Friends! Jeni Hollifield here, your HGG Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and I’m so excited to be back sharing another blog post! Switching to dairy-free can be challenging and even scary to think of missing out on some of your favorite foods. You may even question if your body is getting the right nutrients that it needs to grow and thrive! I hope to ease your worries today as I share all about nutrition and benefits in a dairy-free diet as well as a roundup of 10 HGG dairy-free recipes that are creamy, delicious and sure to satisfy any of your cravings!
Let’s begin by chatting about the main nutrition concern with dairy-free living, which is calcium!
Calcium is an essential mineral and plays a ton of crucial roles in the body including maintaining strong and healthy bones, muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve function, blood clotting, regulating heart beat and the activity of many enzymes! Calcium deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle problems, heart problems and nerve issues. It’s important that we receive the adequate amount of calcium that we need each day. Children need 800mg, teenagers need 1,200mg, adults need 1,000 and pregnant/nursing/post menopausal/seniors need 1,200mg.
So how can we consume calcium without dairy? Calcium is actually a mineral found naturally in the ground and richly found in soil. Therefore, grass is high in calcium, which cows eat and produce calcium rich milk! However, many cows now eat genetically modified corn and soy feed that is enriched with calcium instead of being grass-fed. This is why plant-based sources of calcium are an excellent choice! Some plant-based calcium foods we love are almonds, broccoli, beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, collard greens, sesame seeds, dried figs, oranges, kale and fortified non-dairy milks.
Consuming vitamin D with calcium will aid in the absorption. Some vitamin D sources include fortified orange juice and non-dairy milks and small amounts of sunlight. Large amounts of calcium can be hard for your body to absorb, so spread out your calcium intake throughout the day, if possible.
Here at HGG, we want you to feel confident in your decisions, which is why we have a Calcium Guide available for Premium HGG members! This guide is full of educational materials as well as a PDF printable nutrition guide and meal plan! Learn more about membership and the calcium guide here.
BENEFITS OF DAIRY-FREE LIVING:
There are many reasons to cut out dairy such as an allergy, intolerance, digestive issues, acne problems or ethical reasons such as veganism. For some, eating dairy can cause inflammation throughout the body, which made lead to certain chronic diseases over time such as heart disease and cancer. Dairy may also interfere with digestion and inflame acne. Choosing non-dairy options can ease these problems along with avoiding any hormones or antibiotics that are typically found in conventional dairy.
Below is a list of our favorite Dairy-Free recipes! Click on each title to visit the original blog post to view / print the recipes.
This recipe is super flavorful and easy to make! We use bean pasta, which is packed with protein!
Is there anything better than comfort food, especially two classics like tomato soup and grilled cheese?! These dairy-free versions are simple to make and the perfect meal for the whole family!
This recipe calls for chocolate chips and we love to use the brand Enjoy Life! This brand is free of the 8 most common allergens, including dairy. You can find these chocolate chips at most grocery stores in the baking section.
This recipe is perfect to cool down on these hot summer days! It uses dairy-free yogurt, which is found in most grocery stores! Make sure you look for the unsweetened kind to avoid added sugar.
There are so many different ways to make a creamy dairy-free cheese sauce and this recipe uses butternut squash! You’ll get the amazing orange color and creamy texture you’re looking for!
These nachos are loaded with nutrients while giving you the crunchy bite you’re looking for! It is topped with a creamy coconut lime sauce that you’re going to love!
Craving some ice cream? Look no further than this decadent chocolate soft serve! This recipe contains only 5 ingredients and is super simple to make.
Friday night pizza night was always a big deal in my house growing up. Here is an incredible dairy-free pizza recipe that is fun, delicious and the perfect dinner to keep the tradition going!
A good dip to bring to gatherings is essential. I love 7 layer dip and this one truly satisfies and works for so many food preferences! Bring this to your next party, family reunion or sporting event!
These fries are incredible! They are packed with all your favorite flavors, but also contains a good amount of protein and plenty of amazing nutrients!