How to Make “Cheese” without the Dairy

Hey everyone,  happy Wednesday!

I will keep this one short and sweet, because looking at this picture has me hungry 🙂

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There are some amazing, plant based cheeses on the market.  However, sometimes I want something that isn’t processed and is whole food plant based.

This is by far and away our favorite, dairy free “cheese” sauce.  We use it on Mac, as a dipping sauce for veggies, or even as a spread on a sandwich.  It is delicious!

*Note: this is not my recipe.  I found this recipe here.  However, I wanted to share it with you because through all of the cheese recipes we have tried, this one was the yummiest (is that a word?!)!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes (or russets)
  • 1/4 cup peeled/diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch paprika

Directions:

  1. Boil several cups of water in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how small you have chopped your veggies.
  2. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add 3/4 cup of that cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients (including cashews).
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know what you think!

It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!

Have you ever thought about giving up dairy but just don’t know how you will live without ice cream or cheese?!  With these awesome alternatives, you don’t have to.  Here are just some of my favorite, plant based alternatives to make the dairy free transition an easy one.

Cheese:  There is a vast array of vegan cheeses on the market!  We have tried many and found that Violife is the most like dairy cheese.  It tastes extremely similar and melts just like the real thing.  We use it on pizza and even in grilled cheese.  Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to find, but Whole Foods just launched it in their stores, nationwide.  You can also visit Violife’s website to see where it is sold near you.

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Some of my vegan friends also love the brands: Chao, Kite Hill, Myoko’s and Follow Your Heart.

In addition, we have found that it is truly easy to make your own “cheese” at home.  Here is our absolute favorite, dairy free Mac and Cheese recipe from Vegan Yumminess.

Ice Cream:  Confession time: now that I am vegan, I eat a lot more ice cream than I used to 🙂 I am amazed by how creamy and delicious some of the plant based ice creams are.  My personal favorite is Nada Moo but my husband loves So Delicious (cashew milk).

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There are many dairy free brands on the market now and you can even find them at places like Target and Walmart.

If you want to try to make your own at home, you could try making “Nice Cream”.  There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest and Youtube and it is incredibly simple: blend some frozen bananas with a little plant based milk, add a bit of vanilla and you’ll have a healthy dessert.  Here are 10 nice cream recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Mayonnaise and Butter:   Here are our favorite alternatives for dairy based mayonnaise and butter.  You will be amazed at how these two taste like the real deal!  My favorite mayo is Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and our butter of choice is from Earth Balance.  Earth Balance also makes sticks of butter for baking.

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The dairy free life is taking off in the markets and there are many other alternatives for plant based milks, yogurts, creamers, pizzas….you name it!!  You just have to be open to possibilities and keep trying until you find one that works best for you.

Have you tired any of these dairy free alternatives?  Please comment below with your favorites!

 

***Please remember that any dairy free alternative is going to be better than the real deal.  Dairy contains hormones, saturated fat, cholesterol and PUS…not to mention how they treat the animals (for a review, click here).  Also, please keep in mind that a whole foods plant based diet is better for our health than using alternatives; however, these are great as a treat or during the transition period 🙂

Dairy is Scary…and Why I am Heartbroken

Hello all,

I had an amazing weekend with a trip to a local farm sanctuary (blog coming soon!) and I met my first cow!!!  She was incredibly smart, docile and was one of the sweetest animals I have ever met.  While hearing her story, the one thing that stuck out most was the fact that she was rescued at just ONE HOUR OLD!  This truly shocked me and led me to do some serious research on the dairy industry.  Here are some of my findings and why I truly think that we should all eliminate dairy from our diets.

***Before I continue, just a note that I have also created a short video for my visual learners out there.  Here is the link if you prefer this to reading the facts:

There are SO many reasons to give up dairy but let’s start with some of the HEALTH reasons:

  • First, no other species drinks milk from another species.  Hmmm……
  • Second, a mama cow produces milk for her baby calf.  The calf drinks this milk in order to grow into a large animal.  A very large animal (a dairy cow can weigh 1,400-1,600 pounds)!  So, what do we think that milk is doing to us?!  It is contributing to weight gain and obesity.
  • In addition, dairy has been linked in numerous studies to an increased risk for certain cancers:  prostate, lung, breast and ovarian.
  • SO GROSS!  When dairy cows are milked over and over, it often causes infections and will create pus.  The FDA actually allows some pus in our milk.  So not only are we drinking antibiotics and hormones, but we are drinking pus and eating coagulated pus (cheese!) 😦
  • While we may enjoy the taste of dairy, we absolutely do not need it for any health reasons.  While the milk industry has us believe that we need it for calcium, we can actually get all of the calcium we need from the same place that our cows get it from: PLANTS!

And now, let’s discuss the ETHICAL reasons:

  • Just like humans, a dairy cow will only produce milk if she is pregnant or has given birth.  Therefore, she is artificially inseminated over and over again for the entirety of her short life (they are often killed at 4-5 years old where normally they can live into their 20’s).  This is done while they are connected to what the industry calls a “rape rack.”
  • Once the mom has given birth, the farmers do not want the babies to drink the milk so the calf is ripped away from his/her mom.  The mom screams in agony for days.
  • If the calf is a boy, he will be killed for veal.  If the calf is a female, she will be sentenced to the same life as her mom.
  • They will all end up being killed and used for meat.

There are so many other reasons not to consume dairy, including its extreme contribution to climate change.  However, that is probably enough fun for today.  If you want to learn more or read the facts yourself please check out the following resources:

*Cowspiracy http://www.cowspiracy.com NETFLIX

*Forks Over Knives https://www.forksoverknives.com NETFLIX

*What the Health  http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com  NETFLIX

*Best Speech You Will Ever Hear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

*Dairy is Scary: The industry explained in 5 minutes  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

***I am sorry for this blog.  I normally try to remain happy and full of smiles, but this is something that needs to be shared.  I will be back soon with some positivity.  In the meantime, please consider switching to plant based options for your dairy.  There are some great options out there that help us become healthy all while choosing compassion.

 

Easy Vegan Dinners (Gluten Free and Healthy)

Hello everyone,

I don’t know about you but dinner is my least favorite meal to cook.  At the end of the day, I am tired and do not want to come up with anything complicated.  However, I also want filling and delicious meals :).

In today’s video I have put together my three, favorite, vegan dinner recipes.  They are all gluten free, healthy and can also be soy free with one modification.

I hope that you enjoy the video and that you can use these recipes in your kitchen.  Have I mentioned that the last one is Mac and “cheese”?!

Enjoy!