If you have food intolerances it can be hard knowing what are good alternatives for ingredients when following a healthy eating diet plan, to ensure you get the best results with the recipes. Here are some suggestions for substitutes you can use if you need to be dairy free and/or lactose free.

Substitutes for Butter

If you are preparing baking recipes that use butter you can usually substitute this for oil and it’s often a bit healthier for you anyway.
If a recipe requires melted butter you can replace the equivalent amount with oil – a vegetable oil would be suitable.
There are a number of non dairy ‘butter type’ spreads available at the supermarket too, usually near the butter and margarine section. Nuttelex is an example as well as a number of other olive oil type spreads. Using fresh avocado as a spread alternative to butter is great for your health and extra tasty.

Substitutes for Cream

If needing a pouring type cream for a recipe to flavour soups etc, you could use a natural dairy free yoghurt, which will have a lot less calories than cream.
If you do need to use a pouring cream for a sauce or similar you could try blending 3/4 cup of soy or rice milk with 1/4 cup of extra light olive oil. This will equal 1 cup of light cream for your recipes.
A dairy free or lactose free version of whipped cream can be hard to find – coconut cream is a good alternative but note it is high in calories (approx 330cal per 100grams) so use a smaller amount to keep a healthy balance.
A great way to whip coconut cream is by refrigerating a tin of coconut milk overnight (different brands have different results and it is recommended to use a full fat version). After refrigerating, carefully open the tin and there should be a firm, white, waxy layer of coconut cream on the top. Scoop this firm layer out and place in a bowl. You can keep the coconut water at the bottom aside to use in smoothies or something else. Mix with a mixer or hand beaters for 3-5 minutes until it becomes fluffy and light with soft peaks. You could add a small amount of vanilla extract if using the cream for a sweet recipe.

Substitutes for Cheese

If you have been following a dairy free or lactose free diet for a while you will probably be aware of the dairy free/lactose free cheese alternatives available at the supermarket and in health food stores and already have a few favourites. Liddells and GoVeggie both have a number of dairy free and/or lactose free alternatives for tasty cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella and parmesan and can be purchased in many supermarkets or ordered online.
If you need to find alternatives for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese you could try blending or mashing some firm silken tofu with a dash of lemon juice. Silken tofu can substitute cheese in many recipes, replacing cottage cheese or ricotta in dips, sauces, smoothies, pies, and pasta dishes.
If you’d prefer to try something other than tofu as a substitute you could use a dairy free yoghurt such as coconut yoghurt. This would provide a similar consistency to ricotta or cottage cheese and if you needed it for a savoury recipe just choose a plain flavour (remembering that there will always be an element of coconut flavour with these products).

Substitutes for Milk

There are so many substitutes for cow’s milk these days. So many that we’ve dedicated a whole post to some of the options available and their various nutritional content. Read more here.
These days there is so much information available to help with various food intolerances and allergies to ensure you can make a healthy choice and continue following a healthy eating diet plan without missing out too much.
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