I have been gluten-free for several years for my own health reasons and now I’m also dairy-free because of Josie’s severe dairy allergy. People like to ask me, “What CAN you eat??” Heck, I ask myself the same thing sometimes! Fortunately, I have found some satisfying subsitutes for my favorites…for the most part these are even approved by my family members who can eat normal people food! I’ve come across others who are facing elimination diets and wanted to share what I’ve learned so far in case I makes things easier.
Best Ice Cream Substitute:
Hands down, the winner is Blue Bunny almond milk ice cream. It is soft and creamy, way better than coconut-based ice creams which tend to be thin and icy. Good stuff!
Best Pizza Substitute:
Daiya frozen pizza is the winner here. I am not a big veggie fan so I’ve only tried the cheeze lover variety, but it is good. I don’t know what kind of alchemy they use to make a GF/DF pizza work, but I’m glad someone figured it out!
Best Packaged Cookies:
Cybele’s Free To Eat chocolate chip cookies are very yummy! Soft and not crumbly with a good flavor.
This one is a toss up, as both Smashburger and Cheesecake Factory have very respectable GF/DF options, just make sure to stress NO BUTTER when ordering. I think the avocado club at Smashburger might have a slight edge because avocado does a good job of replacing the creaminess that is missing without cheese. Oh, cheese, I miss you.
Best Fast Food options:
My family likes to eat out so this has been one of the harder parts of food allergies. We frequent Wendy’s where I get a bunless grilled chicken sandwich, Carl’s Jr where a I get a “low carb style” lettuce wrapped burger, Chick-fil-a where I get grilled nuggets, PeiWei where I get the GF spicy chicken or shrimp. Everyone is pretty sick of these options already, but at least they have a whole menu to choose from!
Best Baked Goods:
King Arthur GF brownies prepared with oil are the best baked good I’ve eaten since going GF/DF. I tried Pamela’s GF/DF brownies, but they were not nearly as good…sort of grainy even when warm and gooey. King Arthur is perfect.
Almond milk. I really expected to prefer coconut milk, but it is just too thin. I am not a milk drinker, so I only use it in other things (cereal, coffee), but my go to choice is unsweetened original almond milk.
Best Coffee On The Go:
Soy latte. I used to be a mocha girl, but now I’m a soy latte. Ordering it makes me feel like I’m pretending to be someone else, but it is surprisingly tasty. Many babies with dairy allergies are also sensitive to soy, so I don’t go crazy with soy stuff, but thus far Jo has been fine with it.
Best Coffee At Home:
Lots of options here that are equally good. 1 tbsp coconut oil tossed into the blender with your coffee for a few seconds is great. Soy or almond milk creamers are good. Coconut milk creamers aren’t creamy. Boo. (Don’t be fooled by “non-dairy” creamers, they do contain milk protein which is what triggers the allergic reactions.) Almond milk itself works, too, it just isn’t as creamy as the other options.
Best Mashed Potatoes:
https://simplygluten-free.com/blog/2011/03/gluten-free-dairy-free-meat-loaf-mashed-potato-cupcakes.html With dairy, without dairy, these are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had! We use regular mayo since we are not vegan.
Kinnickinnick frozen cinnamon and sugar donuts. YUM. These are so good that Josh will steal them.
Best Protein Bar:
Ugh, eliminating gluten and dairy makes finding a good protein bar tough! I don’t always have time to eat an actual meal, so I like to have bars to fall back on, especially on the go when there may not be a safe option around. The best option I’ve found are KIND bars, the kind with nuts. They usually run about 7g of protein, which isn’t a ton, but they are tasty and will buy you some time.
Best Buttter Substitute:
Earth Balance soy-free. Honestly, I haven’t tried their other varieties because this one was recommended to me and it fit the bill.
That is all I can think of right now, but if there is something not mention here that you are looking for, please ask! I’ll do a follow up post with meal ideas soon…whatever soon means for someone with a homeschooled kid with mito and a baby with a major heart defect who will be having open heart surgery soon! 😉 And please forgive any typos or errors, I wrote this on my iPhone in the dark next to a sleeping baby in between stirrings…no proofreading happening here!