Nutrition, Recipes

5 Favorite Dairy-free Alternatives

Hello, world!

As you may know, I have lots of food allergies, with my biggest one being dairy! That means no milk, butter, cream, etc etc. One distinction I want to make right off the bat though: lactose intolerance and dairy allergies are NOT the same! Lactose intolerance means you can’t properly digest lactose (milk sugar), whereas an allergy means you have an immune response to any part of milk (whether it has lactose or not) and can be a lethal response (anaphylaxis).

I’ve had this allergy my entire life, but some people might develop it later in life, or have decided to cut out dairy for nutritional reasons. Whatever the reason, there are LOTS of alternatives for milk in cooking, baking, and more. Reading labels and ingredients is key here, because there are some very surprising foods that contain milk (such as McDonald’s french fries). Lookout for things like butter, non-fat milk, whey, casein, or the dreaded “may contain milk” or “manufactured in a facility that also processes milk”. The easiest way to know if something is dairy-free? When it’s vegan!

If you’re just getting started on a dairy-free life, or want to find a new alternative, here are my top 5 dairy-free alternatives that are versatile in their uses and fairly easy to find!

  1. Silk milk
    My family always uses Silk for things from cereal to baking. Silk comes in a variety of forms (soy, coconut, almond, cashew) and flavors (unsweetened, original, light, vanilla, etc). It substitutes perfectly in baking/cooking for regular milk and has the best taste from other brands.
  2. Earth Balance butter
    I recently started using Earth Balance instead of other brands, and I’ve fallen in love. Not only does it come in either a tub or a stick, it also doesn’t have as much water in it, therefore it doesn’t sputter and spatter as much when in a hot pan. (I found other brands of milk-free butter have a high water ratio, therefore it spatters a lot as if you’re cooking bacon)
  3. Daiya cheese
    Oh Daiya, there is nothing else like you! My whole life I wanted to eat cheese, but the alternatives always tasted like cheap lipstick. Daiya is the first and only cheese I’ve found that actually melts and stretches, and tastes good! When I make pizza with this, normal cheese-lovers always devour it.
  4. Tofutti sour cream and cream cheese
    Tofutti is another favorite brand of mine. It started with eating their ice cream sandwiches for breakfast as a kid (while my parents were still asleep, lol). They have a great sour cream that makes fajitas and tacos 100% better, and also does well in baking. Their cream cheese + some jam makes the perfect topping for a bagel too!
  5. So Delicious ice cream
    So Delicious is another versatile brand- they have milks, yogurts, ice creams, and more! But here, I’ll focus on their ice cream. They have lots of different formulations (soy, coconut, almond, etc etc) and so many flavors! Not to mention the flavors are so rich and creamy despite not having any cow’s milk. Favorite flavor: mocha fudge!

Of course there are TONS more brands and options out there, but these are my favorites! In the coming weeks, I’ll post some recipes (including my famous pizza) that use the alternatives I mentioned.

What’s your absolute favorite dairy-free food or brand? Tell me in the comments!

Peace and love!

Recipes

Outstanding Overnight Oatmeal

Hello world!

So I have a confession to make. I have an addiction to oatmeal.

I know, it’s just such a terrible addiction to have! When I lived in Japan, my host-family bought me this HUGE case of oatmeal from Costco, and I was in heaven! Oatmeal is a super food to me- it has fiber and protein to help fill you up, and can be mixed with any fruit or even chocolate chips to mix up the flavors and keep it fun! Of course right now it is still very hot outside, so a piping hot bowl of oatmeal isn’t exactly what I want in the mornings. Therefore, thanks to my mom, I have a recipe for a cold oatmeal! Crazy? Nope, pure deliciousness.

Outstanding Overnight Oatmeal

-3/4 cup of rolled oats

-1 tbsp of raisins

-1 tbsp of chia seeds

-1 tsp of cinnamon

-Pinch of Splenda or your favorite sweetener

-Soy, almond, or rice milk

1. In a mason jar or tupperware container, mix the dry ingredients and raisins together. Pour enough soy milk until the oats are just covered. (Pour slowly, since it takes a little bit of time for the milk to seep down to the bottom through all of the oats!)

2. Put in the fridge overnight, or for at least an hour.

3. Enjoy! If needed, add a little more milk when ready to eat to make it creamier.

Voila! Super easy, right? This is perfect for hectic mornings- just grab and go! You can also exchange the raisins for whatever fruit you would like. Not only is it delicious, it is also packed with protein, fiber, and omega-3’s to help jump start your morning! Read about why some of these ingredients are so great for your body in my previous post, Favorite Foods That Boost Wellness!

So, give it a try, and let me know how it turns out in the comments!

Peace and love!

Recipes

Healthy and Yummy Snacks!

Hello world! So this week has been full of changes for me! I was watching this awesome show called The Food Hospital, where doctors treat illnesses and diseases through food. One of the patients had awful eczema, where his body was covered in dry, scaly, red, and open skin, and he was able to reverse all of the damage through an elimination diet. This means you eliminate all the foods that could trigger an issue, and then slowly reintroduce them one by one to figure out which foods cause problems. I was shocked by his results, especially since I have issues with eczema, so my mom and I decided to try the diet for one week and see what happens! In the show, the man stopped eating all grains, gluten, citrus, dairy, and chocolate. Guess which one is the hardest for me.

Grains! I am OBSESSED with oatmeal- I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack! It’s low calorie, has fiber, and really helps start the day! And for a whole week, I have to live without it… and I had just stocked up on it too… Since I can’t have my favorite snack anymore, I’ve had to get creative with my between meal sustenance. When we think of healthy snacks, I think we can all name off carrots and hummus, almonds, fresh fruit, or granola bars, but I wanted to try something different and new. Thankfully, Pinterest is half my life, so I had plenty of ideas lined up.

The first recipe I tried was warm cinnamon apples, and let me tell you, they are delicious! My mom keeps asking me for more! The Pinterest recipe made them in a bag with some corn starch, but I found it easier to make in a small bowl without. The second recipe is absolutely to die for! I found it on Blogilates.com, and it was a wonderful post-workout snack! Cassey is a genius! I’ve listed my modified recipes below:

Warm Cinnamon Apples
-one peeled apple
-dash of cinnamon
-dash of sugar
-one spoonful of water
Chop up the apple and mix in a bowl with the other ingredients. Place in the microwave for 60-80 seconds, and voila! Super simple, right? And seriously delicious!

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
-one banana, frozen
-one spoonful of peanut butter
-dash of cinnamon (I added this since I LOVE cinnamon! It’s a metabolism booster!)
-dash of soymilk (she uses almond milk, but I’m allergic!)
Throw all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. It comes out like soft serve, and is amazing!

Of course, both of these recipes are sweet, so if you are in the mood for a savory snack, I definitely recommend spicy roasted garbanzo beans! I made them a little bit ago, and they are so satisfying as a salty treat instead of eating popcorn, chips, or peanuts, not to mention they are loaded with fiber and protein. You can find the recipe here.

Well, tomorrow I get to meet with a nutritionist about personalizing the eczema diet to me! I cannot wait to hear what he has to say, and to share it with you all. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Happy_Body_Blog, and sign up for email updates at the bottom of this page!

Peace and love!