Going dairy-free doesn't have to be daunting - new research from Dream shows that 31m people in the UK are keen to cut out dairy from their diet, but only 12% ever attempt this as they believe it will be too difficult for them. The reality is that if you're armed with a tasty, nutritious dairy-free alternative to milk and a few tips and tricks, dropping dairy can be easy - even on the go.
I've just written a dairy-free 21 day meal plan designed to help people drop dairy from their diet with ease - it features 28 simple, tasty and healthy recipes to show you how easy it can be to cut out dairy. As long as you're crafty about switching ingredients for non-dairy alternatives - you don't have to miss out on your favourites when dropping dairy - and the meal plan even includes a creamy dairy-free carbonara. If you're looking for inspiration and tips on how to swap out dairy for plant-based alternatives, below are six everyday alternatives to dairy to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Swap cow's milk for plant-based milk alternatives
This one is the most obvious, but not everyone realises that if a recipe calls for milk, it's usually no problem to just replace it with your favourite non-dairy alternative. When it comes to things like tea, coffee and cereal, you may have to try a few types until you find the combination you like. There are lots of different varieties so there's something to suit everyone - I love Oat Dream in my tea as it's so creamy, and coconut milk makes an amazing iced coffee.
Swap mozzarella for grilled tofu
Cheese is definitely the most difficult thing to replace when you're on a dairy-free diet, but grilled tofu mimics the chewy texture of mozzarella remarkably well. It won't melt though, so use it on things like sandwiches and stick to speciality non-dairy 'cheese' for meals like pizza.
Swap butter spread for avocado
You might use butter as a spread almost every day, but you have a whole lot of (even tastier) options when it comes to something dairy-free and delicious to put on sandwiches and toast including avocado or even coconut oil - both of which help bring toast to life!
Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
Hallelujah - chocolate is not lost! Some good-quality dark chocolate should not contain milk, so you can still enjoy it however always check the ingredients list. There are also lots of dairy-free chocolate brands are now appearing on shelves.
Swap parmesan for nutritional yeast
Yes, it has a weird name, but vegans swear by the savoury, salty taste of nutritional yeast for adding a flavour hit to almost any dish. Sprinkle it on sandwiches, use it in pesto and pasta and even add it to salads.
Swap creamy dips for hummus, guacamole or salsa
No need to feel left out on a dairy-free diet when everyone's tucking into chips and dips. Just go for dairy-free substitutes like hummus, guacamole or salsa. Remember to check the ingredients of the crisps for cow's milk, though, as some chips may include dairy.
If you're interested in trying out my meal plan you can download the full plan from http://mydairyfreedream.com/21daychallenge