Vegan Dairy Substitutions: You Can Still Have Pizza & Ice Cream!
If you’re ready to ditch dairy, here is my short list of “no sacrifice” vegan dairy substitutions.
1) So Delicious Coconut milk yogurt
The best description here is O-M-G. It is rich, it is creamy, there are many flavor choices, and it really is SO delicious. My favorite is the chocolate flavor. It is so rich and creamy, you’ll have trouble believing that it really is a dairy-free, vegan yogurt! For breakfast, a major treat is a chocolate coconut milk yogurt with walnut pieces and bananas (if available). Seriously, this is super yummy.
Although So Delicious makes Vanilla and Original, I prefer the unsweetened flavor for the coconut milk. It’s rich and creamy, and it only has 50 calories per serving. It duplicates the mouth feel of dairy milk without adding any coconut flavor. (Note: this is different than the thick coconut milk you find in a can and use often for cooking Asian dishes). These are truly delicious vegan dairy substitutions for pouring on cereal, to make cream sauces and to drink with meals. So Delicious also makes vegan creamers for coffee and tea.
I also really like the unsweetened Hemp milk for smoothies and as a tangy variation for the vegan mac & cheese recipe. Contrary to popular belief, hemp milk does NOT contain any THC and it DOES contain high levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids as well as all 10 of the essential amino acids. They also make a chocolate flavor which is super yummy! It’s like drinking a dessert though, so I don’t drink it everyday. Hemp milk has amazing nutritional benefits, and I believe it’s worth including as part of your meal plan. It has a slightly different taste, so I’d encourage you to try the different flavors and find one that works for you. They make vanilla, unsweetened, original and chocolate.
There are now many brands of dairy-free cheeses out in the world that are delicious and really do melt! Daiya and Follow Your Heart are two vegan cheese brands are casein-free, stretchy, melty and super yummy. I use these cheeses to mix in with my sauteed rice and veggies, sometimes to top off my vegan mac and cheese recipe, and of course, for PIZZA – YUM!
4) And last but not least… vegan ICE CREAM
Yes, I did say vegan ice cream, not sorbet. Luckily, shifting to a plant-based diet does not mean you have to give up ice cream, it’s just a matter of finding new products. Luckily, there are a variety of super yummy non-dairy ice creams now.
Some of my favorite non-dairy ice creams are the So Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and the Salted Caramel Cluster made from cashew milk. Definitely… no… sacrifice.
So Delicious also makes vanilla ice cream bars that are covered with dark chocolate and toasted almonds. These are dairy free and sweetened with agave syrup. I always have these in the freezer in the summer!
For more delicious vegan dairy substitutions, visit the Food Reviews section for dairy alternatives.
Rebecca Gilbert is the founder of Yummy Plants and the author of It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan. She’s a former competitive figure skater whose switch to a vegan diet healed her chronic joint pain. Rebecca has been a featured speaker at events including the World VegFestival in San Francisco, Vegetarian Summerfest, the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival, and Paris Vegan Day. She has presented on live television and given corporate talks. Book Rebecca to speak at your organization.