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Tasty and Sustainable Alternatives to Dairy

 

Did you know that dairy cows are among the largest agricultural contributors to climate change? It’s National Dairy Month and we want to help you find tasty and climate-friendly alternatives to dairy. Here are a few of our favorites.  

Milk is poured into a jar.

Milk  

Oat Milk:  

Oat milk is one of the most popular dairy alternatives of recent years. Generating far less greenhouse gas emissions and water use than both cow’s milk and other non-dairy milks, it’s the perfect choice for your matcha latte, blueberry smoothie, or baked good. It also has very little flavor and is perfectly creamy making it one of the most versatile options out there. 

Pea Milk:  

It might sound strange, but did you know that peas can provide an environmental benefit? Pea plants help to replenish soil with nitrogen for future crop growth. It reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizer that releases nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Aside from climate benefits, pea milk and cow’s milk are equally high in protein which is uncommon for non-dairy milk. Add it to your cereal or smoothies for a nutritious breakfast! 

Butter is cut.

Butter  

Olive Oil:  

While not an exact substitute for butter, making the swap in a few places is a healthy way to reduce your diet’s carbon footprint. Olive oil has far less saturated fat than butter and no cholesterol making it more heart healthy. Plus, it’s plant-based, so its carbon footprint is lowerr. 

Applesauce: 

Did you know applesauce can be a substitute for butter when baking? We challenge you to replace butter with applesauce next time you whip up sweet treats. Keep in mind, applesauce has natural sugars, so you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe.

A variety of cheese sits on a counter.

Cheese  

Nutritional Yeast: 

Cheese has a higher emissions impact than poultry and pork combined! When transitioning cheese out of your diet, an easy, low-cost swap is nutritional yeast. Sprinkle it on top of pasta instead of parmesan and stir it into sauces as a replacement for melty cheese.  

Yogurt in a jar.

Yogurt 

Coconut Yogurt: 

Once hard to find, we have started to see coconut yogurt become more prevalent at stores around the country. Use it in smoothies for a tangy, creamy touch or in your morning parfaits. Like cow’s milk yogurt, most coconut yogurt has active probiotics, which will help improve gut health, without the high carbon impact.  

Chia Pudding: 

If you can’t skip the yogurt, granola, and berries in the morning, try chia seed pudding. Soak chia seeds in your favorite non-dairy milk overnight, then in the morning, add a sweetener, berries, and granola for a quick, dairy-free breakfast.  

An ice cream cone sits on a counter.

Ice Cream  

Banana Nice-Cream:  

Did you know that you can make one-ingredient ice cream? Cut your over ripe bananas into chunks, freeze them, and then blend them in a high-powered blender until smooth. It seems too easy, but you’ll wind up with a dairy-free banana “nice-cream” that’s healthy, cheap, and good for the planet! Try adding cocoa powder, peanut butter, or any other ice cream flavor to jazz it up.