Easy Gluten and Dairy Substitutions

You shouldn't have to say, "no," to your favorite foods.

If you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or gluten intolerant, eating can be tricky. You have to check ingredient labels and ask waiters about the dishes on restaurant menus. It can be frustrating to have to be careful about what you eat. The easiest way for you to know exactly what you’re eating, however, is to cook for yourself. Here are some easy gluten and dairy substitutions. Keep your pantry stocked with these ingredients, and make eating easy and fun again.

Substitutions for Gluten:

1. Rice flour, almond flour, or buckwheat flour 

Use rice flour, almond flour, or buckwheat flour for baking. You can use gluten-free flour for bread, pancakes, cake, and anything else you would use wheat flour for.

2. Brown rice bread 

That’s right—you don’t have to give up bread when you give up gluten! Brown rice bread is a delicious gluten-free alternative to wheat bread.

3. Quinoa or grits 

Have quinoa or corn grits for breakfast instead of oatmeal. Try our amazing Vanilla Quinoa and Roasted Blueberry Breakfast Bowl for a warm, hearty breakfast.

4. Zucchini, sweet potato, or rice noodles 


You can buy gluten-free pasta, but zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles have more fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. We can show you how it’s done! Try our Zucchini Noodles Aglio et Olio. You can also make your favorite pasta dishes with rice noodles.

5. Collard greens 

Collard greens are sturdy enough to use instead of bread when you’re making a wrap or a sandwich. Plus, collard greens are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin K, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Corn tortillas 

Make tacos, burritos, and wraps with corn tortillas. They’re just as tasty as wheat tortillas, but are gluten-free.

7. Tamari 

Tamari is similar to soy sauce, but it doesn’t have gluten. Check out our Slow Cooker Tamari-Glazed Chicken to begin your tamari journey.

Substitutions for Dairy:

1. Almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or coconut milk 

There are tons of milk substitutes available. Almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, and coconut milk are all great options.

2. Coconut oil or olive oil 

Coconut oil is full of healthy fats and does wonders for your heart, your brain, and your immune system. It also works as a substitute for butter. If you’re allergic to (or don’t like) coconut, you can use olive oil instead.

3. Nutritional yeast or tofu 

It may sound unappetizing, but nutritional yeast is a tasty substitute for cheese. It’s packed with B-vitamins and zinc and, like cheese, has some protein. Tofu is also a good replacement for cheese, and is a great source of protein and calcium.

4. Cacao nibs 

Cacao nibs are the raw form of chocolate. They’re made from cacao beans, but don’t have the sugar and milk that make chocolate chocolate. They’re slightly bitter, but have a wonderful chocolatey flavor that’s great for baking, smoothies, or trail mix. They even have incredible health benefits—they’re rich in magnesium and antioxidants. Try our Superfood Chia Energy Bites for a chocolatey dairy-free snack.

5. Coconut cream 

Replace your cream with coconut cream. You can buy it ready-made or easily make it in your own at home.

6. Sorbet 

Sorbet is a fruity, dairy-free alternative to ice cream. It’s different from sherbet, which is made with milk. Try our Skinny Watermelon Sorbet or our Raspberry-Peach Sorbet for a refreshing treat.

Start making your own gluten-free and dairy-free meals! Check out our 75 Best Gluten-Free Recipes and 13 Outrageously Yummy Dairy-Free Milkshakes!

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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