This is part two in my Sweet Vegan How to Guide! Are you interested in becoming vegan but feel a bit overwhelmed about what you can eat or what you can use/wear? How exactly do you navigate how to swap out awesome vegan items for the non-vegan items you no longer want to buy? I can totally help you. Relax, it’s a definite process and like I said in part one…you will make mistakes and that’s totally ok. Don’t beat yourself up and just keep on doing your best.
Let’s start with food because I love it! This post will focus on dairy and how to replace it.
Cows, goat, other animal milk: There are so many alternatives to animal milk that it will make your head spin, but in a good way. Seriously let’s see if I can name them all: soy milk, rice milk (not my favorite), almond milk ( LOVE IT), coconut milk (yum), hazelnut milk (any nut milk is super good), hemp milk, oat milk, quinoa milk, flax milk…did I cover them all?
My favorite almond milk is Almond Breeze, the unsweetened original one. When I first went vegan I liked getting the sweetened vanilla one but now I could care less….I think my tastes just changed a little bit. I use it for cereal, smoothies, banana ice cream, gravy, drinking, etc. You can use it to bake for sure but I prefer soy or coconut for that.
Soy Milk: Westsoy unsweetened vanilla. I love it for regular baking. Cakes, cupcakes, whoopie pies. You can use it for anything honestly. I’ve used it for roux for gravies and sauces and it works well for making chocolate ganache.
Coconut Milk: So Delicious unsweetened plain all the way! I don’t think it tastes coconutty but some people do. I love to use it in my gluten free baked goods, for some reason it works better than soy.
Which milk do you use? It depends on your tastes….try them and see what you prefer.
This is a big one. I honestly recommend not eating a vegan cheese alternative for a couple of months after saying goodbye to animal cheese. SERIOUSLY. I love them but they are a little different than animal cheeses. Also, there is significant evidence (and a study) that say cheese is super addictive so give your taste buds some time to change.
With that being said, here are my vegan cheese recommendations.
Daiya cheese: I love it. The shreds are great to use on pizza, nachos, twice baked potatoes, potato skins, basically anything you would sprinkle cheese and want to melt it. I also like taking the mozzarella and cheddar to mix in the food processor to make a nice taco cheese mix, I got this trick from my awesome sister in law. The Daiya sliced cheese/block cheese is awesome for paninis or burgers. It melts really well and fast. It’s not my favorite in cold sandwiches though. Daiya is also soy free. Daiya also has cream cheese, pizza, cheesecake, mac & cheese, dressings, and greek yogurt.
Chao sliced cheese: This cheese melts really well and tastes yummy cold. It costs a little more than Daiya so I don’t buy it as often. I really like how it tastes though and like to use it on occasion.
Follow Your Heart: I haven’t had a chance to try their revamped shreds but I have heard really good things. I really like their shredded parmesan cheese. It has a distinct sharp parmesan flavor and I love it on salads and garlic bread or pasta.
Daiya cream cheese: I really like it, even the strawberry one. They have plain, strawberry and chive/onion.
Follow Your Heart cream cheese: I also really like this cream cheese. It’s a little different than Daiya, maybe with a creamier feel and crisp taste (Daiya tastes more fatty….which I like).
Treeline Cheese: This spread is so yummy….it’s a little tart because it’s made with probiotics but I really like that flavor in an herby spread for crackers. It’s also good on sandwiches.
Sour cream! YES, I love it. Follow Your Heart makes the best kind honestly, hands down. Go get it and make some nachos and put a dollop on top!
I honestly could care less about mayo….I know! I’ll eat it if it’s on a sandwich and isn’t overpowering but I don’t go out of my way to buy it. BUT here are the alternatives!
Follow Your Heart Vegenaise: This vegan mayo has been around the longest and is beloved by many. They even have a soy free version.
Just Mayo: This is the new kid on the block and it has been making major waves and is available in Target.
Earth Balance Mayo: They also have a soy free version and an olive oil one in addition to their regular mayo.
So Delicious: Hands down my favorite yogurt to eat. It’s coconut based and I love the texture and taste of the plain one. They have fruit ones as well.
Daiya: Greek Yogurt. I haven’t tried this but I’ve heard good things.
Almond Dream: I’m not a huge fan of the texture of this but it tastes yummy.
So there you have it! Now go out and explore the world of vegan dairy and have fun.
I will cover vegan egg replacements in another post. Let me know if you have any questions! XOXO