Think going dairy-free means forgoing the rich and creamy dishes you love? Think again! There are plenty of ways to make delicious, creamy sauces without dairy. Here are five of our go-to dairy-free hacks:
From smoothies to pastas to potato salads, the avocado is a magical fruit (yep, it’s a fruit!). When blended, it takes on a thick, creamy texture. Note: it will lend its green color to any dish you add it to.
Perhaps the most well-known dairy-free hack for creamy recipes, you’re going to want to make friends with raw cashews.
Soak them in water, preferably overnight, then rinse and toss them in a high-speed (Ninja or Vitamin both work great) with a little bit of water. Blend until completely smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add a little salt if you like then use this delicious creamy base for vegan Mac and Cheese, cashew cream cheese, dairy-free pizza, dairy-free sour cream. The possibilities are endless!
Get your fiber AND enjoy our favorite creamy dishes when you use white beans! Put 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed) in the blender with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, a splash or two of water, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until creamy and use as a creamy Alfredo-like sauce for pasta.
Try this white bean Alfredo sauce recipe (sub out the oil for water in this recipe).
For a creamy soup, minus the cream, stir in some coconut milk (full-fat or low fat will do). Chef tip: add a little curry powder or paste for a savory and sweet flavor.
Pick up some spuds at the grocery store for a cheap and hearty way to get the smoothness you’re after. Potatoes, when blended with veggie broth and/or plant-based milk, can make any soup creamier, without any dairy!
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By Ali Brown
Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
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