For me, food combining was where my journey to a cleaner diet started. I knew what the bad stuff for me was; S U G A R, dairy and gluten in order from the most evil to the least for me. So basically i went from including these things in my diet daily and haphazardly (working in kitchens and bakeries it was literally unavoidable) to only including one of these things at a time.
For instance, cupcakes were out of the picture, because they combined all three, but I could eat non dairy ice cream (Sugar only) and I eat cheese (Dairy only) and I’d have bread once in a while when it was available.
Shacking up with a celiac made it easy for me to say goodbye to the majority of bread, since, it’s not in the house I don’t see it. And the severity and immediate nature of my sugar reactions made it easier for me to take huge cuts out of my sugar intake. But dairy…
Dairy hangs around, working its way into more meals then necessary because of how delicious and easy it is. Butter and Parmesan have such a strong hold on my kitchen, it’s honestly a hostage situation. When I do make the consious effort to leave them out of dishes, its kind of like an uphill battle against what my pallet believes is bland food. Luckily, there are a few products that I’ve found, that are dairy free but flavor packed that are helping me fight this battle, and I wanted to list them here.
Majestic Garlic – Creamy Garlic Spread
This whipped Raw Garlic Spread is unbelievable. It’s basically Toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce made by whipping oil with raw garlic and seasoning. The home made variety is unfortunately not a recipe I’ve tackled myself and I definitely feel like seeing how much oil goes in to it, might be discouraging for some people. So its definitely something I like to purchase pre-made. Sorry not Sorry.
I add a large spoonful of this mousse-like garlic spread to pasta sauce when usually I would add a tablespoon of butter and a quarter cup of cheese. I add it to mashed potatoes and polenta. I toss veggies in it before roasting. I mix it with freshly chopped herbs and spread it onto white fish before broiling. And most importantly, the flavor is so savory and so rich, that I never notice that the butter and parm was missing.
CocoJune Organic Coconut Yogurt
I love coconut yogurt. I love it with granola. With nut butter. With seeds. with a spoon. I don’t care how. I just think it’s neat.
There have been a handful of great coconut yogurts in the past, but CocoJune is the new queen and long may she reign.
Let me explain to you why she’s the best. First of all – nothing on this earth has ever been creamier. Second of all – the plain unsweetened is amazing for people like me who don’t want extras but the flavored ones (Strawberry Rhubarb & Vanilla Chamomile) are amazing and for an entirely different demographic of dairy free eaters.
But also! The price point is amazing. Now you might think this isn’t directly related to flavor but when you pay $12 for 10 ounces of yogurt (and you’re a normal person) you are going to ration your yogurt usage. But when you can pay $16 for a whopping 32 ounces of yogurt, you might feel free to experiment a little bit.
It was exactly this type of experimentation that brought me to my Creamy Coconut Yogurt Taziki that would shame any Greek Diner and my favorite Coconut Cream Curry.
Basic Hemp Hearts
I can’t even believe how simple this last product is but that does tend to be my style. This might be an unusual opinion, but I find that hemp hearts have an undeniable sort of creamy texture and almost lactic aroma.
I know, I think everyone expected Oat Milk to be on here, because Oat Milk is the end all and be all right now, but honestly, Oat milk tastes like oats. Like raw oats. And even though if it’s made well it has a great creamy texture, the flavor isn’t my fave.
Hemp, unlike the copious amounts of nuts that we are milking, is super dense in protein, and vitamins and minerals.I’m really enjoying the backlash that is going on right now as people realize that the nut milk they have been guzzling for the past few years are low in almost everything besides calories.
I know, I know, not all nuts are created equal but i think that Hemp Hearts could stand up to any of them in a fair fight. The image below is side by side comparison of the nutritional facts for almonds and the nutritional facts for Hemp Hearts in approximately a 30 gram serving.
Not only is the concentration of so many vitamins and minerals higher in Hemp Hearts, but the variety of what is available is astounding.
My favorite way to make nut milk for smoothies is to honestly not make nut milk at all. The straining process costs you fiber and time anyway. So the next time you are making a smoothie, add two tablespoons of Hemp Hearts and 1/2 cup of filtered water instead of nut milk. You’ll get that same creamy goodness as milk without the gross dairy factor and you’re getting the same dairy free spring in your step without the empty calories.
For me, dairy still absolutely exists, but it’s a once in a while thing. When I look back on the last two years of my life, the days when I haven’t had dairy cluster together more and more tightly as time goes on. The ‘One Day at a Time’ mentality where I started with my cleaner eating has turned into two or three days a time. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to string them all together into the lifestyle I know will be best for me and my body.