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Dairy is one of the hardest habits to kick when transitioning to a strictly plant-based diet. That’s partly due to the fact that dairy actually has something called casein, a protein found in dairy products that have actual “opiate molecules built in.” Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, calls it “dairy crack.

Yet, it’s not just the addiction that’s the tough part, it’s also the realization that dairy is harming your body. Primarily, causing unwanted inflammation. How does it work? Turns out that “saturated fats promote inflammation within the body” and many “higher-fat dairy products such as cheese, cream, and whole milk” have a greater content of saturated fat. Therefore, the more higher-fat dairy products you consume, the greater the risk you may be at for increased, chronic inflammation.

Alright, you wanna kick that dairy habit, but you really love those dairy products? Here are 15 recipes that pose excellent, tasty, and just-like-the-real-thing supplements to get you over that hump in your dairy-free diet! Plus, each of these also contains at least one or more ingredients that will help you fight bodily inflammation to really make the most of removing dairy from your fridge!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

1. Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

Source: Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

This Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez recipe by Annie Oliverio is a wonderful vegan cheese to keep in the fridge. It’s easily spreadable, filled with flavor, and loaded with luxurious cashew goodness! Don’t forget that anti-inflammatory garlic.

2. Tofu Gouda

Source: Tofu Gouda

Allergic to nuts? Maybe you’re just not a fan of those other nut cheeses you’ve already tried? This Tofu Gouda recipe by Alejandra Olmedo may be the perfect middle ground! Loaded with protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3’s and isoflavones, and healthy satiating starch, this “gouda” will fill that cheese void, while also filling you with nutrients.

3. Cashew Brie

Source: Cashew Brie

When it comes to soft vegan cheese, cashews truly are the creme de la creme! This Cashew Brie recipe by Hailee Repko uses a few cups of soaked cashew to really get that creamy blend, along with a bit of maple syrup, brown rice flour, thyme, and pistachios. The end result is a brie you’ll crave more than the dairy version, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory berries, cinnamon, and hemp seeds.

4. Pure Almond Mylk

Source: Pure Almond Mylk

If you’re a beginner in the dairy-free diet, almond milk is truly a must in your kitchen. This Pure Almond Mylk recipe by Nikki and Zuzana provides a slightly sweet, yet very mild version that’s perfect for supplementing out that cow’s milk void! Alright, we know this is a great dairy-free alternative (already fighting that inflammation), but did you know that dates are also anti-inflammatory with their high levels of magnesium!

5. Brazil Nut Milk

Source: Brazil Nut Milk

Possibly, you hate almonds? Maybe you’re looking for a bit more selenium in your diet? No matter the reason, try spicing up your nut milk with this Brazil Nut Milk recipe by Desiree Rodriguez which requires only three simple ingredients: brazil nuts, dates, and water, and is loaded with anti-inflammatory dates.

6. Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

Source: Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

Oat milk is incredibly popular right now! And for good reason. This vegan and nut allergy-friendly alternative is a touch sweeter, much thicker, and adds that froth that most dairy-free drinkers dearly miss. This Simple Vanilla Oat Milk recipe by Kelly Williams is just as easy to make as the nut versions with oats, maple syrup, and some vanilla flavoring (whether it’s seeds, bean, or extract!). Plus, oats are an excellent high-fiber ingredient for an anti-inflammatory diet.

7. Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter

Source: Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter

When you choose to kick that dairy habit, you may begin to panic about the whole “no butter” thing. What about baking? What about spreading that melty ingredient on a slice of toast? Well, you’re in luck! This Palm-Oil Free, Soy-Free Butter recipe by Rhea Parsons is a wonderful allergy-friendly, anti-inflammatory ingredient-rich recipe that sources its “meat” from cashews, coconut oil, guar gum, and lecithin while infusing flavor with apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

8. Vegan Butter 

Source: How to Make Your Own Vegan Butter

Not as worried about those allergies? This How to Make Your Own Vegan Butter recipe by Deb Gleason is a perfect staple vegan butter to have in your fridge, plus it’s infused with anti-inflammatory turmeric and extra virgin olive oil.

9. Homemade Butter

Source: Homemade Butter

Haven’t hit the spot yet when it comes to that butter substitute? This Homemade Butter recipe by The Rose and Bean may be the perfect fit! With cashews, coconut, and lecithin for the “butter,” this recipe leaves out the guar gum for those looking to avoid this somewhat processed ingredient. Where’s the anti-inflammatory action? Did you know that coconuts are not only anti-inflammatory, but the oil has shown anti-microbial effects? Yep!

10. Avocado Banana Yogurt

Source: Avocado Banana Yogurt

Yep, that yogurt in your fridge is 100 percent dairy and must go! Don’t fret, though, you’ll find a great replacement. Such as this super unique Avocado Banana Yogurt recipe by Nikki Stokes. Incredibly simple with only five ingredients, yet brimming with nutrients and inflammation-fighting avocados and bananas!

11. Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt

Source: Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt

Want to take it a step further with your non-dairy yogurt adventures? This Raw Fermented Coconut Yogurt recipe by Nikki and Zuzana is a great place to head next. It’s not only got super gut-friendly probiotics, but you only need two ingredients: young coconut and those probiotic capsules. Plus, integrating fermented foods into your diet can help reduce inflammation by increasing your gut health!

12. Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews

Source: Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews

One of the health benefits of dairy yogurt is gut-friendly probiotics. Yet, you don’t need the dairy to get those, just the fermentation. This Fermented Vanilla Yogurt with Millet and Cashews recipe by Magdalena Pienkos combines the health benefits of gluten-free millet, cashews, with a homemade starter and bit of delicious vanilla bean.

13. Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Source: Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

You’ve got your staples figured out, but what about that delightful dairy-filled ice cream? This Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe by Caroline Ducet will save your day! Created with delicious high-fat coconut milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and Medjool dates, this ice cream is not only nutrient-rich but also dairy-free.

14. 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream

Source: 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream

A second option for those ice cream aficionados out there! This 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream recipe by Sarah Aldrich calls for full-fat coconut milk cream, frozen strawberries, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. That’s it! Once again, this is a far healthier option than any dairy-based ice cream! You may think there’s no inflammation-fighting in this recipe but don’t second guess that full-fat coconut. Healthy fats not only help fight inflammation, but coconut is another great inflammation-fighting ingredient.

15. Soy Milk Kefir

Source: How to Make Soy Milk Kefir

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have a bit of kefir in your fridge. This How to Make Soy Milk Kefir recipe by Joyce Gan is a great dairy-free version with only two ingredients: water kefir and soy milk. Kefir itself has been known to help fight inflammation by boosting gut health, but this kefir is based around soy, which is also known to reduce inflammation due to isoflavones.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
  • Plant-Based Health Resources
  • Plant-Based Food & Recipes
  • Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
  • The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
  • Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
  • High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
  • Plant-Based Meal Prep

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content.Click here to Support Us

News Source: onegreenplanet.org

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Change Ad Consent Do not sell my data Banana Blossoms: Health Benefits and How to Use

When I say “banana” you likely imagine that iconic, long, curved, yellow fruit that can be found in just about any supermarket all over the world. However bananas originally come from India and Southeast Asia where the entire plant is traditionally harvested for use and consumption. And that includes the fleshy, adaptable, and nutritionally rich flower that appears at the end of every cluster of banana fruit.

Not only is the banana blossom an excellent plant-based substitute for fish, but it also boasts a litany of health benefits. So what say we examine the power of this underappreciated flower further? Let’s dive in!

What are banana blossoms?

Banana blossoms are the purple, tear-shaped, foot-long flowers that grow at the end of a cluster of bananas. They are also known as “banana hearts”, in reference to the fleshy, white center of the blossom that is revealed once the thick, purple leaves (or bracts) have been removed. Both these fleshy leaves and the heart can be cooked or eaten raw, and have been used for centuries in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine in curries, soups, and salads.

The flavor is relatively neutral and resembles an artichoke. It is highly adaptable in terms of what foods can go with it, it absorbs flavors well, and the banana flower’s fibrous texture means that it absorbs as much seasoning as you can throw at it. Thanks to this ability to absorb whatever flavor one chooses to slap onto it, along with its particular brand of fleshiness, chefs around the globe have been turning to the banana heart in recent years as a viable plant-based alternative to fish.

Nutritional Specs

On top of being a really versatile food, banana blossoms contain a wealth of nutritional and health benefits. According to the African Journal of Biotechnology, every hundred grams of banana heart contains 1.6 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat, 9.9 grams of carbs. They are also high in fiber with 5.7 grams, and provide many important dietary minerals like calcium (56mg), phosphorus (73.3mg), Iron (56.4mg), copper (13mg), magnesium (48.7mg), and a whopping 553.3 milligrams of potassium. And, to top it off, this flower is a source of vitamin E, offering 1.07mg per serving.

Health Benefits

The result of such a rich nutritional profile is that the banana blossom boasts a host of remarkable health benefits.

Fights Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Infection, and Aging

Want to do everything you can to avoid these horrible illnesses? Want to stay looking and feeling younger? Duh. Well, it just so happens that banana blossoms can help! It has been shown that ethanol extract from banana flowers is effective at treating cervical cancer. But the antipathogenic attributes of this extract mean that it can also be used to prevent infection. Plus, banana flowers contain tons of antioxidants, which prevent oxidative damage to cells, and so protect from cardiovascular disease, simultaneously slowing the aging process.

Helps with Diabetes and Anemia

About one in ten Americans have diabetes and that figure is on the rise. The more ways we have to counteract this trend the better, and it turns out that eating banana flowers is one of them. These blossoms also reduce levels of many key contributors to diabetes such as blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, urea, uric acid, and creatinine. The fiber and iron in banana hearts also increase levels of hemoglobin which help combat anemia and all its accompanying symptoms such as fatigue, irregular heartbeat, cold hands and feet, and pale skin color.

Aids Both Menstruation and Lactation

Women deserve all the help they can get in dealing with menstruation as well as post-pregnancy. And all the better if that help comes in the form of a naturally occurring food as opposed to synthetic medications. Banana flowers raise levels of progesterone, a hormone that helps to both allay heavy cramping and reduce bleeding during menstruation. Likewise, they help temper uterine bleeding after giving birth. And, ever the friend of the mother, they are also galactagogues, meaning that they help to promote lactation.

Helps With Kidney Function and Digestive Health

What are some good ways to keep your kidneys healthy? Exercise; drink lots of fluids; keep your blood sugar low… wait, didn’t we already establish that banana blossoms help to lower blood glucose? In fact, many of the high-quality nutrients in these flowers contribute to healthy kidney function, and the consumption of young flowers has even been shown to help dissolve kidney stones and reduce inflammation and urinary problems. Meanwhile, on the other end, the high levels of fiber regularize the bowels and help with constipation.

Preparing Banana Blossoms

One minor downside to this remarkable flower is that it demands a somewhat involved process of cleaning and preparation. First, you have to remove the tough, reddish, outer leaves (called bracts). These can be used as a serving dish. Removing the bracts reveals the tiny yellow florets underneath. These are baby banana fruits, however, at this stage, they are very bitter and so must be removed as well. The florets can be used in other dishes, but need to be cleaned and soaked in salted or acidic water to remove their bitterness. The pinkish leaves between the outer ones and the heart are tender and edible. The artichoke-like heart is the white part you reach after peeling back all the bigger leaves. This fleshy heart contains a bitter sap and so must also be immersed in acidic water for a couple of hours.

Once you’re done with the prep, you’re all set! Time to make some delicious new dishes. But what to make? Here are a couple of great recipe ideas that use banana blossom to get you started!

Fish ‘n’ Chips

Fish ‘n’ Chips

As mentioned above, banana blossom is an excellent plant-based alternative to fish due to its fleshy, flaky texture. And over the last few years many recipes for a vegan spin on that classic British dish, fish and chips, have been popping up online using banana blossoms. So if you’re a lover of that time-honored staple of British cuisine then this Fish ‘n’ Chips recipe by Stephanie Davies is made with banana blossoms and is definitely a dish you’ll want to make during the week!

Banana Blossom Tom Kha Soup (Tom Kha Hue Plee)

Banana Blossom Tom Kha Soup (Tom Kha Hue Plee)

Anyone for Thai? I think I love just about all Thai food, and part of the reason is that so many of the dishes are so easily made vegan. Tom Kha is a soup made with coconut milk, lemongrass, lime, and cilantro and is often made with chicken, but not necessarily so. This Banana Blossom Tom Kha Soup (Tom Kha Hue Plee) by Sarah Jansala is sweet, fragrant, and will scratch that itch for Thai food that I for one am almost never without.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

  • Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
  • Plant-Based Health Resources
  • Plant-Based Food & Recipes
  • Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
  • The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
  • Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
  • High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
  • Plant-Based Meal Prep

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content.Click here to Support Us

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