It has been about 5 or 6 years since I developed an issue (aka hives on my face, neck, and hands) if I have too much dairy.  Some days that means the tiniest amount will end badly for me, sometimes I can have a yogurt and be fine.  It really varies and is highly unpredictable.  As such, I have been forced to lean on non-dairy cooking and let me tell you that was an adjustment.  Coming from an Italian and Irish family with southern cooking, we had diary a LOT.  Lasagna packed with ricotta, good cheddar as snack, enchiladas with extra cheese on top, you get the point.  But these few hacks below have helped me not miss the originals as much and keep me healthy, hive-free, and enjoying my dinner!

  1. Earth Balance butter substitute is the best on the market.  Works great in cooking and even baking!
  2. Daiya cheese substitute is a pizza saver!  I love the pepperjack the best.  Unlike most fake cheeses, this one will actually melt and stretch like real cheese!  However, I have never eaten it cold, only cooked with it.
  3. Tofutti Sour Cream has the best taste to me.  It is slightly too thick and not as good alone but goes great in a baked potato, in mashed potatoes, or on tacos!
  4. White miso paste in dairy free sauces.  Seriously this trick works!  I make a queso dip with a cashew base (Google and Pinterest have tons of options) but the best tasting ones have miso in them.  It gives it that richer, almost creamy, and salted taste that you expect from real cheese.
  5. Cashews as a base make a great cream sauce, cheese style dip, and even softer cheeses!  If you get the unsalted raw cashews and soak them for an hour, the blend up nice and smoothly!
  6. Nutritional yeast makes a great substitute for parmesan or other harder cheese flavors.  I top my pasta dishes with this stuff, use it to make dips, and it really makes a huge difference in my chicken faux-parm!  If you read my post on “parmesan” popcorn you know what I am talking about!

If you have any tips, tricks, or recommendations for dairy-free living please post in the comments for all to see!

Love and faking it,

Betty

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