Originally Posted by Agnes Smith
After reading about the dairy industry, I so want to be a vegan. Cutting out meat, I can do. My problem is also cutting out cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream (!)etc. Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Just because it's frozen does not make it ice cream. I also tried soy sour cream...also not good. (I did get soy butter, however, and I love it!) I'm 64. I don't know if I can realistically make this switch unless they come up with better-tasting products. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
It seems you have your value system worked out so maybe overtime, when you eat that piece of cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc. you will not feel good about eating it so that naturally you won't want dairy because it will cause you emotional discomfort. This process of going vegan can't be forced if you are trying to be realistic. You will need time to adjust to a new experience. It is OK to know about what happens in the dairy industry and slowly shift away from the old mode of eating/living. I don't think age has necessarily to do with not being able to "give up" dairy but probably, linked to the emotional ties we have with food more than anything... Dairy is usually associated with comfort foods (pizza, cookies, casseroles, ice cream, etc.) that people transitioning feel the need to find "replacements" for the emotional gratification these foods provide. And when the replacement foods don't provide the same comfort level, then there's a feeling of being deprived. Feelings of deprivation will cloud your ability to remember why you want to be a vegan in the first place--for the animals. It will make you think you are giving up dairy when in actuality, you are really choosing not to participate in animal abuse.
If you can't transition to a full vegan diet over time, because you can't emotionally align with your new value system, then organic grass-fed pastured dairy can be a possible alternative so that at least you have the option of making your own yogurt, sour cream, etc. Not that this is a better option over regular dairy since dairy will always be dairy, no matter where it comes from or how it is produced. It's better to stay on the diet you want to be on, for health/better world, than to completely veer away from it. At least this way, it will give you more time to adjust and do what feels right for you-- some grass fed dairy and the rest of your diet vegan.
If you don't want to bother giving yourself time to adjust to a 100% vegan diet and just want better tasting options to go full on vegan, the best non-dairy vegan options are always home-made. There's really no getting around this. Store bought is highly processed and lacking in flavor.
Ideas for non-dairy vegan MILK, BUTTER, YOGURT, CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, ICE CREAM, MILK CHOCOLATE (most of the sources of dairy cravings have been covered below)
Vegan milk-- best tasting in my opinion - Almond milk, coconut milk
1) Make your own almond milk (cheaper than store bought and less watered down). A lot of people also use soaked cashews but I think almond milk is lighter and better for cereal.
2) For higher fat vegan milk, use a can of coconut milk. For something creamier, use 100% coconut cream and mix with water -- just as creamy as milk if not better tasting.
Vegan butter - very time consuming to make this but there are recipes online on how to do it. Extra virgin olive oil is easier as a replacer if you just need something to flavor vegetables with or dip bread in.
Vegan Yogurt -- Soy, Almond, Coconut Milk
You can get a cheap yogurt maker and some culture. Everything can be ordered over the internet for less than $30 -- (vegan yogurt starter kit is about $8 and makes 8 tubs of yogurt and a yogurt maker is $20) -- Extremely easy to make yogurt at home. Process takes about 8 hours where you either use store bought vegan milk or make your homemade vegan milk, heat milk, let it cool, put the culture in, plug it into the outlet and 8hrs later you have yogurt. Just as tangy as storebought with the healthy probiotics.
Vegan Cheese -- Raw cashews work best for this.
Soak cashews, blend, add nutritional yeast and seasoning, set with agar agar flakes. 8hrs later you have a block of meltable home-made vegan cheese. There are tons of vegan nut cheese recipes online. All the recipes now for cashew cheese shred and melt just like regular mozzarella/cheddar. You will not miss cheese after you make one of these recipes and see it actually melt if you end up using it for vegan pizza. Store bought vegan cheese has a lot of processed oils/tapioca filler to get the cheese to melt making it not taste like regular dairy cheese, so it really falls short of real cheese.
Vegan Cottage cheese - no idea for cottage cheese. You'll have to google if there is a replacement for this.
Vegan Sour cream - 100% coconut cream/top part of 1 can coconut milk, lemon juice
Whip the cold cream with a handheld mixer, whisk, or even a fork, add lemon juice.
This is the only cream that will match the consistency/color of real sour cream once it is whipped.
Vegan Ice cream - raw soaked cashews or cream part of coconut milk/100% coconut cream
Blend raw soaked cashews/high fat coconut cream with other ingredients and pour into ice cream maker. It is just as creamy as regular dairy ice cream. Too many ice crystals form when there's not enough fat/sugar so cashews/coconut milk work best for ice creams.
Milk chocolate and white chocolate if you are going 100% vegan are pretty much non-existent.
Vegan Milk chocolate-- raw cashews soaked, coconut oil (makes a softer chocolate), 100% natural cocoa powder, sweetener of your choice-- Optional: replace coconut oil and cocoa powder with 100% chocolate baking bar
There are coconut oil based chocolate recipes online but I like to put blended raw cashews in when I want some milk chocolate. Set in break apart chocolate molds. Tastes like a Hershey's/Nestle chocolate bar. Shredded coconut, raw almonds will give you Almond Joy bars. If you want a harder chocolate use a 100% chocolate baking bar instead of coconut oil.
Vegan White chocolate- coconut cream, raw cashews soaked or raw macadamia nuts soaked, coconut oil, sweetener of your choice
Replacing the dairy on a vegan diet is slightly time consuming but people who make their own dairy replacements don't find it hard to stop eating dairy after they see how good the home-made alternatives taste.
Hope this helps. There's no harm in making adjustments to your diet and figuring out what works/doesn't work, as long as it is easy/practical for you to stay the course.