By Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
I work most of our store openings. This allows me the opportunity to chat with our guests all over the country. This is an excellent time for me to really get to know our guests and to talk to them more about our menu & plant-based eating. I hear a lot about how our food is fantastic but, “I could never go fully vegan.” I usually tell them that if it something you want to do, it has become increasingly easier over the years. The mere fact that mainstream super markets are carrying a lot of the alternatives makes it way easier for vegan newbies. I have been doing it for so long that I forget that some people do not know about the alternatives that really make for a smooth transition to plant based eating.
In fact one of my friends just discovered that her daughter has a severe dairy allergy and was bummed out thinking about all the things she was going to miss. She came to me for advice and have no fear…your dairy-free alternatives are here!
I have made a list that many of you probably use on a daily basis but for people here to see if a vegan diet can work for them I offer you these…not only are they excellent alternatives but they allow making recipes vegan a piece of (vegan) cake!
1.) Earth Balance
This is a staple in most grocery stores now and I truly believe people buy it without even knowing there are no cows involved.
2.) Tofutti Cream Cheese
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of http://www.tofutti.com/dairy-free-cheeses/
This is my saving grace come holiday time when I make all the appetizers. My family members have no idea that the spinach-artichoke dip contains no dairy.
3.) Veganiese, Earth Balance and Mayo
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of followyourheart.com
These mayo substitutions have the same taste and consistency of the real thing without all that saturated fat! Better yet, they make for excellent homemade ranch dressing. A girl in Portland worked for Mayo and gave me three bottles of their new flavors to try…I was stoked!
4.) Tofutti Sour Cream
Is your taco salad lacking a certain white substance? Well, here is a solution for you! It also cooks well in any recipe that calls for the real thing.
5.) Ice Cream: soy, almond or coconut milk based…choose your favorite!
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com.
This is what my friend was the most upset about, he daughter LOVES ice cream. I told her about these great options and created a very happy momma and child.
So, these are just a few of the very basic ingredients we have come to rely on in our cooking. But, as you can see, you do not have to go without. I always tell people do your research and you will be amazed at all the things you can still eat. And when you are not in the mood to do the cooking, we at Native Foods will take care of that for you!