6 Healthy Alternatives To Dairy (So You Don't Miss Out On Your Favorite Snacks)

From making the perfect pudding to baking a creamy casserole, you may feel the need to use dairy on several occasions. Even if you are vegan, lactose-intolerant or avoid dairy in general, you don’t have to miss out on those comforting textures and rich flavors.

There are plenty of alternatives to milk, butter and cheese, easily available in your local supermarket. So if you’re going dairy-free, choose from these nutritious substitutes.

1Almond Milk

The vegan baker’s favorite ingredient, almond milk is the most popular dairy-free milk that contains almost 20 percent of your daily calcium needs and has fewer calories than skimmed milk.

Since it has a mild flavor, it blends well with your coffee, cereal or pancake mix.

2Cashew Sour Cream

Miss your tacos? Go vegan and still enjoy all the foods you want as well, with cashew-based sour cream. If you can’t find it at the local grocery store, make your own.

Soak a cup of cashews in half a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, and blend it on high speed with 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon lemon, 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt.

3Coconut Cream

If you’ve ever tried making vegan ice cream with soy milk, you’ve probably had a tough time getting the right texture and ended up with something close to a sorbet. For that rich, creamy texture of ice cream, use coconut cream, which is more heavy and creamy and also leaves a subtle, nutty flavor.

4Nut Butters

Who doesn’t like the classic PBJ? Trade regular butter for peanut butter for a much healthier spread that is high on protein and potassium, and low on sodium.

You could also experiment with other nut-based butters such as almond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio and macadamia butter.

5Nutritional Yeast

This non-active yeast gives you a distinct cheesy flavor. Sugar-free, dairy-free and low on fat, it is often used as a cheese substitute.

It is sold in a flake-like form and sprinkled on popcorn, soup and pasta.

6Rice Cheese

Giving up on cheese means never enjoying pizza and tacos the same way. Luckily, shredded rice cheese will offer you the same texture and quite a similar flavor. You could also melt it and use it in casseroles for the rich, delicious texture.

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Updated July 19, 2018