My favourite dairy and gluten-free substitutes

Not long ago, our family made a conscious effort to lessen our consumption of sugar, dairy, gluten and red meat. At first I was a bit anxious about what I was going to feed the kids. They obviously can’t live on chicken breast and cauli rice like I can. I was also worried that it was going to be expensive to switch to whole, unprocessed food (have you seen the prices at Whole Foods?). But after a bit of research and trial and error, we’ve found some healthy and relatively affordable alternatives to our sugar/dairy/gluten-laden staples. Here are our faves so far for…

Greek yogurt
My kids love granola and yogurt for breakfast so this Koko Coconut Yogurt was a great find and they love it. And if it’s kid-approved, that means it tastes good (they’re hard to fool!)

In Manila: Try NiYog Coconut Yogurt 


Cream cheese 
We use this dairy-free Creamy Sheese in bagels with smoked salmon and spread over toast. All the flavours we’ve tried are great but my personal fave is cheddar.

We also love New Roots Free-the-Cow Spread in Chives which we get from Whole Foods. When I first tasted it I couldn’t believe it wasn’t cheese. It’s that good – but pricey!

In Manila: Try Boursin Vegan Cheese 


Apparently not all almond milks are created equal. Check the ingredient list for preservatives or emulsifiers. Some of my friends have suggested that I make it myself. Ehrm.. I’d rather catch up on my sleep. This one by Rude Health is the cleanest version I could find – almonds, sea salt and water – that’s it!

In Manila: Try Silk Almond Milk 


Whole wheat bread 
Switching to gluten free triple seeded bread (we get the ones from Genius) has been surprisingly easy and inexpensive. No more bloating after breakfast – yay!

In Manila: Try Amores gluten-free loaf bread


Peanut butter 
When I found out that peanut butter causes inflammation (not to mention how much sugar it has), we switched to Pip & Nut Almond Butter. I use it in protein shakes, smoothie bowls and on top of toast with a banana for breakfast. 

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In Manila: Try Made by Max Almond Butter


When we run out of fruits at home, crackers are the easiest snack to grab and bring to the playground. It’s also a great vessel for (non-dairy) cream cheese. We switched to gluten free oatcakes (we like the ones by Nairn’s). Just a couple of these can fill you up pretty quickly too.

In Manila: Try Sesame, Chia & Flax Crackers


I had to include this because Cheetos is essential (amiright?)! Although Hippeas can’t ever compare to Cheetos, it’s a pretty good substitute when I’m looking for that cheese puff texture. It’s made with chickpeas and natural flavouring. The price point is pretty good too!

In Manila: Try Cheddar Quinoa Chips


Dairy chocolate
If you know me, you know how much I love chocolates. I used to eat my potato chips with Cadbury milk chocolate (shudder). I usually can’t stand overly sweet chocolates nowadays but struggle to find good quality non-dairy dark chocolate. I’m so happy that Whole Foods has a whole chocolate section where I found Raw Halo’s Pure Dark bar. Bye Lindt!


Ice cream
We don’t usually have ice cream stocked in our freezer but once in a while we treat ourselves to Ben & Jerry’s Fishfood. There are several options for dairy-free ice cream in the UK but my favourite so far has to be Booja-Booja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle

In Manila: Try Super Scoops Dark Chocolate Wine Premium Vegan Ice Cream


Chocolate milkshake
Who doesn’t love them? I’ve figured out a way to mimic the taste without sacrificing on health! Check out my recipe here.

Fried rice
Growing up, the perfect meal always had fried rice. My go-to recipe for cauliflower fried rice includes frozen corn and peas, sesame oil and tamari. Will be posting the recipe soon!

What healthy substitutes do you love?


Wife and mom of 3 based in London. Born and raised in Manila. Blogging about motherhood and fitness.

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