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Apr 10, 2007 09:07 AM

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.