Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Delicious Dairy-free Food

When we were told it was likely Lily had cow's milk protein allergy (aka. CMPA - after what seemed like weeks of her screaming in pain, losing weight and being sick), I was advised to cut out all dairy from my diet as I was/still am breastfeeding, . My first thought was "ahhhhh, there's going to be so much I can't eat!" but after a bit of exploring, we found heaps of alternatives - so much that I reckon I eat more treats now than I did before I was dairy-free, oops.

Here's some of my favourite things, places and links...




Lazy Day Foods is an excellent company making several different types of chocolate treats but Asda's Free From range has some very similar items (the rocky roads are almost identical). It makes you wonder if they are by the same company! You'd never guess they didn't contain milk chocolate either.




 
The Morrisons choc chip brownies are amazing, properly gooey and chocolately and the Sainsburys logs have a massive amount of chocolate buttercream icing on top. The flapjack slices seem to be drowning in golden syrup and taste just lovely. Sainsburys have recently expanded their Free From range as well which is fab - it now includes things like dairy-free sticky toffee pudding and three types of celebration cake (the packet on the bottom left is what the Free From packaging looks like now, the other box is the old style!). 



Now these puddings from Tesco are truly rich and decadent, a gorgeous gooey mousse-style dessert. You'd never guess it was dairy-free!


From Top Left: M&S Made Without Dairy Dark Chocolate, Moo Free Crunchy Banana Bar, Moo Free Mini Moos Bunnycomb Bar, Moo Free Milk Chocolate Alternative with Orange Pearls, Sainsburys Deliciously Free From Choc Bar, Sainsburys Deliciously Free From Choc 'n' Orange Bar, M&S Made Without Dairy Chocolate Lollipops, Sainsburys Deliciously Free From Choc Buttons, M&S Made Without Dairy Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs and M&S Made Without Dairy Dark Chocolate with Orange and Sugar Crunch.
 
Can you tell I thought I'd miss chocolate? One thing I've noticed is that all the chocolate bars from the main supermarkets consist of three types (choc, choc 'n' orange and choc crispie) and they're all produced in Ireland, presumably at the same factory. However last month M&S launched a dairy-free range and interestingly, they're made in the UK - so there must now be at least two factories mass-producing dairy-free chocolate!
 


My current biscuit tin... Who'd have known Party Rings were dairy free!?


Left: Bute Island Sheese Strong Cheddar-style
Middle: Bute Island Sheese Mozzarella-style
Right: Bute Island Sheese Smoked Cheddar-style

We've managed to find dairy-free alternatives for almost everything and the majority of the time, they taste fine; the one thing there isn't a direct replacement for though is cheese. The Bute Island range are pretty good (and certainly better than no cheese at all) but they still can't beat a lump of Cheddar. Ah well, I won't be breastfeeding forever.


Honourable Mentions (which I didn't get round to photographing!)
Wall's Swedish Glace Ice Cream, Tesco Free From Strawberry and Vanilla Cones, Tesco Free From Ice Cream Chocolate Sticks, Booja Booja Truffle Selections and Alpro Deliciously Dairy-free Custard - all very tasty.

Interestingly as well, it's surprising what products are dairy free anyway, without even venturing into the Free From area - things like potato waffles, crumpets and weirdly, Co-op jam doughnuts and custard doughnuts. On the flip side though, it's also surprising where dairy can lurk - for example, who the heck puts milk into stock cubes?


Dairy-free Eating Out
Most restaurant chains have an allergy menu but Zizzis and Wetherspoons have specific non-dairy menus. You can even do dairy-free Domino's! Their gluten-free base also happens to be dairy-free and the majority of toppings are too; you just need to order it without cheese and then add your own at home (sadly the garlic and herb dip is off limits though, grrr!).


Online Resources
Two excellent websites I've stumbled upon are Dairy Free Baby and Me and Living with CMPA; there's also a great CMPA support community on Facebook.



Luckily Lily only has a non-lge allergy (what they used to call an intolerance) and she's not anaphylactic.When she's over the age of one, we have to start on the 'Milk Ladder' - a 12 step program which gradually increases her exposure to all things dairy and the medical experts reckon she will have grown out of it by about 3 years old so that's good. Hopefully by the time she starts school I can send her in with cheddar cheese sandwiches!
 

4 comments:

  1. Accidentally vegan/dairy free things are the best, as they're not marked up in price like Free From stuff. The Co-op donuts are a regular in our house, as are bourbon biscuits and party rings. But dairy free cheese is just ugh, I don't envy you having to put up with it. Swedish Glace is my favourite, though, SUCH great ice cream!

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  2. So many lovely things here, some I've not come across and I've been dairy free for 9 years! Exciting! I'll have to try some different supermarkets! I love the 'moo free' chocolate, and for vegan cheese I like violife, but I don't think it's very close to the real thing, I can't remember!

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  3. Sainsbury's sell a coconut ice-cream which is AWESOME! Definitely one to try if you like a bit of coconut and it has the mouthfeel of regular ice-cream. Sorry to hear of Lily's allergy. My nephew Zander was diagnosed with one around the same age (and a slew of other fruit/veggie ones) and cutting out dairy from his mum's diet relieved all of his discomfort within a couple of days.

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  4. I'm practically drooling on my keyboard (sorry!). Very relieved to know you've still got so many delicious options available to help keep you topped up with treats while feeding Lily :) xxx

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Thank you very much for all your lovely comments; I do have every intention of replying but sometimes life with a baby gets in the way...

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