Deciding to go vegan or even just replacing dairy products in the house with non dairy items can be difficult because the options are sometimes hard to find or maybe you don’t know what you are really even looking for. I thought it would be helpful if I put a list of dairy free alternatives together just for the things that people think they will be missing out on when they change up their grocery lists. Now I want to mention that these items are to replace just like the major, usually completely dairy products. If you are serious about taking dairy out of your diet then you will need to read EVERYTHING you are buying. Companies will sneak dehydrated milk into the strangest things…like tortilla chips with a hint of lime…they have milk in them, like whyyyyy. Just check everything, also animal products can be called a ton of different things that you might not recognize. For example, whey and casein are proteins found in milk, usually used in protein bars, shakes, and other “health” foods as well as a bunch of other foods too.
There are so many options out there for replacements it can be hard to know what actually tastes good and what tastes fake. I have also been vegan for two years and these are just my favorites that I think actually taste like the real thing.
The most important!!!…. Coffee creamer for the cup of joe that warms you up every morning. Now this find has taken from trial and error. I have tried a few creamers and my issue is that I still want a creamy delicious coffee, which actually isn’t a problem anymore, but it sure was. All the hype the last couple years has been around coconuts, coconut everything. Personally I can taste even the slightest hint of coconut in the stuff like ice cream, creamers etc. and I don’t dig it but that’s just me. And most almond milk creamers just didn’t cut it in the thickness department, I felt like they were a bit watery. Until I found Coffee Mates Natural Bliss Almond milk creamer, its amazing and creamy and not watery at all. If you are looking for a dairy free, creamy coffee creamer then this is it. Our shop in town also started carrying the caramel flavor as well and its great too.
Now the Milk for cereal, baking, smoothies, protein shakes and cooking needs.
We have two go too’s, my husband loves milk and cereal and he uses the Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla and for me I love soy milk because its just creamier, which I have already talked about my love for creaminess haha. But the one I always reach for is Silk Organic Soy milk, and it varies sometimes I go for the protein milk and sometimes I go for the unsweetened vanilla. I love this one for lattes at home too. Its nice and thick and you can get a good froth on top. Both of these brands are great for baking and for pancakes!
Cream cheese!! We have two brands in the house at most times, the Trader Joes Vegan Cream Cheese and the Tofutti Brand Better Than Cream Cheese.
My personal favorite is Tofutti, it’s a little stiffer, great for toasted bagels. The Trader Joes Brand is a little softer and better for cheesecakes, deserts or dips etc. Both great options.
Next is Sour Cream, I was so worried about this one! I love sour cream with my baked potatoes and Mexican dishes, but super excited about how the normal sour cream is made, YUCK! So I was so excited to find that our health food store in town carried the Tofutti Brand Better than Sour Cream. And it is perfect! It totally takes the place of regular classic sour cream. This is the only vegan sour cream I have tried because it really filled that space for me.
MY favorite sliced cheese! This is where it can get scary for people. Vegan cheese sometimes can taste plastic or not melt and it can be a turn off for people who are trying to cut dairy out. We are lucky that the one vegan sliced cheese brand that Walmart carries is the one that has turned out to be the best one I’ve tried! Chao sliced cheese from Field Roast is amazing. Its creamy and it melts!
I don’t know if this is really a diary item but its one that I get asked about, Mayo. The brand that is pretty openly available at any grocery store is JUST MAYO. Its great, egg free and dairy free, great for dips, sandwiches, pasta salads etc. I love mixing this with siracha and Dijon mustard; it makes an excellent spicy dipping sauce.
Ranch dressing!!! Dun dun dun…my go to lately has been the DAIYA Home style Ranch dressing. Its dairy and egg free as well as gluten and soy free which is great for anyone with other food allergies. They also make a Blue Cheese and Honey Mustard vegan style.
Last but not least, ice cream! There are a ton of non-dairy ice creams out there. I tend to reach for the cashew or soymilk based ones. There are a lot of coconut milk based ice creams but they seem thin or more icy to me. Ben and Jerry’s, SO Delicious and Haagen Dazs have my favorites. They are just as creamy and delicious as the dairy ones but without the upset stomach!
These are a few things we keep in the house all the time. I hope y’all found this list helpful and you use it for your next shopping trip. Drop a comment if you have tried something from my list and love it or if you have some other options you think id love!