5 Great Dairy Alternatives

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In 2020 we decided to decrease our dairy intake as a way to be kinder to the environment. After watching this TED-Ed video about which milk is the healthiest for you and the environment, we discovered that oat milk was the best overall, followed by almond milk.

We decided to give it a try and one thing lead to another and suddenly we were finding other dairy alternatives that we liked. 

Now don't get me wrong, I still love milk, and we still buy milk, but we lessen our impact by buying fewer dairy products. I personally believe one only sets themselves up for failure by trying to switch cold turkey. I believe it is better to do a gradual change. Every little bit counts!

Here are some switches we tried, along with our favorite brands.

1. Oat Milk

Oat milk was the first one we tried. At first, I was worried that it would be hard to find, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many brands of oat milk there were! Target even had their own Good & Gather brand, but I strongly do not recommend it. It was sickeningly sweet with 12 grams of added sugar. We, of course, didn't give up at the first attempt and tried other brands. 

Our favorite, at first, was Plain Silk. It had only 5 grams of sugar and tasted a hundred times better than the Target brand. Since writing this post though, Silk totally changed their recipe and now has more sugar and tastes awful. I have since switched to Chobani Plain. Another oat milk that is alright is Oatly Original Oat Milk

It's important to keep in mind when making this switch that nothing will ever taste the same as cow's milk, so you might as well give up if you're hoping to find non-dairy milk that tastes like dairy milk. However, I did discover that cow's milk can easily overpower the taste of oat milk, so I do halfsies in my bowl of cereal. 

We use oat milk for everything cooking-related as there really is no difference, but for drinking, we still prefer a glass of cow's milk.

2. Oat & Almond Creamer

This switch was easy as I used to use Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer, so I just looked for another vanilla-flavored creamer and found So Delicious Creamy Vanilla Oat Creamer, which I thought was good until I tried Silk Sweet & Creamy Almond Creamer. I usually don't like almond milk as it has a weird nut taste, but in this case, the almond creamer was better than the oat creamer. Definitely not going back to dairy creamer though.

3. Almond Milk Cream Cheese

I discovered Kite Hill Original Almond Milk Cream Cheese Spread at Target when I was looking for cream cheese. I had not expected there to be dairy-free cream cheese and this was the only brand available, so thinking it is newer, it may be hard to find, but I really liked it. It's also not as thick as dairy cream cheese, so it has the added bonus of being easier to spread. For me, this switch was really easy as it tasted pretty much the same, if not better!

4. Almond Milk Sour Cream

Like almond milk cream cheese, this may be hard to find as Kitehill is the only brand available. I originally found it at our co-op but noticed Target has recently started stocking it as well, so it must be newer. 

As of this post, I am still on the fence as to whether or not I will stick with almond milk sour cream. It is good as its own thing, but if you're really craving that true sour cream flavor, then this may not be a good switch. However, as its own topping, it's good on tacos and nachos!

5. Coconut & Almond Milk Yogurt

I originally tried the Silk Almond Vanilla, but on its own, it wasn't great as it had that almond taste I don't like. It was fine for baking purposes though. Then I thought maybe a flavored yogurt would be easier to switch to, and tried SoDelicious Strawberry Coconut Milk Yogurt, which I thought was really good, but our daughter could still taste the difference. It also was high in sugar, 14 grams!

The main issue with non-dairy yogurt was that I could not find a brand that was low in sugar, besides Silk Almond, which we did not like. I looked online for other options, but they just were not available in our stores. 

For us, taste and the amount of sugar were a problem, so we decided to stick with our current dairy brand, Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt, which only has 5g of sugar and tastes great. 

However, I would not hesitate to switch in the future, so long as there are more non-dairy yogurt options with less sugar, including large amounts of fake sugar (aka artificial sweeteners), or stevia. I can't stand the taste of these wannabe sugars.

Side note: Two Good Greek Yogurt is disgusting, more like "Two Good to be true." It claims to have 2 grams of sugar, but they jack up the fake sugar, so it's still sweet, but the disgusting sweet.