Monday, February 18, 2013

Taking a Chance with Generic Lactaid Pills

Up&Up Target Digestive Aid Review

So, last Friday I bought Target's Up&Up lactase pills. They were out of Lactaid, so since I didn't want to wait, I thought I'd try them. They work pretty well.  At first, I had red velvet cake and had two pills, which is what I usually have to take in order to get the full effect. I had gas at first but then I felt fine.

However, the second time I took them I thought they didn't work. I ate a chocolate chip cookie and had one pill to see if I could handle it. Again, I had a little gas and then I was fine. I guess my body had to learn that I took a pill or it's just the brand. Honestly, the Lactaid brand pills did this too, so I am not really sure why this happens. I feel it's easier and cheaper to just avoid dairy.

Yes, they are wonderful when I go somewhere and   h ave a slice of pizza with friends. That's what they're really good for. It's better to eat Lactose-free ice cream than take a pill just to eat regular ice cream with a lactase pill. This is my opinion and these pills may work differently for you since everyone's body is different.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lactose-Free Yogurt

Are you craving yogurt but don't want the lactose? Here are some lactose-free yogurts you can try. Yoplait makes four lactose-free flavors (cherry, peach, strawberry and vanilla). The strawberry yogurt has a lactose enzyme in it that makes it easy to digest; it also has more calcium and vitamin D than the regular strawberry yogurt. I have tried their regular yogurt and it tastes great, so I have high hopes for the lactose-free version.

Another type of yogurt is Green Valley. This company makes yogurt and kefir (drink made with milk), which both come in a variety of flavors, such as honey, peach, blueberry, strawberry pomegranite acai and vanilla. Their honey flavor is smooth and has those good for you probiotics to help with digestion.

Stonyfiield's soy yogurt is a third type of lactose-free yogurt that isn't made of milk. Instead, it's made from soy milk. Soy milk is mixed with yogurt bacteria along with sweeteners. There are many varieties of this type of yogurt such as WholeSoy yogurt, Nogurt yourt and Silk soy yogurt.

Do you want to make your own? Here's a recipe to make it:

4-cup microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl
1 quart lactose-free milk
Microwave oven
Candy thermometer
Freeze-dried yogurt starter (1 packet)
Small cup
Electric yogurt maker

1. Pour 4 cups of lactose-free milk into a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl.
2. Heat the lactose-free milk in a microwave oven. Use the microwave's high setting for about 7 minutes or until the milk reaches 180 degrees F.

3. Cool the milk to 108 to 112 degrees F. This may take one or two hours, depending on the ambient temperature in the kitchen. If you let it cool a little too much, re-warm it briefly in the microwave oven until the milk reaches the proper temperature.

4. Combine freeze-dried yogurt starter with some of the milk. Dissolve one 5g packet of yogurt starter with a small quantity of the milk in a separate cup. Use a spoon to combine them well, and then stir the combination into the larger bowl of warm milk.

5. Pour the milk and starter mixture into the incubation container of an electric yogurt maker.

6. Incubate the yogurt until it reaches the desired firmness. Do this by following the instructions provided with your yogurt maker. Incubation time will be about five to six hours. Refrigerate to stop incubation.

Monday, February 11, 2013

No Guilt Sweets (Dairy-Free and Delicious)

Quick, Dairy Free Sweets. If you want to whip up a batch of brownies or munch down on some candy, here are some of my favorite dairy free sweets.

Gummy candy is always a go-to for me when I want something sweet. Sour Patch Kids is one of these candies. Its sour taste will make you pucker after the first chew. The flavors range from orange to strawberry  and are shaped like people. They can be found in any candy aisle or in the candy section at the register. Another type of gummy candy are gummy bears and worms. These animals are chewy and taste like fruit (cherry, lime, orange). I'm not a picky person when it comes to brands of gummy bears, any type tastes good. Any type of gummy worm is great, but my favorite type of gummy worms are double flavored (half cherry, half orange) and sour.

Hard candy is also a great dairy-free candy.  Jolly Ranchers are my favorite. These hard sweet candy will sweeten your taste buds with delicious flavors like watermelon, strawberry and grape. Jolly Ranchers last a long time since you suck on them. A second type of hard candy, which is a close cousin to Jolly Ranchers, are Life Savers. These candies are shaped like a little life preserves; they can be found in fruit flavors such as pineapple, cherry and raspberry as well as mint flavors such as peppermint and spearmint.

Licorice is another great sweet to eat. It's chewy, sweet and comes in a variety of flavors (cherry, strawberry, black, chocolate, orange and lemonade).This type of candy is usually long and twisted; they can also be short, very long and some can be pulled apart. My favorite brand is Twizzlers.

Enough about candy, here are some lactose-free brownie mixes. Most of Ducan Hines's brownie mixes are dairy-free. The ones that do contain dairy are the Caramel Turtle Brownie mix, the Chocolate Marble Swirl mix, the Chocolate Peanut Butter (the ingredients lists non-fat milk in the creamer), the Dark Fudge Chunk mix, the Milk Chocolate mix, the Milk Chocolate Chunk mix

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cooking Dairy Free Foods

Want to learn how to make dairy free food? These five cookbooks can give you the recipes to do it!

1. The Ice Dream Cookbook. From, reading the description of this book, it seems pretty interesting  It doesn't only cover ice cream. There are also recipes for cookies, sauces and compotes (fruit in a sugar syrup). I guess you can call it a dessert cookbook instead of an ice cream cookbook. (The title just seems a little misleading to me, thought it was only going to be about ice cream, oh well.) These recipes are all dairy free; some are even gluten and wheat free.
2. The Everything Lactose-Free Cookbook. This cookbook is a little misleading. It really isn't totally lactose-free. It's actually recipes that use ingredients with small amounts of lactose in it, so I would take caution if you cook from this cookbook. There is a milk bottle that indicates there is lactose in the recipe. Even though this book is misleading, the recipes don't seem half bad. Tofu Lasanga? Passion Fruit smoothie? New York Style Cheesecake? They all sound yummy to me!
3. The Uncheese Cookbook: Creating Amazing Dairy-Free Cheese Substitutes and Classic "Uncheese" Dishes. Cheese, please. The Uncheese Cookbook teaches you how to make cheese that you can eat. (dairy-free). These cheeses, after reading a review by Alisa Fleming, seem strangely good. I would think that dairy free cheese would be gross, but after reading her review, I might be convinced to try some. They don't seem that bad.
4. Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar. First off, it's a great title. Who doesn't want their cookies to take over your cookie jar? This cookbook can help you ease your sweet, dairy cravings with awesome dairy-free and egg-free versions of your favorite sweets: brownies, cakes, and, of course, cookies.
5. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. These cupcakes look like they're ready to take over your kitchen. Banana Split cupcakes with a simple frosting, Chai Latte cupcakes topped with powdered sugar and Linzer Torte cupcakes with a raspberry and hazelnut chocolate ganache are only three out of the more than 50 different types of frosting and cupcakes you can make. You will have a cupcake war with this book.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dairy and Your Health

How can going dairy free help my body? There are many reasons why not eating dairy is so good for you. First of all, it can help with your allergies. Dairy products can form mucus in your system, which can lead to allergy and asthma problems. Dairy is terrible for your bones. These products can weaken your bones by making the calcium neutralize the acid in milk instead of going into your bones. This calcium is not absorbed by your bones, which weakens them.

It (dairy) can also possibly help your face because it can stop your breakouts from happening. There are, however, only theories about this connection so it is possible that dairy can help your acne. One theory says that milk has hormones in it that can increase oil production, which makes you prone to acne. You can also possibly reduce your risk of getting Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders.

The proteins in milk are absorbed by our bloodstream. Our blood stream then carries them to our immune system, where confusion can occur. Our immune system attacks the protein and attacks it as if it was a foreign invader. The protein is then "remembered" by our immune system and then attacked the next time it comes in contact with it. However, after our body has attacked these proteins multiple times, it starts to attack it's own proteins and cells. This is how we can develop autoimmune disorders.

Even though dairy can cause autoimmune disorders, it can also prevent the symptoms of these disorders.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dairy Free in the Cafe

Remember a few posts ago, I talked about asking what ingredients are in the food you order? Well, here's a perfect example of this. I am a senior in college who does a lot of this in her cafeteria. Since, Albright has a "different way of thinking" (their motto), they don't put an ingredients list on any of their foods, so I sort of have to guess. Usually when I am guessing, I am thinking to myself: "What can I eat?"

Today, for example, I saw that they had chicken curry and rice at one of their stations. I looked at the curry wondering if there was any dairy in it since some curries use milk to make the sauce. I asked the woman serving it if there was any dairy in it. She consulted with another cook and they looked at the list that contained the ingredients. After I waited for a few minutes and got my answer. I could eat the curry. It was really good.

Next was dessert. I have to think of the same question (Can I eat this?) when I go to the dessert case. This part is a little easier. Usually I can pick out what has dairy in it and what doesn't (anything with chocolate, desserts with cream in them). I usually eat the jello, cookies or cake. Those don't usually have any visual traces of dairy such as chocolate icing.

I, however, decided to take a detour from the dessert case and visit a different dessert section. Next to where I got my curry, there's a "Sensitivities" section for people with food allergies. I go to their dessert drawer (plastic, clear drawers) and pick up something that I have had my eye on for a little while. I pick up a brownie and put it on my plate.

The reason I had my eye on it for a while was because I wasn't sure if there was diary in it. I didn't feel like asking. I went over to the fridge that held other food and picked up the gluten free box of brownie mix. I read the ingredients and look at the brownies. I decided that the brownie on my plate was made with the mix. I was right again. I ate the delicious brownie.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dairy Free Dishes

Want to eat dairy free at home? Here are some recipes for cooking dairy free dishes. 
This chocolate pudding recipe comes from the New York Times and uses tofu to add a creamy texture: 

Less than 1 pound of silken tofu
Melt and cool ½ pound bittersweet chocolate
¾ cup sugar syrup (1/2 cup water, ½ cup sugar)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon chilli powder
Small amount of vanilla

Place ingredients in blender and mix together. Since the pudding is thick, you may need to scrape the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything. 

Want to add some fruit to your morning? This recipe adds sweetness with agave necter. 
*½ cup sifted coconut flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1. In a small bowl, combine cocanut flour, salt and baking soda
2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, agave, grapeseed oil, and vanilla. Blend with a hand blender.
3. Mix dry ingredient into wet ingredients, blend with a hand mixer.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Place batter into a paper lined 12 cup muffin pan.
6. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Cool and serve. 

*Almond flour cannot be substituted for coconut flour. 
Want more recipes? Visit Elana's pantry for more dairy free dishes. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Vegan? What does that have to do with being lactose intolerant  Well, if a person is vegan, they do not eat   anything from animals  such as eggs, dairy products, meat, animal gelatin and honey. Since vegans don't eat dairy, we can learn a lot from them. We can use the recipes they cook with,  and we can borrow the foods they eat to get the best nutrition. For example, the recipe for pea soup, uses soya (or soy) milk to get it's creamy texture, so it's dairy-free and safe to eat.

What do vegans eat? How can this help me?
Vegans eat beans, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables. To take the place of dairy, which is probably most helpful to you, they eat soy nuts, broccoli, black strap molasses, figs, rice milk, green vegetables, juice fortified with calcium and almonds. In order to get other nutrients, like protein  they eat nut butters, whole grains, nuts, and foods that are made with soy (soy flour, soy soy nuts).
It's also important to eat foods with B12 in them, since they can protect you from heart disease, keep your energy up, and prevent Alzheimer's.

So, if you want to eat like vegans to get the nutrients lost from not eating dairy, you can!

Milk Alternatives

In the lactose-free world, there are many types of milk. Lactose-free milk (Lactaid), Soymilk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, and even Potato milk. Doesn't sound very appealing but who knows it could be good. But how are these made? Let's explore. (
Soy milk is made from removing the liquid from soybeans by either cooking them or crushing them. 
Almond Milk is made from blanching (cooking the almond until the skin comes off) almonds and then ground. These almond pieces are combined with water and then drained to create soymilk. 
Coconut milk is created from first squeezing cocconut strips to extract the juice and combining that with water. 

Here are some milk alternatives that are new to me: 
Hemp Milk (no, you can't get stoned from this type of milk) The cannabis seeds are not the same ones used to make marijuana, so you will be fine when you drink this milk. Hemp seeds are combined with water, then strained to remove any pieces. 
Rice Milk. Cooked rice, normally brown, is mixed with water, rice syrup and rice starch.
Goat's Milk. (This milk does have dairy in it but some people who can't drink cow's milk are able to drink this, so be cautious when drinking it)
Raw Milk. This milk does not go through pasteurization, irradiation or homogenization  so it may not be safe to drink, so drink with caution. This milk has more enzymes in it, which helps grow more bacteria. Some people who are not able to drink dairy milk can drink raw milk.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dairy Free Food

I wish I could eat that. The thought that goes through my head when I see people eating cream cheese on a bagel or anything with cheese on it. So, to counteract that thought, here are my dairy free alternatives to everyday food.
Cheese: Daiya Dairy Free. No fake taste here! It melts and tastes great too!
Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese Cream Cheese. Looks like cream cheese and tastes like cream cheese, you will be fooled by how great it tastes. (
Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Spreads like butter and tastes great. It also has many different oils in it so it's better for you as well.
Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. A delicious way to have milk. It's thick and tastes like dark chocolate.
Silk Chocolate Soymilk. I am not much for soymilk but it's pretty good.

Cooking with Lactose Free Milk

Ever try Lactaid milk? It tastes just like milk but with out the lactose. Did you know you can cook with it? Yep. When you need to make something with milk, such as chocolate icing, just substitute Lactaid milk for regular dairy milk. It doesn't change the taste at all, tastes the same as if you had used dairy milk. Here's the recipe for an awesomely delicious  chocolate cake by Hershey: You can substitute Lactaid milk for the milk that is used in the icing. It tastes the same as if it was made with regular milk.

If you want to use another type of milk, that works too. You can use soymilk, or rice milk. However, soymilk and rice milk have different consistencies (soymilk is very thick, ricemilk is very thin) so it's important to remember that when cooking since it could change the flavor or texture of the food you are makimg.
This webpage can give you tips on how to substitute other ingredients to make your recipes lactose/dairy free.