Whether you’ve decided to kick dairy out of your diet cold turkey (cold cow?) or you just want to dip your toe into lactose-free waters to see what it’s all about, the fallout can be intense. Like, “What the heck am I supposed to put in my coffee?” intense. We’ve got you covered. Here are six dairy-free swaps you’ll barely even notice. 

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Instead of creamer, try coconut milk

This substitute will change your life because it is just that damn good. A spoonful of unsweetened coconut milk in your morning cup is creamy, but not too sweet or overly coconutty.


Instead of yogurt, try chia pudding

Ready for the easiest (and tastiest) breakfast ever? Mix ¼ cup chia seeds, 1 cup coconut milk and a drizzle of honey in a bowl and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. When you wake up, you’ll have a tasty, dairy-free treat that’s packed with protein.


Instead of cream cheese, try nut cheese

Giving up our favorite brunch staple just isn’t gonna happen. But there are options, people. Cashew- and almond-based cheeses are not only dairy-free but also high in protein. And the texture is just like a spreadable schmear. Hardly a sacrifice.


Instead of ranch dressing, try tahini

Creamy dressing makes even the most boring salad bearable. If you whisk tahini (basically a sesame-seed puree) with oil, vinegar and seasoning, you?ll get a rich and creamy dressing with none of the actual cream.


Instead of sour cream, try coconut yogurt

Just because you’re giving up dairy doesn’t mean you have to say good-bye to your favorite condiment. Since tangy Greek yogurt typically makes a great substitute for sour cream, coconut-based Greek yogurt does the same job. Add some salt, pepper and chopped green onion, and dinner is served.

Craig Lee for the New York Times

Instead of ice cream, try frozen bananas

OK, it may not sound like it will hit the spot, but blended frozen bananas have a rich and creamy texture that mimics ice cream so well. Top a few scoops with almond butter and dark-chocolate chips, and you’ve got a bowl of (dairy-free) heaven.

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