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Dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free: Suggestions?

So I have recently decided to try going dairy-free to see if it helps with some digestive problems I have. I am also allergic to both soy and nuts so I am looking for alternate dairy alternatives. :) Coconut milk is my friend.

I am hitting up a Whole Foods in a couple of days and trying to make a shopping list so I can stock up on stuff that I can't get at my normal grocery store while I'm there. I'm already going to look for coconut-based yogurt (So Delicious) and dairy/soy-free cheese (Daiya.) I also found a recipe for homemade dairy/soy free ricotta cheese that uses coconut milk and agar agar flakes, so I'm going to look for those as well. Any other suggestions of stuff I should look for?

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  1. Sun butter. It's made from sunflower seeds. It actually tastes really good! Schools and camps have lots of rules re nuts, so this is my go-to. The kids love it.

    1. Thinking of things that emphasize meat and vegetables (might check out paleo recipes). Thai curries. This time of year, soups are great and don't need dairy. I find that avocado can add a creamy texture in salads, or dropped into a bowl of hot soup.

      1. legumes are your friends.
        the bulk food section of Whole Foods stocks tons of them.

        get a variety and start experimenting:
        lentils: green, french, red
        black beans
        fava beans
        pinto beans
        white beans

        (you get the picture)

        1. Pumpkin seeds, roasted
          And yes, legumes

          And grains: bulgur, kasha are great and pair with legumes very well.

          1. Earth balance has the best non dairy butter.
            Cashew cream is an excellent sub for sour cream and can be used to make everything from salad dressings to cashew cheese. This guide is helpful:

            Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are good nut alternatives. And i agree with previous sunbutter rec.
            IMO non dairy yogurts are not good, i've tried quite a few and others just had weird fake ingredients and tons of sugar. Chia pudding is a good alternative- if you google it there are tons of recipes out there.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Most Earth Balance products contain soy, which I am allergic to. I see they have a soy-free spread but I did not see it when I was at my local grocery store yesterday -- I looked extensively for a dairy-free, soy-free butter/spread and did not find one.
              I am also allergic to nuts so anything with cashews is out.
              I did pick up a jar of sunbutter and some coconut yogurt but have not tried either of them yet.

              1. re: Maggiethecat

                The soy-free earth Balance spread is pretty good IMO - my favorite of the several that I tried, for both flavor and "mouthfeel." Hopefully your store will have it.

                Daiya makes dairy-free cream cheese that tastes pretty good. Still highly processed and mostly made of oil, though, but better than the Tofutti version (wouldn't work for you, anyway).

                Trying to think of what other dairy-free items I buy at Whole Foods...

                The So Delicious ice creams are pretty good; I don't have any on hand or I would check the fat content for you. Whole Food also sells Smooze Fruit Ices. Kind of like an Italian Ice in a paper cone made from fruit juice and coconut milk. My kids like the mango ones best but they also have guava and pineapple. (70 calories, 1 g fiber, 2 g fat for the pineapple one).

                The WHole Foods 365 brand ricemilk is usually a good deal, about $2 a carton at our store. I found some yogurt starter cultures on my last trip; haven't used it yet but I'm thinking to try it on coconut and rice milk.

                Maybe pickup some tapioca starch or potato starch, to use as a thickener?

                1. re: Maggiethecat

                  I often will use coconut oil in place of earth balance- not for cooking, but great on toast and roasted veggies etc...
                  Ah, sorry- obvs about the cashews.
                  This site has a ton of dairy free recipes that may be helpful:

                  And ohsheglows has great recipes, all are carefully labeled as nut free/ gluten free etc. the cauliflower alfredo from the other day is next on my to make list!

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    I actually use coconut oil for sauteeing sometimes and like it that way, but I had not thought of using it as a spread on toast! Great idea! Thanks for the links too!

              2. my experience has been that these food subs are often highly processed and i avoid them. that daiya "cheese" is totally awful.

                change your mind-set. :)

                are you consuming any fermented foods to help with gut health? have you eliminated grains? for many years i thought i was lactose-intolerant but it turned out to be the gluten i always had with cheese.

                1. I did not originally want to get in to my entire dietary restrictions since I was looking for specific advice, but I suppose it would just be easier to give the whole picture all at once.

                  I am allergic to the following:
                  Bananas, Avocodo, Kiwi, Mango, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Cherries, Nuts, Soy

                  I also have gastroparesis, meaning I do not digest food as fast/well as most people (when I had an endoscopy done last year, I had eaten dinner around 8pm the evening before and they sent the tube down at 11:30am the following morning, and they could still see undigested food in my stomach.) Due to this, I also cannot eat the following:
                  Raw fruits or vegetables, whole grains, anything high in fiber or fat, tough or undercooked meat

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Maggiethecat

                    The sunflower butter may not work then as it is high in fat and likely in fiber also.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Peanut butter (smooth) is actually on the recommended gastroparesis diet plans that I've seen, since it is pureed and high in protein/calories so is a good way to get some nutrients when you can't keep much down, if you can handle it. I tried the sun butter on some toast today, only a small amount, maybe a tablespoon or less, and it went down pretty well. The diet plans I've seen recommend to restrict nut butters to 2 tablespoons or less a day so as long as I watch my intake hopefully I'll be able to handle it sometimes.

                      1. re: Maggiethecat

                        I hope so.
                        It would be nice to be able to have it,

                        1. re: Maggiethecat

                          also, peanuts are not really nuts: they are legumes.

                      2. re: Maggiethecat

                        I don't know if this will help you, but due to issues I've been having following a reaction to dental anesthesia and a group of drugs to deal with it, I'm down to four foods I can tolerate and dealing with two issues that go hand and hand.



                        I'm also supplementing with DAO, to replace the enzyme that breaks down histamine from foods in the gut.

                        I'm handling fresh heavy cream and coffee ok, fresh grass fed beef, fresh organic zucchini, brussel sprouts, and eggs with the DAO. Oh, and salt.

                        Planning to stry steamed or poached chicken tonight with a veg I know I can handle. One way to know if you're reacting, at least for me, is very rapid heart rate post meal, even at rest or waking.

                      3. i just saw Daiya frozen pizza in the whole foods (or wegmans?) freezer case - didn't check the ingredients as i'm trying to drop a few pounds but it might be worth looking at, if you're in a pizza kind of mood.

                          1. Mspimama.com is a great website with tons of dairy free soy free recipes! I just started this diet for my daughter, plus no juts as well, and this website has been a huge help! Legumes and coconuts are in the nut family, do those not effect you? My daughter is only 4 months so we are trying to figure out her food allergy so my doctor told me to stay away from ALL nuts :-/. You are lucky if you can have all that! :) good luck!