I've been considering trying to reduce my dairy consumption for environmental reasons (I've long since reduced my meat consumption), but I'm not sure what to use for various substitutions.
I generally go through one to four gallons of whole milk per two weeks. Uses include:
- A little bit in scrambled eggs
- Pancakes, muffins, popovers, and the occasional custard or quiche
- Yogurt (easier than buying separately, probably cheaper, and I strain it to be much thicker than anything I can find in bulk in stores)
- Oatmeal, both cooked with milk and then supplemented with yogurt
- Soda-bread, made with yogurt rather than buttermilk
- Hot cocoa
- Mac-and-cheese (not box mix, so milk and cheese and butter are all involved)
- Milk-enriched yeast bread
And then there's butter and cheese for various things, but I buy those separately rather than making them from milk, so replacing dairy milk wouldn't affect that.
I would expect that the hot cocoa, the yeast bread and quickbreads, the scrambled eggs, and the oatmeal, could work simply replacing the dairy milk with almond or oat or soy milk, because all of those would work with water or with no liquid at all (just less tasty/nutritious). I am less confident that that would work for making custard, quiche, or a properly thick sauce for mac-and-cheese (even allowing dairy cheese), since I'm pretty sure the milk is relevant there chemically/structurally, but I'm not sure. I have a bad feeling that I could not make an acceptable yogurt (both for flavor and for adding sufficient acid to soda-bread) from nondairy milk, or at least not without significantly more effort than the fairly trivial process of making yogurt overnight in a slow cooker.
Is there a single replacement I could buy for dairy milk for all of these products? Lacking that, what replacements should I use for any given portion?