Have you ever found yourself yearning for a creamy, cheese-covered pizza or a tall glass of milk with your favourite cookies, while simultaneously contemplating a vegan lifestyle? You’re not alone. For many, dairy forms the major chunk of our diets, deeply ingrained from childhood. But what if I told you that this seemingly insurmountable obstacle to going vegan has been easier to overcome? Well, today we are here to explore the cave of dairy alternatives, from milk that froths like a barista’s dream to cheeses that melt like a dream, and butters that spread a world of flavour.
With so many store-bought and homemade options, going vegan has never been easier!
Undoubtedly, Dairy is one of the hardest thing to give up when you’re switching to a plant-based diet. Deeply cherished by many! Be it your ethical concerns or dietary concerns, adopting a vegan diet asks you to give it up. Here, we have good news for you. There are so many alluring plant-based options out there that don't require you to compromise on taste or texture! This vegan guide unveils the different types of dairy alternatives and also highlights the best store bought and homemade varieties for you to make your transition journey smooth and easy.
Let’s learn how to make delicious dairy free alternatives at home and find out how to spot the best ones at your local grocery stores.
Milk is often perceived as the ultimate comfort drink, deeply rooted and cherished in our diet from childhood. Often considered as the most difficult element to switch while transforming to a vegan diet. But there’s a good news! Non-dairy milk is on the rise! And there are a ton of milk alternatives that work perfectly for drinking, eating, cooking, and baking. Let’s explore
- Soymilk - Possessing a thick, creamy texture , having a subtle flavor that makes it a perfect replacement. When mixed with vinegar, soymilk curdles into a delicious buttermilk alternative which is great for muffins, quick breads and pancakes. Soymilk is one of the most popular non-dairy milk of choice and can be easily found at most grocery stores, coffee shops, and even restaurants around the country. It has a bunch of merits - Non-GMO soy milk is sustainably sourced, neutral in flavour, rich in nutrients, and curdles better than any other milk. But it should be kept in mind that its overconsumption can lead to bloating.
- Cashew milk- Thick, creamy in texture and relatively flavourless, makes it the most similar option to cow's milk. It is great for the base for custards and ice creams as well as for drinking or enjoying with oatmeal or cereal. Cashew milk can be a bit harder to find than soymilk but should still be in most large, well-stocked grocery stores.
- Oat Milk- With nuts, soy, and dairy being three of the top common allergens, oat milk stands as a leading allergy-friendly milk. While you can find it at most well stocked grocery stores, it is one of the easiest non-dairy milk alternatives to make at home. Oat Milk can be made with 4 ingredients [ oats, water, maple syrup and vanilla extract] in under 5 minutes.
- Almond milk- is a slightly sweet, slightly nutty popular non-dairy milk replacement. Almond milk can be found almost everywhere, including local grocery stores, coffee shops, and favourite restaurants. Almond Milk is super easy to make at home requiring only 2 ingredients!
- Coconut milk - comes in two forms: canned and boxed. Canned coconut milk is one of the richest milk alternatives on the market. It is a great replacer for heavy cream. Great for vegan ganache and homemade ice-cream. Boxed coconut milk is a substitute for cows milk. It is made for drinking. It has a strong flavour so is best suitable for people who love the flavour of coconut.
Other milk alternatives:
There are a variety of other no- dairy milk options that I use less frequently. Those include:
- Hazelnut - Strong in flavour, creamy, and delicious in chai lattes and hot chocolate. Also, a great alternative in hazelnut-based desserts.
- Macadamia - Super thick and creamy with a slightly nutty flavour. Also great in warm beverages, such as matcha lattes.
- Hemp - Earthy hemp flavour with tons of health benefits. Great in smoothie bowls and creamy pasta.
- Rice - Lightweight and subtle flavour. However, it is a great alternative for those with nut or soy allergies. PlantMade’s indigenous product- Rice Milk serves as the best alternative to dairy based milk.
- Flax - Also lightweight and relatively flavourless. Full of health benefits and a great allergy friendly alternative.
When it comes to non-dairy milk, it really narrows down to preference and dietary
restrictions. Once you find your non-dairy milk of choice, you can use it as a substitution in nearly any recipe catering to all your milk and dessert cravings.
Butter, a beloved culinary gem, adds an irreplaceable richness and flavour to an array of dishes. Its creamy texture and versatile nature make it a cherished item used by both professional chefs and home cooks, enhancing everything from pastries to savoury meals with its magical touch. It is used in a variety of ways in baking and cooking. It can be whipped, melted, and cut into your recipes. Fat adds richness, tenderness, and flavour to both your sweet and savoury dishes.
But no need to lament the absence of butter, there are some amazing vegan butter recipes and butter alternatives for you! Whether, you are trying to replicate cows milk butter or find low and no fat alternatives to butter, there are some great options. Store bought vegan butter has become amazing over the past several years and, not only that but now you can make your own gourmet butter at home.
"Homemade vegan butter"
Making a spreadable, whip-able, and super tasty vegan butter at home is not as hard as you might think! Homemade butter alternatives are made with a handful of easy-to-find ingredients that can be whipped together in just about 5 minutes! Also, the very affordable, versatile vegan butter can be made with easy to find ingredients. So, let’s unfold this recipe-
-1 cup refined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any unsweetened non-dairy milk)
- 1/4 cup canola oil or any neutral oil
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for colour)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional, for flavour)
1. In a small saucepan, melt the refined coconut oil over low heat until it becomes completely liquid.
2. In a blender, combine the melted coconut oil, unsweetened almond milk, canola oil, turmeric, salt,
apple cider vinegar, and nutritional yeast (if using).
3. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until everything is well combined and the mixture is smooth.
4. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and nutritional yeast to your preference. You can add more
for a cheesier flavour.
5. Pour the mixture into a silicone mould or a small container lined with parchment paper. This will
be the shape of your homemade vegan butter.
6. Place the container in the refrigerator and let it solidify for a few hours or overnight.
7. Once the vegan butter is firm, remove it from the mould or container. You can store it in the
fridge and use it just like regular butter for spreading, cooking, or baking.
Enjoy your homemade vegan butter, perfect for all your dairy-free cooking and baking needs!
- Coconut Oil - For a less processed alternative, coconut oil works in some recipes as a butter alternative. This works in recipes that call for melted butter or soft butter, such as cookies and muffins. It also is great for homemade pie crusts.
- Nut Butters - A variety of nut butter can work in certain baked good recipes such as cookies, muffins, and quick breads. Nut butter provides healthy fats and nutrients to the recipe. However, they do add additional flavour. Use nut butter only when that flavour compliments your product Cashew butter is the most neutral-flavoured but when desired, almond, peanut and hazelnut can add amazing taste and texture to your baked goods.
- Avocado - Like nut butter, avocado is a nutritious alternative. It provides healthy fats and extra nutrients. Use it at a 1:1 ratio in your baked goods. Avocado is relatively neutral-flavoured and should not be detectable in your treats.
- Fruit/Veggie Puree - Fruit and veggie purees such as applesauce, pumpkin puree, and smashed bananas are a low-fat alternative to butter than you can use in place of melted butter. Use it at a 1:1 ratio in your baked goods. Some fruit and veggie purées are strong in flavour and should be used only when the flavour compliments the overall product.
- Oil- For savoury recipes, oil can replace butter for sautéeing and frying. You can also use oil in some baked goods that call for melted butter such as pancakes and muffins. However, if the recipe calls for solid butter, use a store-bought vegan butter or solid coconut oil instead.
Non- Dairy Cheese
Cheese, that delectable dairy delight, often proves to be the toughest temptation to resist when making the switch to a plant-based diet. The mere thought of parting with the melty goodness atop pizza or the tangy, crumbly satisfaction on a salad can leave one feeling cheese-deprived. However,
fret not! In the world of plant-based living, we've got an abundance of cheesy alternatives that'll make the transition a breeze.
Imagine savouring a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or indulging in a creamy mac & cheese without compromising your dietary choices. You can have it all, and more! From nut-based spreads that mimic the richness of traditional cheese to homemade vegan cheese recipes that offer you complete control over flavours, the possibilities are endless.
Time to spill the beans on making your own kick-butt vegan cheese right in your kitchen. Here we have revealed the recipes for 2 popular vegan cheese that are widely used in a variety of vegan dishes.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese:
-1/2 cup raw cashews
-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- A pinch of turmeric (optional for color)
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
2. Pulse until the mixture turns into a fine, crumbly texture, similar to grated Parmesan cheese.
3. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
4. Store your vegan Parmesan cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It will keep for several weeks.
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
-1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
- 1 cup hot water - 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
2. In a blender, combine the cashews, hot water, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, apple cider
vinegar, and salt.
3. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Pour the mixture into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it thickens and turns into
a gooey, stretchy consistency, similar to melted mozzarella.
5. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It will become even more stretchy as it cools.
6. Use your homemade vegan mozzarella on pizzas, in pasta dishes, or wherever you desire a melty,
- Tofu - Versatile and creamy, tofu transforms into ricotta or cream cheese alternatives, perfect for lasagna or cheesecakes.
- Nutritional Yeast- This darling of the vegan world provides a cheesy, umami flavor, enhancing popcorn, pasta, and sauces with a sprinkle.
- Almonds- Creamy almond-based cheeses have a delightful nutty undertone, making them ideal for spreads and cheese platters.
- Cashews-The creamy texture of cashews elevates vegan mac&cheese and cheesy sauces to a delectable level.
- Coconut Milk- Luscious and rich, coconut milk shines in dessert cheeses like vegan cheesecakes.
- Soybeans- Ideal for melting, soy-based cheeses are your go-to for pizza, quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Chickpeas- Create hummus-based cheese with the nutty, earthy flavor of chickpeas, perfect for spreads and Mediterranean dishes.
- Zucchini- Cooked and blended zucchini offers a low-fat, creamy cheese alternative, great for those watching their intake.
- Carrots and Potatoes- These root veggies, when blended, create a smooth, cheese-like texture, perfect for mac & cheese and creamy soups.
- Nut Cheese Wheels- Crafted from various nuts and infused with herbs and spices, these gourmet delights grace cheese platters for a perfect pairing with wine and crackers.
As we come to the flavourful finale of our journey through the world of dairy substitutes, we invite you to explore the delightful offerings from PlantMade. We understand the importance of wholesome, cruelty-free options that do not compromise on taste and quality. PlantMade's plant- based Creamer is a gluten-free, preservative-free, and cholesterol-free companion for your coffee or
recipes, ensuring that each sip is a guilt-free pleasure. Quench your thirst for a wholesome, dairy- free alternative with PlantMade's Rice milk, which contains no added sugar, preservatives, or dairy, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a clean, vegan milk. And when it comes to savoury delights, look no further than our instant hummus, a cheese alternative that elevates your dishes with a satisfying tang. It's time to embrace the plant-powered goodness of PlantMade products, bridging the gap between the desire for a dairy-free lifestyle and the pleasure of indulgent flavours.
Like-wise we have a bunch of vegan products satisfying all your nutritional requirements and acting as perfect substitutes for the non-vegan products. Visit our website to explore the full range of offerings and take the next step toward a wholesome, compassionate vegan transformation. Say farewell to cravings, and welcome the plant-made revolution with open arms.