Delicious Vegan Dairy Substitutes

When I first turned vegetarian I believed that ending my part in cruelty towards animals was as simple as cutting meat out of my diet.

Yet the more research I did, the more I came to realise that animal remains lurked in all kinds of places- I discovered gelatin hid in yogurt and sweets, rennet was in all kinds of cheese and even wine contained shellfish particles.

Deeper into my mission I discovered the evils of the dairy industry itself which in many ways is equally, if not worse, than the actual meat industry. Years later, I feel that there isn’t really a middle ground between eating meat and dairy and being vegan, because that middle ground is very murky and unless you are sourcing your dairy from a local organic farm, it seems impossible to continue to eat dairy in an ethical, non-animal harming way.

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 Commercial milk is produced by cows raised in intensive production systems. Some cows are housed indoors all year-round and lactating cows are often kept restrained in tie stalls or stanchions.

Although they don’t reach mature size until at least 4 years old, dairy cows first give birth at about 2 years of age and are usually bred again beginning at about 60 days after giving birth, to maintain a yearly schedule. Each year, approximately one quarter of the cows who survive the farms are sent to slaughter, most often due to reproductive problems or mastitis. Cows can live more than 20 years, however they’re usually slaughtered and used to produce ground beef at about 5 years of age.

Most dairy calves are removed from their mothers immediately after birth. The males are mainly sold for veal or castrated and raised for beef. The female calves are commonly subjected to tail docking, dehorning, and the removal of “extra” teats. Each year hundreds of thousands of these female calves die between 48 hours and 8 weeks of age, mostly due to scours, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.

The mainstream dairy industry is a horrible industry that is not worth supporting in any way. The animals are treated with outrageous cruelty and often live out their short lives in agony. The lies fed to the public about dairy being healthy and necessary for strong teeth and bones and protein is completely false. Dairy actually serves to leak calcium from the bones due to its high levels of acidity.

Dairy foods contribute to a host of illness and disease. In Western countries where the consumption of dairy is much higher, the incidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and diabetes is far higher and more widespread than in countries that consume little to no dairy in their diets. More and more people are finding that they are intolerant to dairy and that it is responsible for a host of digestive and skin issues in both children and adults alike.

The best news is that on a raw vegan food diet you can still enjoy an endless array of healthy ‘dairy’ foods such as cheese, yogurt, milk and ice-cream! These can all be made with nuts, seeds or coconut and have the texture and consistency of their dairy counterparts. They are delicious, easy to make at home and full of nutrients that assist with healthy skin, hair, nails and bones, assist digestion and assimilation and are contributing to a peaceful humane world.

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Quick and Creamy Nut Milk:

 1 cup soaked almonds (soaked overnight or for 8 hours)

3 cups filtered water.

Blend the almonds and water until foamy and smooth. Pour the liquid into a nut milk bag and strain away the nut pulp. The milk will keep for three days in the fridge and the pulp can be used n cake or bread recipes or frozen for later use.

Nut milk is an excellent base for morning smoothies or to top your favorite raw granola or cereal.

Almonds can be substituted in this recipe for brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews or pine nuts.

To flavor the milk try adding-

-3-5 large dates and half a vanilla pod or a dash of vanilla essence for a sweet creamy milk.

-1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder & 2 teaspoons of coconut nectar for chocolate milk.

-Half a vanilla pod, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom for a chai inspired milk.

– A teaspoon of spirulina or green powder for a brilliant green milk!

 

 

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Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt:

Ingredients:

4 young thai coconuts

1.5 cup of coconut water

2 capsules probiotics

Directions:

Open the coconuts – it is easiest to shred off the top, and open the coconut with a clever. Hit the larger section to open. Save the water and scrape out the “flesh”, placing in a blender container.

Blend 4 cups of flesh with 1.5 cups of coconut water stirring to ensure a smooth consistency.

Pour the contents of your blender into a clean glass bowl and mix in  two capsules of your favorite probiotic powder with a clean spoon. If you are using a powder use about 1/4 teaspoon.

You can enjoy the yogurt now and store in the frige, or for further fermentation, place the bowl covered in a warm area in the house all allow the yogurt to incubate for about 3-6 hours. You know it’s ready when it has a fluffy consistency and tastes similar to soy or dairy yogurt.

It will store in the refrigerator for at least 5 days. You can sweeten the yogurt with a touch of coconut nectar or stevia. Use as you would normal yogurt on top of fruit or gluten free cereal or in smoothies for a creamy healthy kick.

 

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Creamy Almond Mayonnaise:

1 cup of soaked almonds

1 garlic clove

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Italian herbs

3 soaked dates or a teaspoon of agave

1 cup olive oil

½ cup of filtered water

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth and creamy. Top salads with mayonnaise or use as a spread for crackers and breads.

 

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Creamy Alfredo Sauce:

1 cup of cashews

1 small garlic clove

2 tbs of lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 tsp of nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of filtered water

¼ cup of finely minced parsley

Blend all ingredients except the parsley until smooth and creamy. Mix through the parsley by hand and then use to stir through the vegetable noodles, to top vegetables or to use as a healthy dip.

 

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