If you knew how much I love cheese, then you’d know how it pains me to say this but I have to cut out dairy. I have been trying to do this for a while now, but I’m not always successful. I definitely eat less dairy than I used to, but I’ve noticed that my skin is much clearer when I avoid it completely. I also notice that I get sick less, and my allergies tend to be less annoying. So I decided to create a plan for how to cut it out of my diet without missing it too much…
Replace milk with a nut milk, like almond.
This may be the easiest thing to do (unless you have nut allergies). I barley notice the difference, and I actually like the taste of almond milk better than regular. This works in coffee or tea, and I use it for recipes and baking as well (just make sure to get the original flavor so you aren’t adding vanilla to a recipe that doesn’t call for it).
Replace butter with olive oil or coconut oil
Personally, I use olive oil for most of my cooking. I also use it on pasta, vegetable, and potatoes when butter would normally be used. I have not used coconut oil as often, but I put it on toast the other day, in place of butter before I added jam… and it was delicious!
Not all dairy-free is healthy
Some foods just aren’t meant to be dairy free, and some products just add chemicals to make it taste like dairy, but it’s something a lot worse. I read somewhere that there is no dairy in an oreo cookie… it’s all chemicals that make it look like cream..ew!
Hold the cheese, please
In some cases you may be able to just skip the cheese, and you may not even miss it. When my family has tacos or taco salads, I just skip the cheese. It was a little weird at first, but I barely notice it now. That little bit of parmesan on top of my pasta… I don’t even miss it anymore. The key is to make the meal more flavorful with herbs and spices, so you won’t even notice the cheese is gone. Think about it, would a big juicy burger be less delicious without cheese… for me personally, I’d skip the cheeseburger altogether and just eat a plate of French Fries… but that’s just me.
Find healthy dairy substitutions
This is the area I’m still researching. I’m going to try nutritional yeast in place of parmesan. And I’m dying to try to make pizzas and quesadillas with hummus or pesto (homemade so to avoid the hidden cheese). If you have any great vegan (or just dairy free) substitutions, please share, i’d love to try them.
Find non-dairy desserts
When my family has ice cream, I have sorbet. I have tried coconut milk ice cream, and I like it (not love but like, but that is my personal taste. It is much more filling than regular ice cream, so you eat less. Plus, it tastes much better than soy versions.) But there are so many other desserts, like fruit cobblers or rice krispie treats. I’ve also thought about experimenting with desserts where you can easily replace the dairy with almond milk or coconut milk.
If you have any ways that you’ve found to cut out dairy and not miss it, I’d love to hear about it!