Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shmoo Review: Dairy Free Made Easy

So many reasons to go vegan! Most people go vegan for their health, for the animals, for the environment, or for a combination of all of the above.

But there are also a lot of people in our midst who came to veganism due to dairy allergies. My lovely sister-in-law, for example, went vegan after discovering that her newborn daughter was severely allergic to cow's milk. When she stopped consuming dairy products she realized that they had been upsetting her own tummy for years! Vegan cookbooks and websites helped her find new recipes to replace the dairy; from there, as she learned and read more, it was a natural progression to veganism. Hooray!

So, if you or your children are allergic to dairy products, welcome! I hope you find a lot of fun dairy-free, kid-friendly ideas here to incorporate into your own mealtimes. And especially for you, I'm happy to say that Alisa Fleming from Go Dairy Free has just put out a helpful new guidebook called Diary Free Made Easy, filled with even more helpful information focused specifically on dairy-free living.

The first part of this spiral-bound book gives readers an in-depth overview of dairy products, calcium concerns, allergies, and the many other reasons why people are choosing to kick dairy out the door. For those who are just starting out, the book includes a helpful list of "survival tips" for shopping, identifying hidden dairy ingredients, eating out, cooking, traveling, and feeding children.

The chapter on non-dairy milk alternatives was my favorite; it featured a list of various non-dairy milks along with instructions on how to make your own soy, rice, almond, oat, and coconut milk at home. The recipe section includes more alternatives to traditionally dairy-filled favorites like mashed potatoes, whipped cream, cheesecake, and more.

The final half of the book is made up of a very extensive list of recommended dairy-free products and companies, including some "superstar" companies that maintain dedicated dairy-free facilities, making them ideal for those with the most severe allergies. The list includes over 2,000 products, and if you order directly from the website the book also comes with a fat envelope filled with coupons for some of them. (My mom and I had fun fighting over these; she got the one for Toby's Pâté, but I made off with the Nate's Meatless Meatballs coupon. Ha!)

The coupons and product listings are obviously time-sensitive, but Alisa plans to maintain downloadable PDFs of the product lists on her website. With all these great new products and recipes, living a dairy-free life is getting easier all the time!

18 comments:

OshinkoTickle said...

Dang! Another book to add to the "I WANT!" list!

Ellen said...

Thank you so much Jennifer! This is exactly what I was looking for. It turns out that 93% of Asians are usually (in some degree) sensative to lactose, so making the switch away from dairy is more important for our family than I thought. Thanks so much. And, thanks to the commenter who suggested the other nut milks; I bought some almond breeze and we'll see how it goes! We have a nut free school but I can just send smoothies or water for a drink, I suppose. It's funny-milk was always something to serve alongside a meal. It's really something to completely alter one's perceptions. I'm so glad! Thanks again!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Oooooh, Tobys!!! I miss it sooo much! One of the many bummers about not living on the west coast any more :-)

The book sounds like a good one--thanks for the review!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Yep, another book to add to my "need to get list". My limit is one item a month. That is hard with so many good books and things coming my way. I have to tell you that I just ordered my very own laptop lunch and thermos system. I can't wait! Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this wonderful product!

Roxy said...

Thanks for the book reviews you've been doing lately, Jen. Like someone else said, my "books to read/get" list is getting longer and longer by the day!

atschmidt said...

Thanks Jennifer for keeping all of us with sensitive kids in mind. I'll add this to my list of "must haves"
I would also suggest to ellen that there are many Yahoo groups that deal with food allergies and special diets (while they are not exclusively vegan) they do have helpful hints for living w/out Gluten, Soy, Dairy/Casein etc.

R2K said...

Hi I just wanted to invite you to participate in my 3rd Caption Contest:

R2K

Judy said...

I am not veg(etari)an, but I do try to abstain from dairy as much as possible. I'm like a vegan who eats meat!

Linda Ringwood said...

I'm not a vegan , as I love non veg..but this was of great help as I'm allergic to dairy products too!!Do peep into my wish with flowers blog if you need to send floral wishes to your near and dear ones!!

TheWay said...

I have found out I had a dairy allergy after going vegan. I feel so much better! Not only do I not get stomach aches anymore, but my asthma has improved. Yay!

Thanks for the great review. :) Hope you have a good day.

Big Gay Val said...

im a 15 year old who just went vegan at the start of this year. im really enjoying finding alternatives to dairy products (my family and i own chickens which we keep as pets and for their eggs so i still eat eggs) and also finding foods that arent made with loads of corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, etc. my question is: when's ur nxt blog with a lunch?!

cheryl said...

Thanks Jennifer for a great book recommendation. I just spent about 30 minutes on the website- it's a great site. Thanks again!

Opción Respeto. said...

Hello from Spain. My name is Pablo and I,m vegan. I speak english very bad, but I only want say you congratulations for your wonderfull blog. In Spain, Animal Rights movement is litle, but we are fighting much for the no human animals and the end of their eslavery. A hug :)

Bethany said...

My daughter has anaphylactic reactions to dairy and is also allergic to soy, egg, and peanuts. You can imagine how hard it is when we can't even replace our dairy products with soy! I love reading your blog for recipe ideas and cookbooks that help expand her diet. Thanks for another recommendation and for the shout-out to those with food allergies.

Dhaatry said...

I've been looking all over for this book but cannot find a single copy!!!! Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this or if someone here is selling theirs by any chance? Please HELP!!! Thanks a ton in advance.

Jennifershmoo said...

The author is coming out with a new revised edition very soon. Hang in there!

Dhaatry said...

Thanks for the update! Would you kindly let me know as to when the new edition will come out and how I can be notified when it comes out, so that I dont' miss out on it? I hear that it is very popular!

Jennifershmoo said...

Why don't you sign up for the author's newsletter on her website:

http://www.godairyfree.org/

I'm sure she will let everyone know when the new edition is out. :-)