Ho, Ho, Hold the Whip!

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Holidays are a difficult time of the year for anyone with an allergy. But, it can be done, and it can be delicious! Here are some alternatives to holiday favorites, that even dairy-lovers will covet!

Whipped Cream Substitute 

CoCoWhip- So Delicious makes a whip that can beat Cool Whip any day! It’s delightful on pie, cake, or your favorite hot beverage! I have been adding CoCoWhip to my coffee for a creamy twist on caffeine. Don’t cry over whipped cream, dive into CoCoWhip! I found my carton at Whole Foods.

So, the next time you’re feeling down that you have to sacrifice the whip on that vegan Starbucks beverage, remember that you have CoCoWhip at home, and suddenly the world is new again.

Green Bean Casserole (Vegan!)

If you’re anything like me, the holidays simply don’t feel right without my favorite foods, and one way to make sure that you get the feelz without the allergic reaction is to find ways to make your holiday staples vegan!

Here’s one way to do it:

http://lesliedurso.com/2012/11/can-free-dairy-free-green-bean-casserole/

Here’s how I did it:

I made the mushroom soup found at the link below. Instead of a can of coconut milk, I used Rich’s Whip, which can generally be found in the frozen foods section of your local grocer.

http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/dairy-free-cream-of-mushroom-soup

Then, I simply followed the instructions on the tub of French’s Fried Onions. (Yes, they are dairy free!).

What could be simpler and healthier? I can’t think of a thing.

So……………..What can I SNACK ON?

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What can I eat that doesn’t suck?

There are many snack food options when going dairy free. You’d be surprised that many items may already be in your pantry! Below is a short list of my favorites, be sure to check every label as ingredients may change!

  • Teddy Grahams
  • Club Crackers
  • Ritz Crackers
  • KIND Bars
  • Lara Bars
  • Nature’s Valley Crunchy Bars: Oats and Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Oat’s and Honey, Apple Crisp, Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Nutter Butters
  • Oreos
  • Honey Maid Graham Crackers
  • Jet Puff Marshmallows and Marshmallow Fluff
  • Keebler Vienna Fingers
  • Biscoff Cookie Spread
  • Peanut Butter Company: White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Spread, and Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Spread
  • Lorna Doodle Shortbread Cookies
  • Pop Tarts: Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Wild Berry, Raspberry, Apple Strudel, Cinnamon Roll
  • Doritos: Sweet Chili Spice, Salsa Verde
  • Rold Gold Pretzels (most pretzel brands are, but again check the label for milk or cross contamination)
  • Sabra Hummus or Guacamole or Salsa
  • Most Tortilla Chips (check the labels)
  • Most Salsa brands (check the labels)
  • Wheat Thins (original)
  • Triscuits (original)
  • Emerald Nuts (unless it is a flavored nut, check the labels)
  • Fishers Nuts have many dairy free options
  • Most Fruit Snack brands
  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Dots
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Swedish Fish
  • Junior Mints

So……….What Can I Eat for DESSERT?

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If I can’t eat dairy, what can I eat that doesn’t suck?

Once you get over the mourning process of dairy, it is time to look on the bright side at all the delicious things you can eat! Believe me, I was in your shoes once, crying while people ate pizza in front of me, chewing on a piece of chocolate and then spitting it out. Don’t. Just don’t. Yes, it is a tragic loss, yes you can cry about it, but I guarantee your husband is going to get annoyed very fast if you keep up the whiny routine. So, mamas, it’s time to get your milk-free eating on. Here we go!

Some of my favorites include the following:

Let’s start with DESSERT, shall we?

Crouching Dairy, Hidden Milk

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milk

If you ask most people what dairy is, they will probably say the following:

Sour cream, yogurt, butter, milk (obviously), cheese, cream, and eggs. Let me be clear: EGGS ARE NOT DAIRY. Yes, they are found next to the dairy products in the refrigerated section of the store, but they are not dairy. Cows make milk. Chickens make eggs. The end of that dispute.

While those items above certainly are no-nos for those who can’t consume milk (EXCEPT THE EGGS!), there are many names that milk ‘hides’ in, and label reading is just one of the many feats to accomplish in ensuring you’re not ingesting hidden milk. The FDA requires that companies list the TOP 8 ALLERGENS in a statement in the ingredients. More information on that can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm106187.htm 

Unfortunately, the law does not apply to items such as natural flavorings so you must be a vigilant label reader, and learn the names of hidden milk.  Here is a link to an excellent, comprehensive list of hidden milk names:

Milk_Allergy_Avoidance_List

If in doubt, don’t eat it, or be sure to call the company for more information about their ingredients.  If they don’t know what’s in their product, it is a product that you do not want to eat.

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Going Milk Free-The Death of Cheese

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Cheese and I had a great relationship. After 29 blissful years, it was time to break-up.  Neither of us wanted to, but I had to do what was best for me and my health.  Plus, I found out I was allergic, so there was that, too. No more mozzarella, pepper jack, cheddar, whatever processed crap is in Velveeta. No more cheese!  Hearing that you need to cut dairy from your diet is very stressful and extremely sad.  Plus, it is very difficult to do since the American diet relies heavily on milk products.

When I became pregnant with my daughter, I was concerned that I would pass my allergic tendencies on to her.  It’s been two years since I’ve cut dairy so I didn’t consume it while pregnant, and I don’t consume it while breastfeeding.  I am slightly worried that her introduction to milk will be a fail because she’s never encountered the proteins in milk before.

I’ve encountered many moms who have had to eliminate milk from their diet because their breastfed baby has an intolerance, or allergy to the proteins in milk.  The milk proteins, casein, and whey, are very hard to digest for babies because their immature gut has a difficult time breaking them down.

It can be very daunting to create a menu of delicious foods to consume when one cannot eat dairy. The process is not without trial and error, but there are many steps a mother can take to ensure the health of both her and her child while going milk-free!