I dug up some of your favorites made non-dairy for today's post. If you're like me, you LOVE cheese and yogurt and….well I won't go on. That's what's kept me from doing the Whole 30. I gave up soda on my 50th birthday. I drink decaff coffee since I was around 40 and found out it affected my blood pressure.
While I do love my wine, I'd have no problems giving it up for 30 days and sometimes have. A friend likes to play Parched in March. And I can cook without grains. I do that about 2 to 3 times a week.
But dairy? That's where I stall out. So I knew if I really wanted to try it (purely for research to help you, of course), I'd need to find some substitutes for cheese. I've already tried soy-based cheeses. The American slices are good on toast…but then I wouldn't be eating toast during the Whole 30. I could still melt it on broccoli and zucchini, though.
No, what I needed were things that I could rotate in that I use almost daily like yogurt and cream cheese. I love making cucumber subs. And once I found a few of those, I found some other good nut-based cheeses. Let's go take a look.
Cream Cheese Favorites Made Non-Dairy
You can make a cream cheese substitute out of almonds and cashews. The key is to soak them for at least 8 hours so they're soft. Most recipes call for a food processor. I don't have one, so I use my Vitamix. If you use a blender, make sure it's got enough power to cream the nuts. Also, one cup of raw, unsalted nuts can create enough for a few days.
Store any extra in the refrigerator for up to one week.
One other quick tip is that you drain the soaked nuts before tossing them into your food processor. Otherwise, you end up with nut milk instead of nut cheese.
You will need to add in some additional items like 3 Tablespoons each of lemon juice and melted coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Then you can start playing around. You could add in 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit jam or preserves. I'd recommend sugar-free or something you've made yourself. You could use very ripe fruit as well.
If you like chocolate, add in some cocoa powder and a healthy sweetener.
You could also add in some vanilla paste and adjust the lemon juice down to get a deliciously creamy treat.
Finally, you could add in some chopped walnuts and pecans along with maple syrup.
You want to find a nice mix of things like vinegar, nutritional yeast and miso paste to mimic a savory flavor. There are a lot of recipes out there for using almonds or cashews. This is also a great ricotta substitute.
One recipe I found uses 2 Tablespoons each of yellow miso paste and apple cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Then season with garlic powder and salt. If you use almonds, you may need to add in some unsweetened almond milk for consistency. Another nut cream cheese base recipe uses 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the miso paste.
Then you can add in dill or chives or roasted garlic or just about anything you happen to like.
Whipped Cream Favorites Made Non-Dairy
You can make an excellent whipped cream out of full-fat coconut milk that's been refrigerated until it's cold (so, overnight is good). You do that so the coconut cream will separate to the top of the can. Enjoy the coconut water while you whip the heck out of the coconut cream.
Ice Cream Favorites Made Non-Dairy
I've posted before about using frozen bananas to make a non-dairy ice cream. And you're also getting a good hit of Potassium!
You definitely want to make your own from scratch since a lot of manufacturers put in additives and preservatives and goodness knows what else to mimic the texture of dairy ice cream.
Culinary Nutrition has a simple recipe that they make up, and then put the ice cream in the freezer. Alton Brown showed how to do this in a Good Eats once. He mixed it up periodically to reduce the ice crystals and have a more consistent product.
- 3 cups dairy-free milk (coconut, almond, cashew, sesame, etc.)
- 1/3-1/2 cup natural sweetener (maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, etc.)
- Flavouring to taste (vanilla, cinnamon, cacao powder, maca, mint extract, etc.)
- Add-ins of choice (fruit, cacao nibs, nuts or seeds, chocolate chunks, etc.)
The Kitchn recommends using full-fat coconut milk to get the creamy texture and flavor we crave.
I would use vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract for a more intense flavor.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
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