Vegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide

We tasted and tested so many dairy free and vegan milks to find the BEST and EASIEST ones for you to make at home! Scroll down for our Vegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide that dishes out all the details.

lineup of dairy free milkVegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide

We drank a lot of non-dairy milk for you all! And we’ve got our favorites for sure! We’ve created recipes for all of them so you can try them at home. Even if you don’t need to be dairy-free, these milks are nutrient dense and a great addition to any diet. They are free of any gums or stabilizers and truly all quick and easy to make. We hope you’ll give some of them a try.

Here are our favorite dairy free milk choices and how to make them:

Almond Milk:

This is of course the most well known alternative milk. A simple process of soaking raw almonds and blending with fresh water. Homemade almond milk has tons of flavor, and you can concentrate the flavor by increasing or decreasing the amount of water it is blended with. 

Cashew Milk:

Cashew milk is so rich and creamy. It’s also one of the easier nut milks to make because after you soak and rinse the cashews, you blend it with fresh water until creamy with no straining necessary.

Pecan Milk:

Pecan milk is darker in color than the rest, and has a very nut forward taste. Similar to cashew milk this is a simple nut milk because it also doesn’t need any straining.

Oat Milk:

Oat milk is a pretty neutral tasting milk, and we suggest adding a bit of salt and sweetener to help bring out the flavor. Oat milk is super creamy and thick, and our recipe doesn’t require any soaking.

Coconut Milk:

Who knew you had other options for coconut milk than buying it in the can? Coconut milk is made by quickly soaking unsweetened shredded coconut in hot water, blending and then straining. It’s naturally sweet and creamy. It will separate and have a harder layer on top just like the canned coconut milk after it’s been chilled.

nuts soaking to make dairy free milk

Tips for Making Alternative Milks:

  • Make sure to soak the nuts as directed and then drain and rinse them! Always blend with fresh water.
  • If you don’t drink your tap water for any reason, do not use it to make this recipe. Alternative milk recipes call for filtered water, making the assumption that you do not drink your tap water. You’ll be drinking the water you use to blend it, so make sure to use filtered water if you do not drink your tap water.
  • Finished alternative milk separates after it is chilled since there are no stabilizers or preservatives. Give it a good shake before you use it.
  • You can increase, or decrease the batch amount as needed. Nut milks are best when they’re fresh, so to minimize waste make a smaller batch if you won’t use it up as quickly. Most nut milks will last up to 5 days, but try to use them up quicker than that.
  • To prevent spilling the nut milk when transferring to a jar, use a ladle and funnel. Ladle the nut milk from the bowl into a funnel in the jar you plan to store. Nothing is worse than spilling half your precious milk!

pouring vegan milk through a strainer

Mix and match!

It’s totally okay to mix and match these milks, especially the nut milks. We love the blend of almond milk and pecan milk, or cashew and almond milk together. Experiment and see what works best for you! Making them together is okay, even though technically you don’t have to strain some of the milks. For instance, when making almond and cashew together we do blend and strain both of them at the same time.

Other alternative milks not mentioned, but available to purchase in store:

  • Soy milk
  • Flax milk
  • Rice milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Macademia milk

dairy free milk poured into a coffee

Recipes to use with alternative milks:

Other ways to use milk:

  • Smoothies
  • Cooking (think curries and soups)
  • Baking
  • Drinking straight from the glass
  • Coffee and teas (hello, matcha latte or golden milk latte!)
  • Overnight Oats (like these)
  • Popsicles

NOTE: We love getting our nuts cheaper in bulk online or at Trader Joe’s!

PIN IT FOR LATER:

How to Make Coconut Milk

If you didn’t know How to Make Coconut Milk at home, let me be the first one to tell you: it’s easy! And requires only two ingredients and one appliance. Homemade coconut milk is creamy, naturally sweet and a great dairy-free milk alternative.

homemade coconut milk being poured into a jar for storageHow to Make Coconut Milk at Home

We can’t deny how easy it is to pick up a can of coconut milk at the store but did you know it’s equally as easy doing it at home? All you need is a blender and natural coconut flakes! This alternative milk is naturally full of flavor and sweetness is so so versatile in the kitchen. And the best part is it’s just two ingredients: water and coconut. There are no sneaky hidden additives and no need to check any labels. 

Ways to use coconut milk

  • Smoothies
  • Cooking (think curries and soups)
  • Baking
  • Drinking straight from the glass
  • Coffee and Teas
  • Popsicles

soaking coconut flakes

How do you make coconut milk?

  1. Soak 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes in boiling water for 30 minutes
  2. Blend together continuously for 1-2 minutes
  3. Strain it through a nut milk bag or a thin, clean kitchen towel, squeezing out as much of the milk as possible.
  4. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

Do you need to sweeten it?

We did not give directions for sweetening this milk because it is naturally sweet. But if you wanted to you can add in about 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of salt.

Ways to Use the Leftover Pulp

Once you strain the milk you will be left with shredded coconut! To minimize food waste you can use it in:

  • smoothies
  • oatmeal
  • baked goods
  • oatmeal bakes
  • popsicles

straining the shredded coconut

Check out the other posts in this nut milk series:

If you like this how to series, check out these others:


How to Make Coconut Milk

Prep Time 00:05 Inactive Time 00:30 Total Time 00:35 Yields 3-4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 cups boiling filtered water

Directions

  1. Carefully pour boiling water over coconut flakes in a jar and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Carefully pour the coconut flakes and hot water into a high-speed blender and blend continuously for 1-2 minutes, until the coconut flakes are finely ground.
  3. To strain it either use a nut milk bag and squeeze into a bowl, or line a strainer with a thin kitchen towel over a bowl and squeeze the nut milk into the bowl. If it’s too hot to do it right away, let it cool for a few minutes.
  4. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though it is better the fresher it is. Separation is normal in coconut milk and you may get a hardened top just like you would get with a canned coconut milk. You can melt it if you want it to be liquid again.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Curry Butternut Squash Noodles

This Curry Butternut Squash Noodles recipe is an easy weeknight meatless dinner that is full of flavor and packed with veggies! A delicious curry sauce with tender butternut squash “noodles”, peppers, onions and spinach can be prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes and is paleo,  gluten-free, dairy-free and keto and whole-30 friendly.

Butternut squash noodle recipeCurry Butternut Squash Noodles

This super easy Curry Butternut Squash Noodles recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner to spice things up! Well, at least as spicy as you want it to be because it’s easy to control the heat so you can make this family friendly. A simple coconut based curry is cooked while you cook up some veggies so you can have dinner ready in under 3o minutes. It’s so flavorful for such little effort it’s quickly going to be a new favorite!

Butternut squash noodle recipe vegetarian

How to Make Butternut Squash “Noodles”

If you can’t find these at your local grocery store (we sometimes buy already made butternut squash “noodles” at Whole Foods if we are short on time) you can spiralize them at home! A few tips:

  • Buy the straightest and longest butternut squash you can find. You can’t spiralize the bulb at the end, so look for a long one!
  • Remove the bulb and reserve for another use. Peel the squash really well, trim the tip off and cut in half so it’s easier to handle.
  • Spiralize using the large noodle fitting! We like this spiralizer:

How do you cook squash noodles

If you like this healthy weeknight dinner, check out these others:

Curry Butternut Squash Noodles

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:15 Total Time 00:30 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Directions

Make the curry broth: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When hot add ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, green curry paste and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minutes.

  1. Add in coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, coconut sugar and sea salt. Whisk to combine.  Bring sauce to a boil and then lower the heat to low, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  2. Meanwhile sauté vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan. Add peppers, onions, and a pinch of salt and cook until onions turn translucent and the peppers have started to softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add butternut squash "noodles" and sauté for an additional 5-7 minutes.  If adding the spinach, add at the end and toss until wilted.
  4. Divide vegetables in serving bowls and pour curry sauce over. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and red chili pepper, if using, and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. For keto or whole 30 omit the coconut sugar.
  2. This dish isn’t very spicy, but has a kick. If you don’t like spicy food, start with 1/4 teaspoon green curry paste and add more to taste while the sauce is cooking!
  3. You can add any veggies to this dish that you have on hand! Potatoes, carrots, corn, spinach, etc. If you add vegetables, add them in step 5 along with the peppers and onions with the exception of dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Add the leafy greens once the butternut squash has cooked for at least 5 minutes in step 6 and cook the leafy green just until it starts to wilt. If added before, the greens will be overcooked.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies (Allergen Friendly)

These Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies are the cutest sweet treat, made even nicer because they are optionally free of the 14 most common allergens. Gluten free strawberry cookies are sandwiched between a dairy-free chocolate ganache with hidden strawberry jam in the middle. Made in partnership with our friends at Enjoy Life Foods.

gluten free nut free cookie recipes

Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

These Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies are magic! They almost taste like a nut-free macaron and they have an amazing strawberry flavor that is complimented so well with the chocolate ganache. They are coming just in time for Valentine’s Day too–the perfect sweet treat to share on this love-filled holiday. These sandwich cookies are made even sweeter though because they are free of the top 14 most common allergens, including nuts and dairy! That means these little cookies are also school safe–making them the perfect treat to pack away for your kids to share with friends! Or really, just a treat for yourself. You deserve it!

So let’s unpack what’s going on with these cookies: There are two strawberry cookies sandwiched with dairy-free chocolate ganache and a hidden center of strawberry jam that balances the whole thing out.

allergy free cookie recipe

There are a few steps needed to complete this recipe, but there isn’t anything hard to do! We use an electric mixer to make the cookie batter, but this doesn’t take much time. You can use either coconut oil or butter, and we enjoyed both versions equally. You’ll want the coconut oil to be solid at room temperature, and the same with the butter. It only takes a few minutes for the batter to come together, but once it does you’ll need to let it rest for about 10 minutes while the coconut flour hydrates, until it is no longer sticky.

Once it has rested all you need to do to form the cookies is scoop out a tablespoon sized amount of dough, roll it into a ball and pat it out to a 2″ circle on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. We tried a couple of different methods of making the circle completely round but found that patting it out was the easiest. The cookies won’t spread, so don’t worry about spacing them out very far apart and they should all fit on one standard size sheet pan.

soy free cookies

How do you make chocolate ganache

While the cookies are baking you can make the ganache. Making a ganache is simply heating up a milk and pouring it over chocolate! In this case we are using coconut milk and our favorite dairy-feee chocolate Enjoy Life mini chips which melt really easily and create a decadent ganache.

Once the cookies are cooled you’ll pipe a small circle of ganache on half of them, with a little hole left in the center for the strawberry jam to go in. We used piping bags for this, but you can just as easily use a plastic bag with a small hole cut out of one of the corners, or even just place a tablespoons sized amount of ganache in the middle will work.

allergy free recipes

We wanted to make these Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies free of almost of the allergens out there so that they were able to be an inclusive Valentine treat for everyone, regardless of allergies or intolerances. This is especially relevant for school as there can be a lot of restrictions on what can be brought in. And this is why we love the chocolate from Enjoy Life! Enjoy Life baking chocolates are certified gluten-free, free-from 14 common allergens, verified Non-GMO, certified kosher, AND certified vegan and paleo-friendly, which makes them so inclusive for many different types of dietary restrictions. 

This month they’ve also launched the NEW Valentine’s Day Chocolate Minis! They would be a great option to bring into school and are the perfect size to share. They come in Dark Chocolate, Ricemilk Chocolate, Ricemilk Crunch (our favorite), and a variety pack. You can buy them right online here! We’ve been lucky enough to have been snacking on them this week, and they’re delicious! And as you can see below, they are also kid approved!

everything free cookies

Tools we used in this recipe:

If you like this cookie recipe, check out these others:


Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time 00:35 Cook Time 00:12 Inactive Time 01:10 Total Time 1:57 Yields 10 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

For Strawberry Cookies

For Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

To assemble: 

  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves or jam (store-bought or you can make your own here)

Directions

For cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the coconut oil (or softened butter) and maple syrup until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add vanilla, almond extract (if using) and salt and mix until combined, 30 seconds.
  4. Add in coconut flour, tapioca flour, and strawberry powder. Mix until combined.
  5. Let rest for 10 minutes until the dough has stiffened up slightly (see note).
  6. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place on the prepared sheet pan and flatten slightly with your fingers to form a 2" circle.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes on middle rack.
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely.

For ganache:

  1. Place Enjoy Life Mini Chips in a small heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat coconut milk until it is very hot (but not boiling) either in a microwave or in a very small pot over a low flame.
  3. Pour over chocolate and shake the bowl to make sure the chips are covered by the hot milk. Let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. 
  4. Whisk the chocolate and coconut milk together until a smooth ganache is formed (see note). Let it cool at room temperature until it has thickened up and no longer hot, about 20 minutes.

To assemble:

  1. Place the chocolate ganache in either a piping bag or in a plastic storage bag with a hole cut out of the corner of it for piping.
  2. Place half of the cookies with the bottom side up (the tan side). Pipe a circle of ganache on half of the cookies, living a space in the middle. Place a teaspoon strawberry jam in the middle. Place another cookie on top and gently press together.
  3. Best served the day they are made. Store in the refrigerator in a airtight container for 2 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. To make your own strawberry powder simply crush freeze-dried strawberries until they are a powder. We found this easiest to crush the strawberries in a big with a rolling pin. It’s ok if the strawberries are not a super fine powder.
  2. The almond extract enhances the strawberry flavor of this cookie. To make this nut-free omit the almond extract, as it is not essential.
  3. We like to weigh our coconut flour as a measurement that is over or under can make a big difference since coconut flour is so absorbent. So if you have a digital scale at home, use it here!
  4. The cookie batter will seem like thick frosting at first, as the coconut flour needs time to thicken up.
  5. If you'd like to make your own jam, check out this post.
  6. If the ganache isn't coming together it's because the coconut milk hasn't been heated up enough. You can gently heat the whole mixture until the chocolate is melted enough, either over a double boiler or gently in 15 second intervals in the microwave.
  7. If your chocolate ganache ever gets too cold for piping you can gently rewarm it it over a double-boiler or in the microwaves for 10 seconds at a time.
  8. If the cookies are kept longer than a day they will soften up. They're still delicious, just a slightly different texture than when they are freshly made.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Thai Curry Soup

This Thai Curry Soup is my new favorite! I love all things Thai, and I especially love a filling, super flavorful soup. This dish is packed with so many of your CSA and farmer’s market veggies: Summer Squash, Bok Choy, Snap Peas, Basil, and Cilantro. It’ll be a hit of dinner, and then some with leftovers!

Thai-curry-soup3

Week 3 of my CSA summer series with PaleOMG & Fed and Fit is here! There are now 9 recipes in the series and they are SO amazing. Don’t forget to check out week 1 and week 2. I am in love with this series because I get to bring you all sorts of fabulous recipes with all the fresh ingredients from my farm and backyard, and ones that are in abundance for you, too! 

Thai-curry-soup2

 

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Thai-curry-soup1

Thai-curry-soup


 Juli made you Easy Shrimp Skewers with Chard Cilantro Pesto

Easy Shrimp

Cassy made you Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps

Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps 

 

What is your favorite Thai dish?

Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

This Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks is such a fun summertime treat! Perfect for when strawberries are in season! This ice cream contains no dairy or refined sugars and is absolutely delicious!

dairy free strawberry ice cream in a container

Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

June is here and in a few short weeks it will officially be SUMMER. This month for Healthy Food Friday with American Express we are focusing on all things summer. I thought the best way to start this month of fun would be with one of my favorite go-to fruits, strawberries. They are packed with nutritional benefits and can be the perfect addition to your morning smoothiedessertsalad, even made into some healthy JAM, and now, ice cream!

Health Benefits of Strawberries

  • Boost memory
  • Helps control blood pressure
  • a good source of fiber
  • contains anti-aging property
  • Promotes eye health and bone health
  • Good source of manganese, potassium, vitamin c and folate
  • Packed with antioxidants

And who doesn’t love ice cream? More so, this combination of chocolate and fresh strawberries turned into ice cream. Who’s with me?

Here are the ingredients:

  • Coconut milk
  • Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Honey
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Chocolate chunks

Do you need an ice cream churner to make this?

Yes this ice cream needs be churned! It helps lighten the texture of it!

If you like this strawberry recipe, check out these others:

If you like this dessert recipe, check out these others:


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I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.