Let it be known, my boyfriend had a good old laugh when he saw the title of this post. Simply because it has become the running joke of our trip and two words I had to learn pretty quickly in Latin America. "Sin Queso". Aka, 'without cheese' in Spanish.
Ever since I can remember, I have been unable to tolerate dairy. Milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, all big no-no's for me since I was young. Sure, there have been a billion times growing up where I chose to ignore that fact and live in denial as I ate that ice cream sandwich or chunk of cheese and suffered the consequences later. But the need to accept my relationship with dairy would always prevail and these days I don't consume any dairy what so ever.
Whilst there are many non-dairy options on the market these days, they are often full of processed junk in an effort to have you think you're eating the real deal. So I have put together a list of my 'I can't believe it's not dairy!' favourites to help all my dairy-free friends out there see that being dairy-free does not mean missing out!
The options here are endless. Of course some are better than others, but my favourite is unsweetened almond milk. Amazingly good for you, I find that I love the creamy taste and so do many of my cows milk drinking mates, I might add. Without a kitchen, Almond Breeeze Unsweetened Almond Milk is my go-to choice, however it is also so incredibly easy to make your own. There's no better way to know exactly what is going into your milk! Oh She Glows has written a great step by step post on making your own almond milk which you can find here.
I'm always a bit bummed out when someone dishes up a beautiful bowl of tropical fruit, yoghurt and meusli. Oh, how I'd love to dig right in! On the road, I will sometimes tackle it without the yoghurt, as dry as it can be, but back home chia pudding is my daily treat. Chia seeds are packed full of fibre and when soaked in almond milk (or the milk of your choice) overnight, you are left with a creamy pudding that goes perfectly with chopped fruit, oats, cinnamon and banana, or a sweet raspberry compote. You can add vanilla, cacao, dates, or anything else you'd like to the mix before setting it in the fridge, to give it a different flavour each day. If I'm out and in the mood for a creamy snack, COYO coconut yogurt is another favourite you can pick up in most health stores.
Love ice cream?
Who doesn't?? Again, there are some great coconut cream based brands sold in health food stores, but making your own is super dooper easy! It's amazing what a good blender, frozen bananas and cacao powder can create! Han at The Wholesome Life recently shared a killer combination for a choc-hazelnut ice cream that looks to die for. Check out the recipe on Instagram here.
A powerful antioxidant and raw superfood, cacao is an all-time favourite of any health nut. Being unable to eat dairy products doesn't even cross my mind when it comes to chocolate, as I now get to enjoy all the chocolate treats I've grown up with, without the crap! Loving Earth is by far my favourite brand of chocolate, so much so that I took a box full of bars with me when I left Australia. Made from coconut and in a huge range of flavours, there is nothing holding you back. Get your hands on it now!
When it comes to making your own chocolate treats at home, think no further than coconut oil and pure cacao. I have been making my own chocolate at home for a while now, and first got the recipe from The Wellness Warrior, which I have tweaked over time to incorporate different sweeteners and flavours. Check out Jess' recipe here to get you started (and forever hooked!).
Just love creamy desserts in general?
I hear ya!! And this is where the wonderful world of raw desserts takes the limelight. Refined sugar-free, dairy-free and usually gluten-free... But never taste-free! The options are endless! Usually nut based, my personal favourite is raw passionfruit cheesecake. If you live in Sydney, Sadhana Kitchen and Earth to Table are both amazing cafes where you can get your fix. Or, once again, you can make your own with the endless number of recipes out there. Tara from Such Different Skies is soon to be releasing an eBook of recipes, Such Different Eats, and has been kind enough to share an amazing recipe on her website to get you started. I highly recommend you give it a whirl - the recipe can be found here.
I know what your thinking... I forgot cheese! That's because frankly I'm not a huge cheese person to begin with, and when I do indulge on cheese products, it is usually a form of cashew-cheese that has been made to go on a specific dish, such as a vegan lasagna. I find it to be a great substitute, but I have never personally made it myself. The day I do, you will be the first to know, promise.
Well there you have it! If any of you dairy-free friends out there (or those of you who simply want to make some healthier choices) want more information or some recipes to get you going, let me know in the comments below and I'd be happy to share some with you!
Feature image source: www.sheknows.com