Dairy-free alternatives for foodies

Being lactose intolerant or having a dairy allergy is a pain in the bum — literally. Avoiding dairy is better than dealing with the side effects that usually accompany a cheat. Sometimes a girl just needs ice cream, or whipped cream, or nachos smothered with sour cream. We’ve scoured the world for the best-tasting dairy substitutes. Give them a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Banana ice cream

Banana ice cream

Serves one (or two if you use smaller servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions:

  1. You will need a blender with an S-blade (shaped like an ‘S”).
  2. Put the bananas and honey in and blend. The bananas will turn into creamy soft-serve ice cream.
  3. Serve and eat immediately.
  4. To change the flavour, add a few frozen berries.

Serve alongside grilled bananas, kiwifruit and strawberries; garnish with a sprig of mint.

Alternative ice cream recipes >>

Dairy-free carob smoothie

Dairy-free carob smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Directions:

  1. In a blender, whiz the ice.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until they are smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve immediately.

Are you raising a vegetarian baby? >>

Almond milk

Almond Milk

Serves 5

Ingredients:

Note: You can use brazil nuts or cashews if you prefer the taste.

Purchasing almond milk can be costly, so here is a cheaper alternative you can make at home.

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 dates
  • A pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, soak your dates in boiling water for around 5-8 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
  3. Whiz on high until it is smooth and creamy.
  4. Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Cashew cream

Cashew cream

If you’ve never been introduced to cashew cream before, you won’t know how you lived without it. It’s the perfect alternative to whipped cream on desserts, Bechamel sauce in lasagna, cheesy filling for ravioli — the list is endless.

It only takes a couple of minutes to make and lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to six months.

Ingredients:

Serves 3-4

  • 2 cups whole raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Put the cashews and water in a blender and start to blend.
  2. After a couple of minutes, the cashews should start to thicken. If the blender is struggling, add a little more water. Keep processing until a thick, creamy consistency is achieved.
  3. If you are using this for a savoury recipe, you’re done. If it’s for a dessert, add a splash of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of runny honey and whiz.

Sour cream

Sour Cream

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashew cream (see recipe above)
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients and whiz for a minute.
  2. Chill before using and garnish with chives.
  3. Serve on baked potatoes, spicy wedges or nachos

More on special dietary needs

Recipes for coeliacs
The difference between vegetarian and vegan
Cheese and the vegetarian

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