Without a doubt finding the right dairy replacements can be one of the more challenging parts of going vegan. Dairy substitutes are somewhat pricey, so a wasted find can cost up to $10 or more depending on location & store. Below are some of my tried and tested favorites, so you don't have to waste your hard earned cash on a vegan mozzarella that tastes like dirty socks.
So Delicious Cashew Almond Blend - This blend comes in Unsweetened, Sweetened, & Flavored options. Sometimes it can be found extremely cheap at Target, Walmart & King Soopers. Great
Silk Cashew- I like cashew milk because it's more creamy than almond milks. I usually buy unsweetened & unflavored so that I can use this to make savory sauces.
Curious about but haven't tried: Oat milk. Word on the street is Oat Milk is a very creamy milk substitute thats also lower impact on the environment when compared to nut based substitutes. ( I hear it's great for coffee too!)
Silk advertises that they are America's #1 almond creamer and I might have to agree. I certainly don't have an easy time deciding between all of the dairy free creamer options there are now, though. Coffee mate natural bliss creamers come in flavors like caramel, vanilla and sweet cream and are great if you used to buy dairy based creamers from coffee mate, making for an easy transition.
SoDelicious Coconut milk creamer comes in french vanilla and plain and both are scrumptious but I favor vanilla.
Coconut milk and oat milk can be used if you don't like sweetened creamers because they are thicker than almond or cashew plain. ... Can you tell I like coffee?
To be entirely honest, I have tried only 2 different kinds of Earth Balance; Soy-Free and original. They both come in tubs or in sticks. I have been buying the Soy-free version just cause I eat lots of soy elsewhere. There are also coconut oil based and olive oil based kinds as well, which I will have to try out and report back!
Chao Slices- THE best grilled cheese, cold cut, eat out of the package slices in my opinion! (I don't like Daiya or GoVeggie Slices much, but if forced to choose between these two brands; GoVeggie is a little crumbly but makes a good grilled cheese)
Miyokos Vegan Mozzarella is great for making pizza, nachos, caprese sandwiches and caprese salads or just eating raw. Keep an eye out for Miyokos sundried tomato garlic too, its amazing on toast or atop spicy chili.
Tofutti cream cheese is great for bagels and for making cream cheese frosting. I prefer the cream cheese on bagels with some sort of jam.
Treeline cheeses are a bit pricey but also are a great cream cheese substitute. Its a savory creamy cheese that comes in flavors like herb garlic or scallion which tops soups and bagels very well. This can also be used to make a super fancy cheese plate to be consumed with crackers and wine & of course, some good friends.
SoDelicious and Silk both make tons of different flavors and all of them are good. Califia has started to make drinkable yogurts which are tasty and filling. I buy large tubs of either SoDelicious or Silk vanilla and add that to smoothies to make them creamier and more protein packed. I'll also buy the small Silk or SoDelicious tubs to have as a snack or with lunch, there are at least 15 different flavors between these two brands. I find that Silk brand is the most like dairy based yogurt as far as texture. I have tried Daiya (coconut based) and Kite Hill (almond based) and really hated them both.
Tofutti hands down, theres no point in even discussing another brand. I have seen sour cream recipes using tofu as the base, but I still haven't tried making my own home made version.
Follow Your Heart brand Veganaise will always be my favorite. I use it to make my tempeh chicken salad and to smear on my cold cut sandwiches. I can't wait to make potato salad with this delicious stuff!
SoDelicious cashew milk and Soy milk based are my favorite creamy ice cream alternatives. There is a caramel cashew cluster flavor that is to die for by SoDelicious. I used to buy the coconut milk versions because of how much I like coconut milk creamer, but for some reason it turns icey and grainy when transformed into an iced dessert. I have tried Halo brand and absolutely hated it, don't waste your time; all those flavor choices are enticing. I am also not a huge fan of Ben and Jerry's Dairy free ice creams, which use an almond milk base. NadaMoo has some pretty awesome flavors too like maple pecan and birthday cake! Talenti has awesome mango sorbet and raspberry sorbet flavors if you did something without a cream base.
I tried to keep this list as simple as possible and stick to my absolute favorites. All of these brands are, in my humble opinion, worth your hard earned cash. I know there might be some sort of dairy product that I missed- please let me know on my instagram (@vegan.tegan)