A guide to healthier shopping and eating
What’s in the Dairy–free Fridge?
Butter – replace with dairy–free spread. Pure’s Dairy–free Soya Spread and Dairy–free Sunflower Spread are sold at all big supermarkets and taste good. Other brands include Granose, Suma, Biona, Vitaquell – all available from most health stores.
Chocolate – oh, yes. OK, here’s the bad news: milk chocolate contains – yes you’ve guessed it – milk! But here’s the good news… .
Milk style chocolate – scrummy alternatives, such as Free From and Plamil bars are available from supermarkets and health stores as well as many other brands made with oat, coconut and soya milks.
Plain chocolate – plain or dark chocolate is often dairy free (just check there’s no butterfat or butteroil) and is widely available from supermarkets and health stores.
More chocolate! – the divinely decadent Booja-Booja range... they have to be tasted to be believed! You can buy them in good delis, health stores – and from Viva!. In fact, check out our Gifts For Life catalogue (available online ) to see the fabulous range of chocolate on offer!
Cheese – you won’t be able to replace that hunk of Brie or blue cheese and we’re not even going to pretend – but there are some good dairy-free alternatives. Here are some of our faves:
Hard cheese – main brands include:
- Violife (health shops and supermarkets)
- V-Bites' Cheezly (from health shops or online)
- Vegusto (from health shops or online)
- Scheese (available from health stores)
- Supermarkets' own brands
- Parmesan style Florentino Parmezano is found pre-grated in little tubs at most good supermarkets and health stores. Very good with Italian dishes
Cream Cheese – dairy-free cream cheese is delicious and comes in several flavours. It’s great on crackers or toast – and the plain stuff makes a mean cheesecake. Available in health stores:
- Tofutti – Original (plain), French Herb, Garlic & Herb, Herbs & Chives
- Sheese – Cheddar Style, Garlic & Herb, etc.
- Supermarkets' own brands
Cream – you can still enjoy the richness of cream, but without the health risks!
- Single – Provamel Alpro Soya Dream is available from major supermarkets and health stores, Granose Soya Creem from health stores, Oatly cream and coconut cream are also widely available
- Double – Soya Too whipping cream and squirty whipped cream are available in some health food and specialist shops
Custard – Provamel Alpro make superb custard in a carton and so do Oatly. Alpro's Soya Dessert is another winner. Find these products in the Free From section of a good supermarket or else at your health store.
Ice cream – Enjoy that summer moment without dairy.
- Swedish Glace is available in most big supermarkets. Flavours include delicious Vanilla, Raspberry, Strawberry, Chocolate, Mocha & Chocolate and Caramel. Their Choc Ices are also excellent
- Almond Dream is another fantastic brand and available in some supermarkets
- Booja Booja is delicious and also very healthy - some supermarkets and health food shops sell it
- Coconut Collaborative have a range of coconut ice creams in many shops
- Bessant & Drury - coconut based ice-creams, Vanilla, Chocolate and Lemon flavours available in bigger supermarkets and health stores
- Alpro have a range of soya-based ice creams
Free From Range – most of the major supermarkets have a Free-From section, where you will find some dairy-free products. Try the ‘organic’ or ‘health’ sections, also, as these usually have goodies such as veggie Worcestershire sauce, egg and dairy-free mayonnaise and suchlike.
Mayonnaise – not saturated with egg and suchlike, but creamy-licious and animal free, such as Plamil’s Egg-free Mayonnaise, which is available in some big supermarkets (try the Free From section) as well as health stores.
Milk – soya, oat, nut and rice, not stolen from a cow! Soya milk is another good source of calcium and you can use it in tea and coffee, as well as on cereal and in cooking – just as you would cow’s milk. Good brands include:
- Provamel and Alpro - both brands offer unsweetened and sweetened, organic and enriched varieties
- So Good (chilled, with calcium and B12)
- Supermarket own brands (usually made by Provamel)
- Oatly - a range of oat milks, widely available
- Rice Dream
Nuts – almonds and cashews make a great cream substitute in both sweet and savoury foods. Grind them down as fine as you can in a grinder/blender and then add to smoothies, sauces and so on. Chock full of goodness too.
Tofu – the wonderfood! It’s made from soya beans and has been a popular standard in the Orient for thousands of years. It contains excellent levels of calcium, folate and other vitamins as well as being high in healthy vegetable protein and low in cholesterol and fat. The smoked and marinated varieties are great in savoury dishes and the silken version in sweet foods.
Brands to look for:
- Cauldron – firm - plain or smoked - good for stir-fries or lasagna. Available from large supermarkets and health stores
- Taifun - flavoured blocks of tasty tofu, easy to cook with as you dn't have to worry about seasoning too much
- Mori–Nu – silken tofu, a wonderful egg-replacer for quiches, mousses and so on. Available from large supermarkets, health stores and Oriental stores
- Dragonfly, Clear Spot and other brands available from your health store, often organic
- If you live in a largish town or city, look for your local Oriental supermarket - they also stock tofu of different varieties and it’s often much cheaper than elsewhere
Yeast Flakes – also add a slightly cheesy taste to savoury dishes. Marigold (the vegetable stock powder people) make it; it’s available in large tubs with ‘Marigold Engevita’ on the side. Available from good supermarkets or health stores.
Yoghurt – if you’re a yoghurt fan, no worries, you can now buy dairy-free varieties. And plain soya yoghurt makes a mean Raita – cucumber and yoghurt dip used to accompany Indian dishes.
- Provamel and Alpro – in plain and fruity varieties – available in big supermarkets and health stores. The plain is sold in a large pot, the fruity sort in large and small pots
- Coconut yoghurts - there are several brands, all delicious, but if you're watching your fat intake you'd better check the label as some are very fatty
- Sojasun – wider variety of flavours, available from health stores: plain in a 250g pot; 125 glass pots in : lemon, black cherry, apricot & guava, raspberry and strawberry