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Jan 18, 2014 04:25 AM

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!