I'm not a big fan of eating processed foods that taste like regular foods, so I avoid fake cheeses, and honestly, don't miss them much. I use nutritional yeast when I want that cheesy flavoring, or I'll use Daiya cheese in lasagna, or tofu scramble. But, I refuse to purchase the fake block cheeses, because of the taste and mouthfeel. I feel the same way about fake meat products, too. I'd eat a black bean burger over a "fake meat tofu burger" any day of the week.
As for frozen yogurt, I found delicious options at both TCBY in Exton and Vge Cafe in Brywn Mawr, PA. They each offer different variations of almond milk FroYo - both very tasty. Brown's Cow in Phoenixville also serves a dairy free chocolate ice cream that is to-die-for! For a regular yogurt swap, I'm content with So Delicious, although the mouth feel and after taste isn't my favorite. This morning, I used one of their yogurts in my smoothie and enjoyed it. Still, while tasty, these alternative products don't offer much in the way of nutritional value. For example, the So Delicious yogurt is loaded with 19 grams of sugar and little to no protein, unlike Greek Yogurt with 16 g of protein. So, dairy free yogurt is usually last on my breakfast list.
Sour cream is a rare craving, but I've recently discovered the world of cashew cream and wouldn't go back to sour cream if you paid me. The cashew sour cream is amazing in veggie chili and delicious as a dip for veggies or chips.
As for pudding, I haven't had it in over three years. Aside from milk nutrients, here is little nutrition value to pudding as is, and it is always extremely processed and full of sugar. I stopped eating it when I was losing my weight. It also seemed to me that any dairy free pudding would be a further processed, sugary version of the original. Boy, did I assume incorrectly. Last year I had the chance to try avocado chocolate pudding, but I was slightly disappointed. I expected the pudding to be cold, creamy, and delicious. While it was almost all of those things, I couldn't get past the overwhelming taste and mouthfeel of the avocado in the pudding.
Tonight I found the solution. I looked online for alternative recipes for the avocado pudding. Almost all of them were made up of avocado, cocoa powder, some type of sweetener (a lot of it, too), and coconut or almond milk. I decided to play around a little by adding a banana. It made sense to me that the banana sweetness would allow me to cut back on the added empty calories from the sweetener and improve the mouth feel of the pudding, making it more like regular pudding. Not only did it work, but the banana flavor took away from the overwhelming avocado flavor.
I may play around with the ingredient amounts over the next few days to perfect this, but for now it tastes delicious. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 whole ripe avocados
1 large ripe banana or 2 very small ripe bananas (hold 1/4 of a banana to slice on top)
1/3 cup almond milk or coconut milk
1 tbsp agave (if you like sweet, add 1 tbsp brown sugar...don't use too much agave..it will make it too thin)
1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (less if you like it less bittersweet)
pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (you can use 2, but I don't like the extract flavor to be too strong, especially with banana)
Blend all in blender or food processor. Scoop evenly into 4 small ramekins or custard dishes. Put in fridge to set for 30 minutes. Top with your favorite goodies. I topped with cocao nibs, sliced banana, and sweetened toasted coconut.