Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dairy Free??

This edition of Tuesdays at the Table is more of a plea for help...
Do any of you have any good tips for dairy-free cooking and baking? Max is allergic/intolerant to dairy and possibly soy. This hasn't really been that big of an issue until the last month or so, now that he is getting old enough to really be eating most of the things we do. It is easy to avoid the obvious things like adding cheese to recipes and switching to rice or coconut milk, but there are so many things that have dairy (and especially soy) in them that I'm spending an obscene amount of time reading labels.

So, does anyone use coconut oil for baking? I haven't tried it yet, but can't seem to come up with too many other options. I generally always use butter in my baking, but that isn't an option if I want him to be able to eat it. I had thought it would be a simple switch to margarine, but alas, most margarines have some form of dairy in them as well. Surely there is some other option I'm not thinking of...

As far as his soy intolerance, it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue when it is just soy oil or lecithin, but things like soy milk are a problem. 

So is that enough whining? Any vegans out there that can help? Or anyone with dairy allergies of their own?

I've seen some fun recipes linked up at Tuesdays at the Table so far...Susan has a tasty Jambalaya recipe up today, and Debbie must have been reading my mind this morning when she posted her recipe, as I found an abundance of fruit as I was cleaning out my freezer earlier today...


  1. My family has been dairy-free for most of the last five years... and the only "butter" that we've loved has been Earth Balance. It's pretty much The Option in the vegan/dairy-free community. It comes in tub form and stick form (although that can be harder to find).

    I've experimented with coconut oil a little, but more for popcorn and things. I hear it has great results in baking!

    Tofutti's cream cheese is the only cheese alternative that I recommend. (Just don't try them... ugh.)

    godairyfree.org is the best resource you could hope for. Substitutions, recipes, reviews of snack foods, etc. It's great, and definitely got me through the hard adjustment phase...

    Let me know if there's any specific questions you have, I'd love to help you out! This is something near and dear to my heart - helping moms adjust to being allergy-families.

  2. Hey Toni, that's crazy! I usually use coconut oil when I stir fry meats and veggies. And when I try to omit butter from cookies and brownies I just substitute with applesauce. I also have a "Lemon Sauce" that I drizzle over steamed veggies (instead of butter, salt and pepper) that my kids love! It's a combination of Lemon juice, Olive Oil and herbs. My vegan in-laws came up with it. I would be happy to pass it along if it sounds like it would be useful.

  3. Being in Australia, I don't think I would be of much help. We do have one brand of margarine which is dairy free - of course, it's the most expensive one. I do hope you find some solutions soon. Poor Max, poor you!

  4. My son was also allergic to soy & dairy (protein intolerance, not lactose. Lactose intolerance is very rare in babies). The good news is that most kids do outgrow a cows milk/soy protein allergy around 18 months - 2 years... you probably already know that.

    Anyway, for baking we just used regular butter... theoretically it's "all" fat, so there shouldn't be a problem. In reality there is obviously some cow protein, but it didn't seem to bother our son. YMMV. You can also try goat's milk and goat's milk products. They're expensive, but if you use them sparingly it isn't too bad. You could also use Crisco... we do that for cookies and such.

    For everyday "milk" he drinks So Delicious coconut milk (and still nurses). You can sub that for regular milk in just about any recipe.

    The big thing for us was cheese. I LOVE cheese and it was really hard to not be able to eat it all the time like I used to, but I did end up eating some goats cheeses ... they have a bit of that weird goat funk, but it's not too noticeable once you get used to it.

    Thankfully he's starting to get past it. If you want to chat or email, or have any other questions I'm happy to try to help. Good luck!

  5. When I was baking for my SIL who's dairy allergic I used coconut oil. It gives a slight coconut flavour, but that seems to work just fine in sweet baking. I had also used rice bran oil which didn't have the flavour that olive oil imparted, but now I prefer a less processed oil.

  6. I just found you via Katy's blog and thought I'd jump in as we have done dairy free on and off over the years. Is it all dairy or just cows? We didnt give our boys any cows dairy but used to give them goats as its far easier to digest. If its the lactose thats the problem then goats, sheeps or buffalos should be fine.
    Watch out for margarine though, it contains trans fatty acids which have been found to be carcenogenic. Good luck with your dairy free quest

  7. I've found earth balance vegan buttery sticks work well in most recipes. And, sorry for the loooong comment but here's my favorite carrot cake recipe (I make it with spelt flour but if you ever need to substitute for gluten free flour, this is a good recipe for that too!)
    5 tbsp clear honey
    5 tbsp muscovado sugar
    4 fl oz walnut or veg. oil
    12 oz grated carrots
    8oz flour
    pinch of salt
    1 heaped tsp baking powder
    1 tsp mixed spice

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
    2. Heat honey, sugar and oil in a pan, stirring till sugar melts. Allow to cool
    3. Blend the honey mixture with the eggs and grated carrots
    4. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking, powder & spice. Pour in the honey mixture and beat together.
    5. Transfer mixture to 2lb loaf tin, bake for approx. 1 hour.

    It freezes well too.

  8. I don't have much experience in this (sorry!) but you might want to check out the Good Chef, Bad Chef website. Basically, the "good chef", Janella, tries to use a lot of natural ingredients and alternatives etc... so you might find something helpful. You'll find the recipes here - http://www.goodchefbadchef.com.au/recipes

  9. I am allergic to cow's milk (not lactose intolerant). I was allergic as an infant, and my parents gave me goat milk. I did "outgrow" the allergy for a long time, but I would be very sick if I had too much dairy at once. Then, in college, my allergy came back with a vengeance. I have been totally dairyfree for 12 years. I can and still do eat goat cheese.
    Since your son is also allergic to soy, many of the margarines are going to be out. I have 2 books I consider very good. The first is The Dairy Free Cookbook by Jane Zukin. http://www.amazon.com/Dairy-Free-Cookbook-Fully-Revised-2nd/dp/0761514678/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327458978&sr=1-2. Very helpful sections on allergy vs. intolerance, substitutions, etc. I also use 101 Dairy Free Desserts by Annette Pia Hall. Almost all of her recipes use canola oil.
    Best of luck!

  10. looks like you are getting some good help on eating dairy-free! Thanks for linking up, Toni.

  11. Oh crikey, I am no help, but looks like there are plenty of knowledgeable folks about willing to help!

  12. Coconut or avocado oil, goats milk/cheese (takes some getting used to IMO) and vegan recipes online - I get acne flair up's if I have dairy :( oh gods I miss french cheese's!

  13. Sorry, I'm no help at all but I hope you find some things that work for him!

  14. Ohhh, poor Max! I hope he gets to grow out of it, like jmday said might happen! I have no advice (my sister was vegan like ten years ago, but I wasn't in charge of cooking then), but good luck!

  15. Hi Toni - my 6 year old son has both milk and soy allergies. I don't buy many prepackaged foods anymore becasue it seems they all have either soy or milk. When I bake, I substitute Rice Dream rice milk for the cow milk. You can't even tell the difference. I usually use canola oil for the fat in my baking, regardless of what the recipe calls for. Most of the time this works out fine. Soy does break down some when it is cooked, and I have found he can eat a product that contains soy if it is in very small amounts and has been cooked. I wish you the best of luck while you learn to adjust your cooking/shopping habits

  16. I bake with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil or Earth Balance vegan margarine. Great success with all three.

    We also skip dairy products, so I substitute in either almond, rice or soy milk. If possible, get a hold of May All Be Fed by John Robbins. This is my all time favourite vegan recipe book because the food is easy to make and tastes delicious. You won't notice the fact that it's dairy free food.

    Best of luck with changing your diet to accomodate those allergies.

  17. I don't know about cooking with it, but coconut oil is supposed to be very good for you.

  18. I wondered why you'd been pinning all of those dairy-free recipes. We don't have this issue at our house, but I've got a TON of cookbooks, so I'll look and see what I can find. I've never cooked with coconut oil, but always have some because it's great for Emma's eczema. Yes, I use it as lotion! ;)