Many of us have fond memories of our moms waking us up to drink that never-ending glass of milk. Fond memories as adults were sure to have been a hassle for many as kids. Although you understood the benefits of drinking milk back then, we’re sure you must’ve questioned why you needed to have it every day. And truly, why did we have to drink a glass of milk every day right?
Turns out, we don’t! In fact, recent studies have shown that it's best if you and your family steer clear of dairy products in general. Does that mean your body grows deficient in the necessary nutrients provided by milk? No! What if you can’t find a replacement for cheese? You definitely can! There are dozens of brands that offer alternatives that taste just as good as cheese. Does that mean no more pizza? Of course not, and we’d never do that to you.
So, what can you have if you’re planning to go lactose-free? To save you from a frenzy of similar questions, we’ve put together a blog with several different dairy alternatives available. Everyone, it’s time to take notes. Especially our lactose-intolerant readers out there!
Soy milk is made from soybeans or soy protein isolate. With a creamy texture and flavor, soy milk comes closest to tasting like regular milk. The reason it stands out as such a good replacement to regular milk is because of its similar protein content, but low fat, low carbohydrate, and low-calorie content. 1 cup approximately contains:
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Coconut milk is made by mixing water with the white flesh of coconuts. Compared to regular milk, the nutritional content of coconut milk is low and the texture is thinner and less creamy. While the protein content is significantly low, coconut milk can be a wonderful substitute when you want to keep a check on your carb intake. 1 cup approximately contains:
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Hemp milk is prepared from ground and soaked hemp seeds. Don’t be confused with the myths surrounding hemp. Hemp and cannabis are two different things. Hemp doesn’t contain any psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant. Hemp is a rich source of protein, omega-3, omega-6 unsaturated fats, and 9 essential amino acids - making it the most nutrient-dense plant-milk of all. 1 cup approximately contains:
Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Oat Milk is prepared by grinding soaked oats. It’s naturally sweet in taste and dense in carbs and it’s among the most widely available milk alternatives in the market currently. The soluble fiber in oats helps in aiding digestion and keeps you full for longer. Moreover, it helps in balancing your blood sugar levels, and it’s a great option for people with diabetes. 1 cup approximately contains:
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 16 grams
Soft and Hard Cheese Alternatives
Copying the taste and texture of cheese is not that tough. There are several dairy-free options available out there in the market. However, if you wish to try your hand at homemade cheese, that's very simple too.
As far as the nutritional value goes, non-dairy cheese alternatives are generally less nutritionally dense as compared to regular dairy cheese. Moreover, the nutritional chart varies from one brand to another. So, we advise the buyer’s discretion when out shopping for them.
There are several recipes available to make your own homemade, dairy-free cheese using nuts like cashews and almonds. Soak the nuts overnight in water and blend them with salt, lemon juice, water, and probiotics until smooth. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth and let it sit in a warm place to ferment. Within 48 hours, your homemade cheese will be ready to serve.
Calories: 100-150 per serving
Fat: 10-15 grams per serving
Protein: 4-6 grams per serving
Carbohydrates: 8-12 grams per serving
It’s a great alternative switch for when you are craving cottage cheese. Made from curdled soy milk pressed onto blocks to shape them, tofu comes in various textures and flavors. You can choose to buy them soft, firm or extra firm to play around with your recipes. 100g approximately contains:
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams
With the growing health concerns around dairy products, the popularity of non-dairy alternatives is on the rise. However, it is quite understandable that a significant chunk of the population remains unaware of these alternatives. So we hope this blog has helped you understand just a bit more about the potential these products offer to us. Non-dairy alternatives can be a boon for lactose-intolerant folks, but also, they’re excellent for anyone who wants to switch to a healthier and more ethical lifestyle.