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5 Genius Dairy Swaps You've Never Thought Of

Can't or Don't Eat Dairy? You're Not Alone.

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Whether you have an allergy or sensitivity or are simply following a Paleo or vegan way of eating, giving up dairy is often really tough. Step one, of course, is to make sure you're not missing out on any crucial nutrients, like calcium. Then, it's time to make sure your meals are still satisfying and filling. That's where these five genius dairy-free ingredient swaps come in. They taste just as good as your buttery, creamy favorites, if not better, so you won't miss a thing.

(Related: The Fit Woman's Guide to Getting Enough Calcium)

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For Parmesan Cheese, Try Almond Flour + Pink Salt

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If you're looking for a delicious pasta topping, try a pinch of almond flour and pink Himalayan salt. The fat from the almond flour combines with the salt to not only look like Parmesan cheese but taste like it, too. Try the combo in this Chickpea Pasta Primavera.

Photo: Maria Marlowe

For Cream In Soup, Try Cannellini Beans

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Instead of adding cream or milk to soup, blend in puréed cannellini beans. The result is an incredibly rich and creamy texture with added protein and fiber. Try it in this Broccoli Basil Soup.

Photo: Maria Marlowe

For Butter On Bread, Try Coconut Butter or Coconut Oil

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Nothing spells comfort quite like a piece of buttered bread. Coconut oil and coconut butter (which is made from coconut flesh and has a creamy white texture) are both delicious replacements for traditional butter. Try slathering it on these Paleo muffins.

Photo: Maria Marlowe

For Cheesecake, Try Cashew Cream Cake

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If a decadent cheesecake is what you're after, you can easily whip one up with a base of soaked cashews. When blended together with coconut oil, lemon juice, and coconut nectar, they deliver a rich and creamy texture that is so spot-on, your guests will never guess the cake is dairy-free. Try tricking them with this Blueberry Cashew Cream Cake.

Photo: Maria Marlowe

For Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Try Frozen Bananas

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Frozen bananas turn into a convincing soft-serve ice cream when blended with your favorite flavorings, like vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and almond butter. The frozen bananas provide adequate sweetness, ultimate creaminess, and an icy texture. You can make any flavor your heart desires by changing up the add-ins. Up the richness and creaminess by adding in a little coconut butter. Note that you'll need a high-speed or high-powered blender to achieve the right consistency. Try this Chocolate Almond Butter Ice Cream for yourself and prepare to be amazed.

Photo: Maria Marlowe

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