While there are some health benefits to dairy, most of the time it is not the healthiest choice. Dairy contains calcium which is beneficial for bone health but many studies have shown dairy does more harm than good to most people. There are many other more nutritious ways of getting enough calcium everyday like eating dark leafy greens, seeds & nuts, beans & lentils, and even the trending dairy free milks. Dairy can cause inflammation, upset the stomach, create digestive issues, and cause sinus infections. I believe you can still enjoy certain cheeses in moderation! Personally, I just like to stay away from cow’s milk protein and limit goat/sheep milk proteins. Click here for my favorite dairy free milks!
There is definitely a lot of stigma around vegan products. Some are full of too many additives and ingredients that I can never pronounce so I try to stay away from those! I have done my fair share of taste testing- the good, bad, and tasteless. That is why I wanted to share with all of you my FAV dairy alternative that are actually tasty and healthy!
- So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Unsweetened – This coconut based yogurt is an amazing alternative to plain greek yogurt. With minimal ingredients, live cultures, a great consistency, and fiber, this has become one of my go-to brands. They also have an unsweetened vanilla flavor- both having less than 1 gram of sugar per serving! Try swapping the greek yogurt for this in my Greek Yogurt Bowl Recipe… you won’t be disappointed!
- Coyo Coconut Yogurt – Coming straight from the coconut itself, Coyo uses only plant based live cultures. Filled with only whole ingredients and probiotics you can still enjoy a deliciously creamy yogurt. Just be mindful with serving size as Coyo tends to be higher in fat and sugars, so enjoy in moderation.
- Lavva Dairy Free Yogurt – Filled with probiotics and absolutely no sugar, this is another one of my favorite dairy free yogurt brands. Made with only whole ingredients, Lavva uses nutrient dense Pili Nuts to add a creamy rich taste. I love all the flavors but try to eat them in moderation as they’re higher in fat and sugar.
- Culina Yogurt – I found this when I was in LA and I loved it. Their plain yogurt is clean and simple with only three ingredients. No preservatives or sugars! The entire container has only 3g carbs so it is a great option for those of you who are following a low carb diet.
- Good Plants Almond Milk Yogurt – I came across this yogurt alternative when I was hosting a cooking class and absolutely loved it. Good Plants has 40% fewer calories and 70% less sugar than most almond milk yogurt alternatives. The yogurt is 100 calories, 4g fat, and 4g sugar! My favorite flavor is the lemon meringue.
- Rebel Kitchen Coconut Yogurt – I love products with minimal ingredients and this coconut yogurt has a total of six. It is made from young coconut meat with live vegan yogurt cultures. The carbs are very low, fiber is high, and the taste is incredible.
- The Coconut Cult – Coconut cult uses between two to four ingredients depending on the flavor of the yogurt. The mango cream tastes like a mango lassi! SO GOOD!
- Nush Foods Cashew Yogurt – Another fantastic vegan yogurt that I found at Wholefoods in London. This brand has cashew and almond based yogurts with super clean ingredients. The cashew strawberry is so yummy!
Dairy-Free Milk & Creamer:
- Califia Farms Organic Almond Milk – One of my favorite nut milks on the market right now! With more calcium than actual dairy milk, I love to use this in smoothies, coffee/tea, for baking, my Overnight Chia Seed Pudding, and more. One thing I find with nut milks is that they tend to be full of added ingredients and sugars. Califia has a large variety with no added sugars and is non GMO!
- Ripple Foods Pea Milk – excellent source of plant based protein! One cup of Ripple milk packs in 8 grams of protein, the same amount as cow’s milk. The high content of protein in this specific brand is due to yellow peas. Peas are one of the best sources of plant based protein and many vegan protein powders are made with pea protein. Ripple milk has a high content of important nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are essential for brain health, heart health and immune function. This tastes excellent in hot chocolate.
- Califia Farms Hazelnut Creamer Better Half – As Califia says themselves, “Creamy and richly satisfying, meet the better half to your morning.” You will surely not miss your dairy creamer in the mornings. I love adding a splash of this to my morning matcha latte. It ends up tasting like a sweet treat with no added sugars and minimal ingredients. If hazelnut is not your choice of flavor, they have a few other options like vanilla, caramel pecan, and more!
- Miyoko’s Fresh Vegan Mozzarella – A cashew based vegan cheese that really melts, stretches, and tastes like fresh mozzarella. I like to use this creamy cheese how I would use regular dairy mozzarella. It is delish on pizza, pasta, in salads, on my Stuffed Mushrooms with Pesto, and added to My Favorite Weight Loss GG Crackers.
- Violife Vegan Feta Cheese – I went crazy when I discovered this product. I have always had a weak spot for Bulgarian feta and this product is an excellent alternative. It tastes creamy like goat cheese but it is firm like feta. The perfect combo between the two! Try this cheese in my Greek Salad or with Baked Eggs and Veggies.
- Violife Provolone Style Cheese Slices – I have tried so many vegan cheese slices and this brand has to be my favorite right now . The ingredient list is short, and cleaner when compared to many other brands! Both the consistency and taste make it very convincing when added onto a GG Sandwich or paired with Gluten Free Mikey’s Muffins – replacing any dairy cheese slice. I personally enjoy the provolone flavor, but they have many to choose from!
- Monty’s – This is by the best “cream cheese” on the market. The ingredients are minimal and super clean. It is organic and cashew based. My favorite flavor is the creamed cheese scallion and the truffle wheels!
- Follow Your Heart Parmesan – I love using this Parmesan to replace the dairy in my favorite Cauliflower Pizza Crust. You seriously cannot taste the difference! It is also great on GG Pizzas, pasta dishes like my Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce, and risottos like my Mushroom Quinoa “Risotto”!
- Violife Mozzarella Shreds – This is my go-to brand and style of vegan cheese that I like to use to top pizza or pasta. This specific one is lactose, nut and soy free. The shreds melt really nicely on my Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipes and my Vegan GG Pizzas. This is a great alternative to regular shredded cheese that will stretch and melt into gooey deliciousness when cooked properly.
- Nush Foods Cream Cheeses Style Spreads – I found this brand at the Whole Foods in London and immediately loved it. The chives cream cheese tastes like Kite Hill (see below) and is made out of almonds.
- Kite Hill Cream Cheeses Style Spreads – All of Kite Hill’s Almond Milk cream cheese spreads are great! Made with minimal and natural ingredients, it can easily replace regular cream cheese in any recipe. I like to use it on GG crackers with Lox or in my Baked Cauliflower Mash.
- Kite Hill Ricotta Artisanal Style Cheese – Just like the the cream cheeses, Kite Hill’s ricotta cheese tastes like the real deal! Great for desserts, paired with crackers, in baked dishes like my Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach & Mushrooms, or try it in my Ricotta with Cherry Tomatoes Salad.
Dairy-Free Frozen Treats
So Delicious Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream – I have tried a few of their flavors and this one is my favorite because I am a chocolate girl. If you prefer the vanilla, then give that one a try. The ice cream is cashew based, doesn’t have too many ingredients and I find it to be a great alternative when I am craving ice cream. They have a variety of different ice creams that use coconut, almond or soy as a base, so if cashew is not your thing then go for one of the other flavors as the options are endless.
So Delicious Coco Cool Whip – This actually takes me back to childhood memories. My mom used to make an eclair cake with cool whip and it tasted amazing. I am so happy I can recreate this cake now, using a dairy free alternative. The coconut flavor adds an incredible touch to desserts.
Trader Joe’s Coconut Whipped Cream – To be honest, the ingredients in here are not completely Nedi approved but just wanted to throw it out there as an option. I buy it sometimes if I need to test a recipe but I wouldn’t use this product on a daily basis. You are better off making your own! 🙂
If you’re trying to go more plant-based, check out my 1-Week Vegan Detox. Filled with recipes & grocery lists with no animal products, tips & tricks on how to detoxify in a healthy way, workouts, & more!