Dairy has been an integral part of our food cycle for a long time and has been used as both the end product or an ingredient to make other products like cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. Dairy in itself is a small universe of the food industry which has lately been challenged by-products that are known as dairy alternatives. Consumers are getting concerned about their health and the environment and hence looking for alternatives. It is said dairy products involve animal husbandry and affect the environment. Plus health factors like lactose intolerance have also caused much concern among the consumers. In search of alternatives, experts have come across plant-based alternatives for dairy including items like soy, nuts, cereals, etc.
List of commonly used dairy alternatives for a vegan diet:
1.Oat / Soy Milk
Oat milk has a creamy and mild flavor that goes best with cereals and hot beverages. It has greater quantities of Vitamin B-2 and riboflavin and hence is preferred by consumers these days. Those who are on a gluten-free diet should avoid oat milk though.
Soy Milk is made out of soybeans and filtered water and just like other plant-based alternatives contains thickeners to increase the shelf life. It is a powerhouse of protein, calcium, and potassium.
2. Feta Cheese
Originated in Greece, feta is made with sheep and goats’ milk that are raised on local grass. This gives the cheese its unique characteristics and delicious taste. It is a great alternative to regular dairy because it contains high amounts of vitamins A and K, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, and magnesium.
3. Multi-Purpose Cashew Paste
Cashews are known to be high calorie and high-fat food, but cashew cream/paste is a great replacement for dairy cream because it has the heart-healthier unsaturated fat which is good for health. Also, cashews contain high amounts of copper, which is essential for brain development and boosting your immunity system.
4. Raw Vegan Nut Cheese
Vegan cheese is healthier than dairy cheese because it is free from growth hormones, carcinogenic animal proteins, and cholesterol-boosting saturated animal fat. One of the best things about vegan cheese is that it requires minimal processing. The nuts or seeds are soaked, blended, and fermented with the same types of bacteria that are used for making dairy cheese. Some of the most popular nut- and seed-based cheeses include Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Almonds, Pecans, Pine nuts, Sunflower seeds, and Pumpkin seeds.
5. Peanut Curd
Curd is an essential part of the Indian diet, especially vegetarians. But if you’re a vegan, you don’t have to completely cut it off because peanut curd is a perfect alternative that is vegan and satiates your curd cravings. It is a plant-based substitute, hence is high in fiber and great for metabolism. It also comes loaded with Vitamin E, B-6, and magnesium.
Veganism is a great way to take care of your health since this diet encourages the intake of plant-based alternatives that are dairy and gluten-free. Our recommendations top the charts of 2021 and you should try them too!