Once upon a time, everyone loved butter. I remember one summer growing up, my mother switched over to margarine but didn’t tell my dad. It was summer and the butter dish sat as it always did on our kitchen table. Remember those? We would only refrigerate it between meals in the summer and would leave it out on the table in the cooler months.
Anyway, my dad commented on how yellow the butter was. My mom said, deadpan-“the cows are eating more grass this time of year”. My brother and I had to stiffle the laughter. My dad bought it. We thought margarine was healthy. We were so wrong.
There is an online article about margarine and why it’s bad for you:
Because of years of believing slanted studies on cholesterol, we all switched to margarine. Recently, those studies have been debunked. I have actually been saying for years that the cholesterol/heart disease correlation was BS. And I was right.
Just as these reports were being released to the media, I found out I was dairy intolerant and would have to give up my beloved butter, as well as milk, sour cream, ice cream, cheese, cream cheese-the list goes on. This was much harder for me than giving up gluten. At first I went only lactose free, and was drinking Lactaid milk. I had read that if something was aged it would be lactose free, such as hard cheeses like cheddar, and also sour cream and yogurt that has been cultured.
It seems the problem for me is whey proteins. If something contains this protein I cannot tolerate it.
Luckily I have found some substitutes but others fall short.
This is the big one. Best substitute is Earth balance. I can’t tell the difference in baking, cooking and of course, on bread.
I have previously stated that Daiya cheese is a great substitute. Go Veggie is also very good but it is only lactose free. I am able to tolerate it but others may not be able to.
I have also stated previously that Silk non-dairy milks are pretty good. I do not like soy milk. I find the almond and coconut milks by themselves are a bit thin. I like the almond/coconut blend, and also the cashew milk.
I was surprised to find out that non-dairy creamer is not non-dairy at all. So good creamers are a good substitute. Since I gave up coffee I can drink my tea black as well.
I have not found a decent substitute for cream cheese. They just taste like wallpaper paste to me.
I was able to eat this for awhile but had to stop. I have not found a substitute.
I was happy to find out that I can eat dark chocolate. Make sure you read labels-some manufacturers do use milk. Also found out Enjoy life makes dairy free chocolate chips that are amazing.
I have also found I can eat instant pudding, and chocolate frosting. Always read labels-you might be surprised at what you can eat. And what you can’t.
I have learned to live without dairy but I am not happy about it. Unfortunately there really is no substitue for real butter, cheese or sour cream. But we all must learn to adapt and focus on what we can eat. Even though dining out has become a real challenge now, I still enjoy going to a great restaurant, and having a good conversation with my dining companions. Wine doesn’t hurt either!
If you are not sure whether you are lactose or dairy intolerant, there are ways to narrow it down:
- Eliminate all dairy from your diet for two weeks
- Start reintroducing lactose free milk into your diet first
- If you can tolerate that, try hard cheeses such as cheddar
- Move onto yogurt and maybe sour cream
- If you find you still have symptoms you are probably dairy intolerant
It’s hard to live a dairy free life, but not impossible. There are lots of recipes that are both gluten and dairy free. And restaurants are getting better at serving people with all kinds of allergies.
The world is becoming a better place for those of us who are gluten and dairy intolerant. And who knows, maybe someday they will invent dairy free butter!