30 Days of Renewal – Day 7 – How I Went Dairy Free


Going dairy free is scary.

You think your never going to be able to eat ice cream again. You can’t have cheese, or butter, milk, or yogurt.

But, over the last four months of going dairy-free, I’ve learned that it’s not as bad as you think and the unexpected benefits may eventually outweigh the stuff you give up. You may be allergic, intolerant, or nursing a sensitive baby, like me. Or maybe you have heard that going dairy free makes seasonal allergies disappear, chronic heartburn and intestinal upsets vanish and so you are willing to give it a shot. I have gone mostly dairy free. I still eat butter in tiny amounts. I cook with coconut or olive oil. I use coconut oil for baking instead of butter. I even use it to moisturize my very dry skin…. on my face! And it works wonderfully!

I don’t have a lot of time to write so I’m keeping this as short as possible. First, find a replacement for cow’s milk. We are not cows. We are not created to drink from cows. We shouldn’t be surprised that cow milk bothers so many people. If you are able to tolerate it, goat’s milk has been shown to be much closer to human milk. Personally I didn’t love the taste of goat’s milk, so I kept looking, but goat and sheep’s milk cheese is some of my favorite. If you are really brave, seek out Camel milk. Its hard to find and expensive, but is known to be extremely nutritious, good for allergies and is given to babies in some cultures for malnutrition.

Nut, soy, hemp, coconut and rice milks are all great alternatives. I never really liked the taste of cow’s milk. Even as a young kid I remember my mom trying to coerce me to drink my milk, so I was happy to try and find a replacement. I’ve tried them all and I overwhelmingly love Almond milk. The rest are good, but Almond milk has stolen my heart.

Yogurt was difficult to replace. Its just hard to find something to replace my yummy Fage. If you have any suggestions I am happy to test it out and tell you all what I think.

Like I said before, goat and sheep’s milk cheese are my favorite of all cheeses, but if you are going completely dairy-free you do not have to give up cheese. I’ve tried a couple different dairy free Daiya cheeses and other alternatives and they are good. When you try them keep in mind the wide variety of cheeses in the world and how different they all taste. How they all have different culinary uses. Don’t think of it as cheese alternative. Think of it as a cheese made with ingredients other than milk.

Since I have an ice cream maker that I love, I did not run out and try a bunch of store-bought ice creams. They are pretty expensive and I can make my own in 20 minutes with few ingredients. My advice is get a good ice cream maker and have a blast making sorbet, nut, soy, hemp and/or coconut milk ice creams. The easiest thing to do is throw a bit of chocolate almond milk, coconut milk, crushed walnuts, and toasted coconut into the ice cream maker and let it churn for 20 min.  It’s heavenly.

Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Chocolate Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts (glazed walnuts are even better)
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut

1. Mix the milks together in a bowl until well blended. Mix in ice cream maker according to the directions for your maker.

2. Spread the coconut and walnuts on a small oven proof tray and cook in a toaster oven or broiler. Keep a close watch because it only needs a couple minutes and it burns quickly. When lightly toasted, pour into small bowl and set aside.

3. Add the toasted coconut and walnuts when the directions tell you too. Usually toward the end of mixing.

4. Try it with soy based whipped cream and top with more coconut and nuts.

Since I have gone dairy free my horrible allergies are mostly gone. The random breakouts on my face have completely cleared up. My chronic nausea, upset stomach and gastrointestinal distress have disappeared. Considering how much these issues interrupted my life, I am willing to stay dairy free.

If you have questions, leave them in the comments I will try to answer them as well as I can.

This post is part of my 30 Days of Renewal Series.  Read more here.