Going Dairy Free

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Dairy Free Ingredients

I recently made the decision to make my diet 100% Dairy Free and lots of you have been asking why and what substitutes I’ve used so I thought I would write a short and sweet post for you.

Firstly, the decision to go Dairy Free was because for some reason, whenever I have Dairy, I cannot stop sneezing! It sounds so silly, but I get terrible sneezing fits, to the point where my whole nose is sore, my eyes are swelled up and watery and I just can’t get anything done because I’m sneezing every 5 seconds! It’s such a strange allergy to have, its been building for the last few years and I had no idea what was causing it, I suspected maybe dust or Hayfever but never Dairy! Dairy also makes me wheeze like a fat kid which I can assure you is not attractive at all!

After going Dairy Free for a month in January, I noticed an improvement straight away. Less sneezing fits, my chest wasn’t tight or blocked and I even had more energy! Then came February, my month of denial, where I slipped back into eating Dairy in the hope that maybe January was just a fluke, but alas the symptoms returned. So in March I knew I had to give up Dairy for good.

It was hard. So hard. I mean, I write a baking blog! Full of Butter, Cream Cheese, Frosting and every Dairy Product you could care to imagine. I didn’t want to let my blog and readers down and I definitely did not want to give up Cheese. Or Milkshakes. Or butter. (The list goes on).

But after a bit of research and stocking my cupboards with what felt like every substitute going, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my willpower and how exciting it has been experimenting and baking without Dairy.

I’ve made the decision to continue writing both Dairy filled and Dairy Free recipes for this blog, and even try out some Gluten Free, Egg Free and Healthy Recipes too. I have been overwhelmed by your support of my Free From Recipes so far and the fact that you want more makes me even more excited to get back in the kitchen and experiment! For the Dairy Filled Recipes, I fortunately have a long list of volunteers (friends and family) who are more than willing to taste test for me to make sure all the recipes are still up to scratch, so don’t worry all you lucky people that can still eat dairy – there will still be lots for you to try! 🙂

The final thing I just wanted to mention, were the Dairy substitutes I have really enjoyed so far and that have been my go-to saviours in times where I thought I might crack. So for anyone wanting to try a dairy free diet, I would recommend any of the products below (these are all my genuine recommendations by the way, this isn’t sponsored or endorsed by any or the brands mentioned)!

Alpro Almond Milk – Love the stuff! I know there are lots of different brands of Almond Milk available and this one probably has additives or something bad in it for you, but the tastes it great! I have it on cereal, in porridge, in homemade milkshakes and use it in baking. I tried another brand and it tasted like Marzipan which was a bit gross, so for taste and being a lot like normal milk, this is the one. (Warning – do not use in tea / coffee – it sort of separates into bits and doesn’t taste great, for hot drinks I use Soya Milk).

Coconut Oil – A great Healthy Alternative to butter, plus this has about 100 other uses! I even use it on Roast Potatoes and in my frying Pan instead of Vegetable or Olive Oil. Oh and apparently if you use it on your hair before you dye it, it stops it from drying out which is pretty cool.

Vitalite – I thought I was doomed never to have nice sandwiches again when I first went Dairy Free, but was pleasantly surprised to discover Vitalite was Dairy Free. I’ve used it instead of butter in baking and frosting and it tastes great as a spread on toast / sandwiches.

Tesco Free From Cheddar Style Spread – Giving up cheese was going to be a major issue for me. I’m the sort of person who would organise a Cheese Night, just a whole night dedicated to different cheeses. Going cold turkey on the stuff was pretty sad. I got a tub of this spread from Tesco’s not really expecting a lot, then I tasted it and was so happy! It tastes exactly like cheddar, but it’s soft like cream cheese. I use it on pasta dishes and for dipping crisps etc into and there is always a tub in my fridge.

Pudology Dairy Free Puds – Obviously puddings and desserts are my thing, so having to just completely avoid that aisle of the supermarket and not be able to ever have a pudding in a restaurant (apart from sorbet) is the worst! Obviously I can bake all the Dairy Free Delights I want, but sometimes you just want to buy a treat that is ready to eat. Pudology Puds are the answer! They even do a Banoffee Pud and a Strawberry Cheesecake Pud which are incredible, I’ve even thought about sneaking them into restaurants with me to eat!

I’m really excited to try out lots of new Dairy Free Recipes and share them with you all, I’ve included a link to the ones I have done already if you would like to try them out 🙂

Cupcake Baking Cups

Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberry Sweet Potato Cake

Healthy Apple Crumble

Healthy Chocolate and Banana Cookies

Healthy Snowballs

Thanks for your support! If there are any dairy free recipes you would like me to try or any other free from recipes you would like to see more of, please comment below and I will try my very best for you! Oh and if you have any Dairy Free Products you think I would like, please tell me! 🙂

Jem x

  1. Kym
    Kym03-18-2014

    Hi Jem,

    Did you also know that Stork is dairy free? The one that comes in the blocks, not the tubs. Thought you might also find this recipe useful http://www.bakewithstork.com/websites/Home/Recipes/Dairy-Free-Strawberry-Shortcake

    Kym xx

  2. IcedJems
    IcedJems03-18-2014

    Thanks so much Kym! 🙂 This is great to know as I have a tub of stork in already! x

  3. Karen
    Karen03-18-2014

    Hi Jem,

    I’ve had to adopt a dairy free diet as i was getting really upset tummy’s all the time. Although i’ve found that i can get away with a SMALL portion of lacto free things. I use Alpro Soya milk, and i use a spread named ‘Pure’ – you can get a soya version and a sunflower version in most supermarkets. This spread is dairy free, and is brilliant for the usual sarnies & toast etc, but i’ve also used it in cakes and made buttercream frosting with it. Arla Foods have also brought out a couple of lacto free cheeses. Their normal one tastes a bit bland and has a rubbery texture, but the MATURE one is awesome. It feels and tastes like real mature cheddar cheese, and is delicious in sandwiches, on biscuits, and also as cheese on toast, pizza, and in baking! So if u can tolerate a small amount of lacto free…..definately give them a try! 😀 x

  4. Jane thompson
    Jane thompson04-10-2014

    hello. i read ur dairy free section with interest as my 10month old daughter is possibly dairy intolerant so as im am breast feeding the doctor has advised me to cut dairy out of both of our diets. i read someone has posted above about stork being dairy free. IT ISNT. i looked on their website and found this
    Product Detail Information

    Article Code: 19034501
    EAN Code CU: 5000241001120
    EAN Code DU: 05000241903455
    Packaging: 6x2kg
    Brand: STORK
    Category: Spreads
    Ingredients (Always check the label for the most up-to-date information)
    Vegetable oils, Water, Salt(2.25%), Buttermilk, Emulsifier (Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids), Preservative (Potassium sorbate), Citric acid, Flavouring, Vitamin E, Colour (Beta carotene), Vitamins A and D

    it contains buttermilk so is not suitable for those with a dairy allergy or vegans. some people may able to get away with it but others not.

    still trying to get to grips with all this and reading the backs of packets like a mad woman. so im very interested to see the ingredients that you use and can finally restock my fridge!
    jane

  5. IcedJems
    IcedJems04-11-2014

    Hi Jane! Thanks for your comment! Yes I noticed this too as someone else said to me that Sotrk is dairy free and I checked the pack in my fridge which also said buttermilk, but they said it is the other type of Stork (I think the type like lard) which is dairy free? I haven’t checked in the supermarket yet though as I’ve just been using Vitalite and Coconut Oil! I hope you manage to get on ok with cutting dairy out and I’ll be sure to keep sharing what I find! x

  6. Dawn
    Dawn05-17-2014

    Hi , I am lactose intolerant, but sometimes can manage a small amount of dairy. I was devastated by this news as i too love cheese. I do have some every now and again and do suffer for my love of cheese. I have found Goats feta and goats cheese an alternative and there is also soy cheese which isnt too bad.

  7. Claire
    Claire06-01-2014

    The tub of Stork isn’t dairy free. But the hard block wrapped in gold ‘foil’ is. Dairy free here for myself and my two boys (3yrs and 17mths). I also bake too.

    Holland and Barrett have some nice garlic and herb soft cheeses and the grated morrazella cheese too is handy for homemade pizza.

  8. IcedJems
    IcedJems06-01-2014

    Thanks Claire – I recently tried out the block of Stork for some frosting and it was awesome! Love the advice on the cheeses – I’ve been wanting a mozzarella for homemade pizza so now I know where to go! 🙂 x

  9. Rachel Winfield
    Rachel Winfield06-26-2014

    I love baking and my 5 year old son is allergic to cow’s milk. I’ve not had any problems adapting recipes and using vitalite or pure in cakes and the stork block in frostings and biscuits, also soya milk to replace cow’s milk. He is also allergic to nuts particularly peanuts but I’ve just discovered a great product in Holland and Barrett called wowbutter. It’s 100% nut and dairy free, made from soya but tastes just like peanut butter. I’ve made some fantastic choc chip peanut butter cookies with it and am looking forward to trying the white chocolate and peanut butter Blondie’s. Just wondering where you get your blocks of dairy free white choc from?

  10. IcedJems
    IcedJems07-03-2014

    Hi Rachel, you can grab the dairy free white chocolate online from Health Bay here: http://www.thehealthbay.com/plamil-organic-dairy-free-white-chocolate-100g.html?gclid=CKOG3ej7qL8CFQrJtAodV1AA2g 🙂 x

  11. Melissa Mills
    Melissa Mills10-08-2014

    Hi. I’m loving your dairy free recipes as I am trying to switch to dairy free. I think morrisons baking marg is dairy free (well it hasn’t got any listed in the ingredients). I often use vitalite in baking and have for a few years – always with good results. I think I first picked it up because I remembered having it as a child – but it came in a round tub then which we reused for guide and scout camps as bowls!
    I also discovered Trex yesterday as I was trying to find out how to make ‘white’ buttercream. Trex is dairy free / vegan and comes in a block. The website says that it can be used in baking too.
    Pure is diary free as well, but I don’t like the taste and have varied results. Coconut Oil can be used in pretty much anything and is even ok spread on toast! Although my carrot cake didn’t fair well when baked with coconut oil

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