Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Favorite Things: DF Edition

No Thank You...

Time for more balance. :) 

With my recent post explaining why I went dairy-free, I thought it would be only fitting to also include a list of some of my favorite non-dairy grocery items.  And even if you're not dairy intolerant or allergic, you may still be able to benefit from this list.  Ready for some biology? 

If you're early on in your transition to a gluten-free diet, some articles have revealed that it may be wise to eliminate dairy as well for a period of time.  Lactose intolerance is one of the hallmark side effects of gluten intolerance or celiac disease.  Too often it is addressed and treated in isolation, and thus, the larger issue and root cause of the intolerance continues to slip under the radar.  Lactase, the enzyme needed to break down and digest lactose, is produced by cells in the lining of the small intestine.  In the case of the celiac or gluten intolerant, the lining of the small intestine is damaged as a result of consuming gluten.  Consequently, lactase cannot be produced in sufficient quantities to digest lactose and the body begins to reject it.  When gluten is strictly eliminated from the diet, the lining of the small intestine can begin to regenerate, and soon, the cells responsible for lactase production may be recovered.

Still awake?  :)

Without further dilly-dallying [insert drumroll], here are some of my dairy-free favorites:

  • Milk alternatives:  Almond Breeze, So Delicious Coconut Milk, Good Karma Organic Ricemilk, Sol Sunflower Milk.  I use these for pouring over cereal, making smoothies and protein shakes, baking, and cooking, you name it.  I tend to rotate them so I'm not constantly drinking one type of non-dairy milk.

  • Cheese:  Daiya.  Just one brand.  Yes, just one brand.  The biggest selling point to this "cheeze" is how well it melts.  It also does not contain casein, which is an ingredient in many "lactose-free" cheese alternatives, so be wary.  It is commonly used on pizzas, but my favorite ways to use it are in casseroles, quesadillas, or breakfast tacos.  A little goes a long way.  Of the three varieties to choose from, Pepperjack is reportedly the way to go.

  • Frozen Desserts:  Good Karma Organic Rice Divine, So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream & Sorbet, Nada Moo.  Yummmmm, frozen desserts.  The carrot cake variety of the Good Karma is soooooooo good and I love the creaminess of coconut based ice creams.  Great for topping warm desserts or making a knockout "milkshake."  [stomach grumbling]

  • Yogurt/Kefir:  So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk and Yogurt.  The coconut gets a lot of love from me.  It's just so good for you, with all the immune boosting properties, antioxidants, beneficial fatty acids, high fiber, digestive enablers, etc., etc.  How can I say "no" to the monkey face?

  • Butter:  Earth Balance.  Great for baking, cooking, or spreading on warm, toasted bread. 

Not nearly as long as list as the GF one , I know, but it definitely checks all the boxes for my non-dairy needs: delicious, nutritious, and GFDF. Again, just like the original "Favorite Things" post, this list is by no means definitive.  My hope is that it may simply guide some of your decisions during the next visit to the grocery.  And if you are just beginning to stick your toes in the waters of dairy emancipation, I hope it can encourage you to wade a little deeper. 

My advice:  Do your best to enjoy the journey of diversifying your diet.  This is a list of alternatives, not substitutes.  None of these will taste the same as dairy products because they're not dairy. Different can be wonderful, delicious, and in some cases, better than what you had in the first place.  Open yourself to that possibility.  :)


  1. Jonathan - THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for this list!!!!

  2. Hi Jonathan! Thank you for including So Delicious Dairy Free products in the Dairy-free edition of More Favorite Things! It's wonderful to be in such great company! Here's a link to some coupons you and your readers can use for any of our refrigerated or frozen dairy-free products:

  3. Thank you so much, Gail! That is very kind of you. :) I will copy the link to my next post. Yay coconuts!

  4. Good Karma Rice Divine and So Delicious frozen desserts.... mmmmmmmmmmmm

    Love them.

    I didn't know that they had a coconut Kefir, I'll have to look for that one.

    Daiya is okay, but it definitely needs to be combined with things in order to work properly (for my taste, anyway). I recently used the cheddar variety in some vegan burritos that I made. Nummy.

    Earth Balance is great, probably the best brand on the market right now.

    Yay, lists. =)


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