Get excited! You are about to feel healthier, save some animals, and help the environment– all in one fell swoop. If you want additional info on why to make such an awesome change in your life by going dairy-free, feel free to check out this article. I think it is so rad that you care about your life and the lives of others enough to make a daily habit change, which isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Can we be friends? You sound cool.
So, yes, I am vegan. And yes, I want everyone to eat vegan food in order to save animals and increase personal health. But I cannot lie to you: not all vegan food is good. (Ahem– Just like not all non-vegan food is good!) Luckily for you, I am happy to be your guinea pig. I’ve had two years to try pretty much every dairy-free alternative I can get my hands on, so now you can save time and money and go straight for the good stuff without having to spit out another vegan cheese that tastes like a foot.
Let us get to it, then!
Milk: Milk is probably the easiest replacement. The varieties are endless… Soy, almond, coconut, cashew milks are readily available at your local grocery store. As for me, I’m pretty loyal to Silk brand’s vanilla soy milk (available online) with my morning cereal.
Cheese: On the other hand, vegan cheese was the most difficult area for me to navigate when I “made the switch.” My tried and trues: Soy-free and delicious Follow Your Heart is my go-to… They have slices and shredded, from pepperjack to gouda to cheddar. Next fave: Chao by Field Roast (creamy original flavor).
Cookie Dough: Hampton Creek has a good one!
Chocolate snacks: If Bark Thins (available online) don’t satisfy your choco cravings, I don’t know what to tell you.
Butter: My very favorite? Sold out on the website but found it here: Miyokos… I think its the healthiest one out there, and a bonus is that it doesn’t contain palm oil, which I try and boycott when possible (if you’re interested in why you might consider reducing your palm oil intake, go here). When I’m in a pinch, though, I grab this runner up from my local grocery store or online: Earth Balance buttery spread.
Mayo: Oh my gosh I’m obsessed with Just Mayo (available online!) Love it love it love it. Tastes just like mayo but a little better.
Pre-made coffee drink: Try my personal favorite, Malk: Pecan Milk + cold brewed coffee. I don’t even love coffee, but cannot get enough of this drink. It is only available in 11 states, though (check out locations on their website). If it isn’t available try this one which my boyfriend prefers (available at groceries and online): Cafe Latte Almond Milk Iced Coffee by Califia Farms.
Cream cheese: I’m going to go ahead and save you headache (these can taste not-so-great if you don’t choose wisely)– Tofutti brand or bust. This is the one you want.
Sour cream: Samesies. Tofutti wins again.
Salad Dressings: Follow Your Heart has your back once again, whether you need Ranch, Caesar, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, Creamy Garlic, or Honey Mustard. You can buy these in bulk on Amazon if they aren’t available near you!
Ice Cream: Check out Ben & Jerrys’ new vegan flavors here. (My favorite is the PB & Cookies.) So Delicous is another favorite (their cherry amaretto flavor is to die for), which are made from soy, coconut, or almond milk… Pick your poison! I also indulge frequently in Tofutti “cuties” (ice cream sandwiches) and SOY-FREE Coconut Bliss ice cream & especially their ice cream bars.
Mac N Cheese: Earth Balance White Cheddar is the only way to go.
I hope this helps you out! If there is anything I have missed, and you need it dairy-free, please let me know– I’ll be happy to give you further recs!