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How to live a breezy, easy dairy-free life

How to live a breezy, easy dairy-free life

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Words and recipe by Ariyele Ressler

Growing up, my brother was both asthmatic and allergic to dairy. As a child, I had little empathy for his struggle when the ice cream truck sang its siren song through the streets of our neighbourhood and all the kids ran from their houses screeching with glee, gripping dollar bills in tight fists, salivating in anticipation of the soft serve cones covered in sprinkles or hard-shell chocolate.

His body simply rejected dairy and he’d sneeze for hours, congested and itchy and miserable, while I happily ate the same things with no issues. It wasn’t until a mysterious chronic illness forced a close investigation of my dietary triggers that I realized some of my symptoms were triggered by dairy, and cutting it out meant instant relief.

My experience of feeling better was motivation enough to keep dairy out, but my foodie heart ached for what dairy added to my diet. So, I’ve discovered the wonders of dairy substitutes that don’t feel like pale imitations of the original. Dairy-free life has never been easier than it is today, and knowing what substitutes work best in what contexts will make it even breezier.

Almond milk is always in my pantry or fridge. Making it yourself is easy, watch Danielle Hayley show you how here:

But yields a highly perishable product, so using them quickly (within 3-4 days) is imperative.

Almond milk is my go-to dairy sub for coffee and tea. It has a subtle nutty flavor, and can make coffee taste hazelnutty, which is a match made in heaven. It also does the same work as cream in scrambled eggs without asserting any distracting strong flavors, and is great as the base for granola and oatmeal because of its creamy texture. It’s also wonderful in quick bread recipes like pancakes and waffles.

Coconut milk is my other go-to – it’s luxurious, creamy, and decadent. I’ll usually add this to smoothies, since the fruit in smoothies naturally love to be paired with coconut. Another plus is the high healthy fat content, which makes it great for making ice cream, custards, whipped cream, patisserie cream, and in most cases where cream is called for (think scalloped potatoes).

The market has exploded with coconut, rice, almond, and soy milk based dairy substitutes for just about every food that traditionally had dairy (ice cream, yoghurt, pudding, milk, and desserts) that it’s important to try them for yourself and pick something you and your family like best. Of course, making it yourself means you make it exactly how you like it – try Jamie’s amazing dairy-free ice cream, for a start.

Then there’s all the naturally dairy-free ingredients – whole fruits, vegetables and egg based dressings like aioli or homemade mayonnaise, and let’s not forget dark chocolate – bless the universe! The food gods can be kind.

When it comes to the simpler things like buttered toast, I opt for ghee (also known as clarified butter), which is butter that’s had the milk solids removed. All allergies vary, and because mine is to lactose I can tolerate yoghurt (where the lactose has been digested by the probiotics and bacteria strains), and certain hard cheeses that are well aged (similar story). If you suspect you have a dairy allergy, be sure to check with your general practitioner before experimenting with eating other forms of dairy—and always listen to your body’s response above all else.
Whatever your reason for needing to keep dairy out of your diet, you will not suffer as long as you know what to substitute where. And remember: what grows together, goes together, so there’s no way to fail if you’re focusing on what’s fresh, seasonal, and local to you—dairy or not.

Below is a recipe for a gluten and dairy-free zucchini (courgette, to UK readers) bread that’ll come in handy for the time of year where zucchini is going crazy and you want to make a loaf of it. I use homemade almond milk and olive oil and have a great end result. Watch the video and see for yourself!

Gluten-free zucchini bread recipe

For the flour mix

  • 1½ cups sweet white rice flour
  • ½ cup & 3 tbsp oat flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup teff flour

For the bread


  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend from above mix
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, patted dry with paper towels to remove moisture
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger, very fine (roughly an inch of ginger, preferably grated on a microplane)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (about half lemon)
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ rounded tsp dry ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of chili powder


  • 1 egg (about 2 oz)
  • ½ cup almond milk (preferably homemade, but if not, one without added gums)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or any fat you’d like; I’ve tried the recipe with ghee, butter, and coconut oil – all came out great)


To make the zucchini bread I recommend using muffin tins, but the call is yours.

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  2. Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl. Sift if your coconut sugar is lumpy, or use your fingers to break them up into powder.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk until egg is just beaten.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon (do not beat) until a batter forms. Add your zucchini, ginger, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
  5. Coat a mini muffin tin, regular muffin tin, or baking loaf with ghee or melted butter and spoon in your batter.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for about five minutes. Enjoy!

22 Genius Tips To Cut Back on Dairy, According to Experts

There's a big question mark surrounding dairy and the place it should (or should not) have in your diet. Some of us are truly allergic or lactose intolerant and have no choice but to cut it out altogether. But for the rest of us, one of the biggest concerns surrounding dairy is that it can be highly caloric—and addictive. Who doesn't love devouring a dish overflowing with melted cheese? That's not ideal if you're trying to lose or maintain a lower weight.

Dairy has also been proven to cause some minor discomfort like "low-grade inflammation or it may clog nasal passages," explains David Nico, PhD. Studies suggest that dairy can also be linked to skin issues with acne and eczema, so cutting back on dairy can be one way to try and soothe aggravated skin.

So, here's the bottom line—you don't have to completely nix dairy from your diet. You're actually in control of how much you have every day as there's no right or wrong amount if you're not severely allergic or lactose intolerant. It's up to you to decide which swaps are deal-breakers and to experiment with different amounts each day to see how you feel. If you need your cream in your coffee, then go for it and see if you could live without a slice of cheese on your sandwich instead. If you want to learn how to go dairy-free completely, great! These tips will also help you transition to a dairy-free diet.

To make it even more manageable for you, we went to the experts for their tips on the best ways to cut back on dairy and maybe even go dairy-free! Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, you won't want to miss these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.

My 10 Go-To Healthy Dinner Recipes (gluten free and dairy free)

I hope you had a great weekend. It’s been really hot here in Santa Barbara and we’re also battling some really big wildfires. Thankfully we are safe and aren’t needing to evacuate, but the fires are definitely a little close for comfort. I’m very thankful for all of the fire fighters who are working around the clock to protect homes and contain the fire.

I can hardly believe it, but last week we officially wrapped up my 4-week summer program, Summer Sculpt!

It was SO much fun and the energy in the group this year was off the charts. We had hundreds of women making healthy changes, doing Pilates workouts from home (and on vacation!), and most importantly, putting their health at the top of the priority list. I am beyond inspired by each and every one of them.

As a part of the program, I host weekly group coaching calls and one question that came up last week was about how I eat healthfully during the week without spending hours planning and cooking.

And it inspired me to share one of my best tips…are you ready for it?

I cook the same meals over and over again.

But it’s true! I’ve found about 10-15 meals that are easy to make and my family loves. Since I make them so often I don’t have to think much about the prep or the recipe, they’ve just become second nature. We rotate them week by week so we don’t get sick of any one thing and it totally works for us. It works because it’s simple.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll throw in a new recipe here and there and when I’m going through a program (like Summer Sculpt), I’ll cook more recipes from that plan, but on a day-to-day basis, I keep it simple.

In this season of life (2 little ones, business to run, marriage to maintain, friendships to invest in…you know how it goes) it’s the only way I can do it. I do look forward to 18 years down the road when I can leisurely sip a glass of wine, listen to music, and try fun new recipes on a regular basis, but right now, it’s more about ease, simplicity, and getting food on the table before everyone’s crying and ready for bed.

I got a lot of requests in The Sisterhood Facebook group over the weekend to share what my go-to weeknight meals are so here’s a list. I have links to some of the recipes but not all. My son is gluten free and dairy free so all of our dinners are gluten and dairy free as well.

I hope you find this helpful!

My Go-To Healthy Dinner Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

  • The recipe I use is no longer available online – I’m so sad! But this one is very similar, just omit the sugar.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

  • Some weeks we use the chicken for tacos, some weeks we make taco bowls using cauliflower rice – the kids love them and it makes great leftovers! Click here for the recipe.

Turkey Taco Bowls

  • Super easy: ground turkey with homemade taco seasoning + black beans and topped with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and avocado.

Sausage + Veggies

  • This varies based on what we have on hand – but generally includes chicken sausage (like these from Costco) and roasted veggies (my favorite combo is sweet potatoes and broccoli).

Turkey or Grass-Fed Beef Burgers

  • We have burgers almost weekly! My husband and daughter eat theirs with a bun. My son and I eat it with a fork (dairy free/gluten free). And we usually eat our burgers with grilled veggies or sweet potato fries on the side and a salad loaded with fresh veggies.

Breakfast For Dinner

  • This one has been out of rotation lately because I’ve been eating eggs for breakfast – but it’s so easy and so healthy! When we do breakfast for dinner I make a big egg scramble with spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Sometimes we’ll have high-quality bacon or homemade breakfast sausage (from the Summer Sculpt and Tighten & Tone meal plans) on the side + a serving of fresh fruit.

Grilled Salmon & Veggies

  • Salmon (my favorite recipe for salmon is in the Tighten & Tone meal plan) served with grilled veggies and quinoa.

Chopped Chicken Salad

  • This is a go-to during the hot summer months. I shared the recipe on Instagram recently, but in a nutshell it includes: chopped romaine, rotisserie chicken, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and chopped egg. I dress is with the dairy-free ranch dressing from the March 2017 Sisterhood recipe bundle.

Roasted Veggie Bowls

  • I love this recipe because it’s easy and healthy and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. You can also change up the flavor by changing the sauce/dressing. Click here to view the recipe.

I’m curious, do you have “go-to” recipes in your house? Or do you love to change it up on a weekly basis?

How To Make Delicious, Dairy-Free Ice Cream at Home With Just 3 Cheap Ingredients

Growing up, I begged my parents for an ice cream social birthday party. But alas, my ‘rents are cake people and my dreams never came true. So as an “adult,” I now make a point of throwing myself ice cream parties whenever I please. And thus, obviously, when Alt-Baking Bootcamp host, nutritionist, and chef Mia Rigden shared the scoop on a DIY flavor that comes together with just three mouthwatering and nutritious ingredients, my inner-child practically started throwing sprinkles.

The three components of Rigden’s dairy-free ice cream recipe are frozen bananas, dark chocolate chips, and peanut butter. (Yes, that’s it!) The starring ingredient, as Rigden explains, are the frozen bananas&mdashwhich add both sweetness and texture to the creamy dessert. The affordable yellow fruit receives a lot of praise for its potassium (just one contains 11 percent of your daily recommended value), but it also packs three grams of fiber and 78 milligrams of calcium per serving. That’s a pretty impressive nutritional profile for a piece of produce that will only set you back about 57 cents a pop.

The peanut butter and chocolate have a lot to offer your sundae, too. Unsweetened, natural peanut butter rings up at about $3 for a whole jar and includes the healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower your “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels. You’ll also get a full 6 grams of protein in each two-tablespoon serving, so consider this ice cream an energy boost whenever you need it. And last, but certainly never least, are the dark chocolate chips, which offer a nice, chunky texture to this otherwise-smooth recipe. The cocoa beans health benefits abound: It’s been shown to fight heart disease, provide your body with flavanols that may reduce your risk of diabetes, and reduce inflammation. (Chocolate for president!)

This healthy, scoopable recipe comes together in just a few minutes (although you will have to freeze the bananas for at least two hours beforehand). So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and watch the full video for the dairy-free ice cream recipe that will make the rest of your summer so much better. You can’t hear me, but I’m screaming.

These shirataki noodle recipes are ready to replace spaghetti and meatballs

Photo: It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

1. Get the recipe: Rainbow shirataki bowl with peanut lime sauce

You can taste the rainbow in this bowl of veggies and noodles slathered in a creamy peanut sauce. Prep this dish ahead for a week of lunches that don’t get less exciting as Monday wears into Friday.

Photo: Wallflower Kitchen

2. Get the recipe: Shirataki noodles with almond butter sauce

Can you beat a sauce made with almond butter? It’s mouth-watering in this recipe paired with onions, broccoli, and cabbage. You can also douse this dish in sriracha for an extra kick.

Photo: Create Mindfully

3. Get the recipe: Pesto shirataki noodles

The easiest way to add flavor to your shirataki noodles is by dressing them up in a healthy basil pesto. The pine nuts will give you an extra boost of protein, and all the deliciousness you could wish for.

Photo: Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

4. Get the recipe: Shirataki noodle stir-fry

You won’t even miss takeout. This stir-fry made with broccoli, mushrooms, ginger, and apple cider vinegar is as good as it gets.

Photo: The Healthy Family & Home

5. Get the recipe: Basil and artichoke shirataki fettuccine

There’s no dairy needed in this shirataki noodle recipe. A spin on fettuccine, it gets the creaminess from almond milk and pine nuts so you can go vegan for tis dinner.

Photo: Pups with Chopsticks

6. Get the recipe: Black garlic shirataki noodles with king oyster mushrooms

This 15-minute dish proves shirataki noodles and king oyster mushrooms make for a stunning combo. Who knew?

Photo: Healthy Recipes

7. Get the recipe: Shirataki sesame noodles

The shirataki noodles soak up the flavorful tahini and sesame oil sauce in this dish.

Photo: Yup, It’s Vegan!

8. Get the recipe: Spaghetti and lentil balls

This lightened-up take on spaghetti features shirataki noodles covered in tomato sauce, and protein-packed vegetarian meatballs made with green lentils, carrots, walnuts, and garlic.

Get Ready to Melt Over These 15 Healthier Ice Cream Recipes

There’s nothing quite like treating yourself to an ice cream cone as soon as warm weather hits. Sweet, creamy, rich, and cooling, you simply can’t beat this classic treat. That said, sometimes it can lead to feeling like you’ve devoured a pure dairy and sugar bomb—which isn’t always ideal while trying to fall asleep on a hot night. That’s why we’ve located 15 healthy ice cream recipes that are just as delicious as the real deal but won’t make you feel like you’ve overdone it.

These healthful alternatives put a lighter spin on some of our favorite ice cream flavors. There will be no sacrificing taste here. And one of the nice things about DIY’ing your ice cream situation is that you know it won’t have any preservatives or artificial sweeteners.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have an ice cream machine to enjoy these healthy ice cream recipes.

Most can be created with a hand mixer, blender, or just some good, old-fashioned elbow grease. And while we’ve included a few “nice cream” recipes involving frozen bananas, you’ll also find gluten-free, keto, paleo, and vegan options below. So no matter what dietary restrictions you and your loved ones may have, everyone can enjoy one of these scrumptious and healthy ice cream recipes.

How to Start Eating Dairy-Free

If you&aposre just getting started eating dairy-free, you may not be sure what&aposs safe to eat and what&aposs not. There are healthy ways to eat dairy-free if you need to for an allergy, intolerance, preference or if you&aposre eating a vegan diet. Depending on why you might be eating dairy-free, there are a few differences in what your diet might look like. For example, being lactose-intolerant is different from having a dairy allergy, and there are some low-lactose or lactose-free foods that people with lactose intolerance can eat. Someone with a true dairy allergy, or a vegan, would want to eliminate all dairy foods. Here&aposs how to get started eating a healthy dairy-free diet.

Swaps to Make When Eating Dairy-Free

If you&aposre not sure how to eat some of your favorite foods without dairy, these simple swaps can help. And it&aposs easier than ever to find dairy-free products in stores, including cheese, ice cream, spreads and cookies. Always check labels to make sure that a dairy ingredient isn&apost listed on packaged foods.

Reach for almond milk or soymilk over dairy milk. Instead of yogurt, add avocado or nut butter for creaminess.

Skip the cheese and make sure your bread doesn&apost contain milk or milk powder. To add some flavor, reach for veggie slices, hummus or avocado slices.

You may want to check to be sure any store-bought or restaurant dips don&apost contain yogurt or sour cream. At home, you can make guacamole or try vegan queso.

Recipe to try: Vegan Queso

Many brands now make ice cream with alternative milks like almond and coconut. You can also reach for sorbet. Or make your own healthy "ice cream" at home with bananas.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Foods to Fight Inflammation

  • Wild caught fish, bone broth or collagen, and grass-fed meats/poultry. (Winner Winner SALMON DINNER)!
  • Healthy cold pressed oils: Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, avocado oil, and expeller pressed sesame oil. Avoid refined vegetable oils if possible as they can be toxic in excess amounts.
  • Dairy-free probiotic boosters and cultured food – sauerkraut, pickled veggies, kimchi, kombucha, kefir water.
  • Vegetables and root starches: All the leafy greens and prebiotic-rich vegetables like artichokes, avocado, and cabbage. Also, starches such as rutabaga, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash. Avoid corn if you’re not sure if it’s organic or non-GMO.
  • Fruits: Yes, fruit is packed with Vitamin C and more! Focus on the darker fruits with less sugar to really boost the antioxidant intake. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are great choices.
  • Natural sweeteners: Maple syrup and honey (rich in minerals), molasses, and date sugar are wonderful to use in moderation.
  • Herbs and spices – Curry, turmeric, cumin, fresh basil, mint – those wonderful herbs and spices that either soothe the nervous system and digestive system and/or they boost immunity/health!

*NOTE* – Eggs are healthy part of the diet but it depends on the type of egg and person. Duck egg and pasture raised (cage free organic) eggs are most nutrient dense. If you can tolerate eggs, please enjoy them in this meal plan. If you know your body does not react well to eggs, then I recommend limiting eggs temporarily until the gut and inflammation in your body heals. Here’s a great healing diet resource!

Each recipe below is loaded essential vitamins, minerals, omega-3 (or other quality fats), and more! There are several paleo and whole 30 friendly recipes, plus a few vegan options for those who don’t eat meat/fish!

Now let’s dig in! Or pin this for later if you don’t have time now.

Normally I try to focus on nutritious recipes, but when I had the opportunity to host a Harry Potter-themed bachelorette party, of course, I had to make something butterbeer related! Keep in mind that the bachelorette theme was consistent in the shape of the Jell-O so scroll past the pictures to the recipe if easily&hellip Continue reading Alcoholic Butterbeer (& Jell-O Shots!)

This vegan breakfast packs plenty of protein to fuel your day. With onions, potatoes and tofu, you will stay full longer and have energy to carry you through whatever your day may hold.

10 Best Dairy-Free Yogurts to Buy If You're Lactose Intolerant, According to Dietitians

Today, you'll see as many dairy-free yogurts, milk, and cheeses line the dairy aisle shelves as their cow's milk counterparts. As plant-based diets become more popular, people are looking to ditch dairy for a variety of reasons.

Whether you&rsquore skipping cow&rsquos milk because it sends you straight to the bathroom or you want to cut back on saturated fat from animal products, dairy-free yogurts can make a great substitute. But choosing dairy-free yogurt that lives up to the nutritional benefits of cow's milk varieties can be challenging.

&ldquoDairy-free yogurt is a great option if you are looking for a dairy alternative due to personal preference or lactose intolerance&mdashthey are lactose-free but still contain a decent amount of healthy fats,&rdquo says Angel Planells, RDN, a Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoIt is important to look at these yogurts as a satisfying snack, with the key things to focus on being calories, fiber, sugar (especially added sugars), protein, and fat.&rdquo Let&rsquos decode what exactly to look for on the label.

How to buy the best dairy-free yogurt

&ldquoComparing food labels among non-dairy yogurts can be very challenging, because nutrients widely vary,&rdquo says Kristen Smith, RD, Atlanta-based dietitian, founder of 360 Family Nutrition and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That&rsquos because of the differences in the main ingredient used to make yogurt.

Most dairy-free yogurts you see you in stores are made with almonds, cashews, soy, coconut, flaxseed, or oats as the base. But finding the best one for you comes down to taste and mouthfeel, says Planells. She adds that the plain version is a good option because you can add your own toppings, like fresh fruit, raw nuts, and ground cinnamon for flavor. This typically helps to cut back on added sugar.

Speaking of sweet, sugar poses one of the main problems with dairy-free yogurts because many manufacturers kick up a low-profile flavor with more of the refined stuff. One way you can check if there's added sugar is to look for an added sugars line in the nutrition facts it's usually listed right under sugar.

You want to aim for brands with less than five grams of added sugar, Smith says. If the label doesn&rsquot list sugars separately yet, check the ingredient list. A dairy-free yogurt that's truly sugar-free shouldn't see sugar or any variation of it, such as cane sugar or maple syrup, in the ingredient list. You also want to check if it's one of the main ingredients in the yogurt, and you can check this by seeing whether sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients. When sugar is listed higher on the ingredient list, it means that the product contains a lot of it. &ldquoOne of the surprising things is that some non-dairy yogurts labeled as plain, still have sugar as one of the first few ingredients,&rdquo Smith says.

In addition to sugar, you want to be mindful of the protein count, says Smith. Some dairy-free yogurts might contain upward of 10 grams of protein (typically in soy-based products), but a good number to search for is around six grams. Coconut yogurts might have a little less, so consider adding some nuts to increase its filling profile.

While you don&rsquot necessarily need a fortified product, dairy-free yogurts with calcium or vitamin D are good options to have if you're following a plant-based diet or are completely eliminating cow's milk products from your diet. Be sure to also opt for dairy-free yogurts with gut-protecting probiotics. Look for live active cultures like acidipholus, bifidobacterial, thermophilus, or bulgaricus listed on the back of the label, Planells says.

For a spoonful that&rsquoll satisfy these nutritionist-approved requirements, check out the list of the best dairy-free yogurts on the market.

How to make Greek Yogurt

Step 1: Heat Milk
Heat milk to 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). This is important for creating a thick, nicely textured yogurt.

Step 2: Cool Milk
Cool milk back down to lukewarm (about 110 degrees F, 43 degrees C), then add 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the yogurt. (Ensuring the milk is cooled down will prevent you from killing the live cultures in the yogurt.) Whisk the yogurt and milk together, then add the rest of the milk and mix well.

Step 3: Let Sit
Place your mixture somewhere warm and let sit for 4 to 8 hours, or until yogurt is thick and tangy. My favorite method for making yogurt is to wrap the jar in a warm, moist towel, then setting it in the oven with the oven light on. The light will provide enough heat to ferment the yogurt!

After sitting in a warm environment for a few hours, your yogurt is ready to eat! If you want to turn this plain yogurt into Greek yogurt, we’ll take it one step further and strain it.

Step 4: Strain
Set a mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth (or strong paper towels) over a large bowl. Pour in yogurt and place in the fridge. Check every few hours until yogurt reaches your desired thickness.

The liquid that is drained out of the yogurt is whey! This is a great protein and works well in smoothies and soups.

Transfer your freshly made Greek yogurt to an airtight container when it has reached your desired thickness level!

Be sure to try our other fermentation projects, like kimchi, kefir, tepache, and kombucha!

Watch the video: Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! - Opening. Easy Breezy (May 2022).