The Best Dairy-Free Alternatives For Foods You Just Can't Give Up

Anyone that's dairy-free knows that it can often be a real struggle— whether it's eating out, someone else cooking a meal for you, or finding an alternative to a classic dairy product that actually tastes good. Here are some of the best alternatives, tried and recommended by me, so that you don't have to miss out any longer:

1. Ice Cream

It feels as if almost every ice cream brand is trying to master the dairy-free flavor and texture to reach more consumers with dietary restrictions. Some, in fact, have mastered this recipe, while others have most certainly not. From a girl who feels like she's literally tried it all, here are my favs:

-Dairy free Halo Top (my fav is Candy Bar)

-Dairy free Ben and Jerry's (haven't had all the flavors but I've heard they're all good—literally can't go wrong with these guys)

-Dairy free So Delicious (Peanut Butter Zig Zag flavor is AMAZING)

Pro tip: there are SO many different dairy-free ice cream brands and a lot of them are made with different nut milks-- check the nutrition facts if you're concerned about fat! For example, coconut milk is higher in fat than almond milk.

2. Yogurt

Any type of nut-based yogurt will be dairy free! Here are some of my favorite options:

-Good Plants almond milk yogurt (the Lemon Meringue flavor is bomb)

-Kite Hill almond milk yogurt

-Good Karma brand dairy free yogurt

-Trader Joe's coconut milk yogurt (higher in fat, so not my thing, but a great alternative to dairy for sure)

Pro tip: add cacao nibs to your yogurt for some crunch!

3. Protein Bars/Powder

BARS:

-Sun Warrior

-No Cow

-Good! Snacks

POWDER:

-Vega

-Aloha

-Tone It Up (this is what I use, and I love it- the others are just as popular!)

Pro tip: any vegan proteins will be dairy-free so look for that on the label- it's more common to see.

4. Cheeses

Let me break down the whole non-dairy cheese thing for ya...

-Soft cheese alternatives (plant-based): a lot of people make their own at home by soaking nuts and blending them with milk and some sort of flavor, like lemon juice! This may definitely take getting used to, but I enjoy it.

-Hard cheese: this is where you may run into trouble (in terms of texture replication), but one popular option is the use of tofu with various oils to use as a topping- on pasta, for instance.

5. Milks

-Almond milk (my go-to): I use the unsweetened original or vanilla if I'm feelin' fancy.

-Macadamia milk: fairly new to the milk world but soooo good, even on its own! It has a little sweetness to it if you're into that

-Oat milk: super hard to find sometimes (especially in coffee shops), but super tasty and a great alternative.

-Coconut milk: perfect choice for those in need of a higher fat diet!

6. Butter

- Coconut oil

- Avocado itself (in moderation) or avocado oil

- Olive oil (I always use Trader Joe's fat-free olive oil spray- so easy!)

Pro tip: since using different dairy-free oils to sauté veggies and cook, I've come to like it better because my meals feel lighter and healthier! Regardless of whether or not you're dairy free, I'd ditch the butter use.

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