Best Dairy-Free Foods 2021

Looking back on this post I had a good laugh because I’ve attempted a dairy-free life for over 3 years now. I’ve gotten to a point where I am 100% dairy-free at home, do my best when I’m out and with friends, but admittedly it doesn’t go that well. I’ll sum up why I’m dairy free (TMI alert ahead):

I’ve always been prone to colds, sinus infections and it’s rare that my throat wasn’t hurting every other month or so for as long as I can remember. In 2016 I started a vicious cycle of tonsil stones. My ENT tried various nasal sprays to try and help the problem, but it didn’t. Finally, we had no choice but to remove my tonsils. I thought my throat troubles were behind me but after my recovery, I still felt like I had something in my throat. I visited my doctor and described my symptoms:

  • Sudden, sharp throat pain
  • Persistent coughing when lying down
  • Slight pain right in my sternum that felt worse when I swallowed

My ENT, who has known me since I was six, started chuckling. “You have heartburn.”

“I can’t,” I said. “I’m young. Old people have heartburn.”

I always thought heartburn was like you see in the commercials – constant burping, the feeling like your throat is on fire and an upset stomach. I didn’t have those issues. My doctor explained that *shocker* those commercials have been exaggerated and most people experience symptoms like I was having, they just don’t know it’s heartburn.

I’ve never been a fan of milk, but cheese and ice cream are…sigh. We know. It’s taken some time to figure out what works best for me, especially because I’m allergic to soy, but here are some of the products I love:

Milk and Creamer

  • Good Karma Flax Milk + Protein Unsweetened Vanilla (perfect for cereal)
  • Ripple chocolate milk
  • Trader Joe’s Simply Almond Beverage (my favorite for at-home lattes)
  • Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend Creamer (the BEST froth)

Ice Cream and Dessert

  • Haagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge
  • Ben & Jerry’s Non Dairy Ice Cream Netflix + Chilled
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Dipped Ice Cream Bars (Salted Caramel and Mocha Almond Fudge)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks Snackable Dough
  • Whole Foods 365 Chocolate Almondmilk Pudding
  • Whole Foods 365 Non-Dairy Plant-Based Whipped Topping (I’ve never found a good whipped cream but this cool whip is great)

Cheese

  • Miyoko’s Oganic Cashew Milk Mozzarella – This stuff is great. It melts beautifully on pizza and bruschetta in the oven. I crumble it up and add it to sauces or mushrooms in place of cream, as I’ve never found a dairy-free cream that doesn’t alter the flavor. I’ve even crumbled and mixed mine with a little lime and cilantro to make a “cotija” cheese for tacos.
  • Whole Foods 365 brand Plant-Based Cheddar Slices – These are the BEST cheddar slices, and I’ve tried them all
  • Miyoko’s Cheese Wheels – These are great on crackers for your next charcuterie board!
    • Classic Chive
    • Sun Dried Tomato Garlic
    • Garlic Herb
  • Trader Joe’s Cashew Fiesta Dip (pro tip: dilute with 1 tbs of water, add salsa and heat in the microwave)

Butter

  • Miyoko’s Vegan Butter (great for cooking)
  • Earth Balance Soy Free (what I use every day for toast)

Salad Dressing

  • Trader Joe’s Vegan Caesar Dressing
  • Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing
  • Primal Kitchen Green Goddess
  • Hellmann’s Vegan Dressing and Sandwich Spread (mayo)

Yogurt

  • Trader Joe’s Creamy Cashew (Vanilla and Strawberry) – Favorite
  • So Delicious Coconut Yogurt
  • Califia Dairy Free Yogurt Probiotic Drinks

Cream Cheese and Sour Cream

  • Miyoko’s Cream Cheese – thicker, great for baking
  • Kite Hill Cream Cheese (Plain and Chive) – creamy, lighter consistency
  • Kite Hill Sour Cream

Ready-Made Protein Shakes

  • Orgain Creamy Chocolate (20 g of protein, 1 g of sugar)
  • Vega Chocolate (20 g of protein, 1 g of sugar)
  • Koia Protein Cacao Bean (18 g of protein, 4 g of sugar)
  • Rebbl Banana Nut Protein ((12 g of protein, 17 g of sugar)

Meals

  • Kite Hill Spinach Ravioli
  • Annie’s Vegan Mac

Starbucks – My orders, just for fun:

  • Grande iced coffee with 2 pumps of vanilla and a splash of coconut milk
  • Tall coconut milk latte with 1 pump of cinnamon ducle syrup.
  • Tall almond milk cafe mocha, half the mocha sauce

I’ve tried a lot, but these are my favorites by far. Hope this list helps!

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