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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.


Three Easy Dairy Free Banana Breakfast Smoothies

When I had my mouth surgery, I drank a lot of smoothies. Being lactose intolerant, I get to experiment with many different dairy free milks. There are so many to choose from! While Very Vanilla Soymilk by Silk will always be my favorite choice, it’s not perfect for everything.

If you’re cooking something sweet, coconut milk works great, but if you are cooking something not-so-sweet, plain almond or soy milk works better. Of course, chocolate almond or soy milk is a delicious way to drink non-dairy milk by itself.

Here are some of my favorite dairy free smoothies. The best part about them is that the dairy free milks are interchangeable. You can use whatever you have on hand! The best thing about these smoothie recipes: they taste amazing!

More tips:

  • Just add some cocoa powder and sweetener to create chocolate milk out of any plain milk you have. Cocoa powder is always dairy (and sugar) free!
  • Adding some oats, flax seed powder, or wheat germ into your smoothies adds a boost of fiber and/or whole grains without taking away from the flavor.
  • You can also experiment with soy, coconut, or lactose free yogurts.
  • Adding instant coffee to a smoothie is a great way to combine your breakfast and your morning coffee :-).

1. Just add all ingredients into a blender and push the smoothie button. Blend for about 20 seconds, pour into a fancier cup than mine, and enjoy!


Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
(Put some whole grains in your shake!)

1 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk, chilled
1 banana
5-6 strawberries, stems removed
1/4 cup oats

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie
(Hawaii in a cup)

1 cup coconut milk (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk)
3/4 cup pineapple pieces
1 banana
A few orange slices or 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
A few ice cubes

Mocha Monkey Smoothie
(Inspired by Pittsburgh’s Crazy Mocha)

1 cup Chocolate Almond Milk
1 banana
1/2 packet Starbucks Instant Coffee
1 tablespoon agave syrup
A few ice cubes

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Non-Dairy Creamer, or a replacement for Half & Half

I used to drink half and half in my coffee every morning. No sugar, just cream. It really made the perfect cup of coffee. And I am a huge coffee drinker. When even a little bit of half and half made me feel sick, I had a hard time handling it. At first I just dealt with the discomfort, but stomach cramps finally led me to try other products.

Plain soy milk in coffee was just disgusting. Even Very Vanilla Soymilk didn’t really cut it for me. I tried Coconut Milk Creamer–totally gross. I didn’t want to do it, but for a long time I started using Coffeemate non-dairy creamer. That stuff is really terrible for you–it’s like drinking trans fat. I tried many different flavors that were tasty. My favorites were the sugar-free vanilla, which tasted like marshmallow to me, the peppermint mocha, and original, which was the closest taste to half and half that I could find. But they completely covered the taste of the coffee as well. That’s okay if you are drinking ground Foldgers, but not okay if you bought a new bag of fresh, whole bean Caribou Blend. What can I say? I love my coffee.

I realized that when I ordered a soy mocha or soy latte at Starbucks it tasted amazing. So why didn’t my coffee taste amazing when I added vanilla soy milk? The answer was in the steaming. I don’t know why, but heated soy milk in coffee tastes ten times better than cold soy milk in coffee. Especially when that soy milk is very, very sweet. The sweeter the better.

So after all of my experiments and attempts to find the perfect healthy replacement for half and half, I have finally found the answer. I wanted to pass along my knowledge, which is actually a small recipe.


8ounce cup of coffee
1/3 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk
1  teaspoon or packet of sugar

1. Mix the soymilk and sugar (I use Splenda or Truvia) in a microwave safe mug and heat for 30 seconds.

2. Pour in the fresh, hot gourmet coffee and find your happy place.

New Tip:

You can also substitute vanilla soy milk with soy vanilla ice cream–it’s a great cream alternative to your coffee and helps it cool down as well.

Coffee with soy milk.

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