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!