Friday, February 7, 2014

In the Kitchen Dairy-free Tzatziki

I thought going dairy-free would be a challenge, but it's actually been okay. I've also been learning a lot about dairy and it's gotten me rethinking my love of cheese. Studies carried out in The China Study show that the dominant protein casein found in cow's milk promotes cancer growth and has the power to TURN-ON cancer cells in our bodies. Also there's this idea that milk is high in calcium and can prevent osteoporosis. However, dairy is acidic in the body and our body draws calcium from our bones in order to neutralize the acidity of our extra cheese, cheese pizza. This leads to the "brittle bone" disease and countries that consume the most diary and animal products, have the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures. Yikes!

Being on a vegan detox can be tough when eating out in Rio. We went out to a boteco and I saw palm heart soup in a spiced coconut broth on the menu and thought yum. I asked our waiter if it had milk of any kind in the soup and he assured me their was no milk. When the soup arrived, it was filled with melting cheese! Very few restaurants get creative with vegetarian food, so we've mostly been eating in.

The other night I was craving tzatziki, but Greek yogurt is a no-no on my detox. I started thinking about alternatives for yogurt and coconut milk with avocado came to mind. I thought coconut milk would make a great base and the avocado would provide some weight and a creamy texture. Also the avocado would mellow out the coconut flavor in the milk. This was so easy to make, just blend everything together in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Serves 2
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk (full fat is best, but light works too)
  • 1/2 of ripe avocado
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 large cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped

And thank God it turned out well. It was actually wonderful and Hub loved it. Almost like the real thing and it went well with this amazing babaganoush recipe too. I think it's all about the dill and it brought me back to that wonderful Mykonos trip.

Giving up dairy is a going to be tough if I do decide to commit. I can't say for sure that next time I'm in France I'm going to pass on a beautiful display of fresh cheeses with a glass of Sauternes in my hand; but I don't feel the need to have cheese in my sandwich or in a fried pastry like they love so much here.

Here's some interesting posts from the net if you want to read more:
Does dairy cause cancer?
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