Best Dairy-Free Alternatives

When I decided over a year ago to go dairy-free, I did little research into the world of dairy-alternatives. I knew I would need almond milk and dairy-free butter, but didn't think of all the additional items that dairy is in.

Fun fact, my dad owns a cheese shop that was started by my grandfather 54 years ago, making me the third-generation cheesemonger, and ironically now, dairy-free. It's hard to replace something that has so many memories attached to it with a copy, because let's be honest, there's no replacing Black Truffle Moliterno or Delice de Bourgogne (two of my old faves!).

Here are 14 of my favorite dairy-free replacements over all categories. Do you have a favorite you think I should try? I'd love to hear about it!

Indulgences

I definitely get asked the most if I miss ice cream when I tell someone I'm dairy-free, but I really don't because there are SO many options available now. Ben & Jerry's makes some delicious combo's, and if you're in Boston, check out FoMu. If I'm making pasta, pesto is where it's at, and this Sauces 'n Love Vegan Pesto (they're local to the Boston!) is what I use. It's a little pricey, but so good.

Prepared Pasta

If I'm craving any type of comfort food, these are what I turn to. The Kite Hill Mushroom + Almond Milk Ricotta Ravioli's are decadent and even more so when you drizzle truffle oil on top, and the Daiya Cheezy Mac's make cooking super easy because it's in a packet, no powder or almond milk required.

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Coffee

So Delicious makes a variety of awesome products, and this creamer is great especially in my iced coffee. If I have an early morning and don't have time to grab or make coffee when I'm on the go, Califa makes a variety of cold brews, available in on-the-go sizes or larger.

Staples

Butter and milk are likely two staples you always have in your fridge, but luckily the swap is so easy to make! I love Earth Balance's Whipped Buttery Spread for everyday needs, as well as baking. Trader Joe's offers a wide variety of almond milk, and their Unsweetened Original is my favorite.

Staples 2

I've definitely had the hardest time finding a dairy-free cheese that I like compared to these other options and that's likely because cheese is something very important to my family. The Daiya Mozzarella-style Shreds are great melted on pizza, but definitely not cold. The So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt line-up is my jam and I love all the flavors, especially chocolate or vanilla in my overnight oats or with granola.

Savory Snacks

When I need a little crunchy snack, I turn to one of these. I discovered these snack size Hippeas through Starbuck's, but you can also buy larger bags at grocery stores. They're just the right amount of cheesy flavor but more savory. Earth Balance's Vegan Cheddar Squares are so addicting especially because they're not in snack sizes, so I try not to buy them too often.

Sauces and Dips

I could pretty much eat this Follow Your Heart Chipotle Vegenaise by the spoonful. It's creamy and delicious with nacho's, crackers, or on sandwiches. Hampton Creek has a wide selection of vegan salad dressings, and the Goddess and Balsamic two are my favorite to top salads and bowls.

Jacqueline WeissComment