Your first week without dairy can seem tough. If it’s all you’ve ever known to include in your morning meals or any other meal, then going without it all of a sudden can seem daunting. Many people give up dairy for different reasons. Some for health, some for ethical and environmental reasons, and some others may actually have an allergy, making it mandatory that dairy disappear from the table. No matter what the reason, skipping the milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, and anything that contains whey, casein, or lactose, can be intimidating, but it’s not impossible.
So to make things easy for you, below are seven tasty, “user-friendly,” if you will, dairy-free dishes that make the process seem not just easy, but also show you that it’s delicious too. These meals are mostly suited for anyone and what some would consider “clean” eating ideas. The best part is, they’re simple recipes you can make in your home that are healthier than processed (though technically vegan) options full of additives, like refined sugar and refined grains or artificial flavors.
Enjoy these delicious dairy-free meals for your first week without dairy. You’re gonna feel so great, we bet you’ll never gonna go back to cow’s milk products again!
1. Raw Oats with Coconut Yogurt
Here’s a really easy breakfast option that you can put together the night before that will also give you plant-based probiotics, iron, magnesium, calcium, fiber, zinc, protein and more. All you do is soak 1/3-1/2 cup raw oats (use gluten-free if needed) overnight with some coconut yogurt (or you can use almond or soy yogurt if you like), 1-2 tbsp. chia seeds, some sweetener of choice like stevia or maple syrup, fresh fruit if needed or desired, and some cinnamon. Pour your favorite non-dairy milk over the top, give it all a good stir and put it in the fridge overnight. It will become creamy and so delicious so that you never miss the dairy-based yogurts again!
2. Fresh Fruit with Oatmeal
A classic, but one that still has to be said, hot oatmeal cooked on the stove makes a great dairy-free breakfast option. It’s low in fat, sugar, contains 8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, iron, calcium, B vitamins and magnesium. You can add flax, chia, and any nut butter you like for healthy fats if you need more sustenance and protein. Fresh fruit like bananas, apples, berries, peaches, kiwi, pineapple, coconut, and an array of spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, all make a delicious flavoring ideas. As a bonus, oats will provide beta-glucan fibers that don’t just keep you full; they also promote lower body weight and lower cholesterol levels.
3. A Protein Smoothie
Green smoothies are popular these days, but many can contain more fruit than greens or don’t have enough protein to slow down the release of insulin in the body. This can leave you with a blood sugar spike later on, which no one wants, right? So, make a protein shake instead with plant-based protein (hemp and pea are easy to digest), and add some spinach or kale (rather tasteless) and low-glycemic fruits like berries or a green apple or 1/4 banana. You can also add non-dairy yogurt, seeds of any kind, and stevia or spices if you want. Non-dairy unsweetened milk like almond, soy, coconut or cashew, all make great liquid ingredients instead of using milk. Here are some more tips to keep your smoothie healthy and filling without a bit of whey!
4. Nutritional Yeast on Sprouted Grain Bread with Avocado
If you miss buttered toast, you just have to try this breakfast option. Sprouted grain bread can be bought gluten-free, though all sprouted grains are easier to digest than refined options found on the shelf. Sprouted grain breads can be found in the freezer department and come in delicious varieties like regular, sesame seed, cinnamon raisin and more. They contain live enzymes to aid digestion and are not heated like regular breads, even though they taste and look just like regular bread. They’re also flour-free and complete sources of protein. For a buttery option (without the dairy butter), mash 1/4 a ripe avocado with 1 tsp. nutritional yeast and give it all a good stir. Spread on your bread for a rich, cheesy-flavored breakfast that will stick with you for hours. The healthy fats in the avocado will keep your blood sugar down and the nutritional yeast also provides a natural cheddar flavor that’s also a complete source of protein.
5. Raw Nut and Seed Butter on … Just About Anything!
Did you know raw tahini has 8 grams of protein per two tablespoons and is a good source of calcium and iron? That’s more protein than one 5 ounce container of regular yogurt and just as much protein as a cup of milk (without the lactose or casein). Peanut butter and almond also contain right around the same amounts of protein (depending on the brand). Sunflower seed butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter, coconut butter, tahini, cashew butter, and hemp seed butter will all provide magnesium, iron, zinc, protein, and Vitamin B6. Be sure to choose raw and organic when possible for the most health benefits. Though nut butters are high in fat, they’re very filling, so you can use just a tablespoon or two anywhere (such as in oatmeal, sprouted grain toast, a smoothie, quinoa porridge, or on fresh fruit) and they’ll help stabilize your blood sugar while also promoting healthy digestion and a healthy mood.
6. Savory or Sweet Quinoa
If you like quinoa, then feel free to use this healthy “grain” at breakfast. Actually a seed by heart, quinoa is a complete source of protein and can be cooked savory or sweet that cooks up like grains do. It is also sold in rolled flakes just like oatmeal for a milder flavor and quick cook method if that’s a better option for you. On the same token, millet and amaranth are two other nutritious seeds that can also be cooked up like porridge, savory or sweet.
7. A Breakfast Bowl
You might be thinking of a breakfast bowl as porridge, but think again. A breakfast bowl is hod-podge of just about anything you want. Blend a smoothie and pour it in the bowl, stir some oats in with some nut butter and chia, and stir. Dive in with a spoon and there’s your breakfast bowl. Another option could be to puree a frozen package of acai fruit (sold in the freezer section) with some banana, oats, greens, and then add some granola, nuts, or your favorite whole grain vegan cereal. Or, cook up some grains, add some nuts and seeds, add some fruit and spices, or just deck it out with some avocados and savory veggies. A breakfast bowl is like an empty canvas; there are no rules. Put what you want in, and have at it!
For more plant-based breakfast options, see our breakfast recipes. All of them are dairy-free and there’s something there for everyone, no matter what your eating preferences.