From the cow’s milk we pour on our morning breakfast to the butter that coats our toast, we learn from a young age that dairy products are a key component of a balanced diet. But with 1 in 20 adults experiencing some degree of lactose intolerance, its important to know what simple alternatives are available, from the grocery store shelf to the ingredients used in your recipes.
The low-down on lactose
Lactose intolerance occurs when our bodies aren’t fully able to digest lactose (or sugar) in milk. Even if a person isn’t lactose intolerant, they may have a negative reaction due to the whey and casein proteins found within dairy, which can lead to allergies, eczema, asthma, bloating and acne. Substitutes can help you feel lighter and less congested, easing these symptoms. After making the swap, many people (myself included!) happily discover an absence of the heavy white coating that usually sits on the tongue.
How to lighten up
There's no need to give up anything when switching to dairy-free eating. That’s a light-bulb moment! Your favourite treats - milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt and icecream – can be easily replicated in all their delicious dairy-less glory. My general recommendation is to try a variety of dairy alternatives. Calcium, minerals, protein and vitamin-D can be found in a stack of foods.
To make the switch a little easier for you, I’ve been busily creating a simple dairy-free product guide to assist with shopping and cooking. I’ve written this out for clients in messy handwriting more times than I can count. Now, I can save my hands (and your eyes) a little work as it will be in neat, downloadable form. The guides (there is a wheat-free one too) include substitute recommendations like coconut and cashews, as well as ways to use them to recreate your favourite dishes. I’m really excited to be sharing this with you very, very soon! Watch out for my new e-shop with more goodies too.
RECIPE: Simple Vegan Cream
This is one of my all-time favourite dairy-free indulgences. It’s full of healthy fats and is great for your arteries, as it uses no animal products. Cashews form the base of the icecream. These kidney-shaped nuts have a high copper content, which is a co-factor to producing SOH (superoxide dismutase), important in energy production, tissue integrity and antioxidant defenses. It’s sweetened by pure maple syrup and vanilla. Maple syrup is a wholefood sweetener packed with minerals. Vanilla has aphrodisiac properties along with small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron, and zinc, among other minerals. See what I mean about not missing out on your vitamins and minerals?
1/2 Cup of Cashews (soaked, for 2-4 hours)
1/4 Cup Filtered Water/Rice Milk/Almond Milk (Depending on thickness)
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tsp Natural Vanilla Extract
Method: Blend everything together until smooth, thick and creamy. Serve with or as a dessert.