his poor tummy can’t tolerate it. Your blogs and Insta stories have given me so many great ideas – thank you! One of my favorite replacements is coconut milk based ice cream. My favorite is the Salted Caramel flavor from Coconut Bliss.

    Thanks again for this post – I’m definitely going to try some of these out!

  • I’ve made homemade Tofu-ricotta and it turns out really well. I usually use it in the Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, and I find that it tastes better than real cheese!

    I have had so many compliments on this recipe from meat-eaters, people are SHOCKED when they learn that it is tofu. I fooled an entire cottage of people into thinking it contained cheese– granted, it was served to everyone post-wine. 🙂

    here’s a link:
    https://gloupwithme.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/thug-kitchen-vegan-lasagna/

  • Cathy Johnston  • 

    My daughter is going dairy free to help her skin(and it seems to be working). She has nut allergies so we have to stay away from all the nut alternatives. I’m finding it difficult. Any ideas? And getting enough calcium.

  • Heather  • 

    I went dairy free about 6 months ago when we realized my son has a milk allergy and he’s EBF. The first week was rough, but got easier. I feel much better than I have in years! I love making my own almond milk and following Erin Ireland for all her tips!

  • Colleen  • 

    I am so glad that you are sharing information and I’m sure inspiring many on a healthier lifestyle. I understand that everyone is on their own journey of learning and doing the best they can where they are at. It really is a lifelong learning process. I just want to bring up a couple of points for consideration. When mentioning eating soy, I know very controversial, I do think it is ideal to mention that if one chooses to consume it then the healthiest/safest ways, due to GMO issues is to 1)make sure it’s certified organic and 2)eat it only in it’s fermented form..tofu. As well I couldn’t help notice that someone in the comments mentioned heating something in the microwave. I would just like to suggest that they do some research as I just find it sad that they are making all this effort to make healthier choices and then molecularly changing the item so , in my opinion, it is not only no longer healthy but also harmful. I was also a little sad to see in your recipe book collection you did not include any of Danielle Walkers cook books. She has so many options with all of her recipes to meet every dietary need/restriction and she uses pretty basic, simple, doable ingredients. Also, I really wanted to share with you this article on Starbucks….something to think about…..http://theheartysoul.com/starbucks-coffee-health/?t=JERFP. All the best on your continuing healthy journey.

  • Does anyone have a favourite non dairy coffee creamer? Im not interested in flavoured versions, like sweetened vaneilla or hazelnut mixes but a non dairy creamer to replace cows milk in coffee.
    Nothing I’ve tried actually makes the coffee creamy!

  • Amanda  • 

    Hi Jillian! My husband and I are making some transitions to eat more plant based and our baby is turning 1 in a couple weeks. Do you have any recommendations on how to make that work with a babe? Have you decided what route to take with Leo? Any tips would be so awesome!!