Giving up milk products is often the biggest challenge for vegans. It’s not easy to forget that dairy products like milk is vital to many meal favorites. From cheese on pizza to butter in cakes and cookies, milk products are used in almost everything. Not to mention whey and casein,both dairy products are in soy cheese, margarine and other vegetarian products.
Fortunately, U.S. food manufacturers are now required to list the simple word “milk” as part of the ingredients list or in boldface type at the end of the list. Even if the dairy ingredients go by a chemical name. The good news is that there are more and more dairy replacements products popping up all the time.
There was a time when soy milk was the only alternative to dairy milk. Now, there is almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, oat milk, even hemp milk .
All available for purchase. You can use these milk replacements in everything that diary milk is used in. However, the different tastes and textures may influence where you use a particular type of dairy free milk. For example rice and vanilla flavored milk have higher sugar content so using them in ranch salad dressing may not be the best.
Soy milk is similar in protein content to cow’s milk and so it would be great for baking. Almond and cashew milk have a rich nutty flavor which could clash with savory dishes. Always check the nutritional information on the back of the diary free milk box to see what vitamins and minerals each offers. This way you can get a close nutritional equivalent to cow’s milk.
Milk Free Margarine
It is a fact that most margarine’s contain some milk products even when the label says “nondairy”. Instead of looking for the word “nondairy” try looking for the words “vegan” , “dairy-free”, or the kosher term “pareve” (pav) which means no dairy at all. There are two forms of dairy free margarine, the stick and the tub. The stick form can be used instead of regular butter in baking recipes. Because tub margarine contains more air and water it will not give you the same measurement as stick margarine.
Dairy Free Sour Cream and Yogurt
When making smoothies and dips, nothing comes close to the tangy flavor of yogurt or sour cream. A nice tablespoon of sour cream on a spicy stew can
really enhance the flavor. Years a go vegan options in this category was very limited to say the least. Vegan diet has now become more mainstream thus making much more products available. There are many milk free yogurts that are cultured and fortified to provide the helpful probiotics yogurt is known for.
Milk Free Cheeses
The hard truth is that cheese bar non is one of the most difficult things to replace in the vegan diet. There are a ton of vegan cheeses out there on the market, yet not many of them have the taste of real milk cheese. Some of the soy cheeses have casein in them to help them melt better so check all labels before you buy. There are a few vegan cheeses that offer a good cheese like taste so you may have to experiment with different ones to find the one for you.
For less tasteful cheeses like cottage cheese and ricotta cheese, try crumbled tofu instead. There are many online recipes for making your own spreadable cheeses from cashews and other nuts. Adding nutritional yeast to the cheese recipe will give it that tang that cheese is known for. You can use many of the vegan cheese recipes to sprinkle on pasta and popcorn like Parmesan cheese.
As you can see, the list of vegan options has grown in almost every area. Vegans can now truly leave meat and dairy products behind without skipping a beat. This makes cooking without milk much more possible today than in years past.