Easy VEGAN Swaps - August Spotlight
Updated: Nov 11
Once a calf is born, handlers usually remove the calf from their mother within 24 hours of birth. There is ample documentation of mother cows fighting to prevent their calf being taken, crying out, and even chasing the vehicle taking her calf away. Instead of their mother's milk, calves are fed an artificial formula.
Modern dairy cows have been genetically modified and selectively bred over time to increase milk production. These cows used to produce about 1 gallon of milk per day, the appropriate amount to raise
her newborn calf. Todays, cows raised for milk are producing about 10 to 12 gallons of milk per day.
The increased production, along with the mechanized process of milking, often leads to painful infections and injury. In the U.S., the F.D.A. (Food and Drug Administration) allows up to 750 million pus cells (yes, you read that correctly....PUS cells) in every liter of milk.
The majority of dairy farms keep their cows indoors & in tight confines. This causes stress & physical ailments & denies each cow the opportunity to graze amongst other cows, groom herself & her friends, or nurture & raise her calves. After about 3 to 5 years of this constant cycle, cows used for their milk start to experience reproductive issues, their milk production declines & the stress their bodies' have endured takes its toll. At this point, the cows are considered "spent" & are sent to slaughter, usually the meat from spent dairy cows becomes fast food
burgers. (Source: Cowspiracy)
I do realize that there are brands that are grass fed, organic and the cows are cared for.....some brands even go so far as to tell you the name of the cow that the milk is being taken from, but the more I read about how nut milks have at least as much (or more) calcium and vitamin D than cows milk, I made the change. Many nut milks even contain fiber, a nutrient you won't find in cow's milk.
Cow’s milk is also not a suitable option for everyone. There are several reasons you might be looking for an alternative, including: milk allergy, lactose intolerance, dietary restrictions and potential health risks. Some people choose to avoid cow’s milk due to concerns over potential contaminants, including antibiotics, pesticides and hormones. (Source: NIH/ National Library of Medicine)
Once thought to be mostly for the lactose intolerant and "granola" crowd, these milk alternatives, sometimes called mylks, have taken grocery stores and coffee shops by storm. Market research shows that non-dairy milk sales rose a whopping 61 percent from 2013 to 2018. The good news is that there are many non-dairy options available if you want or need to avoid cow’s milk.
For overall nutrition profile, almond milk and cashew milk top the list. In an extremely low-calorie package, one cup of each contains approximately 25 to 50 percent of your day's calcium and 25 percent of your daily vitamin D. (Source: Healthline)
Break the cycle. Lessen your dairy and meat intake. Try plant based. Try vegan.
I'd like to show you all the wonderful vegan swaps you can try and make in your home. It starts with one small step and sometimes, you have to try a few to find the one that you like the most. Below are my family's favorite brands that do a really good job at making yummy, clean non-toxic vegan (non-dairy) products:
Harmless Harvest is hands down my favorite dairy-free yogurt. I have tried EVERY dairy-free yogurt and this is the best in my personal opinion!
Dairy-free anything can be a tough nut to crack – good thing Harmless Harvest has got some experience with that.
To make sure their plant-based yogurt alternative tastes anything but “alternative,” they start with hand-scooped organic coconut meat. They puree it until perfectly smooth, then add a handful of ingredients. And they do it all without dairy or any artificial stuff.
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Water, Organic Coconut Meat), Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Starch, Live and Active Cultures*
*Live and Active Cultures: L. acidophilus, B. lactis, S. thermophilus, L. casei, L. bulgaricus, C. bifidum, L. rhamnosus
Harmless Harvest also makes: Original Coconut Water, Flavored Coconut Water, Coconut Smoothies, Dairy-Free Cup Yogurt Alternative, Dairy-Free Yogurt Drink, Energizing Coconut Water and a Protein Smoothie.
Treeline cheeses start with ethically sourced and sustainably farmed cashews from Brazil. Their non-GMO cashews are grown in orchards free from pesticides and the raw material goes through rigorous sorting and analysis stages, assuring top quality products from the ground up.
At Treeline, they stick to what they know: making delicious plant-based cheeses that support human health and the environment. They chose cashews as the base for their cheeses for their delicious taste, creamy consistency, and health benefits. Treeline keeps things simple by only adding a few other wholesome ingredients to round out their recipes.
Cashews have zero cholesterol and contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help the heart to function well, lower blood pressure and keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. One serving of cashews provides the same amount of protein as a similar serving of meat, making these nuts a great choice for people practicing a plant-based diet! Cashews also are high in fiber, which promotes digestive health.
Vegans rejoice - there is a special variety box just for you! You can buy it by the box or individually ofcourse. The Vegan Variety Box includes 2 bags of each of the following:
Himalayan Pink Salt Veggie Sticks
Vegan Ranch Veggie Sticks
Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn
"No Cheese" Cheesiness Organic Popcorn
Himalayan Gold Organic Popcorn
Himalayan Pink Salt Paleo Puffs
"No Cheese" Cheesiness Paleo Puffs
Simple Acts. Clean Snacks. Lesser Evil stands for the little things - both in their products and in this life and it's the simple acts that make this world great. They believe in a bigger purpose in life. By working on themselves as a company, they can create the change we want to see in the world. For Lesser Evil, that means interacting with customers as if they were family. The care and cost they put into their products reflect their love. Lesser Evil minimize their footprint by using organic inputs, composting their food waste, and using more environmentally friendly packaging. Lesser Evil contribute to the community by nurturing their employees and donating their gifts where they can.
Siete Family Foods was born when Siete Co-Founder & President, Veronica Garza's family helped her overcome a series of major health challenges. As a teenager, Veronica was diagnosed with multiple debilitating autoimmune conditions that almost wrecked her life. She was fatigued, overweight, and depressed. But with her family’s love and support, Veronica was able to get better. Together, Veronica's family of seven (siete!) started exercising in her parents’ backyard, and they even opened up their own CrossFit gym!
Veronica and her family began learning about the ways that food can either heal or harm us. At her brother's urging, Veronica decided to adopt a low-inflammation, grain-free diet, and her whole family chose to join her for the journey.
As a Mexican-American family from South Texas, the tacos and fajitas that they used to enjoy on flour and corn tortillas just didn’t taste the same on a lettuce leaf! So Veronica began making grain-free tortillas for her family, and they loved them! Veronica knew they had something really special when her Grandma Campos told Veronica that her tortillas tasted better than the homemade flour tortillas she’d made for decades!
Veronica's family knew that they couldn’t keep their delicious, grain-free Mexican food to themselves, so they’re delighted to share it with you, from their dining table to yours. Siete Family Foods is a mission-based company, and they're passionate about making and sharing real food, gathering together in authentic community, and advocating for healthier lifestyles among Latino families.
Siete's Family of Foods
Tortilla Chips - Lime, Sea Salt, Fuego, Ranch, Nacho, Dip Chip, Jalapeno Lime, Chipotle. Made with simple ingredients like cassava flour and 100% avocado oil for a gluten free & dairy free snack. (photo above)
Kettle Cooked Potato Chips - Queso, Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Chipotle BBQ, Fuego. All non GMO, dairy free, gluten free and soy free.
Tortillas - Grain Free Burrito Size, Almond Flour, Cassava & Coconut, Chickpea Flour, Cassava & Chia. All gluten free, dairy free, and non gmo, Siete tortillas are the ultimate grain free stunt-double to their favorite taco, quesadilla, and wrap recipes!
Taco Shells - Cassava Flour, Avocado Oil, Pumpkin Seed Meal, Pumpkin Powder, Psyllium Powder, Sea Salt. All vegan, non-gmo and free of: grain, dairy, gluten and soy.
Dairy Free Queso - Made with whole vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots, Siete quesos are also non-gmo and vegan. Siete has 2 flavors: Blanco Cashew Queso and Nacho Cashew Queso.
Hot Sauce - Habanero Hot, Traditional Hot, Jalapeno Hot, Chipotle Hot. All vegan, non-gmo and free of: grain, dairy, gluten and soy. Siete's Hot Sauces are made from simple ingredients like avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, and whole vegetables, earning us the Whole30 stamp of approval.
Sweets - Churro Strips, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Mexican Shortbread Cookies and Mexican Chocolate Cookies. The Churro Strips are paleo, vegan & grain free. All the cookies are vegan, grain + gluten free.
Monty's - Plant Based Cream Cheese
Why does Monty's cashew cream cheese taste so good? It’s all about the culture — in more ways than one! Monty's original cream cheese is just 4 simple ingredients - but it’s anything but basic! Monty's utilize fermentation to develop a bright and creamy flavor and texture without the use of additives. Each batch is ofcourse taste tested by Monty to ensure you’re getting nothing short of plant-based, probiotic-rich perfection! As of now, there are 3 Cream Cheeses: Original, Scallion & Everything.
Monty's - Vegan Plant Based Butter
You can't beat the taste or simplicity of Monty's butter. It's made from only 4 ingredients, including sweet cashew cream, coconut and almond oil, and sea salt. This butter is so insanely good, you won't believe how simple it is. Monty's carefully source each of their ingredients, and use an innovative emulsion process without lecithins or stabilizers. Each batch is taste tested by Monty herself to ensure you’re getting nothing short of rich buttery perfection.
Violife is another game changer and disruptor to the dairy industry. When I tell you, I despise when I pay good money for something that tastes like cardboard or is completely disgusting, I will 100% let you know. This is NOT the case at all with Violife. So far, our family LOVES the Mature Cheddar Slices, Smoked Provolone Slices (this one is Papa Ed's fav), Parmesan (this is our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!!!!) when we make our Non-Dairy Fettuccine Alfredo. The Feta is unbelievable. We love it crumbled on salads, with watermelon, with faux eggs. Oh and we have also used the Cheddar Shreds on our burritos and the Mozzarella Shreds on our lasagna. Holy (save the) cow, it is a GAME FREAKING CHANGER! I am telling you it seriously tastes like the real thing but it's VEGAN! Our minds are seriously blown away by this brand. Try it and let me know what you think!
Besides the products I mentioned about that we have tried, here is the entire VEGAN Violife product lineup:
Colby Jack Shreds
Epic Mature Cheddar
Epic Smoked Cheddar
Mature Cheddar Slices
Smoked Provolone Slices
Original Cream Cheese (sorry, we were not fans of this one)
Garlic & Herbs Cream Cheese (I can get down with this one)
Cheddar Cream Cheese (pretty damn good on a cracker)
Summer Celebration Platter (seasonal, obvi.)
I'll stop for now.....but, I will have more vegan brands with delicious products that I will share with you again soon! For now, I hope I helped shine a light on some brands that I hope you will give a chance and please let me know what you think! I love hearing from you all!
Lastly, below are some easy vegan swaps you can do to work towards a healthier, cleaner, non-toxic lifestyle: