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Does lactose free marg./butter exist? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Trying to bake something special for my husband (we are newlyweds - 4 months) is tricky as he is lactose intolerant. We are great with soymilk and I use it for everything I can. But recipes that call for butter/margarine (as almost every bread/cake/cookie does) don't work very well for him. Is there such a thing as lactose free magarine or butter?

If they can make lactose free ice cream (where I think they just add the lactase enzyme, right?) then surely butter is do-able? I hope? :)

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  1. I've seen soy butter and soy cream cheese, made for vegans usually but I don't know how well they work for baking. You can find a lot of butter free baked goods online, like Ellie Krieger from the Foodnet uses canola oil for all her baked goods. You could just look up vegan recipes as well. Good luck

    1. Look for margarine labelled "pareve". This is a kosher certification that guarantees that the product contains no milk ingredients whatsoever. I don't know where you live, but in Canada Fleischman's Margarine is pareve and, when you can find it, Mother's Margarine. Look in a store that carries a lot of kosher products, if possible.

      1. Earth Balance makes a good product.

        1. there is Smart Beat & Smart Balance, and an Earth Balance- however, I've never baked with them, only used them as a spread. I think the best way for you to bake something is to follow a Kosher recipe - something that one would serve after a meat meal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pamd

            I've made biscuits with Earth Balance, because that was all I had besides an old can of Crisco one Sunday morning when the Biscuit Bug bit, and it worked just fine. I figure if you can sautée fish in it you ought to be able to bake with it! It does have a little more moisture content than really good butter, but I think no more than most stick margarine.

          2. Ghee is lactose-free -- it's clarified butter, which means all the milk solids have been removed. I buy mine at my whole-foods co-op (the label says it's lactose-free and kosher), but you should also be able to find it at any Indian market. It's generally sold in a jar on the shelf, not in the refrigerated section. I don't know how it would work for baking, but it might be worth a try. It's definitely great for sauteeing, because it has that lovely buttery taste but a much higher smoking point than butter. The milk solids in butter are what can make butter scorch over high heat, but they're also the element that lets you make great brown-butter sauces, so there's the trade-off.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mcgeary

              I'm not sure about lactose intolerance, but for a real milk allergy ghee isn't ok. And although it may be kosher, it definitely is not pareve (meaning neutral).

              1. re: Nyleve

                Right -- I believe the OP's husband is lactose intolerant, not milk-allergic.

              2. re: mcgeary

                Ghee may be technically lactose-free, but Indian food does a worse number on my digestive tract than icecream (shame, because I love it!) I wouldn't advise using ghee for somebody lactose-intolerant. But you can use vegetable oil or olive oil instead of melted butter for a lot of baking.

              3. There are tons of recipes for cookies etc.made with shortening. It melts at a higher temperature than butter so your cookies will hold their shape better.
                Try Spectrum organic vegetable shortening. No trans fats. Comes from palm oil.

                1. For baking, you can use vegetable shortening or lard in place of butter -- for instance, lard makes a really light and flakey pie crust. Or, simply find recipes that use oil rather than butter.

                  For uses other than baking, you pretty much can substitute oil for butter in most thing. Or, for a real treat, try chicken fat (schmaltz) or duck fat.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DanaB

                    A lot of vegans use Earth Balance, it's really good. But it's salted. I've heard that Fleishman's unsalted margarine is dairy-free, but I have yet to see it in my local supermarket. Their salted margarine has dairy, but may be lactose free, make sure to read the label!

                    1. re: Dumkling

                      I cook for a milk allergic person and use Fleishman's unsalted and Mother's. Both contain no dairy. Unfortunately neither is easy to find. I have now ID'd stores that sell both but they aren't that convenient, so I buy a few pounds and freeze them.

                      Fleishman's salted margerine is not dairy free: http://www.fleischmanns.com/products/...

                      Compare with unsalted: http://www.fleischmanns.com/products/...

                      Check the labels.

                      It's hard to bake with "spreads" as they contain a lot of water.

                  2. I second the recommendation for Ghee, clarified butter. Unlike margarine, it's actually food. (Margarine is the one "food product" that cockroaches will not eat--for good reason.)

                    1. For a lactose-intolerant friend of mine, I make Tyler's Ultimate Cheesecake on FN Fleischmann's Margarine (I know people don't like marg, but I'm still pointing it out) is dairy free, and my buddy has no problems with it. I also use Tofutti Cream Cheese or the Soya brand. I sub the sour cream out with a local market's dairy-free brand. Boy does that cheesecake come out great every time, and even people without dairy problems not only love it, but don't ask *what's different?*

                      1. I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, found at Whole Foods, whenever I make something for my Dad due to his dietary restrictions. They work well, taste fine, and they are vegan.

                        1. I realize it depends on the person but I am lactose intolerant and I don't have any problems with butter. Cheese or milk are very very unpleasant but butter seems to be okay. It is probably because of the low lactose quantity in butter compared to other milk products.

                          I would certainly do a test before I recommended just making him something with it though :)


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: daily_unadventures

                            I was just wondering about this. Butter has almost no lactose in it to begin with. I understand why milk-allergic people would have a problem with it, but I would think you would have to be *extremely* lactose intolerant to have a reaction to butter.

                            1. re: jlafler

                              I've never had a problem with butter. If he's really having issues, it's probably more of an allergy instead of an intolerance. Most people who are intolerant can have a certain amount of lactose before they have any negative reactions.

                          2. Do consider using CherryBrook brand of cake mix. The cake is absolutely delicious and has no diary (nor peanuts, eggs, wheat, or practically any allergen). I don't know how they make this cake taste so good, but I made it for my daughter's class because of peanut and diary allergy classmates and I was stunned at how delicous the cake is. The CherryBrook icing calls for Margarine and you have to use unsalted Fleishman's or some other dairy-free margarine. Good luck!

                            1. Bryers makes a GREAT! lactose free Vanilla ice cream - in Sacramento area Raley's and Winco carry it. (http://www.icecreamusa.com/products/p...


                              Also, Spring Hill Cheese Co. (http://www.springhillcheese.com) makes lactose free cheese and butter.

                              1. You're right - if they can make lactose free ice cream, why not butter. But until that time we who are lactose intolerant do have choices. When I bake, I use Fleishman's unsalted margarine which is lactose free. cholesterol free and pareve, but you can use any lactose free margarine. I only use the stick margarine because it's easier to figure measuring. I've had great success with everything I've baked this way and it's impossible to tell it's margarine and not butter. In addition to that I use Splenda (granulated) which uses half the amount of sugar. My cakes and pies come out really delicious. Just the other day I baked an almond cake and it was sensational. So, take heart - you can make almost any recipe you find by substituting margarine.

                                1. Another vote for Earth Balance. Also, there's a relatively new cookbook out called "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" that has lots of dairy (and egg) free cake and frosting recipes. I made my first recipe out of it last week and it was great--I plan to try other recipes, too.

                                  1. After living a childhood without dairy, yes, you can make almost any recipe you find by substituting margerine, but butter is better.

                                    I basically grew up on Fleischmann's margerine. I live in a family of lactose intolerants and dairy allergies, and no one really has a problem with butter use in baking. I don't think I'd make a buttercream frosting, but a stick of butter in a cake has not particularly hurt since my teens, and I am allergic to dairy. My big thing is moderation with my dairy intake: only a little a day (like 1/.2 of milk).

                                    1. I have done a fair bit of baking using Mother's unsalted. It really is a great product for most baked recipes. I use it in cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. That said, I probably would not use in a butter driven recipe like lemon curd or buttercream. I think I would probably find another recipe that isn't as reliant on butter. In rour case, instead of buttercream frosting maybe you could make a meringue. I would also definitely check out ppk.com (a vegan site with special attention to baking) and/or Isa's books like vegan cupcakes take over the world. Vegan baking will give you some great ideas and help you avoid any lactose issues.

                                      1. I'd look into something with angelfood cake and fresh fruit. No fats in there - esp if it's home-made! Good luck!

                                        1. im lactose intolerant and butter doesn't do anything to me. just use the regular stuff or take lactaid.

                                          1. Yes it does exist definitively, Fleischmans unsalted margarine not Fleishmans original is 100% lactose free. Butter is low in lactose and even though some here say indian food bothers them ghee is indeed if made properly 100% lactose free. One can substitute Fleischmans unsalted margarine for any recipe for butter with no worries at all. I make lactose free butter all the time by adding lactaze drops to cream waiting a day to remove the lactose and then churning butter. This way you get the authentic butter taste.

                                            1. There used to be a brand of margerine called Nucoa. It was marketed as a "no-burn" margerine, but it was lactose free/pareve and someone I know who could not tolerate any milk products used it all the time. I haven't seen it in stores in a long time, don't know if it is still available.

                                              1. Smart Balance LIght is a parve/dairy free item. It has an excellent taste and works well in cooking and baking.