How to be dairy-free

A guide to healthier shopping and eating.

FREE DOWNLOAD:

Everyone's Going Dairy-Free

Discover the delights of dairy free cuisine with our new step-by-step guide Everyone's Going Dairy-Free. Informative and easy-to-read, it includes 20 mouthwatering dairy-free recipes as well as helpful shopping and cooking tips.

What’s in the Dairyfree 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.

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, from coconut choccy bars to chocolate covered mango and everything in-between!                                                                         

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 – the main brands are:

  • V-Bites' Cheezly (from health shops or online) 
  • Vegusto (from health shops or online) 
  • Scheese (available from health stores) in no less than nine flavours including Cheddar, Hickory Smoked and Mozzarella
  • Tofutti melting ‘Mozzarella’ style cheese slices
  • 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
  • Redwood – Sour Cream & Chive, Garlic & Herb
  • Fromsoy – Horseradish, French Onion, Garlic & Herb

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
  • Double – Soya Too whipping cream and squirty whipped cream are only available at present from branches of Fresh & Wild (London or Bristol) but you can buy them mail order from Vegan Store (see stockists at the end of this Guide)

Custard – Provamel Alpro make superb custard in a carton.  Their Soya Dessert (available in Vanilla, Forest Fruits, Chocolate or Caramel) is another winner – and as well as lavishing it on fruit and so forth, try it as a filling in our Celebration Cake recipe.  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
  • Tofutti is another fantastic brand.  Look out for Better Pecan, Madagascan Vanilla, Strawberry Supreme, Chocolate Cookies and Vanilla Chocolate Fudge.  They also produce Rock’n’Roll, which is rather like Vienetta – but dairy-free of course!
  • First Glacé Oat Supreme is another excellent choice, available in health stores
  • Mother Hemp has its own gorgeous range also: Vanilla, Strawberry and Mint Choc Chip, made from creamy hemp seed milk.  Available from health stores
  • Bessant & Drury - coconut based ice-creams, Vanilla, Chocolate and Lemon flavours available in bigger supermarkets and health stores
  • Booja Booja - delicious ice-cream available from some supermarkets and health-food shops

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 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. (See Tofu Heaven for more ideas.)
          
Try recipes such as Vegetable Pancakes, Chocolate Mousse and Red Onion  & Thyme Tart – and there are more!

Brands to look for:

  • Cauldron – firm - plain or smoked - good for stir-fries or lasagna. Available from large supermarkets and health stores
  • 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. Try Asparagus Gratinée or Macaroni ‘Cheese’.

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.  Try the recipe here.

  • Provamel and Alpro – Yofu comes 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
  • 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