Non-dairy substitutes

Giving up dairy can change your life. Think milk products don’t bother you? That’s what I thought too. I also thought stomach pain was just something you dealt with in life. Nope! By cutting out dairy, my stomach stopped hurting completely. The best part is with the alternative in the market, you don’t have to give up the food that you love.


The first dairy substitute people want to know about is milk! Today, there are so many delicious milk substitutes that there is no need to buy cows milk, including:
  • Soy Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Rice Milk


Most margarines contain trace amounts of dairy products such as whey or lactose. If you’re checking labels, be sure to look out for whey, lactose, casein and caseinate. There are a few brands that are vegan friendly, including:

  • Blue Bonnet Light Margarine
  • Smart Balance Light Margarine

You can also find specifically vegan marketed brands like Earth Balance.


Cheese can be tricky. There are lots of soy cheeses out there, but many contain a bit of casein or caseinate. Therefore, I recommend finding a vegan cheese product that is usually made from almond or rice milk. My favorite cheese brand is Daiya vegan cheese, which offers two products:

  • Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
  • Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

A lot of vegans use nutritional yeast in cheese substitute recipes or as a direct replacement for Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is a flaky powder with a naturally cheese-like flavor. There is also a non-dairy vegan Parmesan cheese substitute called Parma. Just like regular Parmesan cheese, Parma doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so it’s easy to buy online.

Sour Cream

The best vegan sour cream you can find is Tofutti brand. This can be found in the refrigerator section of natural foods stores and larger well-stocked grocers. You can also make dairy-free sour cream substitute using:


  • 1/4 pound soft (silken) tofu, patted dry
  • 1/4 pound firm tofu, patted dry
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp soy sauce


Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Ice Cream

More and more stores are carrying non-dairy ice creams that are made coconut, rice and soy milk. However, it might be hard to find a brand that you love. If you have a Trader Joes near you then I suggest you try these first:
  • Very Cherry Chocolate Chip
  • Mango sorbet/Vanilla soy

One Response to Non-dairy substitutes

  1. Hilary

    I also love the Tofutti “Better than Cream Cheese”

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