Podcast Episode 20 – Dairy Alternatives

Dairy Alternatives

In today’s episode, we discuss dairy alternatives for milk, cheeses, yogurts, snacks, salad dressings, cookies, and ice cream. Wow! There are many places where we can make substitutes that will lower our cholesterol and fat intake and allow us to avoid antibiotics and hormones in our food choices. We share store-bought and homemade options for most of these categories.

We want to come alongside you, as well, as we all continue moving toward a positive direction to support our healthy lifestyles. If there are any specific ways that we can be of assistance, please contact us through our contact form or send a verbal message through Speakpipe.

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One important note: Plant-based alternatives do provide an excellent choice for avoiding hormones and cholesterol in your diet. Also, many of the calories are have lower amounts of fat per gram. Plus, in most cases, you will get added fiber which is a great benefit. Yet, if you are desiring to lose weight, you still must be careful that you do not overdo calories by using too much salad dressing or still eating too many ice creams, too many snacks, too many cheeses, etc – even though you are choosing plant-based options.

Store-bought options: (Aim to avoid high amounts of sugars, added oils and preservatives/stabilizers.)

  1. Milks: Most local stores will have plant-based options. One popular brand is Silk – look for their organic varieties. HEB stores (Texas) have their own line and so does Wal-mart. The switch to non-dairy milks are it’s pretty easy these days because you have so many alternatives like soy milk, almond, oat, pea, coconut, rice, cashews, and Macadamias as well as hemp milk and quinoa milk.
  2. Cheeses: CREDO and SIETE Cashew Quesos, M I Y O K O S Quesos and Dips; DAIYA Brands – sliced and shredded (Simply search ‘vegan cheese brands’ to find so many more.)
  3. Yogurts: Silk and So Delicious are popular brands. HEB Stores (Texas) have their own line too.
  4. Salad Dressings: Annie’s Organic Cowgirl Ranch
  5. Snacks: HIPPEAS organic chickpea puffs
  6. Ice cream (Search ‘vegan ice cream brands’. These are plentiful.)

Homemade Dairy-Free Recipes

  1. Milks: Praline Milk , Basic Milk Recipe: Blend 1/3 cup well-soaked nuts plus 1 cup of water (straining is optional.) Buttermilk Recipe: Add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (raw, with the mother) to 1 cup of plant-based milk. Allow it to sit on the countertop for a few minutes.
  2. Cheeses: Not-So Cheese Sauce (You can use a cashew nut butter if you don’t have a high-speed blender), Tex-Mex Cheese (Oat Recipe), Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Tofu Ricotta cheese
  3. Yogurts: (Homemade recipe coming soon)
  4. Salad Dressings: Cashew Cilantro Cream Sauce
  5. Snacks: Kale Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies
  6. Ice cream: Real Food Rocky Road Ice Cream, Avocado Drink with Basic and Mint, Starbuck’s/Wendy’s Knock-Offs


US Dietary Guidelines

Fight COVID-19 with Food Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 4-5 p.m. ET (1-2 p.m. PT) Weekly on Tuesdays with class recordings available on-demand for registrants https://www.pcrm.org/nutritionclass

Shonda and Patryce: [00:00:57] Hi, and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real.
Here's our disclaimer. We do not professionally practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.
Shonda: [00:01:52] Okay. So, Hey Patryce, I'm glad we were together once again to discuss a very important topic that can help power our community make the transition from, you know, consuming so much dairy.
Patryce: [00:02:09] Good subject. Very good subject. I know I had to convert myself years ago.
Shonda: [00:02:15] Right. And I did the same in order to avoid the seasonal allergies. It's been a real blessing in my life to give up dairy.
So I know many people may not be able to believe that, but you know, or experience those same things. But, um, I'm just hoping that by sharing these alternatives today to, uh, dairy. Well help someone, um, realize the benefits, you know, dairy has high amounts of calories, fat, even some antibiotics and hormones, many times in dairy.
So we just don't need those things and, you know, our diets are better without it, and there are great alternatives to dairy these days, even more than, you know, a few years back. And so probably what we're going to end up doing is I know that, um, you shop a lot and you observe in the grocery stores, you know?
So I thought maybe you can share more of the like store-bought items that you find or packaged things and, I can maybe suggest some homemade options too.
Patryce: [00:03:24] Sounds like a plan.
Shonda: [00:03:26] Okay. So, hey, let's first. Let's just talk about the milk.
Patryce: [00:03:30] Wow there's a lot of, you know, nowadays milk is advertised for those, like you said, in an earlier, previous podcasts as lactose free.
And I think some people consider that well, you know, that's good enough. But we're talking about leaving the cow's milk altogether and seeking out all these wonderful alternatives. Can I just list some of them with, with the switch from dairy cows, dairy goat, dairy, all those dairy products. The switch to non-dairy milks are... it's pretty easy these days because you have so many alternatives like soy milk, almond, oat , pea, coconut, rice, milk made from nuts, cashews, and Macadamia as well as you have hemp milk. And lastly, I wanted to share there's quinoa. Quinoa milk might be newer to most people, but it's... it's quite tasty. So when it's on sale, I, I have picked it up because I like to try different things.
Shonda: [00:04:35] Wow. Yeah. I've never even seen quinoa milk. And so I've never tried it. Uh, I can't imagine, I don't know. I have no idea what it tastes like. I don't, I don't think I would like quinoa milk, but, um, you know, I'll just have to give it a try one day.
Patryce: [00:04:50] Yeah. It's nutty and a little sweet, but a nuttier taste. And I do like quinoa itself.
So you got to try it one day.
Shonda: [00:04:58] Okay. So, hey there, I mean, that's a pretty extensive list, you know, uh, somewhere in there you're bound to find one that you like that it's agreeable to your palette, right? And they, the prices range, you know, uh, there's uh, there are organic options and they would likely raise your price.
But you know, many of those foods really aren't required to be organic because they may not be, you know, as highly sprayed with pesticides and things. So that's something you can consider, um...
Patryce: [00:05:38] Just to piggyback off what you said about price now that you mentioned it, there is, there is a price range. And honestly, what I've observed is that almond milk you can find on sale or even not on sale, less than for example, the quinoa or the nut milks. The other nuts, the cashew macadamia, will be more expensive, just like the Macadamia nut itself is more expensive.
So the milk is usually a little more expensive, but what I have found that many go on sale, so maybe one week you're getting a lot of almond milk and then the next week there's coconut milk for sale with whatever's on sale.
Shonda: [00:06:14] You know, there are good reasons to make that change too, because you're getting a different, a different nutrient profile.
So why not, you know, switch it up and buy what's on sale this week, you know, it just makes, um, different foods, you know, the more delightful. You know, different change in tastes and things. And you know what? I, my daughter just bought some oat milk for the first time. We've never tried oat milk. And she said that she likes it.
You know, I have never, um, made homemade, uh, oat milk. Now, you know, I just recently made the, we'll talk about a little later. I'm just going to give it a plug here, uh, the oat cheese, but I've never done oat milk. But I just want to remind everyone that you can make milk at home too, using your blenders or using your food processors, you know?
Um, and there are many, uh, juicers these days that have that function on them to make nut milks. So that is an option. And I find that like, if I'm making a nut milk, one-third cup of almonds to one cup of water is the ratio I usually go for. And you can even do it with coconut flakes to make your own coconut milk.
Um, what else have I done? I'm going to have to try that oat milk and see what I find. And, um, if, if I get approval, I will be sure to share that with everyone, but homemade milk alternatives are just as possible, you know, to do it yourself.
Patryce: [00:07:51] I'm glad you brought that up because not only is it,,,it less expensive, most likely, if not always.
Uh, it also helps you to avoid the added sugar. And that's one thing I would just... a heads up when you're buying these different milk alternatives. Make sure you don't. Make sure it's not with the sugar added. Make sure it's not with the sugar added. And regarding the nutritional makeup, uh, one thing I will say is that if you see a formula with the B12 added, that might be something you consider.
If you're low in B12, uh, apparently. Well, people lacking in B12 sometimes can get the B12, which is added into these different milk options.
Shonda: [00:08:35] And one more tip. Uh, I like to add is that, um, if you need buttermilk, like for making your pancakes or something like that, you can add, I think it's about a teaspoon, maybe a teaspoon or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of these plant-based milks in order to get that buttermilk flavor.
And I'll be sure to link a recipe for that below, too. Hey, let's go ahead and move on to, um, plant-based cheeses now. Alternatives. Do you have any particular ones that you like to use or do you really use them or not? What do you think about that?
Patryce: [00:09:14] Well, we actually do, uh, because in our family we're big fans of nachos, so that would be that queso cheese.
So, uh, I have found there's, there's a cheese queso type, um, dip that's offered at Trader Joe's. That's really good. And it's made with potato, some nut. It doesn't have any dairy in it. So, uh, yes, we, we do do cheese alternatives. And I will say though, with that, that's something you really, to me, you have to experiment because some sound great when you read the labels, but the taste just is not there. It's not working for us or at least myself. But one other brand that I can say we, the family seems to like , I think it is, is SIETE cashew. queso the other queso is CREDO, C-R-E-D-O. And it's also made with cashews, but the interesting thing is it has these white beans in it. So it's delicious.
Um, you can just, that could be a whole meal, the little container of that, but yeah, we do use some cheese alternatives. But it..., you have to experiment because if you're trying to do pizza and melt it, I would say some brands are better at melting than others. And then some brands have a different texture than others.
So those are the two brands I feel comfortable sharing one other brand. That I'm aware of and have tried our we've tried ourselves is Myokos I believe. And it's spelled M-I-Y-O- K-O-S. And this is not a queso cheese, but they have slices. They have shredded. And that one, someone recommended when I was in the store, she told me herself, she liked it.
We've tried it out and we find it tasty too.
Shonda: [00:11:09] Okay. So are you you're into the con dips and...
Patryce: [00:11:13] Yes. That one comesin in a the dip. You know how we, people like the spinach cheese dip or the cream cheese with the chives? Well, they make some money and similar.
Shonda: [00:11:25] Are these on the shelf or are they in the cold food section? Where do you go?
Patryce: [00:11:31] Great question. They're in the refrigerated section.
Shonda: [00:11:35] The last time I was at Trader Joe's, I was kind of looking around, I didn't see any of this at all, you know, so I guess you really have to look because...
Patryce: [00:11:44] Well, I honestly, these are mainly from Whole Foods. I don't generally go there on a regular basis, but I will say HEB for sure. And some other stores from time to time, from time to time, we'll have these same brands. But for sure Whole Foods does. Trader Joe's has one that... they have about two, um, brands or two, two offerings. But you're right. You can't, you don't always see them everywhere. And I'm glad you brought that up because there's another store called A-L-D-I... ALDI's.
And although they don't always have the same thing every,. Every... every time when they do have it, um, it's usually the best price.
Shonda: [00:12:27] So yeah, that's good. So I hear you saying Whole Foods, so... that's why we need to make our own because like, even me, I don't even shop at Whole Foods. It's not convenient. It's not close by. The prices I know are much higher and there are so many things you can do at home, you know, with the blender or stove top to make cheese alternatives. Now I do know that at HEB, they have... And Kroger and your general grocery stores do have like cheese slices. You know, and cheese shreds and things like that.
So, you know, that's a possibility. So I don't go to any of those because they, for me, they have, they still have too much fat in them and too much oil. So all the cheeses that I make are usually... the oils naturally come from the, uh, fat in the nuts when I make a nut cheese. Um, and I have two really good nacho cheese ,um, recipes that I... that are my go-to. And one is the cashews is the cashew sauce that's made in the, in the Vitamix. Or you can do it with a regular blender, as long as you soak the cashews long enough. And that is an excellent recipe. I'll be sure to. Link that below. And recently I have the oat cheese and I like the oat cheese because it, I don't know, it's a bit thicker. It's it's, you know what, I'm really going to have to put them side by side and do a taste test, but the oat cheese is much cheaper than making the cashew cheese. So that is just, yeah, that's something to consider if you're trying to decide which one to try first.
And recently, I also made a tofu ricotta cheese.
Hmm that I used in a lasagna, and that was really tasty. Uh, what I did was I made it and I let it sit overnight instead of like making it and then using it. And it was so very flavorful and I mean, it, it kept the consistency or the texture just like ricotta. It looked like ricotta. It tastes like it because of the nutritional yeast that was in there.
So it was really good. And as far as pizza goes, uh, recently, and I'm looking forward to making it again, was when I made the spinach artichoke dip and I actually spread it on the pizza as the cheese sauce portion. And that was really good. So I'll be sure and link all of those below for everyone to take a look at.
So there, we have it, as far as cheese alternatives, there are just so many out there. And if you'd like to shop, um, just start looking at... or you, you've probably already found them already. I'm just not sure, um, where to find them exactly, but we will definitely list some in the show notes. And along with some homemade recipes, as far as cheese goes
Patryce: [00:15:26] And Shonda regarding your homemade recipes, which are delicious by the way, the ones I've tasted. Um, are you using your Vitamix for that? Or can you just use... for those of us who don't have that type of machine that goes to the point where it heats up. Can you use the regular blender? Because there may not everyone listening may not have...
Shonda: [00:15:48] Yeah, uh, like you just want to... if you're doing nuts, because that's the one that's difficult, you just have to soak them overnight and then you can use any blender to mix/to to blend, but you do want to so... I would say soak them overnight to have the softest, uh, texture of the nuts then.
Patryce: [00:16:06] And if you don't have a blender right now, but have a food processor, you should still be able to make that right?
Shonda: [00:16:12] You should be able to. Um, it depends on the food processor that you have. If it's a tight fit, you know, you don't want all this liquid sloshing around in there, you know what I mean? And so these are pretty liquidy. Uh, one other thing that I think would be helpful, especially if it's a hot sauce, like a nacho cheese sauce, and you want it warm. If you were to do this on the stove top, you could use an immersion blender.
Patryce: [00:16:38] Ah, good idea. A lot of people have that even if they don't have the other, the other things.
Shonda: [00:16:44] Yeah. You may have to do some straining a little bit. You know, you may want to make the, um, you may want to make the cashew milk first and then strain it. To get all the bits that didn't get -- blended by the immersion blender.
But, um, one other alternative is you want to do cashew milk. You could start with a cashew butter, a cashew nut butter for that recipe. So I think I I'll make sure that I list all those possibilities on making that cashew sauce. But, you know, most people do have blenders, so
Patryce: [00:17:19] True. The blender they do have, yeah. A lot of people have blenders, but they're in between blenders and they don't hurry out and when it breaks down, they don't always get it right away. So I liked the fact that you brought the immersion blender too, though.
Shonda: [00:17:33] Yeah. Okay.
Patryce: [00:17:34] What's next?
Shonda: [00:17:35] So, um, I thought next we could just mention a few yogurt alternatives.
I'm not really big into yogurt. But there are times when I do like to use yogurt for instance, like, uh, when I'm making an Indian dish, like, you know, like a curry or something, and to be able to stir a really tart, like you want sour cream or yogurt in, in with the curry, you know. Although coconut, canned coconut milk does wonders in a curry. I mean, it is my top recommendation. And I like to, I do like to get my coconut milk at Trader Joe's because it's the only one that I can find without the added gums and stabilizers and things like that. I've never found it. Yeah. I've never found it anywhere else but trader Joe's. So usually when I make that trip, I buy like five, six cans of coconut milk at a time.
Um, but so back to yogurt, um, pretty much in any grocery store, you know. Walmart, there's a coconut yogurt, there's a soy based yogurt. I'll be sure to list the name of the names of those below. But again, just like in the milk you want to be careful about. Added sugar. So I would go for the plain and add my own, you know, you can add your own honey, your own, um, fruit, your, you know, your own things.
If, if yogurt is something that you're used to using in the morning, right? Um, as for a breakfast option, then, um, it's very easy to make that replacement. And I will say, I do know that if you buy a bigger jug, that you will get the better price.
Patryce: [00:19:18] That's a good tip too. And going to... speaking of yogurts, I used to be a big time yogurt person, but so many of them... that the dairy yogurts have the sugar and all these different things. But I, I will say all the different non-dairy yogurts again, like the milk, the milk alternatives. You really just have to say. I see which ones agree with your palette and a popular one for me is the Coco-yo living coconut yogurt here. It's, I get the, um, they offer the plain and I'm reading the ingredients. It's raw young coconut, raw young coconut water prebiotic cultures. And that's it. Delicious. It has a bit of a tanginess to it, but that is delicious. And like you said, Shonda adding the blueberries and your homemade granola on that is delicious.
Shonda: [00:20:11] Yeah, that sounds good. Well, the only other thing I can think of where many people eat, uh, dairy would be. Well, there were a couple of more, one is, um, like a salad dressing, like a ranch salad dressing or something like that. So I have a couple of recipes that I can suggest. I'm sure there are some, oh yeah, there are on the aisle there... I've seen those. The dairy alternative ranch dressings on the condiment aisle.
Um, but you have to be careful there because they've replaced those things with, you know, probably high fat and salt and sugar and all kinds of stuff to, you know, to make it more palatable. I don't know. What, what have you found?
Patryce: [00:20:55] I'm a recovered ranch dressing user. And, uh, there was a cow girl ranch dressing that they have by Annie's that was really good, but I can't always find it. So to be honest, I've pretty much, I go more for the vinaigrettes now. And you got me onto the tahini. You can do tahini with some garlic, some... I use tahini because it has, it's not a ranch per se flavor, but it gives that same creaminess and I've now been converted.
So I just say, look at some of the other type of, you don't have to go with ranch, maybe look at something based on tahini or, uh, at Trader Joe's I get the ones based off of almond butter. They're... they're delicious. And, uh, just finding alternatives that are not necessarily the traditional ranch. But now I think, uh, any type of homemade, like you make so many homemade dressings and I see more and more people on YouTube doing it, and you can have fun with it. It'll taste good. And you know what you're getting? Cause like you said, That traditional ranch. It's not good for you.
Shonda: [00:22:05] Right. Um, you know, and now I want to do a comparison. I want to show what's in there. What's in what? And what's not in a homemade dressing.
Patryce: [00:22:13] Interesting. Yeah.
Shonda: [00:22:14] So I, I do like doing those type of things.
So, yeah, for sure. I'll post some dressings and we... I do have the idea to make a playlist on YouTube and list more on the website about dressing alternatives. Because I think when people try to go, uh, eat more plants and like eat more salads, unfortunately those salads are high in calories and fat because of the dressings that they put on, you know, on top of the salad to make it. taste good. There's just ways that you can make your salad dressings that are lower in fat, lower in calories so that you're not overeating in those areas.
Patryce: [00:22:58] Exactly. Or if you're getting... added... an addition to what you're saying, if you're going to get fat from your dressing, have it be good fat. Avocados as a base for salad dressing and these different butters almond butter.
Um, yeah, it's a healthier fat for you, but yes, I'm one of those rare, like I said, I used to eat more dressing. It seemed than salad.
Shonda: [00:23:20] Right? Yeah. I see that a lot. Yeah.
Patryce: [00:23:22] Not any more though, I've come a long way.
Shonda: [00:23:26] Well, that's good.
Patryce: [00:23:28] There's one other thing I want, the last thing I thought we might discuss are dairy free alternatives to butter.
Or just oils period, because I was looking at butters and I've gotten some good brands in the store. And I know in the past you used to use ghee and make ghee and you can buy ghee, which is a clarified butter. But then I, I was reminded that, you know, what, the things that we traditionally used to butter for, I noticed now, and [that] we can just substitute other things instead of butter. So, instead of the butter use avocado oil, or use olive oil, a pumpkin, pumpkin, or mashed bananas, coconut oil, um, these are all... and applesauce. You see some baked cake recipes or baked goods, good recipes. And that... they use applesauce as a substitute for oil.
Shonda: [00:24:22] Yeah. And you know, there was, uh, I had a chocolate chip cookie recipe. And I would add cashews or macadamias or pine nuts just in small amounts because they give it that buttery flavor, you know? Yeah. So there's your butter right there. And it's full of nutrients and vitamins. You know, and fiber instead of just empty calories and things that your body's like, yuck, let me get rid of this anyway.
Patryce: [00:24:54] That's a good point because a lot of the, uh, marketed butter alternatives, I'm not even sure some of them are good for you at all. Now we know,for the most part, I, there's not margarine as readily available. Uh, I do. I still have seen some recipes that call for that, but I'm like, well, I don't even know if you can buy it, but that would be an example of what, what we're saying is that just because it says not butter you need to look at the label.
Shonda: [00:25:20] Yeah, that's a very good point. Okay. So let's move on to somewhere else that we normally find butter sneaking in. You know, even if we don't even know it. There sometimes. Now we know, so we're talking about snacks. So we know, you know, like if it's a sour cream chips, we know that there's probably some milk in there. And on the ingredient list is going to say contains milk, but there are some other flavors that you may turn it over and says contains milk but, but these are barbecue chips. So why do they have milk in them? Whatever.
Patryce: [00:25:55] That happened to me, I was showing Grady .I got the root chips. They are made from sweet potatoes, the different color ones and other potato, and I was shocked to see that there was milk on the back.
Shonda: [00:26:07] Yeah. They use milk as a flavor enhancer. Yeah. So there are alternatives. Of course, if you buy a chip that says vegan. So I'm not pushing snacks. But I know that, you know, a lot of us want them need them sparingly. You know, um, yeah, so there's chips, there's crackers there are um, I don't know other, I suppose, cookies that would have dairy in them.
So do you have some go-to snacks now that you...
Patryce: [00:26:42] I do. Definitely in high school, I was that Dorito girl and Cheeto. And then I graduated to the healthy Cheetos, but now that I'm dairy free, I don't eat either them. I eat now something called Hippeas and they have two or three flavors. One is a vegan white cheddar, and they're made from chickpea flour and they're delicious. Yeah.
Shonda: [00:27:08] A lot of great uses for chick pea flour, for sure.
Patryce: [00:27:13] It is good. Yeah. It's all about the crunch and being able to bite down on something. So that's what I've noticed. It's about the mind for me when it comes to snacking. Now I try to do that. So, um, yeah.
Shonda: [00:27:26] Yeah, I know, like for, um, popcorn, we can, uh, just put the nutritional yeast on the popcorn to give it a cheesy flavor for those who like cheesy popcorn, that's an option
Patryce: [00:27:40] And celery I know people used to put the cream cheese sometimes in it. Uh, for celery, but you can just put some nut butter. And now that you mentioned celery and carrots, instead of dipping your vegetables in ranch, you can dip it in hummus.
Shonda: [00:27:53] Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And I'll be sure... there's one other thing that I used to make quite a bit ...it was like a cheesy flavor, kale chips, but it requires a dehydrator or baking in the oven at a really low temperature. So it does require some work, but they are delicious. And I have even taken them and, uh, I'll crumble them over popcorn, eat them together with the popcorn. So, well, I think that's all we have today.
Um, wait, I can hardly believe it. We forgot to mention ice cream. I think that's because Patryce and I really no longer eat ice cream or even think about it. The fact is that even vegan ice cream in the grocery stores have way too much sugar. So unless it's just an occasional treat, it's not something that you want to eat very often.
So instead, I invite you to take a look at the recipes I've posted in the show notes. These recipes, use fruit in place of cream to make "nice" cream and one popular one that you may have already heard of is banana "nice" cream, but you can also make something like a sorbet or something similar to that. So please check out those recipes if you're craving something cool, creamy and delicious.
But, you know, as always, if any of you out there have any alternatives that you would like to share with us in the community, please send those into us and we'll be sure to share them.
I'm still thinking about you all and I'm just out there searching for your fiber posts on social media. Remember to tag them with real food and drinks (#realfoodanddrinks) and I'll be looking for you. And I hope you're out there adding more fiber to your diet. So that's a reminder to go back to episode 19, to listen to ,uh, ways to add more fiber to your diet.
And then actually episode 18 was when we talked about the health concerns for dairy.
So be sure to check those last two episodes of the podcast out. Also.
Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community.
And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about. Until next time let's just be real.

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Podcast Episode 19 – Eat More Fiber

Oatmeal and Fiber

We need at least 40 grams of fiber. The more the better. But 97% of Americans do not even eat 40 grams. In today’s podcast, we dive more in-depth into how and why we should be eating more fiber. We also list 10 high-fiber foods that can easily be incorporated into our diets. This episode is a spin-off of the Video, “3 Major Reasons to Add More Fiber | Improve Your Health This New Year!” (The video link is listed below in the show notes.)

We want to come alongside you, as well, as we all continue moving toward a positive direction to support our healthy lifestyles. If there are any specific ways that we can be of assistance, please contact us through our contact form or send a verbal message through Speakpipe.

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  1. Some content for this podcast was compiled from Shonda’s “take-aways” of this online interview by PCRM: https://youtu.be/qIY1TQIH0jc?t=1060
  2. Dr. Will Bulsiewicz | The Gut Health MD
  3. “Results from a meta-analysis of 13 case–control studies have suggested that increased dietary fiber intake is associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer” https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/93/7/525/2906521
  4. 3 Major Reasons to Add More Fiber | Improve Your Health This New Year! (YouTube Video)

Recipes Loaded with Fiber:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Oatmeal Options

Oatmeal Bars with Berries and Seeds

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Chickpea Salad Spread

Chickpea Tortillas (Make gluten-free tortillas using chickpeas)


US Dietary Guidelines

Fight COVID-19 with Food Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 4-5 p.m. ET (1-2 p.m. PT) Weekly on Tuesdays with class recordings available on-demand for registrants https://www.pcrm.org/nutritionclass

Links to the G-Bombs series (which also includes some recipe videos):

[00:00:00] Shonda: Hey today, we're talking about fiber. Back in December, well, on December 31st, or just about, I released a video. It was titled three reasons why you should add fiber to your diet and make it your new year's resolution. I thought that adding fiber was the most important thing that you could do to help your health. So that's why I chose that as a new year's resolution to give you some good ideas. Because 97% of Americans do not get enough fiber.
[00:00:39] (Music & Introduction)
[00:01:37] Shonda: 97% of Americans do not get enough fiber.
[00:01:41] Patryce: That's unbelievable.
[00:01:42] Shonda: Yeah, that is. And we're supposed to get at least 40 grams of fiber per day. And it's really not difficult to do, especially if we're eating lots of plant foods.
[00:01:56] Patryce: That's true.
[00:01:57] Shonda: Yeah. So there's a lot reasons to do so, but I'm gonna repeat the same ones that I discussed in the video that you can refer to, but hopefully we can get a little bit, even more in depth here in our discussion.
[00:02:15] So one reason. That I gave for increasing fiber is to increase longevity . Well, okay. I eat more fiber. I live longer, but why? But the reason is because we know that the top diseases that result in death are cancer, especially colon cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. They are very high causes of death here in America where we live.
[00:02:52] But still further, you know, avoiding cancer, how ? And so I looked into that a little bit further and, it's by improving the intestinal transit of food and waste. So fiber cleans up our intestines.
[00:03:07] It grabs toxins. So it's helping grab those toxins and get them out of our body. So it's not just staying there in our blood system . We want to have fresh new blood and chemistry to work with.
[00:03:20] So fiber helps your body by eliminating carcinogens because carcinogens are toxins or toxins are carcinogens. So that's how we can avoid cancer by eating more fiber.
[00:03:36] I saw this post and it said that a meta analysis published in the journal of the national cancer Institute examined 13 studies and found that the risk of colorectal cancer decreased as fiber intake increased.
[00:03:52] Patryce: Mm. So, Good information.
[00:03:56] Right? Yeah. We're hearing more and more about colon cancer. Yes. In light of the recent passing of the actor Chadwick Boseman.
[00:04:07]Yes. That's really been highlighting what we need to know, some of the risk factors. As well as some signs, but that is one of those diseases that you often don't find out you have it in until it's more far gone.
[00:04:22] Right? So this is important to know that fiber can be part of our preventative medicine.
[00:04:30] Shonda: And you're going to talk later about the foods, but I'm just thinking and fiber tastes so good. You know, I just enjoy eating plants and fiber .
[00:04:38] So another that I mentioned earlier was diabetes.
[00:04:41]So in cases of diabetes, fiber helps by keeping blood sugar levels steady. And helping you keep a healthy weight that may even prevent diabetes altogether.
[00:04:59] Patryce: That's important. Yes. As that is another thing, not only in America are more people having diabetes, but worldwide.
[00:05:09] Yeah, I know in Asia it's become something very much on their radar as a country in Singapore. And they're taking steps to help the public not take in as much sugar through their consumption of fast foods. Yeah.
[00:05:24] Shonda: Fast foods is definitely the culprit with a high sugar, fat, but low fiber fiber. Right.
[00:05:35] Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and move on to reason number two that I talked about in the video . High fiber foods feed the healthy bacteria that improve immune function, reduce inflammation and chronic disease and even help elevate mood. And that is important because certain fibers are prebiotic foods that help us produce healthy gut bacteria. And that too sort of explains how we're getting rid of the toxins and things like that.
[00:06:07] But we're getting more specific. It's the prebiotics, which produce the probiotics . It's just like building upon itself, you know . It's removing toxins while the prebiotic fiber is producing probiotics that we know that we hear about all the time. You know, take your probiotics, take your probiotics.
[00:06:27] Well, The Gut Health MD always talks about get your prebiotics and you're feeding your probiotic bacteria by filling up on the prebiotics.
[00:06:42]Patryce: What about those probiotics that you see marketed all the time? The pills and some of them are refrigerated. Some not. You're saying focus more on, on getting your prebiotics?
[00:06:51] Shonda: You should focus more on getting your prebiotic foods.
[00:06:55]So that's why it's important to get all the prebiotic foods and Patryce is going to be discussing what those prebiotic foods are in just a bit.
[00:07:07]So the third reason I mentioned in the video, just getting more specific, is that eating high fiber produces these short chain fatty acids.
[00:07:20] And I think they are just like, the winners , the key or the prize that you get from eating your fiber. Okay. This is what helped to convince me to eat fiber. Although I was dealing with IBS. And, you know, with IBS, certain fibers just really put your stomach in like a crazy state, you know, the bloating and the pain and all these things because your body is not accustomed to all this fiber.
[00:07:54] So my body had to relearn how to adjust to fiber is really what was happening.
[00:08:01] Patryce: Interesting. Interesting.
[00:08:04] Shonda: And so when I learned about short chain, fatty acids, specifically butyrate, which is a short chain fatty acid. That was one that I was like, okay, science says this. I am going to give it a try. You know, I was always my own Guinea pig.
[00:08:23]Short chain, fatty acids help with inflammatory bowel disease, IBS , acid reflux and several other gut disorders. Okay. So that's why this helped me. And it really does help guys. Listen to this. If you have any of these issues, just take it really slowly. And eventually you will reap the benefits of doing this . Because this specific one , butyrate, it repairs leaky gut it. So it helps with the integrity of your gut lining. I mean, I even heard about leaky gut 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with it, you know, you have leaky gut and this and this and that, and they were trying to give me all these supplements and these different things, but, you know, I mean, all I had to do was boost up my fiber and let my body heal. And so that's what we're all talking about is we're talking about supporting our health with real food and letting real food and the nutrition that we get from it help our bodies heal.
[00:09:31]The only other thing I wanted to add on when we have leaky gut, there's a disruption in the gut brain barrier. When I had leaky gut I experienced a lot of brain fog. And that's like all these toxins transferring over into your blood and you know, your blood's going through your brain. The gut disruption in the gut brain barrier is linked to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and many auto-immune diseases and including ADHD.
[00:10:04] Oh, so that's what studies are showing now. I mean, it's been proven, it's been studied. Leaky gut, or disruption in the gut brain barrier leads to these diseases. So that was my takeaway from when I found out about fiber. And that's why I wanted to share it with everyone.
[00:10:26] It's such an amazing thing. It's such a beautiful thing. And that's the thing that I hope to spread to everyone within our hearing. That they will hear this and believe this and be empowered to do this.
[00:10:39]Patryce: How encouraging.
[00:10:40] That's very encouraging that our body can heal with the foods that we choose to eat.
[00:10:45] So glad that we are sharing this. Like you said, people take it to heart and it doesn't hurt to give this a try. Eat more fiber.
[00:10:57] And with that said, we have some foods to share with you to meet that goal of eating more fiber.
[00:11:05] Shonda: Okay, good. I'm excited to hear about those. See if there's anything else I need to add.
[00:11:10] Patryce: Well, I will say all the foods I was familiar with, but there were one or two where I didn't realize that they had so much fiber. And so of the 10 that I'm mentioning today. Begin with raspberries. Okay. Berries have a lot of fiber, but raspberries seemed to have the most fiber of all the berries.
[00:11:33] So raspberries, for example, have nine grams of fiber per cup.
[00:11:39] Wow. Okay. Oh, and yeah. And our goal is 40. Okay. So that's almost a fourth there already.
[00:11:49] Yeah, that's exciting. And, and of course, you know what, the berries, you also get the vitamin C, but not to say that the strawberries, blueberries and all those others aren't excellent berries.
[00:12:00]Then we move on to black beans. Black beans have eight, about eight grams for about one third cup.
[00:12:12] Shonda: Wow. Okay. You said eight, for a third. Yes. So anyone eating a cup of beans is already halfway there.
[00:12:22] Patryce: Exciting.
[00:12:23] And with that, I do want to mention, you're also getting in your protein because we know black beans or beans are just high in protein.
[00:12:31] And I don't want to forget to mention, we've talked about, and you can go look at our past podcasts about the GBOMBS. Because GBOMBS include what?
[00:12:45] Shonda: Include beans? Yes.
[00:12:48] Patryce: And then number three, I just didn't realize avocados had so much in the way of fiber and they do, they have about seven grams of fiber for a whole avocado. That's pretty exciting because we know we can eat them sliced, diced, and put them on top of foods, salads or potato, or we can eat them in our smoothies. I know we've done a lot of smoothies with mango, avocado, spinach... whatever the combination. Smoothies are made even creamier with an avocado added.
[00:13:22] Shonda: Yeah, that sounds good. Okay. What else you got?
[00:13:27] Patryce: I have number four...artichokes now that's the one I didn't realize had as much fiber.
[00:13:34]Maybe because I just don't eat them as much. I love them, but I don't really eat them as much as I probably will going forward because they have about six grams of fiber per cup.
[00:13:46]Shonda: Per cup. Okay. And artichokes also are prebiotic . Ah, yeah. And, and for those interested, there is a link to an artichoke spinach recipe. And also we have a video available, so be sure to check those out.
[00:14:07] Patryce: That's exciting. Yeah, that's exciting because I used to love that dip, the old dip, but I'm not into dairy anymore. So I'm looking forward to trying out your recipe and then also realizing that artichokes have a lot of potassium as well.
[00:14:23] I didn't realize that. I just wanted to add that. So you're getting fiber and potassium with your artichokes.
[00:14:29] And then we have coming in fifth, lentils. And of course at eight grams per half a cup, gosh, you can get 16 grams of fiber with just one cup of lentils.
[00:14:43] And I can eat that in a day. Eating lentil soup or stew, what have you. It's exciting stuff.
[00:14:50] Shonda: Right? Right. Let's just think about what we've talked about already. You talked about some berries, artichokes and two different kinds of beans, really so far. But if we eat those in a serving size, we're almost at 40 grams. We are already.
[00:15:09]We're about halfway there.
[00:15:11]Patryce: So we're halfway through the list and almost halfway there.
[00:15:14] And I'm sure when you hear the other half of this list, folks will see that it's very easy to get in the recommended 40 grams because the next item listed are sweet potatoes. Yes. At five grams of fiber per a medium-sized sweet potato, apparently. Yeah. And then right after the sweet potatoes. You have whole wheat pasta for those who really liked our pastas and maybe you're putting some beans and other things with the pasta. But the pasta alone, for a half a cup serving, you're getting about seven grams of fiber.
[00:15:54] Shonda: And we know everyone eats more than half a cup of pasta.
[00:15:57] Patryce: Well, yeah, you're right about that. So you can really pack it in with the pasta. You're right. Probably easily a cup of pasta. So you're at 14 grams with just your pasta and then you have chickpeas and another bean six grams of fiber for half a cup there. Yeah.
[00:16:17] And what was interesting? The next item is oatmeal. Now, before I did this research, I just assume oatmeal would have been like one of the top. Okay. Oh no, it's still great. You get five grams for a half a cup, but I realized now I can go to some of these other foods and get just as much if not more fiber.
[00:16:38] Shonda: Yeah. Okay.
[00:16:41] Patryce: And the last thing on the list of the 10 were green peas with about two-thirds cup of green peas you're getting about six grams of fiber.
[00:16:53] Shonda: How many cups?
[00:16:54] Patryce: Just two-thirds cup.
[00:16:56] Shonda: And we know a lot of people like green peas. That's one of the first foods that we have when we're toddlers, right?
[00:17:04] Patryce: Yes, you're right. That's one of the first ones to be introduced the little ones too.
[00:17:08] But you know what, it's just funny. Many of us, if not, all of us have heard of the saying "an Apple a day keeps the doctor away." The truth is that is healthy because apples have fiber too. They weren't on my list.
[00:17:22] Shonda: Yeah, all these other foods, right, had more fiber than the apple.
[00:17:27] Patryce: True. True. So that's exciting that after hearing about the benefits of adding more fiber to your diet, we see how easily it can be done.
[00:17:38] Shonda: Yeah. It can really be. An easy thing to do.
[00:17:41]I thought maybe when you were talking about oatmeal, did you have more to say about oatmeal? Because I remember someone who had high cholesterol told me that he put oatmeal daily in his diet and his cholesterol went way down or maybe even down to normal.
[00:18:01] So
[00:18:03] Patryce: I, I don't have anything about that. But now that you shared that I've heard similar stories over and over again, over the years, about people who have chronic diseases or cholesterol and just other issues. And they find incorporating oatmeal daily has been awesome. So there must be something to that oatmeal.
[00:18:28]Shonda: Yeah. You know, I push oatmeal for breakfast. It's just the easiest thing. I eat it every day. I mean, I rarely go away from oatmeal during the week.
[00:18:39] Yeah. you can add your raspberries to the oatmeal, you know, other fruits and just, yeah. Nuts and seeds and yeah. So oatmeal is just a wonderful thing. But I hope you all are, are being encouraged that you can easily, so easily increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits. ,vegetables and beans. Yeah. I think they're like the top of the list. Fruits, vegetables, and beans. Well, yeah, fruits and beans, maybe, maybe really at the top.
[00:19:18] Patryce: Definitely fruits and beans are at the top. You're right about that.
[00:19:22] You know what? Part of being a human being is elimination. Okay. Whatever you want to call it. And I have been surprised, well, more and more people I've discovered over the years. Somehow it comes up about constipation.
[00:19:37] Shonda: Yeah. Well, we can't get rid of our toxins and our carcinogens and the fiber is helping that.
[00:19:44] I mean, it's not just grabbing it and going nowhere. We have to eliminate it. Right. We have to get it out. So we cannot be constipated. We need the fiber to help us. Eliminate the toxins yeah. So it, it, I mean, it, it all works together. You know, it works out. We eat the fiber, it grabs the toxins and then it brings it out of our body.
[00:20:09] Patryce: Well, I just want to throw that in there because I want to promote that this is a natural way, instead of so many of the go-to over the counter recommendations... why not just increase your fiber intake first?
[00:20:25] Shonda: Yeah, exactly. Very agreeable.
[00:20:30]Oh, so we did not talk about one last thing we want to add to that is about how fiber fills us up.
[00:20:39] Patryce: Yeah. I thought we talked about that, but yeah. And when you spoke about the oatmeal, which I know you love, it definitely fills you up.
[00:20:48] So for, for anyone trying to not overeat, that is a great way to start your day. Start your day with your own way of doing oatmeal, like customize it. Like Shonda has said so many times you can do what ever with your oatmeal. You can add berries, and nuts and seeds, and other fruits too. Yeah. So when you're trying to maintain a healthy weight, and feel satisfied, without eating a lot of food start off with oatmeal. And maybe , maybe you already gone through the day and you're just very hungry and it's closer to dinner time. I'm one of those people where I don't have to eat certain foods certain times of the day.
[00:21:33] So I think it's fine to have oatmeal for your evening .
[00:21:37]Shonda: It sure is. Yeah. So, yeah.
[00:21:42]Patryce: Wow. This is all good. So I hope that more people will eat more fiber and tell more people to eat more fiber.
[00:21:54]Anything else to share about fiber, Shonda?
[00:21:56] Shonda: No, I think that's it, but we can just summarize it by saying the goal is 40 grams of fiber per day. And there are a lot of apps that will allow you to track that. Track your fiber intake to actually see how much you're getting. To make sure you are meeting those 40 grams per day. ' And if you're not, that means that you're not eating enough plant foods.
[00:22:23] Patryce: Great. Well, that's a great suggestion . And again, as Shonda said, there's a wonderful challenge to start this year, eating more fiber.
[00:22:34] Shonda: Yeah, that was definitely I guess, a challenge. And I'll also put a lot of other links of recipes and YouTube videos that can help increase your plant-based foods.
[00:22:49]All right. So until next week eat more fiber. Yes. And we'll check in on you.

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Chickpea Salad Spread (Vegan Chicken and Tuna)

Chickpea Salad Dip Spread

…for Sandwiches, Wraps and Crackers

This chickpea salad spread has two options.  It can be prepared as “chicken” salad or “tuna” salad substitutes.  See “tuna” flavor salad add-in options below under the ingredients section.

Ingredients: Of course substitutions can be made for many of these ingredients, but this list serves as a general guideline.

  • One 15 ounce can of chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup home cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 green onion (or 2 TBS red/white/yellow onion or 1 scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 TBS tahini (or homemade vegan mayo or any dressing of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard of choice
  • 1/4 cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
  • 1 – 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Chickpea salad dip and spreaddash of paprika
  • salt and pepper, to your liking

Add-ins for the “tuna” flavor: One or the other will do just fine

  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, crumbled
  • 4 mini sheets of any nori seaweed snacks
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of kelp powder


  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor then mix/chop.  Or mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add remaining ingredients.


I offered the chickpea “chicken” version salad to someone who had never tried anything similar to this before. I was informed that he was not a fan of hummus. I put the spread into a tortilla wrap with avocado and jalapenos. After the first bite, the response was, “Not bad.” But when the plate was empty, he asked for the recipe.

More chickpea recipes: