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Everyday Dairy-Free Living

Dairy-free Blogger: Diana of Flip Flops and Avocados

June 20, 2014
By: So Delicious

dairy-free vegan blogger

Diana Bezanski is a photographer in New York City and has been blogging about her vegan lifestyle for almost two years.  Her blog, Flip Flops and Avocados, features healthy vegan dinner with delightful desserts mixed in.  She has been gracious enough to share her love of So Delicious products, and develop amazing recipes that we have been able to share.  We appreciate Diana’s passion and wanted to share more about her and her site.

Tell us what inspired you to start your blog?

I believe going dairy free and vegan revolutionized my approach to the foods I eat. I used to be in a rotation of the same old foods, and preparing them seemed like a chore rather than enjoyment.  In the process of changing my lifestyle, I discovered new and exciting alternatives along the way. I realized taste and texture needn’t be sacrificed. In fact, the array of foods coming out of my kitchen widened with incredible diversity. For instance, whole grains such as spelt and faro instead of white rice and beans for protein, sprouting for nutritional impact and making creams out of nuts were mind blowing to me – sounds silly, but as I look back at my early menu it was just that… boring! After some experimenting and playing with recipes, I dove deep into cooking and baking and with exciting and delicious results. I decided the discovery needed to be shared with others.

What has been the biggest reward of a dairy-free lifestyle?

The biggest reward for me living a dairy free lifestyle is the rich delicious foods I eat in both sweet and savory, but now they taste better, are healthier and environmentally friendly. For example, how does chocolate cardamom cake with coconut whip cream, shaved chocolate and fresh raspberries sound? Or, how about a savory crepe with sautéed mushroom, spinach and fresh herbs? Pretty darn fabulous and both made with dairy free milk – I see no sacrifice here. Even more rewarding rewarding is sharing the food with friends who aren’t dairy-free and seeing their delight in the taste.

What is your signature dish?

falafel

Gosh, in terms of a signature dish it’s really tough to say! I’m really big on tacos using tempeh, veggies, tofu and grain. I also love fresh and spicy burgers such as Caribbean tempeh or bean based especially when the beans have been soaked overnight and cooked at home such as the Black Bean and Brown Rice Burger. Stews and soups are a big one here at home especially ones made with curry or chipotle pepper such as my Eggplant Coconut Tomato Stew with Basmati Rice.

Most of all, I love fresh salad I think they’re quite perfect and the possibilities to make them exciting are endless. For instance, adding grain, or beans, seeds, nuts, currants, sprouts and maybe some roasted veggies or berries take them to a whole new level such as the one I made using black rice, blueberry, pecans, arugula and coconut butter! My blog has quite a few great ideas to explore!

Oh, and then there are the desserts! I went through a crazy phase of making healthier donuts in all varieties. My favorite is the Cinnamon Spice Donut with Cinnamon Date Topping made with spelt and almond meal.

cinnamonspicedonut

Have tips for readers thinking about going dairy-free?

My tip to going dairy-free is pretty straight forward. Just give it a go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you like cream in your coffee, try the fabulous non-dairy alternatives, my favorite is the coconut one by So Delicious. Desserts that call for milk can easily be swapped out for a non-dairy version. Need buttermilk in baking? No worries, use non-dairy and combine with apple cider vinegar. Watch that fabulous curdle! My favorite in this case is the coconut milk by So Delicious. If you want yogurt with your fruit and granola, that too is available non-dairy. As a society we become comfortable with the norm, thinking that one way is the right way, such as milk being needed for strong bones, but it’s quite the contrary. No one is going to teach us otherwise and it’s only through discovery and the willingness to explore do we begin to change. For instance, my mom loves yogurt, she had no idea that non-dairy yogurt was available or even existed, it’s not advertised much, and why would she know unless it was introduced to her? The other day I had her try the unsweetened coconut yogurt by So Delicious, she was pleasantly surprised at the taste and now she has the choice to choose dairy-free.

What is your favorite So Delicious product?

My favorite dairy-free product by So Delicious hands down is the coconut milk, because I love all things coconut. I use it in most of my baking and breakfast such as in cakes, donuts, pancakes, and crepes. If a recipe calls for milk in my savory dish, I use it there too!

Thanks and try dairy-free!!! Xoxoxo

 

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