Whether you’re lactose intolerant or just want to mix things up, there are a bunch of dairy alternatives that are not only delicious, but will have a great effect on your diet with many benefits you may not have thought about.
Dairy products are bursting with nutrients like protein, vitamin-D, and minerals such as phosphorous and calcium. But for many people, such as those who are put-off by the thought of drinking milk from a cow, don’t like the taste of cow’s milk, want to help the environment or are perhaps lactose intolerant, the hunt for a milk or dairy alternative is an uphill battle. Here at Innermost, we wanted to help, by providing a list of tasty dairy alternatives.
Don’t worry, though. We’ve made sure to leave out soy alternatives, as we know all too well that those aren’t everyone’s favourite, and there are so, so many more alternatives on the market to get you started on your dairy-free journey.
Plant-based milk substitutes
Let’s start here. Milk substitutes are probably the most popular dairy alternative, with this switch probably being the easiest to make to reduce your dairy intake.
There are lots of plant-based dairy substitutes which include vegan milk types such as rice, hemp and almond. These products offer different, interesting flavours and come in sweetened and unsweetened varieties that can be used in hot drinks and cooking.
An office favourite is oat milk, due to its creamy texture and nutty after taste – but if this isn’t for you, don’t worry, we’ve listed some of our other go-to’s.
Oat milk is a plant-based milk substitute that is great for your health. Not only are oats high in fibre and protein, but they are also full of healing properties, which means the consumption of this ingredient is a great aid in boosting the immune system, regulating blood sugar levels, and keeping hair and skin healthy.
Top tip: Even better, you can easily make oat milk yourself by boiling a cup of oats in two cups of water for 5 minutes, then leaving it to cool and straining the mixture. Voila!
Almond milk is one of the most popular alternatives, made through a process of blending almonds and water. This mixture is then strained to remove any almond remnants, which creates a smooth blended texture. If you make your own, you can control what extra health benefits are added as well as the amount of sugar.
Coconut milk may be one of the most delicious dairy alternatives there is. It is almost hypoallergenic, with very few people reacting to it. Coconut milk is also versatile and can be made into yogurt, cream and used in cooking. It is low in sugar and super rich in minerals including selenium, copper, and manganese.
Dairy swap inspiration
If you’re on the hunt for a butter substitute, coconut oil is also an excellent butter replacement, which tastes great, lasts for ages and works when cooking so many foods and dinner dishes. It’s also an absolutely great moisturiser.
Calling all cheese lovers! You don’t need to give up cheese forever. There are a huge array of dairy-free, plant-based cheeses available. Cheese varieties that have vegan dupes include:
- Cream Cheese
One of the best tasting dairy-free yoghurts are coconut based. Delicious, creamy and refreshing, coconut yoghurts give you all the probiotic nutrients of dairy yoghurts, whilst not compromising on taste. Other alternatives include nut-based yoghurts such as cashews, so if you’re not someone that is affected by a nut allergy, these are some great alternatives. They’re super tasty, too.
Up your nutrients by adding fruit and nuts to your yoghurt and make a really fulfilling snack or breakfast option.
Dairy-free Ice Cream
If you’re anything like us, giving up ice cream for good would be near enough impossible. Many big-name brands are getting on the dairy-free hype (yay!) which means that you don’t have to give up some of your favourite cheat-day snacks.
Vegan ice cream is commonly curated from plant-based ingredients such as avocados, cocoa butter and guar beans. Guar beans are used as a thickening and emulsifying agent to achieve that delicious creamy texture that milk would normally provide.
At Innermost, we have a range of research-inspired protein products targeting different goals. Mixing these protein products with water or one of the dairy substitutes above offers a tasty, low lactose way of adding a delicious protein and nutrient boost to your diet.
The Health Protein
Made to support repair, recovery and strengthen your immune system, we created The Health Protein as a vegan blend to ensure that our dairy-free community can harbour the benefits of protein with none of the lactose.
If you’re someone that’s always on-the-go, or perhaps you like to drink your protein in the office, you can always pick up our vegan protein blend as a travel kit in either our delicious creamy vanilla flavour, or sweet, smooth chocolate.
Just remember, if you are avoiding dairy - top up your calcium and protein levels from other sources. Nature’s best calcium sources are dark green leafy vegetables. The calcium in greens is also absorbed better than dairy calcium. When it comes to protein, we have a range of products. Blending any of these products with water, or one of the dairy substitutes above, offers a low lactose way of adding protein to your diet.
Here at Innermost, we are keen to demonstrate that just because you want or need to rid dairy from your diet, you don’t have to miss out on some of the delicious food types that includes dairy. So, if you incorporate a dairy substitute, eat plenty of greens and supplement with one of our protein blends, you’ll be good to go on the calcium and protein front.
Pair these healthy dietary choices with a good workout plan and well-strategised exercises and you’ll be well on your way to hitting those all-important fitness goals and smashing the game.