Non-Dairy Alternatives for Cheese and Butter
If your doctor has advised you to reduce your intake of dairy due to a recently diagnosed condition, you do not need to wallow in misery thinking you can’t eat good food anymore. There are plenty of substitutes for cow’s milk for example, such as soy, nuts (almond, macadamia, and cashew), rice, hemp, quinoa, oat, and coconut. But for other dairy products used for baking and cooking, what are your options?
Most people who love cheese would find it difficult to entirely remove it from their diet, but don’t worry because there are other ways you can enjoy food with these substitutes.
- Nutritional Yeast – You can add this to pasta sauce as a substitute for cheese. There are versions fortified with vitamins and almost have the same cheesy flavor.
- Hard Cheese – A lot of people love the sour and salty taste of cheese. This is the closest substitute you can get. You can also make one at home by baking tofu with truffle oil and salt.
- Soft Cheese – There are several versions of this cheese alternative, most of which are made from plants, soy, and coconut milk. You can even make one at home and add flavors of your own. So, what makes this a great cheese alternative? The result could mimic the soft cheese texture and some cheeses known for their extra flavors.
Your best options are plant-based margarine you can find in stores but if you want to look for natural ingredients that taste better than margarine, you can choose the following:
- Coconut Oil – This is the cheapest and healthiest alternative to butter for cooking. If you do not like the coconut flavor, just add a pinch of salt and heat the oil.
- Olive Oil – This is best used for sautéing, but not for baking.
- Banana – Instead of butter for sweet recipes, use ripe bananas instead. But make a taste test first before substituting butter with it.
- Avocado – This is the perfect replacement for butter when baking because of its fatty and creamy texture. It also does not have an aftertaste that can ruin a dessert.
Ice Cream Alternatives
There are plenty of ice cream brands that do not use dairy in their products. Instead, the milk comes from coconut, cashews, and almonds. Frozen fruits mixed with plant-based milk are almost as good as commercial ice cream. If you are not allergic to nuts, try them out some time.
Most yogurt are made from milk, bacteria, and lactic acid. You can find substitutes made from cultured soy or other bases. They are almost as good a dairy yogurt.
This list is not meant to discourage you in the consumption of dairy products because you don’t need to eliminate cow’s milk in your diet if you don’t have a medical condition such as lactose intolerance. Additionally, some of the substitutes are also known to trigger allergies and intolerance.