If you've participated in my Detox program, you know what a dairy elimination means: no milk, ghee, cream butter, cheese (including hard, soft or cottage), yogurt, or foods that contain these ingredients. During the 3 weeks, see if symptoms subside. At the end of 3 weeks, reintroduce dairy, eating it at each meal, for 3 days. Watch for any symptoms. Then you'll know if you have a dairy sensitivity. But no worries if you do! There are so many great substitutes available now.
Part 4 of my healthy food swap series is all about dairy. Did you see parts 1-3? If not, scroll down the blog posts to learn more.
If you have a dairy sensitivity, but love milk, butter and cheese, you don’t need to suffer. The stores are filled with plant-based dairy replacements. Try the following until you find ones you love.
- Non-dairy milks – The varieties are astounding. Make sure you choose organic products without unnecessary glues and additives such as carageenan. Great as a base for smoothies, creating creamy sauces or soups, and with granola. Making your own with almonds, cashew, or even brazil nuts is fun and easy. See my almond milk recipe in my post here. Cashew milk doesn't require straining. You can find other nut milk recipes online.
- Almond yogurt – While other dairy-free options are veterans in this category, many find that almond yogurt is the most like traditional dairy yogurt, especially Greek almond yogurt. You can also try cashew and coconut-based yogurts to see which variety hits the spot.
- Butter replacement – In the US, the Miyokos coconut/cashew brand is highly butter-like in all aspects. Seriously, this has been vetted by butter aficionados. You won’t believe “it’s not butter.”
- Cashew or Almond cream cheese – You may not even be aware these options exist! In the US, Kite Hill seems to be the closest in taste and texture to a milk-based variety. It comes in many delicious flavors too.
- Not-Missing-It Alternatives? – Over time, people who feel much better eliminating dairy from their diet tend to open up to other whole-food alternatives. So much of what we crave in cheese is about a rich, creamy, salty addition to a dish. Try adding pine nuts, crushed cashews or hazelnuts to a savory dish; sauté them briefly in a little olive oil in a sauce pan with some spices (e.g. thyme, oregano), sea salt, and, if tolerated, a dash of nutritional yeast.
It's the texture, savory garlic, sweet pine nuts and salt that make this pesto so good, you won't miss the Parmesan.
1 head fresh basil
1/3 cup raw pine nuts
1/4 c olive oil
1 large clove garlic
1/4 t salt
In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients. Turn power to lowest setting and allow to blend for about 1 minute or until basil has been incorporated. You want to see some pine nut pieces and basil leaf parts rather than a completely smooth mixture. Enjoy!