One problem many people transitioning into a dairy-free lifestyle face is the perceived lack of variety. This may have been true a generation ago, before high-quality nut and grain milks started hitting the market. These days, however, plenty of readily-available plant milks are now used for more than just dairy product substitutes. They’re actually considered upgrades from the usual milk experience. If you’re tired of drinking plant milks straight or making yet another nut milk smoothie, this list is for you.
You can use plant milks for any pasta dish that calls for animal-derived cream or milk. You can also substitute popular pasta cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta with a vegan cheese that mimics the textures you need. One tip you can use to add even more creaminess to your pasta dishes is to use some of the water from your boiled pasta noodles in your sauce. This will not only let the sauces bind with your pasta noodles a bit better, this will add a good amount of creaminess to your dish and keep it from becoming a watery mess. One-pot pasta dishes also tend to be creamier since little of the starch is thrown away, so try one these recipes if you’re just starting out to transition to a dairy-free lifestyle.
Southeast Asian-Style Curry
Coconut milk is central to Southeast Asian style curries, so it may be argued if this counts as an upgrade. Many vegan and lactose-intolerant Americans, however, might be unaware that such an easy-to-prepare category of dishes exists.
Curry mixes and pastes are readily available in most Asian grocery stores, and despite what some purists say, there really isn’t a correct way to make this style of curry. Just stock your preferred nut milks and a packet of instant curry powder (or your own mixes), and you have the beginnings of a perfect comfort dish. Just follow the packaging instructions and don’t be afraid to adjust to your own liking. You can then cook and add any combination of ingredients you may want to your curry sauce. If you prefer a cruelty-free curry, be sure to check the ingredients on your curry mix, as some instant mixes may occasionally contain shrimp and other animal extracts.
Up until the dairy-free ice cream boom in the past few decades, fully transitioned vegans and those suffering from lactose intolerance often felt that not being able to enjoy regular ice cream on a hot summer day was one of life’s unavoidable petty cruelties. This isn’t much of a problem these days, given the endless variety of dairy-free ice cream options available in most supermarkets today.
Even if you aren’t vegan or lactose intolerant, the addition of high-quality nut and grain milks, whether as a partial or total substitute to dairy, adds a whole new world of flavor to any ice cream recipe. Nut milks tend to blend quite well with popular ice cream flavors and ingredients while adding their own delectable notes of deliciousness. Try these plant milks in your next batch of homemade ice cream and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
If you have had a hard time giving up on your favorite sugar-frosted breakfast treats, you can at least rest assured that you can use plant milks in your cereals. People transitioning into lifestyles free from animal products often overlook adding dairy substitutes to cereals, as lower quality plant milks aren’t always a satisfactory replacement. Many commercially available plant milks don’t quite have the texture and creaminess someone used to dairy might be used to. High-quality nut and grain milks, on the other hand, provide a superior flavor and texture, allowing you to enjoy any cereal.
The explosion of vegan baking has proved to be a godsend, not just for those who want to follow a vegan diet, but also for lactose-intolerant pastry lovers. Plant milks aren’t just a substitute anymore either. Better nut and plant milks bring their own flavor palettes to the table, giving a unique spin to any pastry dish that requires dairy products. Dairy-free butters and cheeses could also be made from plant milks, allowing any baker to create tasty goodies free from animal products that even non-vegans would love.
How to Make These Dishes Really Work
The key to making these dishes work is to use higher-quality plant milks. Many commercially available nut and grain milks simply lack the body, texture, and flavor that most of us have become accustomed to. Cold-milled plant milks can, however, not only address all those issues, they can very well make you forget you ever liked regular dairy to begin with.
Article Submitted By Community Writer