5 Easy Swaps To Decrease Dairy Consumption

By Alex Frost

We’ve all heard conflicting messages about dairy from both medical professionals and the media: eat more dairy, it’s good to consume “real” fats; eat less dairy, it’s bad for inflammation. Tons of claims exist surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of dairy, and the best decision can vary based on each person’s nutritional needs, lifestyle, and diet. In one recent study, scientists sought to learn more about the relationship between glucose sensitivity and dairy diets. They concluded that neither low-fat nor full-fat dairy diets actually helped with glucose tolerance for people with metabolic syndrome. This leads us back to the idea that reducing and swapping dairy choices might be beneficial to our bodies and overall health. Here are some easy swaps to consider.

1. Plant-based milk over cow’s milk

There are now so many options on the market: from oat and almond to coconut and macadamia. Oat milk is having a moment, and for good reason – it’s delicious. If you are kind of over almond milk, or needing nut-free, try this swap, especially in coffee, for a more unique flavor. Oats also have been credited with multiple nutritional benefits, and labeled a heart healthy food. Oat milk is also easy to make at home without any special equipment, unlike some other cow milk alternatives. Try this recipe and work oat milk into your daily diet from lattes to recipes that typically require cow milk. The Almond Cow is a kitchen tool we recently tested, and low it for making homemade plant-based milks!

2. Spread hummus, not cheese

We get that a deli meat sandwich just isn’t complete without a slice or two of cheese. But have you tried swapping a hummus spread? Typically made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, hummus adds major flavor (and texture) to an otherwise dry sandwich. Try making your own and even playing with additional ingredients, from peppers to salsa. We swear you won’t even miss the Swiss cheese.

3. Sub avocado for butter or sour cream

Sure, it’s a bit…greener, but it’s the same consistency and comes with the amazing benefits of healthy fats. For recipes that call for the thick creaminess of sour cream or butter, swap mashed avocado, which can also be further liquified with a bit of dairy-free milk if needed. Avocados are super power foods, well known for fiber, fatty acids, and more potassium than bananas.

4. Get acquainted with nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that stems from sugarcane and beet molasses. Interestingly, it provides a similar “umami” to cheese, providing a unique flavor and mouthfeel. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over anything you’d have used cheese on, from popcorn to pasta, as it tastes a lot like it’s full dairy counterpart. Try it in scrambled eggs instead of shredded cheese, on top of salads and soups, or even in place of cheese in cracker or potato recipes.

5. Don’t miss out on “ice cream”

Frozen bananas, pureed and combined with nut butters, cocoa, or other additional ingredients then frozen, makes the perfect substitute for ice cream. As with other examples above, the consistency is key here – bananas are already a bit creamy like ice cream, so they make a very believable substitute. Check out this recipe when you are ready to tell Ben and Jerry to move aside for good, because you won’t want to go back. We also have a no-churn dairy-free chocolate peanut butter ice cream recipe that is sure to wow you and your tastebuds!

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