Isn’t it ironic that Diabetes Awareness Month starts the day after Halloween? A holiday centered around sugar, followed promptly by a condition that necessitates a low sugar diet. It could be argued that sugar is squarely in our minds after we’ve just doled out fistfuls of candy. But what about dairy? General studies don’t show a need for the average diabetic to cut out dairy, but there are a number of reasons why many people with diabetes are dairy-free or dairy-low.
- Lactose Intolerance: Like most of the population, a good percentage of the of people living with diabetes are lactose intolerant.
- Milk Allergies: Some are even dairy allergic or have reactions to dairy that require them to live completely dairy-free.
- Other Medical Conditions: Some medical issues that can be more prevalent with diabetes, like kidney disease, necessitate cutting dairy.
- Vegan Diet: Eating plant-based has been shown to be highly effective against diabetic symptoms.
- Strict on Sugars: Lactose is a sugar in dairy, and some people do opt to eliminate many dairy products from their diabetes diet for strict blood sugar management.
We aren’t here to medically advise if a dairy-free diet is right for you. That is for you and your physician or dietitian to decide. But we are here to help if you live with diabetes and follow a dairy-free or dairy-low diet. This guide includes dozens of dairy-free diabetic-friendly recipes!
Over 75 Dairy-Free Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Meals, Snacks & Treats
The dairy-free diabetes friendly recipes below center around the principles of the Mediterranean diet, with ample produce, whole grains, lean meats, and heart-healthy natural foods, like nuts and olive oil. They are also free of added sugars and refined grains. And we’ve labeled the vegan recipes. The non-vegan recipes contain egg, meat, or seafood, but no dairy or honey. Most of these recipes are naturally gluten-free, but a few are made with whole grain wheat flours.
Remember: This is not advice. Dairy-free living isn’t right for everyone. These recipes are for those who need to or want to eliminate all or some dairy from their diet. All of the recipes listed might not be suitable for your diabetes diet. They are meant to inspire and give you options, and to suit the needs of most diabetics. Only you and your physician can decide what is best for your needs.
- Paleo Mini Quiche
- Coconut Almond Yogurt (vegan)
- High Protein Almond Flour Pancakes
- Hashbrown Waffles (vegan)
- Chocolate Chia Raspberry & Acai Smoothie Bowl (vegan)
- Ratatouille Omelets
- Unsweetened Banana Bread (vegan)
- Buckwheat Crepes
- Tofu Frittata (vegan)
- Healthy Carrot Spice Muffins (vegan)
- Almond Butter Green Smoothie Bowl (vegan)
- Cinnamon Power Mug Muffin
- Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie (vegan)
- Basic Chicken or Turkey Breakfast Sausage
- Sheet Pan Eggs with Pecan Breakfast “Sausage”
- Coconut Raspberry Smoothie (vegan)
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash (vegan)
- Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl (vegan)
- Keto Golden Milk (vegan)
Did You Know? Many people don’t realize that lactose is milk sugar. Substituting 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk beverage for 1 up of 1% milk reduces your sugar consumption by 13 grams. Lactose is considered lower GI than some other types of sugar, but it still raises glucose levels.
- Caesar Salad with Cumin-Spiced Pecans
- Parisienne Snapper with Vegetables En Papillote
- Plant-Based Nut Loaves (vegan)
- Moroccan Spiced Chicken & Butternut Squash
- Zoodle Ramen Bowls
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Greek Olives (vegan)
- Thai Buddha Bowls
- Garlicky Greek Chickpeas & Spinach (vegan)
- Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Salmon with Mexican Corn & Black Beans
- One Dish Chicken & Vegetable Bake
- Instant Pot Lentils & Rice Dinner (vegan)
- Rustic Ratatouille with Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Arugula over Couscous (vegan)
- Pan-Seared Lemon Pepper Cod with Mint Pea Puree
- Chicken Pecan Meatballs
- Spaghetti Squash Alfredo (vegan)
- Plant-Based Jackfruit Chili (vegan)
- Shrimp Egg Roll Bowl
- Plant-Based Eggplant Paprikash (vegan)
- Creamy Fennel Soup (vegan)
- Curry Tofu and Vegetables (vegan)
- Drumstick Sheet Pan Dinner
- Hawaiian Cauliflower Fried Rice (vegan)
- Plant-Based Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (vegan)
- Keto Clam Chowder
- Caribbean Curry (vegan)
- Warm Potato Salad with Halibut & Arugula
- No Butter Dal Makhani (vegan)
- Creamy Miso Ramen (vegan)
- Plant-Based Chorizo (vegan)
- Rosemary Lime Salmon Skewers
- Swedish Turkey Loaves with Mushroom Gravy
- Paleo Pizza Noodles
- Creamy Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Soup (vegan)
- Plant-Based Power Bowls with Peanut Sauce (vegan)
Pastabilities: Classic semolina pasta might not be advised by your dietitian, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck just spiralizing vegetables. You can find 100% whole grain pasta (wheat or gluten-free), or go for higher protein options like lentil pasta.
Meal Helpers & Snacks
- Simple Socca (vegan)
- Smashed Potatoes & Parsnips with Garlic Olive Oil
- Dairy-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Classic Dairy-Free Tzatziki (vegan)
- Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Soy Sauce (vegan)
- Plantain Chips & Guacamole (vegan)
- Eggplant Caponata (vegan)
- Oil-Free Hummus with 5 Varieties (vegan)
- Vesper Boards
- Raw Zucchini Pesto Snacks (vegan)
Daily Bread: It can help a touch with tenderness and flavor, but whole grain bread doesn’t need added sugar. For toast, sandwiches, and breadcrumbs, bake this 100% Whole Grain Bread Recipe without any sweetener. You might need a little less flour, but it will still rise beautifully. Or, you can try my German Style Spelt Bread, which is naturally made without sweetener.
- Sugar-Free Chocolate Avocado Mousse (vegan)
- Keto Cranberry-Orange Scones
- Homemade Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips or Bars (vegan)
- Almond Joy Spread (vegan)
- Tropical Fruit Parfaits with Vanilla Nut Whip (vegan)
- Dairy-Free Sugar-Free Nutella (vegan)
- Melon Popsicles (vegan)
- Fudge Brownie Quinoa Cookies (vegan)
- Raspberry Protein Brownies (vegan)
- Cashew Whipped Cream (vegan)
- Chocolate Frosties or Fudgesicles (vegan)
- Healthy Peanut Butter Mousse (vegan)
- Pure Chocolate Truffles (vegan)
- Creamy Crimson Mousse (vegan)
- Keto Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Shake (vegan)
Heads Up! Tagatose is a sweetener used in many diabetic foods, but it is often derived from dairy (lactose). If you are dairy-free, you will need to avoid it when purchasing sweetener, fresh baked goods, and packaged foods.