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Dairy Free Cheese, Yogurt, Kefir and Ice Cream!
Many of our patients ask for raw vegan alternatives to some of the most common dairy products that they used to eat and do not consume anymore. There are four main loved ones: cheese, yogurt, kefir, and of course… ICE CREAM!
So, we decided to make a recipe series dedicated to these products and some extras! In these recipes, coconuts and almonds are the key ingredients. Other nuts could work as well however, we will highlight the benefits of using these foods: coconuts and almonds.
But before we jump to the recipes, let’s come back to an important question we asked in our “Nut Milks” post: isn’t milk good for me? Or why should I avoid dairy?
Here are some of the reasons you should avoid animal milk and dairy products:
That said, let’s jump to our non-dairy alternatives for some of the food you may miss on a raw vegan diet!
We will start with three fermented foods: coconut yogurt, coconut kefir, and almond cheese, and finish with our almond ice cream.
Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt (4 servings)
Check out local Asian markets to buy full cases of coconuts at half the cost of health food stores.
Coconut Kefir (yields 1½ quarts)
If the water is pink, do not use it.
Kefir is ready in 36 hours (may vary with temperature). Once fermented, coconut water will become cloudy and lighter in color. After fermentation is complete, you will want to refrigerate your kefir to extend shelf life. It should maintain its flavor for about 3 weeks.
Almond Cheese (2 cups)
THESE ARE ALSO FERMENTED FOODS!
Fermented foods are a great source of good bacteria for your gut, promoting a diverse and healthy microbiota! These are what we call natural probiotics, foods rich in healthy bacteria.
Probiotics have been associated with many health benefits, including:
For more information on Probiotics, visit our blog post on “What Are Probiotics?”
Non-Fermented Ice Cream Alternative
Almond Ice Cream (3 cups)
Enjoy all of these delicious and healthy “diary alternative” foods!!! 😊
Health Benefits of Coconut and Almonds
Coconuts are also botanically fruits, and a very versatile food. They are rich in saturated fats, and nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and a great source of energy. The kernel is the “coconut meat.”
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Coconuts1,2,3
The kernels of the almond tree, Prunus dulcis, belonging to the Rosaceae family, genus Prunus.
Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, and very important, almonds are delicious! A truly crunchy and nutty health treat!
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Almonds4,5
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.