4 Dairy-Free Desserts You’ll Have to Taste to Believe

Being dairy-free has its benefits, such as keeping a diet low in animal fats. In fact, Tracy Lockwood, a celebrity registered dietitian in New York City and founder of Tracy Lockwood Nutrition, says, “Regular dairy usually contains a high amount of saturated fat, which can lead to higher cholesterol and higher triglycerides.” And while dairy-free options like coconut, almond, soy and other nuts do contain saturated fat, Lockwood says because they are plant-based and unrefined, these options may help decrease the likelihood of diseases associated with saturated fats.  

Whether you’re dairy-free because of choice or because of an intolerance or allergy, limiting your dairy intake can help reduce bloating, acne and even help with weight loss, because when eaten in excess, dairy can be pro-inflammatory.

Regardless of why you’re dairy-free, you should still be able to enjoy dessert! Here are a few options Lockwood and Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser of Pure Protein shared for you to enjoy all summer long!

Banana ice cream

If you haven’t been dairy-free your whole life, ice cream may have been the hardest dessert to say goodbye to and may be the hardest to resist. Luckily, we have many options when it comes to ice cream, including sorbet and ice cream made with almond and/or coconut milk.

If you aren’t sold on these options, or want to make your own dessert, Lockwood suggests whipping up banana ice cream. Freeze a few bananas and then blend them together with a little bit of almond, coconut or any other dairy free milk. You can also blend in other flavors such as peanut butter, coconut flakes, nuts, chocolate chips and even sprinkles.

“This is great alternative to regular ice cream and has natural sweetness from the bananas so it contains no added sugar,” sys Lockwood. “It also melts slower than ice cream, which is great in the summer heat! “

Fruit kabobs 

Dairy-free or not, who can resist fresh fruit, especially in the summer (and in the winter, fall and spring)? If you’re looking for a refreshing, sweet and wholesome dessert, Lockwood says, “stack some fruit on a skewer and create a pretty and delicious dessert.” There are no limits as to what fruits belong on your kabob, so feel free to go as wild as you want with multiple fruits and flavors, or take the traditional route with strawberries, bananas and pineapples.

Chia pudding

“I love this as a dessert because it has a ton of fiber and protein so it will keep you satisfied until you wake up the next morning,” says Lockwood.

To make, combine chia seeds, dairy-free milk, a sweetener of choice and vanilla, and let it sit for 4 to 6 hours so the chia seeds can absorb the liquid and have a pudding-like consistency. If you have leftovers or are too full for dessert, this can even be eaten as breakfast pudding the next day.

Milk shakes

OK, before you start thinking, “I thought this was a dairy-free dessert article—why are you suggesting I eat something entirely made of dairy?” sit tight. Dr. Mitmesser shared the idea of making a “Smart Shake” that comes in at 600 calories (which is about 1,000 less calories than a regular milk shake), totally Instagram-worthy and—wait for it–dairy free!

These milk shares are vegan and use a new brand of Pure Protein’s protein powder, Pure Protein ® Super Food, which is a non-GMO, plant-based powder with no soy, dairy or artificial sweetener, color or flavor.

To make a strawberry “milk” shake, in a blender, mix one container of dairy-free almond milk strawberry yogurt, half a cup of original almond milk, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, such as Pure Protein ® Super Food Vanilla Bean Powder, half a cup of fresh sliced strawberries and four ice cubes, or however many you need to reach your desired consistency. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

If you want a berry shake for dessert, try blending one container of dairy-free coconut milk yogurt alternative, half a cup of almond milk, ¼ a cup of fresh blackberries, ¼ a cup of fresh raspberries, one pouch of organic pure unsweetened acai berry, one scoop of vanilla protein powder (you can also use Pure Protein ® Super Food Vanilla Bean Powder for this shake!) and as many ice cubes (three or more) needed to create a consistency you like.  

Chelsea Dowling works in consumer public relations in Chicago. She loves coffee, friends, Golden Doodles and chips and salsa (in no particular order). Her ideal day starts with a walk along Lake Michigan and ends with either a HIIT class or homemade Old Fashioned.