how to cook and bake without dairy

I have fallen in love with creme fraiche lately.

Have you made some for yourself? It’s so ridiculously easy — more so than anything I have made from scratch — that you would be silly to not make it. Ready?

Pour a pint of good cream in a jar. (The less pasteurized the cream, the less time it takes to thicken. Ultra pasteurized works too, however.) Dribble in two tablespoons of buttermilk. Shake the jar. Let it sit on the counter for 8 to 24 hours until it thickens.

That’s it.

A few years ago, we talked about creme fraiche here, and we showed you how to heat it in a saucepan to 85 degrees before putting it in the jar. Turns out that isn’t even necessary. Just pour, dribble, shake, let sit.

After this amount of work — less than finding the remote control to the television set — and some time, you’ll have thick creme fraiche, ever-so-slightly sour, sweet and tasting clean as the pasture. Oh heck, do I need to describe it? If you’ve eaten creme fraiche, you know what I mean. If you never have, well, you might want to try this sensory experience sometime.

You can buy creme fraiche at the store, but it’s almost exorbitantly expensive. At our store, it’s $8 for a tiny tub, which holds about 1/4 of what we can make at home for 1/2 the price.

I’m finding that food made from scratch almost always costs less than the equivalent in the packaged tub.

I’ve been using creme fraiche in our baking here. It lends a wonderful texture to muffins, pound cake, applesauce bread, and cupcakes. Creme fraiche has such a complex taste that it blends well with whole-grain gluten-free flours like teff and quinoa. Lately, I’m fascinated by the way we can build flavors with flours. Buttermilk and creme fraiche both seem to love gluten-free flours.

However, you haven’t seen any recipes with creme fraiche in them here, have you?

For the past few years, I’ve been acutely aware of the ingredients in our recipes. Whenever I post a recipe, I receive a comment or email within minutes: “That looks fabulous. I can’t eat [fill in the blank here] at all. How do I convert your recipe?”

I have to be honest — sometimes this deflates me. Or annoys me. After working for months on a gluten-free puff pastry recipe, and finally publishing it, one of the first responses? “How do I make this without butter?” When I put up the roasted tofu recipe, I had a volley of angry comments on Facebook decrying it because soy is evil and causes breast cancer. (According to my oncologist and dozens of serious medical studies, that’s malarkey.) No matter what I create, someone has an issue with one of the ingredients.

Part of my response the past few years has been to modify recipes before I made them. We made vegan gluten-free pie crust. We work with dairy-free milk, partly because Lu and Danny don’t do well with cow’s milk, but also to try to make the recipes easier for people. We avoid posting that many meat recipes because we know how many vegetarians are reading.

But here’s the deal. My pie crusts with leaf lard and butter are pretty amazing. I don’t like hemp milk. We’re having a rack of lamb for Easter.

And I really love creme fraiche.

Here’s what I want to do. From now on, I’m making the baked goods and appetizers we create with the ingredients we always have in our house. I cannot eat gluten. Danny and Lu cannot drink cow’s milk or cream. But creme fraiche treats them fine. I never set out to write a healthy eating blog. This place is a celebration of what we love to eat: scrambled eggs with roasted asparagus and the first peas of the season; apple bacon turnovers; big salads with lemon tahini dressing; roast pork loin with a coffee-allspice rub; lemon poppyseed pound cake made with creme fraiche.

Danny and I both believe that if we eat real food, we’re healthy. (I always loved Julia Childs’ quote: “All things in moderation, even in moderation.”) All our recent medical tests show that to be true. We’re fit as fiddlehead ferns and ready to bloom.

However, I’m still aware of the folks who cannot eat dairy. It must be really difficult.

What I’d like to do is this. Please leave a comment on this post about how you cope without dairy. What are your best solutions for baking? For sauces? For folding into scrambled eggs? Do you try to replace cheese? Do you make creamy dressings without cream? We’d like to know.

Give us your best knowledge, the tricks you have picked up from feeding your family well without dairy. Or because you are a vegan by choice. Whenever we post a recipe with dairy in it, I’ll link back to this post so the dairy-free folks can learn from you. And if we post a recipe with dairy in it, and you bake it dairy-free, leave a comment on that post about how you did it.

I want to help, as much as I can. You know more than I do, however.

And I really want my creme fraiche back.

243 comments on “how to cook and bake without dairy

  1. Sabrina Modelle

    I love your post. I eat “seagan” six days a week for health. I was doing vegan- until I found out that tofu was triggering my migraines, and I just can’t bear to cook legumes every day. Do I miss dairy, YES. It turns out that my husband is pretty sensitive to it, which we didn’t learn until we cut it out. I miss leaf lard in my pie crust and butter and eggs for cooking, but that 7th day is my fun cooking and eating day. I am learning my way around cooking without eggs and dairy and it is an adventure and a learning process- much like yours without gluten.

    1. Elye

      I’m also a gluten-free ‘seagan’! I was vegan for a year and just found out I have celiac a couple months ago. I needed to start eating fish again for the iron and omega-3s.

      Anyway, I usually just substitute almond milk for dairy. Eggs I replace with sometimes a mixture of water, oil, and cornstarch, or applesauce/banana.

  2. Jenn

    I love it! You can’t be all things to all people, although you are nice enough to have tried this long. But what you are and can be is an inspiration to the gluten-free community. The one that made me excited to dive into cooking gluten-free for my son when faced with the necessity, instead of feeling panicked. And I can’t afford creme fraiche from the store, so am REALLY EXCITED about this recipe!!

  3. Heather

    I cook with goat’s milk. A lot of health food stores carry it, as well as goat’s butter and yogurt…but we have a local dairy goat farm we get ours from. My son and I are the only ones that can’t have gluten and dairy…but when I cook with goat’s milk, butter, etc…no one in my family even notices the difference…and my gluten and dairy lovers are very excited to let me know they can tell the difference.

    1. APearl

      Hi! I am gluten and dairy free too, well, I cannot have cow’s milk, but I can have goat’s milk. I have gone to doctors, and it has never been explained to me. Cooking with goat’s milk and yogurt has worked out really well. I also use Earthbalance sometimes as a substitute for butter, or goat’s milk with lemon juice for buttermilk.

      1. Morgan

        I LOVE the idea of goats milk with lemon juice for buttermilk. I’ll have to try that. This is how I work all my alternative dairy (I’m GFDF, and then often bake vegan to make ALL people feel welcome and warm):
        •Baking (sweet):
        Coconut Oil- delicious for cookies and cakes.
        Earth Balance Butter Spread- great substitute, sometimes a little bitter. I use it in a lot of things that have added sweetness so you can’t tell (chocolate chip cookies for example).
        •Baking (savory):
        Goats Milk- GREAT. Cannot tell the difference.
        Earth Balance Buttery Spread- the bitterness is less noticed. This is a good vegan alternative.
        Earth Balance Buttery Spread- great substitute for any recipes (sautee, bake, etc).
        Goats Milk- Same thing, but richer and greasier in a good way 🙂
        Olive Oil- as we all know, a little more bitter than traditional butter, but delicious.

  4. Charissa (zest bakery)

    A while back we evalutated a bunch of goat and sheeps milk products as alternatives to cow dairy:

    But the taste of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk is very distinct. For everyday baking we mostly use almond milk and coconut yogurt. These work as great substitutes in most recipes that call for dairy including breads, muffins, and cakes. Substituting butter is probably the trickiest. We’ve had decent results using Earth Balance vegan butter (but it does contain soy), or just using palm shortening. Happy baking!

    1. Sarah

      I also use almond milk and Earth Balance vegan butter. I have used shortening to make frosting instead of butter. I am craving lasagna so I have found Follow your Heart (soy) cheese that states it actually melts. Veggie Shreds was recommended to me by our chef at work. I saute, fry and make grilled cheese with coconut oil. I have not made a cream sauce yet. Hubby and I did make a roux with GF flour and coconut oil.
      Thank you for offering this option to us. I have only been GF/DF for 3 months and I have so much more to learn.

      1. Lara

        Just in case you might be sensitive, Veggie shreds have casein, which is a milk derived protein. I use Daiya shreds and they work pretty well.

      1. Shan

        Earth Balance’s soy free version does contain pea protein, though, so if you are sensitive to legumes, this might not be a good option.

        1. Mindy

          Earth Balance now makes a dairy free, soy free, legume free version based on coconut milk. I like it even better as it has a more butter-like mouth feel!

  5. Rachel B.

    I have problems with both cow and goat dairy, but none with sheep dairy; thus, I substitute sheep cheese or yogurt for recipes that call for one of these items. If the recipe calls for milk, I use almond, rice or soy milk.

  6. kazzakiwi

    I’m dairy free as I’m highly lactose intolerant, but I also try not to eat gluten (and actually I think I don’t cope with it all that well, though that wasn’t the reason I cut it out originally) and I do find it frustrating at times that gluten free is so well catered for, but usually things aren’t dairy free also so any attempt to help us dairy free folk out is truly appreciated 🙂 I’m from NZ which is a country of passionate bakers and there are many recipes I wish I could recreate.

    I have found using rice bran oil to be really good in cakes, you can get quite a froth beating eggs and oil and I’ve made some fabulous cakes this way. However, I have not yet managed to find a good dairy free substitute for butter in cookies (or biscuits as we call them). Our biscuits/cookies are crunchy and not soft and chewy as Americans seem to prefer. In the US you probably have butter alternatives that are firmer, but ours are all quite soft.

    I like coconut oil for baking with also, it works really well in brownies. Coconut cream and milk are also invaluable, you can make icecream, curries etc etc with them.

    I’ve just come to live in the UK for a while so I’m really excited that dairy alternatives like soy cream and soy cheese are available so when I get a kitchen of my own again there will be a lot of experimenting happening.

    1. Siobhan

      I have made milk-free shortbread and other crisp biscuits using dairy-free margarine – the brand we have here is Nuttelex – and they work very well.
      In fact one of the few baked things I have worked out how to make which is vegan, dairy and gluten free all at the same time is a biscuit with rice flour, sugar and nuttelex.

    2. Belinda S.

      I have used coconut oil for chocolate chip cookies for years. I replaced some of the flour (1/4 cup in the Tollhouse Recipe) with Garfava (garbanzo and fava bean) flour to give it a slightly nutty/buttery flavor. It tastes horrible raw (I found this out the hard way and wanted to claw my tongue!), but is great after baked. My mom actually prefers these to the original. Make sure you use either a silicone mat or parchment paper when baking and adjust your baking time. Dairy-free tends to stick and silicone seems to need slight adjustments in baking times.

  7. Jennifer D. Harris

    I like to bake with unsweetened coconut milk, coconut creamer, daiya cheese and goat cheese. I drink Almond milk, but I don’t bake with it because even the original version can add sweetness to a savory dish. There is rice based whipped topping in a can and soy based whipped topping. Another company makes cashew cream. For sliced cheese I use either goat or sheep and the same goes for yogurt. There is a new type of dairy free yogurt coming out that is made from almonds too.

    There are many tasty dairy-free options out there, so there is no need to do without!

    1. Margaret Taylor

      Gee where do you live? I wish we could get those dairy free alternatives in NZ. Plain yoghurt especially, not made from soya We are too small but there are many people with dairy and other allergies. It is so hard when you go out. My grandson is 3 1/2 and is dairy, wheat . sugar and yeast free! A real challenge for a wee one but I am impressed with how he is coping.

  8. Chef Froggie

    Great post Shauna! When I see a recipe with milk more often than not I automatically think of how I could replace the milk. Sometimes though I can’t figure out a way, so I just get excited for those who can have dairy. I’m looking forward to seeing what others have to say about how they convert things to be dairy-free, but I’ll share some of what I’ve found too. 🙂

    I personally like soy milk, because it has a creamier texture, and I love vanilla soy milk, just because it tastes much better (depending on the brand… I dislike most Silk milk (but love their yogurt) and prefer Earth Balance or Soy Dream). Replacing milk in a recipe isn’t that hard. You can usually replace it with equal amount of soy milk, or even rice milk, and in some cases water or other liquid.

    For butter, I use Earth Balance because 1. it tastes good and 2. it has a good texture and consistency and 3. it works very well to replace butter in just about anything I’ve tried. They also have a soy-free one for those of you who can’t do soy.

    Yogurt isn’t too difficult either. There are several brands and many flavors of soy yogurt, and rice and coconut (at least I think it’s coconut) yogurt are also available.

    Cheese is a bit harder. Daiya cheese is awesome because 1. it tastes pretty darn close to real cheese and 2. it actually melts and 3. it really does stretch. However, just a heads up, it is not a great source of protein like real cheese is. But, it is soy, gluten and dairy free.

    Cream cheese however is pretty easy to substitute. Tofutti makes a pretty good one (the yellow tub, not the blue/green tub) and it works also very well in baking. I’ve made a 1st place dairy-free cheesecake at my county fair 2 years ago in 4-H (which got auctioned off for a few hundred $$ because it was a 1st place cake).

    There are other options out there, but these are my main substitutions that I use all the time that have proved to be reliable and taste great. There are other things that I haven’t yet figured out how to do, so I’m curious to see other suggestions here. 🙂

  9. Tammie

    I’ve had great success using Earth Balance Buttery Spread and coconut oil in place of butter in my recipes. So Delicious Plain coconut milk, yogurt and creamer are all awesome too, as well as plain almond milk. I don’t care for soy cheese so I avoid it, but my Mom loves it. And using soaked cashews that have been pureed with lemon juice, sea salt and dill makes a great sour cream alternative.

  10. Lauren

    We use coconut milk for everything! I’m sensitive to casein so this is the best, safest thing that seems to work. We use the canned stuff and the thick cream at the top is closer to whole milk.

  11. Alison

    Thank you, Shauna, for all the dairy-free recipes you’ve posted – and I’m looking forward to seeing the tips other people post here about how to make dairy-free work better.

    I don’t eat dairy and find that often I can just substitute non-dairy products with no problem. Earth Balance has the best flavor (to me) of the dairy-free butters I’ve tried. Silk unsweetened (not “plain”) soymilk has become the family choice for Thanksgiving mashed potatoes because it doesn’t leave a soy-y flavor, which some of the family members are very sensitive to and really don’t like.

    If you want an awesome frozen dessert, get some SoDelicious Purely Decadent coconut milk “ice cream” – they even have a gluten-free cookie dough flavor! I only miss real ice cream when I’d like to go out with friends for a cone and can’t find a place that has a dairy-free substitute.

    Cheese is the hardest. When I was eating casein but not lactose, I found that the casein-containing fake cheese worked pretty well for melting but sometimes have a funny flavor. Daiya cheeses are casein-free and are pretty great for any melted application, but they really aren’t like the real thing. I haven’t found any true substitute for cheese, and no fake-cheese that I’d eat without melting it first. I’m especially curious to see if anyone has suggestions on the cheese front, because I miss it the most.

    1. Casie

      I was very bummed to learn that Daiya cheeses have titanium dioxide. They are very clean otherwise! I wrote to them about it, but if you have a few minutes, more voices are always better.

    2. *stepho*

      Great post, Shauna. Whether or not all of us can eat all of your recipes, we most certainly can draw inspiration from them. As far as I’m concerned, you’re doing us a great service!

      I’m in agreement with the above regarding butter and milk — Earth Balance (I prefer the soy free) as a butter substitute, and almond and coconut milks work well in place of dairy milk in a lot of recipes. A wonderful cheese alternative is Lisanatti Almond cheese ( It is gluten and soy free, but it does contain dairy protein so unfortunately, it’s not vegan. It is great melted, as many cheese alternatives are, but I actually enjoy eating it cold as well. It does have a hint of almond flavor, but I like that. Rumor has it they are working on a vegan cheese as well!

    3. Tracy

      My son is dairy free and gluten free. I came across a recipe for a cheese sauce that called for nutritional yeast. Not easy to find but you might look for it. It wasn’t too bad.

    4. michelle

      When we go out for ice cream, the dairy free option is sorbet. (not sherbet) Just a thought…

  12. jj

    This is fantastic. I am a gf/vegan baker, but I don’t have to be strict about either thing. I know that I feel better when I’m not eating gluten, but I primarily got into eating this way because my partner is on a strict allergen-free diet (lyme disease sucks!). I love playing with recipes, and I have never had bad luck with any of yours. If I feel that I need to doctor something, I do it on my own. The internet is a fantastic thing! You shouldn’t feel like you have to alter your process to make conversions easier. Thank you so much for an awesome blog!

  13. Dea

    My husband is severely lactose intolerant. I’m thankful every day I can still cook with butter but for everything else I substitute. Almond milk is the new milk in our house… I’ve used it in place of regular milk in a ton of recipes and never been let down. Toffuti (if you can eat soy) makes a sour cream and cream cheese my husband enjoys for dips and the cream cheese works well in frostings. My husband enjoys these options in every way you could use regular sour cream or cream cheese. They can be expensive and i’m allergic to soy so i only feed them to my husband but it works for our family. I’ve found that fat and starch will mimic a creamy mouthfeel. We still haven’t found Huge success with cheese alternatives but i’m hoping some of the other comments will give me some ideas.

  14. Casie

    Coconut cream. Lots and lots of coconut cream. And other nut creams, which I haven’t yet had a chance to finesse. Avocado works really well as a creamy base for mousses and dips. Also, beans can be very creamy if prepared that way. For the avocado, I’ve noticed that the important part is to make sure that the flavor of the other ingredients is strong enough and in high enough quantity so that they can overpower the avocado, and you don’t end up with a mousse that tastes like avocado, for example. Chocolate covers so many substitutions..

    For a drink, I really like oat milk, but not everyone does.

    Hard cheeses and butter have slim to no lactose, and I can tolerate those, even though I don’t do so well with most dairy. Pecorino and parmesan pack a very strong cheese flavor, even when not much is used…

  15. Jennie

    Isabella has a classmate that can’t drink cow’s milk. For the last three years she’s insisted anything we bring to class is made accordingly so Oliver can eat it too. She hates seeing him feel sad when kids bring it treats he can’t enjoy too. If it wasn’t for her kind heart, I may have never started experimenting with dairy-free alternatives myself.

    Oliver can handle goat’s milk, so I’ve found swapping that in for butter makes a lovely buttercream frosting—none of his classmates were the wiser, and some even asked their moms to get the recipe.

    I’ve also been playing around with Thai Kitchen’s canned coconut milk. So far I made dairy-free carrot cupcakes (subbed in olive oil for the fat) and they’re kid, mommy and daddy approved. In fact, I’ve even made chocolate cake using almond milk and olive oil. Again, 27 first graders gave it a big thumbs up.

    And I should note that vegetable shortenings have always freaked me out, but Spectrum’s non-hydrogenated one made a lovely, light vegan frosting for those carrot cupcakes. Wish you were closer to give them a taste for yourself!

    1. Merideth

      Kudos to your daughter Isabella for not wanting to leave Oliver out. My own daughter, Isabella, is the one getting left out here in Georgia for being gluten free, and she hates it! I use this blog to come up with delicious things to make for her, and now here fourth grade class likes my chocolate chip cookies better than any others. I make them with coconut oil instead of butter. They are divine.

  16. Mama without instructions

    Yay for cooking and posting what you love, not just what people want from you! We are pretty much dairy free (no goat either) except that thankfully we all do well w/butter and eat quite a lot of it w/no negative health effects (obvious or in blood work). I tend to lean on coconut milk for baking and it actually replaces cream in many cases (such as quiche) without changing the taste much at all- my son doesn’t love the flavor and is annoyed about finding it in too many things so I am pretty aware. We make homemade almond milk from soaked (overnight) raw almonds in the Vitamix and always have it to replace milk. It is the closest thing to the viscosity of cow milk that I have found (very unlike packaged almond milk). It works great in coffee, tea and I do make creamy, roux-based, sauces with it frequently. We don’t bother with fake cheeses and such. Some of it is decent enough in some applications but it’s still weird and we just decided it’s not worth it. It’s quite rare that I find a recipe I can’t make work with these ingredients. In a former life I was vegan and had good luck w/Earth Balance as a sub for butter but I much prefer organic butter and the occasional lard for a myriad of reasons.

  17. aseafish

    I cope without dairy; sometimes I even thrive without dairy, and I do this primarily to avoid pain. On Sunday, we will have a large egg hunt and lunch. Most of it will be gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, the list goes on and on. But my daughter, who is one of the most amazing cooks I know, will prepare an abundant cheese platter to serve alongside carefully chosen freshly baked, gluten-filled breads. I will whine a little, okay, a lot, but I will refrain. (If only she would choose mundane, tasteless cheeses, but, of course, she will not.) This, again, I do to avoid pain.

    That said, I have found some quite tasty ways to eat well and dairy-free. I do like hemp milk for cooking. I never drank milk alone anyway. I also love coconut milk. I, personally, can’t handle nut milks either, so I’m pretty limited. Often, I simply do without. That is often I don’t replace the dairy at all.

    For muffins, quick breads, and cakes, I usually use an extra-light olive oil. The flavor is not pronounced, and I have great success.

    I love cooking eggs in olive oil or coconut oil. Olive oil is my personal preference. I am amazed at how silky the texture is with oil, much nicer than butter. (Though I used to have quite the love affair with butter and creme fraiche!)

  18. sara

    love this, shauna! I have found this sentiment to be the toughest thing in creating a book, personally. In each recipe I second guess myself… what about the people that are gluten free? what if there aren’t enough vegan options? Are people going to think this is too much butter? It’s stressful! I appreciate what you do and respect you doing your work as it works within your life.

  19. Terri at Love & Confections

    I am lactose intolerant, unfortunately. My grandmother used lactose free milk when she lived with us, and since it tasted sweeter, I would drink it. My body became used to it and I couldn’t have anything that was dairy – and my favorite thing in the world is ice cream. I tried to get used to dairy again, and now drink organic milk. It doesn’t bother me too much. As far as cheeses go, I eat buffalo mozzarella and it doesn’t affect me at all! Which is great because I love it.

  20. Andrea

    I first started baking without dairy because I found it really dried out my GF breads. I replaced butter with either olive oil or saflower oil depending on how delicate the oil weight needed to be, also using Earth Balance vegan butter, however I haven’t found this to cooperate for use when needing butter melted…always seems to harden on me.
    Anyway, my second reason for dairy free baking is the 2 yr old little girl I currently nanny. She loves to eat everything, especially waffles, but she has real problems with dairy and by taking it out she can enjoy everything I can. He 4 yr old brother doesn’t have any issues, however was upset earlier this week because he couldn’t have his favourite GF pumpkin muffins for breakfast (my bad, I ran out and hadn’t baked anymore).
    I love being able to play with the receipes I find if there is something I need to change, being able to take on that challenge really provides you with freedom versus feeling tied down or confined by what is avalible.
    Take the challenge and have fun 🙂

  21. Alta

    When I went dairy-free, at first it was hard. But I’ve found that I can do ghee instead of butter, which in some applications, is wonderful. (it’s casein-free) It imparts a very rich flavor to things. If not ghee, then I substitute coconut oil for butter, which works pretty well as it solidifies at a similar temperature to butter. For heavy cream, I substitute full-fat coconut milk or even just the cream that sits on the top of a can of coconut milk. For full-fat milk, coconut milk or lite coconut milk (or like I usually do, coconut milk + water). For regular milk, I use either thinned coconut milk or almond milk. Buttermilk? Almond milk + some vinegar or lemon juice. I’m starting to experiment with cream cheese and sour cream – I find that making a cashew cream in my blender, plus some lemon juice, thinned to the desired consistency, provides some of the same texture/flavor. I’ve made cheesecakes before based on this theory (on my blog), and just made swedish meatballs with this as my “sour cream” base that were absolutely divine. (blogging about them soon!) You can simulate ricotta with cashew cheese or sunflower seed “cheese” – which is just soaked nuts/seeds processed in a food processor, along with nutritional yeast flakes, water, maybe lemon juice, etc. has a lot of wonderful tips – and the creator of that site, Alisa Fleming, has a book out by the same name. In there are recipes for everything from nacho cheese sauce (made with cashews, red peppers, lemon juice, nutritional yeast) to whipped “cream” to cheese spreads.

  22. Adina

    Awesome post and so well said.

    I can’t tolerate and cows milk products with the exception butter, which I’m trying to slowly cut down my use of for health reasons. But, I’ve almost never encountered a problem finding a dairy free (or cows milk free) substitute for pretty much all of your recipes and the others out there. It’s just about trying things out and seeing what works for you as an individual. So here are a couple examples of what I’ve found…

    I find that unsweetened almond milk does a great job in baked goods and pancakes, it keeps them much moister than soy, rice, or coconut milks.

    I’ve found that mixing some unsweetened almond or coconut milk together with fresh goat cheese (chevre) can fairly well replicate a cows milk free cream sauce.

    There are some awesome dairy, gluten, and soy free pre-made cheeses out there and you can make some decent cheese like sauces at home using items like gluten free oats, tahini, olive oil, and turmeric. I’ve been able to find goat mozzarella, jack, and cheddar in my local whole foods, so that works for my cows milk free life.

    I have dreams about bellwether farms sheeps milk yogurt, because it tastes so good it makes you feel guilty and the plain coconut milk yogurt out there is a wonderful, and light feeling, snack!

  23. Shuku

    Dairy isn’t something I have in my house much; it can be rather expensive. I -do- use vegetable shortening in cookie recipes in place of butter sometimes, and it seems to work just fine (mine is palm oil shortening, and I know that some people have a problem with this. I don’t, however, and I don’t seem to react to it.) Most margerine has dairy in it as well, and I haven’t been able to find an adequate non-dairy margerine substitute here in SE Asia.

    Buttermilk – this is -expensive- here because it’s an imported commodity, so I substitute 1 cup good soy milk with 1 tbls lemon juice/mild rice vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. It works like a dream. This seems to work for things that require yogurts as well, like muffins, but I haven’t tried it extensively in baking, just quickbreads and muffins and the like.

    Eggs – I do eat eggs, it is far cheaper than egg replacer, but when I have to bake for friends who can’t have them, I use an egg replacer like Ogran Egg Replacer or Ener-G Egg. It seems to work just fine in baked goods.

    Cheese – I don’t often have it even though I can, but I have tried out a tofu ricotta from here: and it tasted really good – and fairly close to ricotta, I thought. I’ve also done a lovely ‘cheese’ sauce from Karina’s Kitchen here: – even though I use soy milk because nut milks here are also incredibly pricey. I could try coconut milk one day, if I do I’ll report back!

  24. Julia

    I’m new to your blog as I just (last week!) found out that I have to eliminate gluten, soy and dairy from my diet. So, naturally, I’ve been looking for ways to be able to still eat all things delicious, and you know what? Turns out, it’s not that bad… I had been experimenting with dairy-free baking for a while before and what I’ve found is coconut milk/cream/yogurt all the way. It adds subtle flavor with out being too coconutty (I actually thought I hated coconut before this…). The main problem for me now is that most other dairy substitutes have soy in them. Luckily, I’ve still got eggs on my side which help a lot with texture. Anyway, thank you for thinking of us with other allergies, but by all means, keep doing what you’re doing, and we can figure out our own substitutions. Baking for the family this weekend (their first taste of gluten free…) wish me luck!

  25. jessica

    You have more than earned that creme fraiche… As Jenn said, you can’t be all things to all people, and what you guys are is AWESOME! I have been gluten free for a few years now and finding your site when I was first navigating this new lifestyle was like a miracle. (Your savory black bean recipe has been a staple in my house since the day you posted it!) I also read and she posts most of her recipes dairy-free to start with or with alternatives in the notes, which might be a great way for your readers to get some ideas too!

  26. Sara

    I have no tips, but I love this post…. Love, love, love this post, both for the realism, and for the DIY creme fraiche recipe! Thank you Shauna!

  27. Cappy

    As someone who has no food allergies or sensitivities and eats practically anything, I am very glad that you have made this decision. I have been having fun trying out GF recipes as some of my closest friends are GF, but they aren’t dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian. You don’t need to cater to each reader’s dietary needs. You are hampering your creativity when you do this, and you are depriving those of us who are just looking for yummy GF recipes of your talents. Keep up the good work!

  28. Kate @ Savour Fare

    I think there’s no need to be all things to all people, but it’s nice for any cook to have a few tricks up her (or his) sleeve, so you can cook for everyone, no matter what their sensitivities are. One of my good friends has a four year old with a deathly allergy to eggs and dairy — when they come over for a play date, I put out peanut butter sandwiches (or sunflower seed butter) instead of cheese. She’s given me a bunch of her recipes (she makes a mean vegan cupcake), and she makes use of a lot of coconut oil and occasionally margarine (incidentally, Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry is dairy free). They came in useful when I was cooking for a group which included a few non dairy eaters. We eat gluten in our house, but I look to your website (as well as the other great blog) if I’m cooking for one of our gluten free friends (or I just make one of the many recipes in my pocket that don’t involve gluten — it’s only a challenge if you’re trying to make something SPECIFIC and GF). Ramble, ramble — completely lost my train of thought.

  29. Heidi Hillman

    Since the birth of my son 8 months ago, I have excluded dairy from my diet. Main reason is that my some does not tolerate dairy, and I am currently nursing him. It took me months to find my go to replacements. I use rice milk for cooking and everyday use, use coconut and almond milk for cereal (I like the taste), have Coconut milk and soy milk yogurt, and absolutely love Almond milk ice cream. I have ditched the cheese, since even soy cheese has dairy proteins in it. I use the vegan butter, that is dairy free. Overall, it took quite some time figuring out what has dairy in it, what is okay to eat, and what I need to avoid. However, since the removal if dairy from my diet, my son is doing great, no more tummy troubles that kept him up all night, gone are the nasty burp ups that looked like curdled milk.

  30. Anile | Girlfriday

    Shauna, I can just imagine how the gleeful anticipation of sharing a new success can be quickly deflated by negative feedback. I’m all for special requests, but flat-out complaining makes no sense to me. I have some dairy sensitivities (on top of many other sensitivities) so I know how it goes, but just because I can use almond milk doesn’t mean that the next person can – even if you went out of your way to try and compensate, there would always be someone else finding issue with it. We all need to figure out our own solutions – we’re already so well equipped with the internet and lovely people like you making it even easier to enjoy good food that’s good for our bodies. I find that almond milk works great as a milk substitute – I use it for pancakes, muffins, cakes, pizza dough, corn bread, etc. In a cake recipe I recently substituted 1/4 out of 1 cup of milk with soda water and it gave it a bit more lift and better texture – who knew! I also use Earth Balance instead of butter but it doesn’t always work – for example I made lemon curd and it really needed to be real butter. It ended up tasting fruity in an olive sort of way and I wasn’t crazy about it. Would like to experiment with cashew cream and explore coconut milk more as well (I use it for rice pudding and it’s insanely good). For mashed potatoes, I use Earth Balance and reserve some of the cooking water to use instead of milk and it works really well (sorry I hope Danny isn’t cringing… but I love mashed potatoes so going without isn’t an option!) I don’t substitute cheeses (would rather not eat them than to lament over something less satisfying) but luckily I am able to tolerate a few old hard cheeses such as old cheddar and parmesan so it’s not as bad as it could be! It never is, really 🙂

  31. Victoria

    I’ve been paying four bucks and driving out of my way to stop at stores that carry creme fraiche and it is THAT easy to make? I see a lot more scrambled eggs with creme fraiche in our future.

    For people who cannot eat dairy… those of us who just have wheat restrictions feel for you, we really do. We know how hard it is to have to avoid something completely.

    And looking forward to the recipes. For those of us who only have to avoid wheat, it will be wonderful to see recipes that feature other things we can still enjoy.

  32. Melanie

    I love your blog Shauna! You didn’t get your blog following by doing what everyone else wanted, you got your readership by being yourself. Stay true to yourself and you’ll be happier and the happier Shauna will come through in your writing.

    I too am dairy free, except I can eat butter. I don’t miss dairy as I can substitute any nutmilk for almost any recipe out there. Coconut milk and almond milk are the choices I prefer in cooking and baking. My husband on the other hand does great with dairy, so I make him kefir and buy him the best cheeses possible.

    You are on the right track with the creme fraiche. Fermeneted foods need a place on our plates once again. Especially for those with digestive issues, simply bringing a balance to the gut flora is key. Bring on the saurkraut!

    Enjoy your creme fraiche with a smile today Shauna.

  33. Celia

    I bake without dairy a lot because I am pretty used to it now. (I was vegan for a while and found subs I liked.) I do use dairy a lot and love crème fraîche too. We can’t use much in the way of soy because of my daughter’s intolerance, so soy yogurt, creamer, etc. is out as far as baking goes. But anyway, how I bake dairy-free when I do:

    -coconut oil in place of butter is great, though you need less coconut oil because it’s 100% fat as opposed to 80% fat + milk solids (butter)
    -Soaked, blended cashews in place of heavy cream (or Mimicreme, based on almonds and cashews)… You can thin them with some water or use them really thick.
    -homemade almond milk in place of milk in just about everything. I make homemade because it doesn’t have the chemically aftertaste that storebought stuff has, and because I can make it thinner or thicker, sweeten or not, as I desire

    Great post! I feel the same way about posting recipes on my blog.

  34. Dia

    Yes – kudos for ‘listening’ to us, as WELL as posting such fabulous recipes & info!!

    I discovered coconut milk kefir last year when I was trying to make my own coconut milk yogurt (harder to get the right consistency without a lot of fiddling) … I got grains from Marilyn ‘kefirlady’ & have used them since Feb – they don’t grow as fast on coconut milk, but do a great job culturing! (a friend I share ‘grains’ – ie culture – with uses them on cows milk & they keep growing!!)
    Very similar process to your Creme Friache – strain the culture from the last batch (& refrig. the batch), mix 1 tin OG coconut milk with 1/2 tin water, add 1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey if you want, & drop the grains in. Cover with muslin & a rubber band, put on the shelf 1 – 2 days, & viola! Sour Creme consistency coconut milk kefir!! Yum – I usually use kefir in smoothies, & on my food after it’s cooked; & just add a bit of lemon juice or cider vinegar if I want to ‘sour’ coconut milk for cooking. (not to ‘waste’ the probiotics!)

    I use coconut oil for cooking, occ palm for baking – & flax/chia for egg replacer, & am happy with those. I use olive oil for dressings & pesto, (without cheese), & use coconut oil in my massage practice. Several clients with skin fungus have had those disappear since my switch to pure coconut oil!

    Cheese is also a ‘hmm??’ for me. I am more likely to eat some when I’m out, than to get it & use it at home. Using the coconut kefir in salad dressings & on food (like sour cream) is good for me. My granddaughter & son-in law are more dairy sensitive than my daughter & I, but I don’t eat much.
    & I also get the coconut milk ‘ice cream’ or sorbet – yum!

    What I’ve read about soy (besides only get OG if you don’t want GMO soy) is that it depresses the thyroid, while coconut balances the thyroid; so there can be a link with cancer & other issues that has to do with the depressed/less functional thyroid. With gluten sensitivity, thyroid health may already be an issue. Broccoli & the other cabbages also have an inhibiting effect, so I always sprinkle some kelp on, & hope it balances out, & for the most part avoid soy that’s not fermented (have some OG miso – & take braggs or tamari along if I want to go to a Japanese restaurant that doesn’t have GF soy sauce)
    The first 5# of post menopausal weight I lost was when I stopped eating as much soy, & switched to coconut oil & milk! The next 15 were after going Gluten Free.

    & as for fats – coconut oil with its’ Medium Chain fats gets metabolized upon ingestion (no
    need to be processed by liver/gall bladder), so it’s much easier to digest, & helps burn excess unsaturated fats (which we’re finding are the real killers) I cringe to see my son-in law eat Earth Balance, but try to bite my tongue … I grew up with wesson oil & crisco, (bad) as well as raw milk & local butter (better) …

    Raw Milk (any animal) has the enzymes for digesting lactose (sugar) casein (protein) & fats – so for folks who CAN use dairy, is preferable. My X (not GF, but has two sisters recently diagnosed with celiac) became ‘lactose intollerant’ 4 or 5 years AFTER switching from Raw milk to pasteurized – Ia few years ago I read an article about the enzymes, & the predominance of ‘issues’ with milk being related to the lack of enzymes. Couple that with gluten sensitivity …
    In Oregon, folks can call their operation a ‘dairy,’ but can’t ADDVERTIZE that they sell raw milk – there’s one locally that sells both yogurt & kefir as well as their milk – yum! & often someone will have a few goats, so you can get raw goat’s milk. The trick with that – it needs to be well strained & quickly cooled to not taste ‘goaty’ (& usually the herd is smaller, so when a cow eats something ‘odd,’ (garlic, etc) the milk gets blended with milk from lots of other cows, & you notice it less …

  35. Trisha

    You definitely can not please the whole crowd. Plus it would be ridiculous to expect every cooking blog to fit your specific dietary needs, each and every time! I’ve learned a few tricks for making recipes fit my little dude’s diet. I use a lot of almond/coconut/hemp milk for him in any place that calls for cows milk. For butter in baking I use fruit puree’s and add in an oil to replace the fat. Jungle Shortening works great for pie crusts and biscuits. As for cheese………there is no such thing as good vegan cheese. Nothing should have the phrase “melts like cheese” on it’s wrapper—that’s just creepy. We either skip the cheese altogether or use goat/sheep. Along with cheese, I’m still working on decent non-dairy, non-soy substitutions for creams, cream cheese, and creme frache. And like cheese, I’m pretty sure there is no such thing. Thanks for asking and for being such a great resource for gluten-free cooking! And for the record: I LOVE dairy. Love it so much that although my little dude can’t have it, I still have it stashed in the back of my fridge for me. I can’t eat shellfish but he gets it anytime he wants. That’s a pretty good trade, right?

  36. Christan

    I love your writing and always like seeing a new post. I do like to read the comments and sometimes I cringe on how people like to make your writing all.about.them! Your blog is and I hope to God that it stays that way! Do what you need to do and everyone else should remember how much of a blessing you have been to the gluten-free community and thankful for all the time and effort you and Danny have spent buying, testing, eating, throwing out, and publishing recipes. I certainly couldn’t do what you are doing and I am eternally grateful!! Keep it up!!

  37. Leanne

    I love your recipes!! You need to be true to yourself!!! I think you have a wonderful variety and there tends to be something for most everyone to try and make!! Thank you and don’t let anyone change you!!!

  38. Dee

    As of last year I went gluten-free, dairy-free and then soy-free when I realized it was upsetting my stomach so much! Out of all those things – I definitely miss dairy the most! (I would give gluten & soy up in a heartbeat to have my dairy back!)

    I have to agree with the unflavoured/unsweetened almond milk as being a great alternative for cooking/baking. Depending on the recipe (if it’s calling for something thicker/heavier creams), occasionally I’ll use coconut milk – which I’ve discovered doesn’t *actually* leave your baking tasting like a pina colada! (it’s a very soft taste!) OMG and coconut milk and cocoa make the *best* hot chocolate! 😉

    I use Earth Balance Soy-Free margarine for cooking with (if not olive or grapeseed oil!), and I’ve used it for baking but it doesn’t seem to melt like butter (what does?) so my cookies don’t spread quite the same way (you have to smoosh them down more before baking otherwise you have these mostly spherical little orbs!) . I’m going to try baking with coconut oil next! Also adding fruit to your baking (pumpkin, apple and banana for example) will give you a wonderful texture as well! (So if your muffins seem a little limp & sad, just POW! them up with some fruit!)

    Cheese is pretty much impossible to replace sadly. I eat some occasionally and apologize to my fiance (“Sorry honey – you’ll still love me if I’m gassy because I’m eating this brie right?” *hehe*) Daiya is pretty good on GF pizza and on pasta but mostly I just do without.

    Dairy-free is sort of like your gluten-free baking adventures – it’s exciting and there are failures but you just sort of plug at it and learn new things as you go along! And I certainly don’t expect every food blog I read to be gluten, dairy *and* soy free! But I can still drool over them and be like “Hmm…how could I convert this?” And then when it succeeds you blog about it! And then move onto the next challenge!

  39. Linda

    I love your blog. I have for years. I’m not gluten intolerant. I have always loved your love of food. It’s celebrated here. No calorie counts. Just yummy wonderful food. My husband is lactose intolerant so I struggle to make yummy food without dairy. I love cheese and wish I could make cheese filled meals. I can make plenty of things without cheese but when I see you and Danny make something cheese filled I’m sad cause I can’t make the same thing.
    I love how you have turned I can’t eat this to look at what I can’t eat, a celebration of food. I wish I could find a dairy free site with as much love and care as you and Danny have. Perhaps someone will post about one for me.
    Keep up what you do best. You can’t be everyone’s everything but you are wonderful to so many.

  40. Tracy

    Alrighty I feel compelled to say this, it is shear laziness for someone to make all food allergies your problem. It is one thing to say, “hey in your opinion how do you think your recipe will work if I change ingredient X to ingredient Y?” It is another to request you to retest your recipe for other food allergies without being paid. You already post fantastic amounts of information and work for FREE. It is partly what I hate about the internet, people want everything for free and feel entitled to demand it.

    I have a hard time with cow’s milk. I thought it was all dairy, but it seems it is cows milk. This is not surprising, my Mom has a problem, my brother, my niece. This is not your fault, and when you call for butter in a recipe I really want to make, well guess what, it is up to me to figure out that one change. Baking by weight has made it really easy, so typically I use Coconut Oil (which is a low allergen food anyway) for butter, or a flavorless oil of some kind. If it calls for milk I like coconut or goat. Pete can’t have soy or gluten, I can’t have a lot of dairy…fun times. Coconut milk (unsweetened, unflavored) and some lemon juice makes for a great buttermilk substitute, really it is fantastic and makes me do dances in the kitchen when making pancakes. I don’t like hemp milk, it has nothing to do with the flavor it has everything to do with how my baked goods come which…is not good. I think it may be good to use in savory dishes, but you’d need to up the fats since it doesn’t have any. Pete has a nut allergy (every nut but cashews, peanuts, and pine nuts) so we can’t use any of the almond milks. I’ve thought about making my own cashew milk though I haven’t gotten up enough gumption to do it.

    Otherwise I tend to make foods that I can just avoid dairy. Like if we make a quinoa salad, Pete can put all the cheese he wants in it, if he wants Alfredo sauce he can make him himself!! If I want a creamy cheese sauce I am lucky enough to make it completely with goat, so I’m sure Vegan folks an chime in on what they do and I find a lot of Vegan cooking interesting in its inventiveness.

    The big problem for me is eating out. Butter is used in places I never think that it’d be used (sound familiar gluten free folks?), like if you grill me a big ol’ piece of steak I don’t want butter on it! I just want the steak! But typically I don’t want dairy based foods, they just…don’t appeal to me (or my intestines).

  41. Lib

    Your post has made me smile this morning! Someone (who was much smarter than me) said you can’t please all of the people **any** of the time. Keep doing what you do so well! We’re having lamb also…

  42. Tina

    Fabulous! As a person who can eat only a little dairy, I applaud your post. You can’t fit everything to everyone. I have learned how to substitute things and end up using soy butter and soy milk. My husband is sensitive to Almonds, so almond milk is out and I, too, dislike hemp milk. So, I go without things until I figure out another way of making it. And, sometimes I never figure it out. My grandmothers recipe for Schnecken takes two days to make, and I still make it with butter and sour cream. Why? It’s a lot of hard work and I don’t want to waste two days just to find out the substitutes didn’t work. So, I eat a couple and then give the rest away as to not suffer from “dairy revenge”. One of these days I will give ‘er a go and try it with soy butter and tofu sour cream. I’m just not there yet.
    I love reading your blog and appreciate the honesty!

  43. Missy D'Haene

    I grew up eating mostly dairy free. 20 years ago or more, the non-dairy options for cereal were rice milk and apple juice. So when I hear people complain about not being able to make something because it has dairy in it I get a little annoyed like you as well. There are so many great (and some not so great) dairy replacements. Through the years, I’ve learned to love rice milk, I LOVE almond milk, and hemp milk as well. My husband has as well because it turns out he can’t tolerate a lot of dairy either. (Cultured dairy products are much nicer to us.) So when I come across a recipe that sounds yummy I just pick the milk I think will do the best. Almond milk is sweet so it works in baked goods for me. Hemp is nutty so I’ll use it when I don’t want to use almond. I’m starting to use goat milk and there are a lot of people who can do goat but not cow, or who can do cow Jersey but not cow Holstein milk. I don’t use milk in my eggs and I can’t say that I miss it. I put wonderful seasonings and water in to make them fluffier. Life isn’t that hard without milk, it just requires getting over one’s fears and learning something new!

  44. Meghan

    I have been dairy-free for 13 years now, and here are some tricks I’ve picked up:

    -Avoid cow cheese, and eat the amazing goat cheeses out there. There really are good-textured, good flavored goat cheeses available, without having to only eat chevre.

    -Buttermilk is easy. For every cup of “whatever” milk, take out 2-3 teaspoons, and add in 2-3 teaspoons of vinegar. Stir and let it sit and thicken for 5 minutes. Brilliant!

    -Earth Balance Buttery Spread is the most amazing creation EVER. It tastes like butter, it cooks like butter, and has the texture of butter. None of that grainy stuff again, so forget margarine, and go run to the store and get some!

    -The only yogurt I’ve found that tastes good and doesn’t feel like either water or jello in your mouth is So Delicious Coconut yogurt. The new Almonde yogurt has a good taste, but is a little thick for my liking. I use the plain and vanilla for my cooking and it works wonderfully.

    -Ice Cream. So Delicious and Purely Decadent are the best, hands down. Don’t eat that rice crap, because it tastes as fake as it looks. The new coconut milk based ones are divine, because they are more creamy.

    -You can use “whatever” creamer for cream in recipes, as long as it isn’t a flavor. However, the coconut regular creamer is the least sweet, which is usually what you’re going to be looking for. This creamer is especially good in mashed potatoes… 🙂

    Hope this helps!


  45. Sharon Bowler

    Good for you dear! I get that a lot of people who read your blog also have other food sensitivities but you never promised to solve all of our problems. I so appreciate your blog. 3 months ago we learned that our 19yo daughter can’t handle gluten. She’d had a lot of health problems but we didn’t know why. She’d gone off lactose and that helped a lot. Finally three months ago the dr suggested she be tested for celiac. The blood test came back negative but we know that does’t mean a lot. She is feeling so much better! And, delightfully, she can handle lactose much better. She’s always been able to handle yogurt and the milk and products from goats and sheep. So, we’ve been able to work around most milk recipes.

    We’ve even made several of your recipes that called for milk but I made the changes I knew we needed. The way I see it is, you did the hard part, it’s up to us to personalize it for our house. That may mean that some of your recipes just won’t work for us. But that’s not your problem or your responsibility.

    I’m interested in this recipe for creme fraiche, could anything be easier? I’m looking forward to finding ways to use it and see if my daughter can tolerate it.
    thanks again!

  46. Sara

    Thank you for this post!
    It’s so hard trying to please everyone with food, everyone has different opinions and allergies. I am gluten-free and also try to be as cow dairy free as possible, though I cheat quite a bit. In my baking I also try to not use eggs. This is to try to keep my stomach and system happy in a “just in case” situation. I have found almond milk works really well in dairy replacement, and it works pretty well to use it in buttermilk conversions (add a bit of apple cider vinegar). I do use goat cheese and sheep cheese, and ghee is awesome, cause you get that same butter action and taste, but without the lactose. But, i also love cooking with earth balance. Works great for a buttery pie crust. And then there are always the random dairy-free alternatives, like soft tofu or tofutti. I love adding goat products to my recipes, i love the tang and flavor, and it doesn’t upset my stomach at all.
    I am still trying to come up with dairy free combinations that work well with gluten free flours-and even though not all of my recipes are are maybe as good as they could be with dairy-feedback that I get from friends tells me otherwise, and I bake 100% gluten-free, cow dairy-free and egg-free.
    Cheers, and good luck.
    (p.s. vegeratians shegeratians, post those wonderful meat recipes you have, I know there are a lot of people like me out there-gluten, diary, and egg free but hot damn we do love our meat!)

  47. alexis

    thank you so much for posting this! i’ve recently had issues with dairy and have been trying to cut it out from my diet, but i would never ask you to revise your carefully constructed recipes just for me. there are so many alternatives out there now to choose from, you can sort of figure the substitutes out, and while all of them aren’t the greatest, at least it provides a starting point! obviously, for butter you can sub earth balance buttery sticks, and for milk or yogurt, soy/coconut/rice/hemp/almond milk and/or yogurt if available. tofutti also makes dairy free cream cheese and sour cream. (although i haven’t really jumped on that band wagon yet.) i also can’t have eggs, which i can sub ener-g egg replacer for, but i prefer to actually take vegan recipes and make them gluten free instead of trying to use the egg replacer.

    anyway, if you do your research, it’ll take a little trial and error, but you can typically figure out how to get around what you need to get around. it’s not fair to ask the author to figure it out for you. you need to be in control of your own health.

  48. Cynthia (It All Changes)

    I have dairy, soy and almond allergies so I use rice milk or hemp milk. Almost always unsweetened so I can add my own sweetener if I want. For butter I use soy free Earth Balance. It’s the only one that works for me. I tend to sub fruit puree if it is the fat in a recipe.

    For cheese, I use Daiya if I need the cheese. Or I use nutritional yeast mixed with something to create a sauce. Otherwise I use other things like avocado on sandwiches or hummus for flavor…but that doesn’t help. 🙂

  49. Andrea

    I don’t really have tips to add beyond what has already been posted… almond milk and Earth Balance are my staples. But what I really love is that Danny and Lu aren’t bothered by creme fraiche. That means it might not bother me, and I can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  50. Georgia Pellegrini

    Thank you Shauna for your honesty and being true to yourself. Everything in moderation is the way I live too, it’s about being in tune with your body at any given moment and paying attention to it and what it needs. I’m glad you’re doing that and sharing that journey rather than catering to what other people’s bodies are telling them. It is our responsibility to ourselves to do that and not try to do it for others. xo

  51. Magpie

    This post makes me so happy! I have been GF and casein-free for some time now. Sometimes I get a little bummed out when perusing my favorite Gluten-free cooking blogs as so few are dairy free as well. Usually, it’s not a problem; I just substitute for the milk or butter. But of course there are recipes that are so much harder to do without butter. Plus, I’m a baker on a budget, so more often than not I have to make do with whatever is cheaper.

    I always keep Earth Balance around the house, and so use that in the place of butter for most things. For baking I’ve found that 1/2 earth balance, 1/2 shortening (like Spectrum or even Crisco) works best. But it’s CRUCIAL to refrigerate the dough before cooking it, otherwise it’s a disaster. (I’ve made this mistake with my favorite cookies a few times and every time I forget to refrigerate, they melt and come out flat and sad.)

    Olive oil is great for baking, too, but I don’t have enough experience or knowledge to substitute it willy-nilly. But olive oil cakes are always delicious. Coconut oil seems to be a great answer to the color and flavor that olive oil gives to baked good, but I haven’t yet played around with it. It’s ridiculously expensive at Whole Foods, but I’ve seen it at local grocery stores for much less.

    As to milk, I always loved fat-free milk, so I use rice milk on a daily basis – similarly weak in consistency and flavor! (By the way, rice milk instead of water in instant or quick-cooking oatmeal is absolutely delicious. I’m sure it’s also delicious is slow-cooked oatmeal.) Of course, it’s not creamy enough for certain things, but it generally works for me. I should start giving almond milk a chance; I love the idea, but always think it’s got too much of a nutty flavor that I’m not a fan of. I’m also not a fan of the flavor of coconut milk. I’ve tried using it as a whipped cream substitute, but it’s too coconut-y for my liking.

    I’m not a fan of soy milks either, though I do have a little carton of silk cream in my pantry that I intend to use as a replacement for cream in some upcoming projects. So, we’ll see how that works.

    And for cream cheese, I’m ALL ABOUT Tofutti. Absolutely love it. But I actually prefer the blue/green tub. I’ve found that it can be kind of hit-or-miss flavor-wise. Sometimes I’ll get a bad tub, with an off-flavor and gritty texture, but more likely than not, it’s the yellow tub. At the same time, the stuff in the yellow tub is denser, so probably works better in things like cheese pies and maybe even pie crusts. But I’ll always love a slice of udi bread spread with Tofutti and topped with a slice of tomato – it’s not a bagel, but it’s SO delicious.

    I love that cooking with weights and ratios has become so popular on the internet. I’m learning so much about the chemistry behind cooking and baking, and it’s so much easier to substitute for the dairy.

    Anyone know a good substitute for whey powder? or powdered milk? I know I can sub powdered goat’s milk in some cases, but again, I don’t always want that strong flavor.

    (I’m thrilled to hear that Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Pastry is dairy free… Gluten-free, dairy-free puff pastry is my new ultimate goal.)

  52. Sharon Bowler

    Also, for people who can have sheep’s milk, we discovered Picarino Ricota Salata. This is a moist solid ricotta cheese. So far we have used it mainly in the middle of lasagna in the place of cottage or ricotta cheese. we grate it and put a layer of it in there. When you’re making it, it seems very different than the wet cottage cheese, but when you’re eating it it’s very similar to ricotta or cottage. I think it picks up moisture from the tomato. I have found it at Whole Foods Market and PCC. I haven’t looked elsewhere.

  53. natasha

    Great post! I’m glad you are doing things your way.
    I’m severely lactose intolerant, Celiac and vegetarian so I have to modify every recipe I use in one way or another. I don’t find it to be a big deal – it’s been so long that I’ve had dairy (or gluten) that I no longer remember what it’s “supposed” to taste like, thus I am never disappointed.
    – I’m a huge fan of almond milk. I use it exclusively in baking, cooking or just with cereal. I buy the vanilla flavored/unsweetened from Trader Joe’s but there are a lot of brands out there that are just as great. I find soy milk and rice milk to be kind of watery.
    – As others have said Daiya cheese is great when you need to melt cheese. It’s a little weird when eaten raw. Depending on the recipe I also use tofu. For your brussel sprouts salad I used soft tofu instead of the cheese and no one was the wiser. If you freeze extra firm tofu you can grate it. For the ricotta cheese in lasagnes I’ve mashed firm tofu with oregano, thyme and basil and it worked really well (I also used Daiya cheese too in the recipe for a little variety).
    – One of my local grocery stores has a store brand margarine that is gluten and dairy free so I use that – I’m in MA, so it’s Stop n Shop or Star Market – and have had no ill effects.
    – My biggest trouble is finding chocolate! I’m so sensitive to dairy that if chocolate is made on the same equipment as something that uses diary I’ll get sick. In MA was have Taza chocolate (it’s stoneground so the texture is a little different at first) that is completely gluten-free, diary-free, soy-free, free trade and delicious!! Whole Foods sells vegan chocolate chips that I can use sparingly. Does anyone have any great go-to dairy-free chocolate they’d like to share??
    Looking forward to reading others’ ideas 🙂

    1. Jennifer Ward

      If you look for one that is certified Kosher pareve – you can be sure it won’t contain dairy. Check into chocolates from Belgium or Switzerland – some of them are amazing!

    2. Melissa

      Hi Natasha,
      Enjoy Life has dairy free/gluten free chocolate. I love their dark chocolate bar. They also have a rice milk chocolate bar. I also use their mini-chocolate chips. All can be found online if your local stores don’t carry them. About $4.50 a bag for the chocolate chips, and $1.99 for the chocolate bars retail where I live in CA.

    3. Jess

      Just tried Dark Chocolate Dream from the Hain Celestial Group. The almond and rice crunch flavors are quite good. The bars are vegan. The packaging says that their facility “can guarantee you a chocolate treat free of dairy and gluten.”

    4. Ann

      I *love* dark chocolate, and am both soy- and dairy-free. Check out: Theo, Equal Exchange or Alter Eco – all have soy and dairy-free alternatives (however, they may share equipment for their milk-based products, which may invalidate them for you … ?)

    5. Kari

      Enjoy Life has both candy bars and chocolate chips that are allergy free for a variety of things, including dairy and soy. On their website, it looks like they have chocolate chunks now. I haven’t seen those in my local stores yet.

    6. Emily

      Enjoy Life chocolate chips are dairy-free and are made in a dedicated facility. They are commonly sold (at least in the last few states/places) I’ve lived in both health food and regular grocery stores. If you want it just as chocolate you could melt them into molds and let harden again. They are very good. 🙂 I prefer them to reg. chips and they are mini too. ::) :

  54. Leah

    I make “Cashew Cream” to make creamy alfrdeo-like pasta dishes, creamy dressings like caesar or ranch. Just puree raw cashews in a food processor with a bit of water until you get the consistency you want and add spices – I particularly like adding nutritional yeast to my “ranch” dressing. (My caesar recipe:

    I also bake using rice milk or almond milk because I can’t have soy or cow’s milk.

    I am also fine with goat cheese which makes a great cream cheese substitute and also make a nice creamy sort of sauce when mixed in with hot pasta.

  55. Sandy

    Thanks so much for your honesty — you can’t be everything to everyone!

    My husband and I are mostly vegan due to health issues. I agree with most of the comments above for substitutes (we have to substitute alot!).

    Coconut milk is wonderful for use as cream and ice cream.

    For regular type milk, we use either Hazelnut or Temp milk. We shy away from the standard soy milk because there are studies that show that too much soy can negatively affect your health.

    Earth Balance is great — especially the soy-free variety.

    Cheese is a challenge, but we have used Daiya (I think I spelled that correctly) with some success.

    And we use alot of Veganaize for sandwich type spread and for making our own salad dressing.

  56. bec pennington

    my son is autistic, and my daughters and i are gluten intolerant (one has a cow milk allergy as well), so the restrictions are difficult, but much more easily dealt with now than in the past – i thank you for your contributions!
    it’s amazing to me how much hand-holding some people think they need; if you face difficulty in life, buck up and find a solution!
    toffutti brand cream cheeses are second to none. i bake with them, make frostings and dips with them and of course, use them as is. this brand also makes a chocolate frozen “ice cream” bar that is like frozen custard on a stick (amazing!), and sliced “cheeses” which my kids love but i won’t touch with a ten foot pole (i hate the flavor).
    i am concerned about keeping my son’s soy intake in moderation, so we use so delicious coconut kefirs and milks to balance out that part of his diet. the taste is remarkable and they bake well. otherwise we like soy dream, silk, and the Aldi brand of soy milks which they so nicely label gluten free.
    we use daiya shredded cheeses, because they are non-casein, but the flavor is way off in comparison to real cheeses, so i don’t eat them myself.
    a great trick: refrigerate full-fat high quality canned coconut milks, when they’re cool scoop off the solid white fat from the top of the cans into a bowl with a little sugar and vanilla or other flavor and whisk with a hand mixer til fluffy. tasty whipped cream!

  57. Maria @ Scandi Foodie

    This is perfect as I’ve had to recently cut down on dairy and have tried
    coming up with alternative ways to replace it. Dairy free milks do work nicely and
    coconut cream can be used in place of cow’s milk cream. I’ve also used fruit purees
    to replace yoghurt, in some cake recipes it works brilliantly.

  58. Jennifer

    You are the best. Keep doing what you are doing…. we love it!
    I just found out I am allergic to eggs and dairy (which would explain all my “issues”!), but I am figuring it out.
    Half of the fun of cooking is figuring it out what works for you and your family.
    I have loved reading your blog and your book about your journey with your hubby.
    I’m a fan.

  59. Lindsey

    We are gluten-free as well, however none of us are sensitive to eggs or cow’s milk. We don’t buy pasteurized cow’s milk; ours comes straight from a grass-fed, hormone-free dairy. It’s the best. Many people who are sensitive to cow’s milk from the grocery can actually tolerate raw milk. Plus, it’s healthier. And I’m really not willing to give up cheese.

    I have started using a very healthy, yet inexpensive egg substitute in my baked goods: flax seed meal. This change for me was more for cost reasons than anything else. We use A LOT of eggs in our house, and let’s face it, organic, cage-free eggs aren’t cheap. So, here’s how I leave eggs out of bread, quick breads, muffins, brownies, cakes, and cookies: for each egg a recipe calls for, substitute 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed meal, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water. If you mix it together in a small bowl before you begin baking and let it sit, the result is a gummy textured mixture that resembles the texture of an egg white. Plus, flax is just a great add-in to just about everything, so double bonus!

  60. Lindsey

    Oh, forgot to add that you can’t use the flax seed meal as an egg substitute in recipes that need eggs to rise and puff, such as a souffle or quiche.

    I don’t cook with our cow’s milk; it’s only for drinking and making yogurt (and now to make creme fraiche). I cook with plain rice milk. It doesn’t change the flavor or texture of our meals, and it allows me to save our precious raw milk from heat.

  61. Jennifer Ward


    I refer people to your website, facebook and blog at least once or twice a week. Your recipes are marvelous – every single one I have tried so far has been excellent, thank you! But yes, I have modified all to be dairy/casein free and some to be vegan for my highly dairy allergic daughter. A good friend told me today that every woman needs 5 husbands – one for each major area of her life because no one person can satisfy every single need of every single person. We can’t do that, just like you can’t be anything different than the amazing chef you already are with the fabulous ingredients you already use. Stay true to what you are doing – it’s working and wonderful! What you do helps countless people – keep on, keep on!

    With that said, here’s what we do to make your recipes DF, trying not to repeat some of the other fabulous suggestions above:

    Instead of “buttermilk”, I add a shy 1/4 cup braggs to 3/4 cup soy, rice or coconut milk, depending on what we are making, (rice for allergic people, soy for richness, coconut for health) and then splash in some clear agave nectar for texture. Depending on what the recipe is, I’ll add an extract or two to this mixture and/or some olive or coconut oil. Whisking heavily brings out the sourness of it – it works GREAT in cupcakes and cakes. I must admit I plan on trying to culture coconut milk after seeing Dia’s post – sounds great, thank you Dia! And… with thyroid issues + gluten sensitivities I am grateful for your comments as well.

    Note to chefs new to coconut oil: when using coconut oil, just get it warm enough to melt – 72° or so – don’t use it too hot or it will “cook” whatever it is you are adding it to. I killed a batch of coconut oat raisin cookies doing this once -oops. Coconut oil is a magic ingredient in food and for the body – my supplier said that you should never put anything ON your body you wouldn’t put IN your body – wow, he’s right! Not to get too racy, but he also said it makes a great natural lubricant. (off topic, but interesting note)

    Earth Balance: We love it and buy the soy-free. (Wish they had a corn-free.) That being said, we are using less and less EB in place of other oils, such as coconut, olive, sunflower, actual avocados, etc. When making cupcake frosting, palm combined with EB and coconut oil is fantastic. Whenever we use coconut oil we use less.

    Ice cream used to be tough, until we discovered Coconut Bliss – Super Yum! Almond Bites are also a truly decadent treat. None of us can ever eat the 13 pieces called for in a single serving. Two or three will do. We have even added one or two on top of simple DF vanilla ice cream with one of our GF/vegan cookies smashed in, oh yeah!

    Almond milk has been a true blessing as that’s one nut my daughter can eat safely. This is used in pancakes, cakes, on cereal, in coffee, etc. Thanks to several posts above I plan on trying to make my own. There are so many different milks out there – find a few that work for you. Different milks work for different recipes. Play, play, play…

    Coffee creamer: Coconut Creamer – plain, by SoDelicious is the most neutral flavored one and my favorite by far. (Used to love Silk, but trying to avoid soy.) Their flavored creamers such as hazelnut, etc. really add an odd dimension I can’t get past, but I have made my own flavorings and added them to coconut cream coffee and those cups were tasty.

    Unfortunately there really isn’t one magic replacer for true butter, creme fraiche, heavy cream or an amazing brie, but there are so many alternative foods in general that are incredible and flavorful when combined properly. As I tell my daughter: “The trick is to find natural foods you love and to start playing with them. Combine things, add things, surprise yourself and add unusual things together in the same pot, bowl, cup – you might just find one that works!” Last week’s bourbon hemp brownies were a huge hit for that very reason. They were completely GF, DF, NF & Vegan. From a 10 pound batch for a show, we had about 8 brownies left, perfect for a family dessert warmed with coconut bliss ice cream. Yowza!

    Have fun in the kitchen!

    Jennifer Ward
    Be Free Bakers

  62. Hether

    I honestly don’t think its that hard to make dairy substitutions in recipes. Soft, silken tofu can replace mayo and yogurt in anything. Firm, silken tofu sets up great and will work in custards, pumpkin pie etc and no one ever know unless I tell them. Firm, calcium set tofu is a great sub. for cheeses and for meats. I tell people to play with it- press it, bake it, fry it, experiment. Tofus are great subs in baking because they replace the proteins you lose by removing milk. I like almond milk in baking too the nutty and sweet flavor is milk and goes great with quinoa flour. Rice milk lacks protein for baking and is too sweet, it does make great rice pudding though. A few tablespoons – 1/4 cup of ground flax seed with some water can replace an egg in baking for vegans. Fruit purees due double duty to replace sweetners and butter both, depending on what else is happening in the recipe. I could continue, but I won’t.

    While I think it’s great that you’re playing with some substitutions, I agree that people need to understand that your goal is to write about gluten free cooking. Maybe they should be trying to make their own substitutions and letting you know how they work.

    1. Wendy

      “While I think it’s great that you’re playing with some substitutions, I agree that people need to understand that your goal is to write about gluten free cooking. Maybe they should be trying to make their own substitutions and letting you know how they work.”

      I agree. I live at 6500ft in the mountains. I often have to make adjustments to recipes for the altitude. I can’t expect someone at sea level to even have any idea how to do this. I also report the changes I make for altitude to the blog I got the recipe from so others can make the same changes and not have to recreate the wheel.

  63. Carol

    Good for you! As soon as I figured out that I was gluten intolerant, I began searching for ways to modify recipes. I want them to taste good! I also felt strongly that even though I was “giving up” wheat, etc., that didn’t mean I had to give up lots of other stuff. I cook and bake for myself and my family. Sometimes that means that I don’t eat it (I haven’t yet been successful with gluten free heath bar cookies, but I’m getting there) and sometimes that means that everyone eats what I can eat. There are always going to be people around who can’t eat this or that and they, too, must learn how to modify things so that they work for them. I’m not a big believer in food as medicine, but rather I believe that food should be enjoyed. Keep on blogging. I love it.

  64. Melissa

    You guys do a fantastic job, and I have to admit that I get pretty annoyed (on your behalf) when I read the ” why do your recipes have this or that because I can’t eat it” posts. The effort that you put towards developing wonderful gluten free recipes is amazing and so appreciated. The fact that there are those of us out there who have additional sensitivities, well it is up to us, I believe, to put in some serious kitchen time of our own to try to adapt the wonderful work you have done to fit our additional needs if possible. Personal responsibility needs to be brought back into the mainstream here.

    That being said, I’m one of the can’t have dairy people. And I have to admit, it sucks. It is much worse that finding out you can’t have gluten. And I am still learning to adapt. Avoiding gluten when eating out is far easier than avoiding dairy. There is no substitute for butter, I have learned to tolerate the vegan substitute and I just don’t make any of those recipes that butter is a staple in if it can’t be replaced with non-hydrogenated shortening or lard. I have found that of all the milk substitutes, So Delicious coconut milk is my favorite both for drinking and for cooking. I use the creamer to make a salad dressings and it thickens very nicely, unlike soy. I use Daiya cheeses, which are the best substitute I have found for shredded cheese. You just can’t use it in the same quantity as you would traditional cheese because the taste is different.

    As always, thank you so much for your wonderful recipes and hard work!

  65. Laura

    I have been lactose-intolerant my whole life, but I believed the urban legend that people “grow out of it.” I didn’t. I just grew into living with migraines and regular upset stomachs and fatigue.

    Once I quit eating all dairy products, cheese lost its appeal to me completely. It’s hard to even describe how this happened. I loved quesadillas, but it’s like I don’t even register cheese as food anymore.

    I usually don’t try to replace cheese in recipes. I just find that so few recipes that I enjoy actually really need cheese.

    I use hazelnut milk to replace milk in baked goods, and I make it buttermilk by adding apple cider vinegar. I use flaxseed meal to replace eggs with great results. I use spectrum shortening to replace butter in baked goods…. or another light oil. Coconut milk is a good solution for anything really creamy….. or for whipped cream…. or mimicreme for whipped cream.

    For me, dairy products hold their appeal in their texture more than their flavor or taste, so I find that a dish can still have its flavor without the dairy.

    There are so many good dairy-free ice creams out there that I sometimes forget that ice cream is originally made with milk. I just wish that there was an ice cream store that actually sold scoops of non-dairy, cane sugar-free ice cream….. there are many times during the summer when I would love to go out for a special treat of a scoop of ice cream.

  66. Ellen

    i can’t help you too much with dairy alternatives because i am an unabashed dairy lover. however, as a fellow washington resident, i must recommend raw milk to you. we are lucky enough to have relatively free access to it, and it is like liquid gold. i’m telling you, the stuff is rich, luscious and so healthy. i used to not be able to tolerate dairy until i started drinking it, not to mention that it is 100x better than any milk you could possibly get. i drink pure eire, dungeness valley creamery, or sea breeze, 2-3 cups a day and i’ve never felt better. not an option for people with true dairy allergies, of course, but for lucy and danny, it would be a great option.

  67. Annie

    Thank you for this! I’m new here — I’ve been GF for three years (and lactose intolerant for longer) but still experience symptoms.

    As for cheese, I don’t like Daiya — I actually thought it was gross! I have found rice cheese at whole foods ( that melts somewhat oddly but tastes fine.

    I sometimes take lactaid pills when I eat dairy. Does anyone else? This seems to help me most of the time.

    Also, an unrelated question: Larabars (someone above mentioned cookies / granola bars). I eat these but am concerned about the dates in them (because I’ve heard that dates are often coated with flour).

    Thanks for your hard work!

  68. Cathy

    I use almond milk, but find that butter and cream have very little lactose so I tolerate them without any problem. My love though is Green Valley Organics lactose free Keifer and plain yogurt. Both are great with a little homemade granola and a drizzle of maple syrup.

  69. flo makanai

    Ghee, the famous indian fat, is a great substitute for some recipes for those who can tolerate smallish traces of lactose or casein : it’s the fat in the butter (the lipids, that compose something like 80% of every natural butter) minus almost all the proteins (therefore the casein) of the butter (which has been slowly heated in a pan, the proteins have separated from the lipids, cooked, fallen to the bottom and been discarded : there are many recipes on the web), and also almost lactose free, as most butter are (around 0.1% lactose).
    Ghee has a high smoking point, it’s even considered healthier than oil for sautéing, for ex. It has a nutty flavor I love, that reminds me of the butter cookies and galettes from Britanny, France, that I ate as a kid.

    Vegetable (no soy) margarines can be helpful for pie crusts or some cookies. Cybele Pascal uses it often, for ex, and I love her recipes. But caution : the margarine must be sustainable and organic (there’s a huge deforestation issue w/ non sustainable palm oil, among other problems) and the oils have to be non hydrogenated, otherwise they’re unhealthy…

    (Olive) oil is great too, and I sometimes pour some on a tray, 1-2 inches high, freeze it and then, with a very small scoop, I make little balls of that iced oil to put on hot soups, for ex, it melts like butter, my kids love it. And there are SO many different kinds of oil, some of which have a buttery taste.

    Nut butters are fantastic too, including white sesame butter, mmm. Nut butters on toast with a drizzle of honey make a fantastic snack 🙂
    Replacing 1 part butter by 0.5 part (neutral) (olive) oil + 0.5 part nut (almond is the more versatile) generally works.

    We also use many veg milk. Our favorite is oat milk : a little sweet and that special oat-y creaminess. I make it in my Soyabella, or buy it with added Calcium. In France, we can also find oat cream, great for tarts, pasta etc. I have bought a Soyabella, so I can make whatever “milk” I imagine.

    So many options!

    Thanks for asking, Shauna 🙂
    PS : Crème fraîche is not expensive and easily found in France, and oh my do we love it, but sadly my husband gets instantly sick when he eats some so we haven’t tasted any since…a long time.
    PS2 : imagine the nightmare of being French in France and not tolerating casein… That is pretty hard, believe me… But there are so much worse fates, it’s easy to just eat differently.

  70. Emily

    Good for you Shauna! There will always be those people that you can never make happy and no matter what you do they will complain. I’ve been allergic to eggs most of my life and whenever I find a recipe that I’d like to try, in my head I automatically make the substitution to an oil, baking powder and water mixture that works well. I’ve learned to adapt, I don’t expect the world to adapt to me. You can’t think of every possibility that’s just crazy-making!

    PS I don’t particularly like milk so I use a lot of almond milk. However, I love baking with buttermilk because it makes everything so moist.

  71. Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

    I LOVE this post! Not only because I can FINALLY make creme fraiche at home (something that is very Poor Girl friendly), but because I could completely relate to all your frustrations. Though I don’t have any dietary restrictions (yet… you never know when those may show up), I do have budgetary ones. And they end up resulting in readers leaving similar comments about how I don’t use all-organic produce or locally sourced, pasture-raised beef, or that I use meat at all (particularly when the Food Inc. FB page posts one of my recipes; if there’s meat in it, I’m ripped to shreds for being a meat-eating devil). Some of these items cost way too much for me to justify buying at the moment.

    But I feel I can still help people even if I’m not the holiest of eaters, and I know you definitely have. My mother, who is also gluten-intolerant, is hooked on your blog and you’ve helped her a lot. So keep doing what you’re doing; those of us who understand that everyone should eat to make themselves happy – and not everyone else – will always keep coming back.

  72. kate

    This is incredibly diplomatic- you can’t please everyone!

    I’m a gluten free vegan- one of my best tricks is to use ground flaxseed meal with warm water and let it sit as an “egg” for baking. Its a 1:3 ration meal to water, I use 1T meal for one egg 🙂

  73. Jill

    I love your recipes…If people can’t search for replacements online for some ingredients on your recipes then they are just wayyyyy to lazy. I have 4 kids: 1 vegetarian/diry sensitive, 1 gluten free/ nut free/egg white free, 1 with texture issues and my last is fine but her stomach hurts afer she has dairy even though the tests say she’s not allergic. My veggie is old enough (16) to make her own food but for my g/n/e free I had to get creative. I occasionally use egg replacer, soy butters and gluten free flour. We have tried out different products and she is actually okay with Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting. I use Olivio “butter” but it makes for flatter cookies. It is all about trial and error. Thank you for your great recipes!

  74. Lori

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 1/2 years and am so grateful for your inspiring stories and recipes. It defnitely made going gluten-free easier in the beginning. At first I only had to avoid gluten, but I’ve recently discovered that I feel much better without dairy as well. I use almond milk for most of my baking as well as in scrambled eggs and on granola. I love the taste and texture; don’t miss cow’s milk at all. I also am a fan of Earth Balance in baking — have had fantastic results with it.

    I tried the Daiya cheese but didn’t like the way it tasted, so for now I don’t cook with any type of cheese substitute.

    I LOVE the new coconut milk “ice creams” available — very rich and creamy. If you like coconut, you’ll love them!

    I admire your honesty, Shauna, and hope you stay true to yourself. Look forward to seeing where the journey takes you.

  75. Annah James

    Hey Shauna;
    Like so many other folks have said, you sure can’t please everyone! Just keep doing what you’re doing, since it’s so helpful!

    I am not lactose intolerant, but have been making my own ghee for years and use it for cooking when I want the flavor of butter, but don’t want things to burn. That led to occasionally using it half-and-half with butter in pie crust recipes. A lot of baked goods work just fine with ghee.

    It’s kind of prohibitively expensive to buy, though – kind of like your creme fraiche – so I found a recipe for making ‘oven ghee’ in ‘Lord Krishna’s Cuisine’ (great cookbook, btw), that I’ve followed for years. You just put the butter in a deep stock pot (I generally do 6-8 lbs at a time), heat the oven to 300 degrees, and walk away. It usually takes 4-6 hours. You can tell when it’s done when the solids are nice and golden brown on the bottom of the pan. I strain it into mason jars and keep ’em in the cupboard. They last for months.

    A question for you – when making the creme fraiche, can I mimic buttermilk by doing the cider vinegar thing, or do I need the bacteria in REAL buttermilk?

  76. Roberta Thomas

    Hi Shauna. I can’t imagine someone writing to complain about a recipe. That’s the fun of it for me is to take what someone else has done and put my twist on it if I need changes. I appreciate all your newsletters and recipes even though you don’t cook exactly like me. Keep them coming. I can’t use milk but cream and butter are no problem so I use coconut milk and almond milk as a substitute. Sometimes I even add of bit of cream to my almond milk. I like to make my own almond milk because I can sweeten it with dates, stevia, vanilla, etc. You can make it as thick or thin as you like. So what is buttermilk because I just assumed it was a dairy product?

  77. Jo Ann

    I use cream and a yogurt starter and put it all in my yogurt maker for 24hrs. According to the SCD diet the lactose is gone from it. Sounds similar to what you are doing. I use my yogurt in just about everything. I’ll drip it and allow it to get thick and add salt to it and then I have cream cheese w/o the lactose problem. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes, I look forward to them.
    Jo Ann

  78. Claire

    This is how we do without dairy:
    We weep, we moan, we gnash our teeth and rent our garments. And we hope that one day again we can indulge.
    And we are so very pleased that you are following your own guidance and heart and love and sharing how THAT makes you healthy. It’s a message we don’t hear enough.
    Bowing Deep.

  79. Andrea

    My daughter has anaphylactic dairy, egg and nut allergies and my son has gluten and cane sugar intolerance. It’s easier than most think to substitute all these things.
    1 cup of cows milk=1 cup of any other milk, for buttermilk add a squeeze of vinegar
    Fleishman’s tub margarine, (found in any grocery store for half the price of Earth’s Balance plus we like the taste) for ALL our baking, great results EVERY time.
    Ener-G egg replacer for all baking as well
    Honey, maple syrup or agavae for all sugar, add a 1/4 to 1/2 less than the recipe as these are sweeter than sugar plus a couple more spoonfuls of flour to make up for the extra liquid. Cookies will be more cake like but still very good
    Shauna’s AP mix and whole grain mix are perfect in all my own recipes, always sub by weight.
    Toffuti sour cream and cream cheese are straight across subs for the dairy versions, in baking AND cooking.
    We eat fresh cookies, cakes , muffins and granola bars all the time, I can’t buy anything store bought…and it’s all dairy, egg, nut, gluten and sugar free….and delicious:)

  80. Tammy

    I love how you aren’t letting anyone dictate what you are making and posting!! My husband, daughter and I can’t do milk, he can’t do yogurt, but we can do everything else dairy. I usually substitute rice milk or almond milk for any actual milk in a recipe. If I have to make something without butter, I use a palm shortening.

    I wish I could figure out the bread part with no eggs though, that’s the hardest part. Two of us can’t have eggs, but it’s ok for the most part as we’ve figured a way around it.

  81. Ann

    I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity – it was diagnosed at the same time that my egg, dairy and soy sensitivities were discovered. I can figure out a substitution for almost anything now, but it took about 2 years to get to that point and they can require a bit of extra work. So I cook simply most of the time, and splurge when I feel the urge (or willingness) to invest extra time in cooking.

    As with gluten, it’s the protein in dairy that gets me – casein. My nutritionists have suggested that casein molecules from smaller animals – goats, sheep – may be easier to handle, so I’ll have goat- or sheep-milk products infrequently.

    Butter: Casein-free ghee
    For creamy bases: olive oil “mayo”, or avocado cream (some people also use cashew cream – I don’t)
    Milks: coconut, almond, hemp or oat, depending on the recipe. I find rice milk too runny for most purposes, but will drink it in a latte on occasion. I’m most likely to make my own almond milk – bought in bulk, the almonds are affordable and I can create small batches when I only need a cup or so. If I need buttermilk, I just add a bit of lemon juice to the milk I’m using.
    Cheese: I don’t eat much that “requires” cheese. Many cheese substitutes use casein even if they are otherwise dairy-free, so they are out for me. I find that many nut cheeses taste similar to soft cheeses, but they can be pricey. Daiya makes a starch-based cheese substitute that melts nicely, and works in moderation on things like pizza. Nutritional yeast also has a “cheesy” smell /flavor, and can be used in “cheesy” sauces.
    Whipped cream: coconut milk (full-fat versions “whip-up”, just not as firmly as the real stuff)
    Heavy cream: full-fat coconut milk or the coconut cream you can skim off the top of a can
    Yogurt: coconut yogurt has a reasonable texture, but is sweeter than regular yogurts – I adjust other ingredients when I use it. I don’t eat it stand-alone; it’s too sweet for me. I’ll have a goat or sheep yogurt for a treat.
    Ice cream: coconut ice cream is tasty, or I use a sorbet instead

    The only thing I haven’t found a sub for: sour cream – the coconut yogurts are too sweet, and all of the other options I’ve seen are soy-based. So the quest continues … I’m hoping to find some ideas here!

  82. Helena

    Shauna, you’re such a kind and giving person! I can understand how people’s questions about substitutions can be annoying, and I admire you even more for being so caring still 🙂

  83. Jo @ Quirky Cooking

    I love your blog, Shauna, and I’m dying to try the creme fraiche recipe – not for me, because I can’t handle dairy, but for my friends! I’ve been dairy free for years, and have a blog where I post my dairy free recipes – sometimes I post recipes with butter or cheese in them, as some ‘dairy free’ people can handle a little dairy…

    I have my own substitutes for butter, cheese, cream cheese, creams, white sauces, milks etc, and am very used to changing recipes to suit me – it’s become a bit of a hobby, to see what I can do with a yummy recipe I find to change it to dairy free!

    I have a page on my blog with links to dairy substitutes that cover all these areas. It’s

    Thanks again for a great blog, Shauna!!

  84. Becky D

    My husband and son couldn’t tolerate dairy. They could eat some yogurt, and hard cheeses, but everything else was painful. UNTIL we discovered Raw Milk, and bought a cow share from a local dairy farm w/ grass-fed dairy cows. Now, milk isn’t a problem anymore. Turns out, it was the pasteurized, homogenized milk that was making them sick. Whole, raw milk has been a treasured find!

  85. Bethington

    In an effort to find out if food sensitivities are behind my migraines, joint pain, acne, and stubborn weight, I cut out gluten, dairy, and soy products. Let me tell you, losing sourdough was tough but losing chevre was tougher. And of course just about every commercial cheese substitute involves soy. Making my own fermented cashew cheese has saved my sanity. The basic idea is that you soak raw cashews overnight, grind them up in a food processor, add a little probiotic goodness (I use chickpea miso), wrap it in cheesecloth, and let it sit on the counter for 24-48 hours. You’ll end up with something like a soft artisan cheese. I’ve eaten delicious cashew sour cream, but I don’t have the high-speed blender required to make it.
    I’m working off of recipes from these folks:

    For creamy, cheesy sauces I make a roux from soy-free Earth Balance and potato flour, then add coconut milk, garlic powder, worcestershire and a ton of nutritional yeast.

    For a pasta topping, I mix almond flour with garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast.

  86. Courtney

    “But here’s the deal. My pie crusts with leaf lard and butter are pretty amazing. I don’t like hemp milk. We’re having a rack of lamb for Easter.

    And I really love creme fraiche.”

    This is fabulous! Good for you. With all you do for us, we can certainly allow you to celebrate and write about what you WANT to. I’m looking forward to it. =)

  87. Deanna

    Wow, thanks for all of these great ideas everyone. I can’t wait for my next trip to Nature’s Emporium.

    We can’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs, shellfish and red meat in our house (for health reasons not by choice). Here are a few more ideas. If you have an iSi Whipped Cream dispenser (the one with the charger cartridges) you can basically put anything in it with a bit of thickening agent (like xanthan gum) and you will have a whipped cream-like topping. Chef Michael Smith used icewine and xanthan gum on his Chef at Home show and it looked wonderful. Also, if you have your own ice cream maker (we have a small Cuisinart) you can use coconut milk and any flavour of choice (fresh berries work nicely) to make your own dairy free ice cream.

    Shauna, thanks for all of your great recipes. I have your books and manage to make my own alterations successfully. Keep doing what you are doing, the way that you are doing it!

  88. Diane

    I am vaguely lactose-intolerant (I blow up like a balloon), but find yogurt and a small amount of some hard cheeses treat me just fine. Butter too is OK. Milk, cream, creme fraiche, and soft cheeses do me in. My solution is just not to cook food that needs that stuff. I cook and eat a lot of Indian food and a lot of SE Asian food. So while I do eat some yogurt on the side sometimes, I never worry about the rest of the “bad” list as they are not ingredients for these cuisines.

  89. Erika

    I am relatively new to Gluten Free. Just finding out that all my problems all these years may be all stemming form Gluten- eliminate it and i am getting better….until last week… I have been reacting to something???? Perhaps dairy I think….
    anyways….all of your posts have majorly helped in my journey. If there is something that I need to sub in the future, its up to me to figure it out.
    You can not be all to everyone girl! Just be you!!!! That is amazing in itself!!!!!

  90. Fawn

    Cooking allergen free can be so hard (and very expensive!)! I try to avoid wheat, gluten, corn & dairy and it can be hard. I love to cook, but it has been a long, motivating and motivated road to finding many solutions, but it isn’t easy! Shauna- you make such beautiful stories and posts about food, life, family and love- I hope you are aware that when people ask about substitutions, it isn’t because they think your offerings are insufficient, just that many people look to someone who has cooking knowledge for information and direction when they are uncertain.

    While I don’t have many problems with soy, our ND wants us to avoid it with our toddler, so we use almond milk instead for most things (no nut allergies here). Here is a great way to make non-dairy buttermilk!

  91. Kate

    As someone living without butter (no dairy) or coconut oil (no coconut) my favorite substitute for butter in baking is frozen avocado oil. Mark Bittman recommended frozen olive oil for a cake once, but avocado oil, to me, has a more neutral taste.

  92. Anna

    My grandfather always used to say all things in moderation including moderation. I didn’t know it was something Julia Child said, too (or maybe first).

  93. Rosanna Tarsiero

    as a French woman living in Italy I can attest that heating the cream it is essential to make creme fraiche the real thing 🙂 I’m sure your cream tastes divine, however it can’t possibly be creme fraiche without eating it… and the procedure you described in this post is for sour cream.
    There is a reason behind the heating, actually… it is that creme fraiche is made by a stain of bacteria that is different from the one that makes sour cream. Heating is used to select that specific stain while at the same time killing the sour cream stain.
    I love them both… Creme fraiche is yellower, sweeter in a way and doesn’t curdle while heated up – whereas sour cream is whiter, more sour and does curdle with heat.

  94. Gretchen

    I’d recommend that celiacs who are borderline with their tolerance of milk try different kinds of milk. I have had lactose intolerance while I was celiac, which vanished after about six months of being gluten-free. I also have an on-again, off-again histamine reaction that seems to get worse with higher butterfat. But here’s the really odd part: it is not triggered by raw milk, and it is not triggered by cultured milk. Goat milk is also fine. Also, if I eat plenty of probiotics I start being able to tolerate pasteurized uncultured dairy again; whatever is happening gets modulated down by the probiotics. Weird, but good! So my routine dairy consists of raw milk and kefir and cheese and yogurt and yes creme fraiche. I eat uncultured pasteurized dairy in moderation (I have a real thing for ice cream, so most of my “budget” goes in that direction.) Anyhow unless the reaction is very severe and leads to a lot of illness, occasional testing to see if it’s still happening might expose that the reaction has gone away altogether, especially after eating a steady diet of probiotics and especially after avoiding gluten for long enough for the system to heal.

    As for milk substitutions I personally find that raw almond milk is delicious though it doesn’t have quite the right consistency, hemp milk is pretty good, and coconut milk is pretty good, depending on the application. I really like the taste of goat milk and cheese so don’t object to it as some people do, and it can be used as cow’s milk in most recipes. My local raw dairy, Claravale, sells a VERY mild and delicious raw goat’s milk that is almost indistinguishable from cow’s milk.

    I really like your style of cooking, by the way. Your approach has taught me about using flaxseed instead of xanthan gum, and that’s just been wonderful; I think the gums are not my best friend either. When you use ingredients I don’t, such as oats, I either skip that recipe or figure out a substitute. Your flour method especially is so flexible that it’s really easy to substitute out the components I don’t eat. (I’m allergic to corn, but since you described the *methodology* behind your flour, I feel free to substitute in other ingredients to get results that work.)

    Some things are harder to substitute properly and dairy is probably one of them. But I know I still learn a lot by looking at recipes for foods I can’t eat as written as well as those I can. I actually also read several cooking blogs that embrace the wheat, too, and try to figure out how to adapt them, or I use some ideas from them though obviously not the wheat.

  95. Becky Rider

    To make creme fraiche with sheep or goat milk, or with nut, coconut or soy milk, first make buttermilk by adding a splash of vinegar or lemon or lime juice to a pint of milk. Allow to stand for 2-3 hours. Store in refrigerator. Stir 1-2 Tbsp. buttermilk into a pint of milk, and let stand on the counter until thickened, as for dairy creme fraiche.

    This makes a creamy, slightly soured cream that makes a fair substitute for the real thing. Yogurt can be used instead of buttermilk, but gives a slightly different taste.

  96. nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma

    My oldest son has autism, so we have been on the GFCFSF diet for a year. By way of that, I learned that gluten and dairy have been my mortal enemies for years manifesting themselves in my migraines and chronic fatigue.

    That being said, I no longer long for gluten, but dairy I still do-namely cheese. I can tolerate if I take a DPPIV enzyme before eating it in moderation. Then my skin looks like a teen for a week, but sometimes, when you are on such a restricted diet, that creme brulee was worth it.

    In our home…

    coconut milk, kefir, yogurt, and oil reign supreme. I find that the texture is closet to dairy.

    but the cheese substitutes scare me. daiya and rice cheese has a funky after taste. as does hemp milk, but not hemp ice cream.

    I find myself drawn to more spice, mexican, and raw foods now. I just made an amazing spinach artichoke dip for my family with navy beans as the “cheese”. You would have never known…

    Life without dairy isn’t a death sentence, just a license to be more creative with food.

  97. Stefanie

    We have to do so much ingredient substituting in our house, that I am thankful that you provide a solid GF recipe, then I can just make the adjustments I need and have had some pretty successful recipes– so THANK YOU!

    As for replacing dairy- I replace what I can but when the replacement is not satisfying, I simply move on. Cheese is the hardest to substitute. So I slice up avocado for my burger and taco night. Earth Balance (soy free) works perfectly in all my baking recipes. Luna&Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice-cream is my favorite and have made coconut ice-cream that is fantastic. Ghirardelli semi-sweet choco chips are dairy-free (I am pretty sure)- I use them for my chocolate fix. Oh- and I just discovered Trader Joe’s GF, DF Mango sorbet…

    Hope that info helps a fellow sweet-tooth!

  98. Coach Laura

    Shauna, you are wonderful. I have loved all your help in my 4+ years of being GF. And I have your same x-gum intolerance…that was a puzzle piece I hadn’t determined until you mentioned it. So I thank you for that, too.

    Three years ago my then-15yo son had to go gluten-free and dairy-free, and I faced additional challenges, especially since I love cooking with milk and cheese and because dairy is in some gf bread mixess and pre-made things. I have some tricks and most of the time I don’t miss dairy. I do use a little bit of butter for sauteing, which doesn’t seem to hurt him. (But I can’t say that I’ll be hesitant to cook with milk when he goes to college in September! While trying to see through my empty-nest tears…)

    Here are my subs:
    Almond milk – in cooking, baking to sub for milk. I don’t think soy is bad in general but I think it’s best for growing boys/young men to avoid concentrated soy. I add a bit of vinegar to almond milk to sub for buttermilk.
    Earth Balance margarine – sub for butter in baking, frosting and sauces like hollandaise sauce (I know, blasphemy for French cooks), white sauce. I cannot taste the difference in frosting for cakes and in pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Good in scones and on toast or waffles. This has some soy, but we only use it once every week or two.
    Coconut milk – sub for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie, savory stews and some baking where milk and yogurt are both used. When I cook pumpkin pie, it takes an extra 45 minutes to “set” but it tastes heavenly.
    Canola oil – sub for butter in brownie recipes, pie crust.

    Best of luck to all those GF/DF bakers. I am thankful that I can have eggs, soy and corn and am happy with most of the stuff that I cook.

  99. Natalie

    I am gluten and casein sensitive. My homeopathic doctor says I can have milk fat–just not milk protein. So, I eat Organic Valley or Darigold whipping cream because it’s straight cream with no added skim or other milk. The same goes for Daisy (full fat version) Sour Cream. Also plain butter is fine for me. However, one of my daughters is also casein (and gluten) sensitive and will not consume dairy in any form. So, when I want to make things she will eat, I bake with Earth Balance Buttery Spread or Butter-flavored Crisco (yuck, I know), and baked goods turn out just fine. I also LOVE cooking with coconut milk, and there is the added benefit of lowering the carbohydrate content when coconut milk is used. (I use the homogonized coconut milk found in the dairy section of most grocery stores.) I also bake with rice or almond milk. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I use whipping cream with a little vinegar added. I was very sad to give up cheese, but cheese-less pizza and Mexican food really tastes just fine without any cheese, and you have the added benefit of cutting a few calories and grams of fat.

  100. Laura

    I read your blog and I love your honesty. By the way I heard everything is bad for you…ha ha. Keep up the good work, fortunately i’m a natural and can tweak recipes and take advice from people who have encountered the same problems.

    Thank You for everything!

  101. Jules

    When my 16 year old daughter went gluten free/dairy free/yeast free you saved my life. Don’t change your recipes. We will adapt or not. You post such a variety of things that there is always something to try and your philosophy of eating seasonally has changed how we eat. I own your books. Thank you.

    Coconut milk will set pudding while rice milk doesn’t. Nucoa or Earth Balance for cooking or olive oil or coconut – yummy when eggs are cooked in it. I mostly used rice milk as a substitute in baked goods. I’m just trying out hemp.

  102. jas (gluten free scallywag)

    Shauna – you are so fabulous to offer your gluten free recipes and think of those with other allergies/interlerances/choices too. My partner can’t eat too much onion, so any recipe that calls fo one onion, I always use 1/3. My best friend and her Dad can’t have dairy, so most of my cakes have been tried with a dairy free alternative such as Nuttelex (simmilar to EArth Balance in the US – I think?) and milk with soy, almond or rice milk. Buttermilk with the same but with 3tsp lemon juice per cup of milk.

    No one I know is egg free, but I’ve heard a little chai seeds and water, or linseed and water or applesauce work well as a replacement (Karina over at the Gluten Free Goddess, often has egg free option to her recipes using one of the previously mentioned mixes, or even a little egg-replacer and water).

    I hope you enjoy your creme fraiche, I will certainly be trying it out! (I can live without gluten, but no jam and cream on my sponges and there’d be trouble!)

  103. Megan

    Some people will just never understand. I love you blog and your books and no matter what anyone says you have a good thing going here. The title of your blog is “The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef,” not “The Gluten-Free Plus Everything That Might Be Bad or Allergy Free Girl and the Chef.”

    As far as the whole dairy free cooking thing goes I will sub fruit purees + oil for butter in quick breads, coconut milk for cream, almond milk for milk, or I just do without out. I’ve figured out that a lot of times foods that I react to don’t add all that much flavor to other foods so I just cut them out or substitute them for another food or spice. (e.g. avocado for cheese in Mexican food) I’ve also found that I can use goat and sheep milk products in a lot of things and if I really want a bit of cheese or some yogurt I will eat those instead. Sure, they come at a heftier price than the usual diary suspects but because the flavor is so much more pronounced I will eat less/use less of them and that definitely offsets the cost.

  104. Julia Vidmar

    This may have already been said, but I love Earth Balance as a butter substitute- I even made chocolate chip cookies with it (also gf, egg free) and my family loved them! I use it also to saute things instead of oil if I want that taste. In baking recipes that call for milk, I use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (original flavor) because I think it has the most mild taste and still a creamy texture. SO Delicious now makes a cultured coconut milk that I have made cream sauces with -it thickened just like milk does. I have not perfected those recipes yet, but the taste was better than I expected. There is really no substitute for cheese, but I have used veggie cheeses for pizza and they are not too bad if you add other things to them. Occasionally I cheat with a little Parmesan or feta because I cannot totally live without them…and nothing substitutes for them 🙂

    Thanks for all of your work on behalf of those who have allergies etc…!

  105. Chantelle

    I use cashew milk and coconut milk to make my own yogurt, rice milk and coconut milk for drinking and baking, the solidified coconut cream from the top of a can of Thai Kitchen coconut milk for frosting and as a substitute for whipped cream, (non-hydrogenated) palm shortening for pie crusts and baking, coconut “oil” (it’s solid up to 75 degrees) for spreading butter substitute and baking, Daiya cheese (dairy-free, soy-free, melts great and tastes the most like the real thing of any substitutes I’ve tried). I also make my own (rich in omega 3’s and 6’s) buttery spread using flax seed oil and sunflower oil, with palm shortening for a solid consistency and a pinch of raw salt. If I substitute eggs in baking I use chia or flax seed meal–which actually seems to provide more rise and lightness for GF baking than eggs.

  106. Kaia

    I just wanted to poke my head in and say that I am amazed by your recipes. You cannot suit every taste, and after all, there *are* vegan, gluten-free, soy free, etc, blogs out there. I don’t eat meat myself, but I like your blog so much that I don’t even care if there’s recipes with meat in sometimes. I find it much, much harder to substitute flours and such than to play around with meat-free, egg-free or lactose free alternatives.

    Then again, I’m not so strict with the milk and eggs. I try to avoid it, but sometimes I eat them because it’s easier – mainly when somebody else is cooking – and it really annoys me when people look down on me because I’m a lapsed vegan. I know there are gluten free vegans out there, but I just don’t have the energy to maintain it.

    Which is to say, keep up your posting and don’t bother to give alternatives to every recipe. We all make our own dietary choices, and these are YOUR recipes. It’s only natural for them to contain the things you eat after all.

  107. Teresa

    Great article. I have been dairy/gluten free for about 4 years. I have an autoimmune reaction to casein. So this excludes all milk products regardless of what animal produces it. I read your blog for ideas/suggestions/inspiration but not for answers. I won’t begrudge you for tailoring your recipes to meet my unique situation but I am more than happy with you working on great recipes that inspire you. Once you have the gluten part figured out I can take it from there. Thanks!

  108. Jaye Tee

    Hi Shauna,
    I am very sorry that you are being criticized when you have helped millions of people including myself! It is nearly impossible to cater to ever food issue out there. I have been dairy free since 2000 because of a severe dairy allergy and I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease in December 2009. In order to deal with my food issues, I read and research constantly! I am constantly searching the web and visiting the library in order to find recipes that can be adapted to suit my needs. I even started a gluten and dairy free blog to help to assist others through my experiences and findings. Admittedly, from personal experience, I understand how difficult it is to find a recipe that is both gluten and dairy free. However, I have also found that there are many ways to adjust recipes. For butter, I use Earth Balance. For chocolate I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Shortenings are helpful when making pie crust (I have used your recipe with great results 😉 ) If I am not using a dairy free sour cream, I have found garlic aoli to be a fun substitute. I use soy, almond and coconut milk in recipes and have even enjoyed soy yogurt as well! I hope this helps. Also, there are a number of gluten and casein free blog sites. Casein is the milk protein and I sometimes have better results searching for “gluten and casein free recipes” than I do for “gluten and dairy free recipes.” Even if you can have eggs, vegan recipes are helpful because you know off the bat that dairy will not be included; Not to mention there are tons of vegan and gluten free recipes. I hope this helps and thank you for helping me bring safe and comforting foods back into my life.

  109. Amber

    BRAVO shauna! glad you are saying what you will and won’t do (and can and can’t manage) recipe wise. thanks for your blog, i’ve been a fan so long. you are diligent and gracious with your readers…but keep doing what YOU love!

  110. brooke

    Well siad,
    I have very much enjoyed you blog.
    I have never eaten creme fraiche you have my attention.
    as for pleasing everyone it cant be done. My house I GF free and greatful to know why I was soooo sick in the past. My son does not have the enzime to break down dairy fat. We use alll in irs skim form. His peanut allergy is no big deal

    My larger family is alergic to Soy, coconut,wheat, bannannas, stawberries and mellon. Two vegans.
    I am incharge of Easter Dinner What 1 meal can all these plp eat.
    I dont have answer soo. I made RESERVATIONS! 🙂
    thankyou for your honesty.

  111. nikki

    I love my milk alternatives, but im still experimenting how to make cookies and crackers without them. I’m going to try a 50/50 palm shortening and butter for my shortbread cookies… will let you know

  112. Rachel

    Shauna, you shouldn’t have to feel bad about not “accommodating” those who can’t eat dairy/eggs/soy/whatever. I can’t eat any of those 3 (in addition to gluten), and it’s not your job to cater to all the allergies out there. People can either try to adapt your recipes on their own, or go to one of the many blogs out there that DO cater to those who can’t eat those additional allergens. Or a combination of both. Problem solving, people!
    That said, for butter I use Earth Balance soy-free, which is sometimes an unholy PITA to find, so I stock up when I find it. I can tolerate small doses of goats milk, and I’ve used goats butter before, but its very expensive.
    Almond milk is my favorite milk-replacement, and I will sometimes combine it with goats milk, rice milk, or hemp milk to achieve a better flavor/texture profile. Cashew milk is an amazing cream replacement, and you can make it yourself! Soak raw unsalted cashews in water for at least 6 hours, then blend until smooth. So rich and creamy! MimicCream is great as well, but it costs a fortune and is difficult to find. Don’t forget coconut milk when you really need creaminess! I have made “whipped cream” from coconut milk and it was awesome. (refrigerate can of coconut milk for at least 24 hours, open can and carefully remove the thick, semi-solid layer from the top, whip with a bit of confectioners sugar, add a touch of milk substitute if too thick)
    Daiya makes a great mozzarella substitute, and is soy-free. I use goat cheese in small quantities as well. Most of the rice cheeses are appalling, and SO not worth it. Mild chevre is also a good substitute for cream cheese! I made a great cheesecake with it once. Sooo tasty!
    EnerG is a pretty good egg substitute for most things, and flax seed is also sometimes useful, particularly for things like cookies or some quickbreads. Judicious use of agar-agar or gelatin can also help things set without eggs. I’ve used both of these in things like puddings and pies. Corn starch can work as well! And of course, applesauce and mashed banana have their uses in some baked goods. One of my “holy grails” of baking is an egg/gluten/soy free macaron. That’s my summer project, actually.
    Cooking is chemistry!

  113. Liz

    I use goats milk. I don’t so well with cow milk and totally cannot tolerate sheep milk. Drs look at me like I’m crazy but its true. The gluten free has been similar – I’m not celiac but I am a whole lot healthier without gluten.
    I play around with raw foods as dairy alternatives too. I am completely hooked on cashew cheese on pizza or anything else. I have recently discovered the Daiya cheese alternatives which I like to use in a pinch. When baking I often substitute coconut oil, walnut oil, olive oil or apple sauce for butter without running into problems. Coconut oil makes wonderful scones!
    I find half of the fun of making food is trying new experiments just to see what happens.

  114. Donna Kaminski

    First, a few points –
    Most of the dietary problems come from genetically modified seeds (which we can’t control yet – google Monsanto GMO’s) that our food is grown from. That’s why celiac/gluten intollerance became so widespread over the last twenty years, along with many other food allergies. When it comes to ‘milks’, use organic cow or goat or soy, almond, rice, etc. Goat’s milk is more digestible because it is closest in structure to human milk. Rice milk is the next easiest to digest. The chemicals, hormones and pesticides cause another major part of allergies and then there is yeast, yes, candida yeast, in our guts, turning our nutritional food into sugars instead. Big problems here because of antibiotics being so prevalent. What to do?
    Eat local, eat organic, soak your grains and beans before cooking/baking with them. Take a good, refrigerated, probiotic. READ LABELS. Watch for sugars in your foods and beverages. Drink more green and black tea, brewed yourself. Grow sprouts to include in your diet. Drink enough water. Cut out as much processed food as you possibly can, that includes ‘healthy’ substitutes sometimes too. Move to a country that supports actual health, there are quite a few. Learn to relax when you eat, chew and enjoy your food. Try a good wine with dinner once in a while. Dance, have some fun, listen to music more often. Slow … down….
    Shauna is so right about making your own – creme fraiche or whatever…. it makes ALL the difference. Taking time to care for yourself by caring about what you put in your mouth – it runs the engine of your body. Sure, you can have treats – just do what you need to do to substitute – applesauce, almond milk, goat’s milk, hemp milk…there are so many organic options now.
    Shauna, you were the first resource I turned to when my daughter brought home your book. She has celiac and I needed to be able to feed her. Thank you for that. Having been a diet-specific cook for clients, I can sympathize with what you already know only too well… once you go public everyone comes out of the woodwork to ask, plead, seek help…and then there are those who want us to be miracle workers and do their healing for them. Thank you for your generous contribution to gluten free food preparation, especially baking. It has made all the difference.

  115. Christine-Anne

    Having multiple food allergies including wheat, gluten and dairy to name a few I love the fact that there are so many substitute products available these days and I know that there are so many more in the U.S. than I have available here in Quebec but I make due.

    Toffuti makes great products that can be used to replace sour cream, deserts, cream cheese, and regular cheese. Goat and sheep milk cheeses are also wonderful. Liquid alternatives to moo-moo juice (milk) include rice, almond and soy products. I also finally found a yogurt that is truly dairy free. Belsoy makes a good product that can be used as a heavy cream.

    As for a replacement to Crème Fraiche, I’ll have to see if lemon juice in the Belsoy “cream” product does the same thing. I’ve never cooked with Crème Fraiche but all my friends rave about it. I’ll keep everyone posted if it works out.

    Thanks for all the recipes that you post! If I find a recipe that intrigues me and it contains things that I’m allergic too I simply make any and all substitutes needed to make it edible for me!

  116. i-geek

    It always amazes me that people will respond so negatively to posts that were written and given in a spirit of openness and generosity. Yes, it sucks to have food restrictions. I’m not thrilled to have celiac disease. I’m not thrilled to be lactose intolerant. That doesn’t give me license to chew out food bloggers- who don’t know me and who are generously sharing their time and labor- for not posting things to my exact specifications. How ridiculous to think that the world must always cater to oneself.

    As for dairy-free: I can use butter and I can eat moderate amounts of hard cheeses. Small amounts of milk/cream/sour cream mixed into recipes seems to be okay, as the effects are cushioned by the other foods present. Dairy yogurt by itself gives me problems, so I eat soy and coconut yogurts (Silk, Whole Soy and So Delicious make great products and my dairy-tolerant husband will sometimes sneak them when I’m not looking). My favorite milk substitute is Eden Organic’s soy/rice blend. I’ve baked successfully with this and have even used it to make mashed potatoes (oh, those were SO good). I’ve also baked several times with Blue Diamond’s almond milk and had success with that. It’s not as creamy as the Eden milk, though. My best friend has a severe dairy allergy, and I’ve baked her safe chocolate chip cookies using Earth Balance margarine and Enjoy Life chocolate chips (those were really good cookies, too, and gluten-free to boot).

    I don’t find that I’m terribly restricted by recipes in cooking and baking. If I find a recipe I want to try, I find a workaround and go for it. They don’t all work, but I convert a lot of standard recipes and have had good luck.

  117. kellywknits

    Go for it!! I applaud your honesty, and your return to posting about the food you like to eat. I’ve learned SO much from your blog. I’m sorry to hear you get the anguished pleas for recipe conversions. When my twins were not yet walking we realized they were reacting to gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn. Wow. I learned to substitute, and and lots of meat, veggies and fruit. Now they can tolerate butter (pasture butter is my favorite, from all grass fed cows), goats milk, goat cheese, goat yoghurt. My favorite egg substitute was 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 2 T boiling water. Makes a great binder.

  118. Allergic Adventures

    Some of my son’s allergies are dairy, eggs & peanuts and he’s intolerant to soy, rye and wheat, so I cook/bake gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, legume-free, etc for him. We’ve found palm shortening & coconut oil to be great replaces for butter in recipes. I’ve made a delicious cake frosting with palm shortening (we use Spectrum); replace a lot of eggs with applesauce & oil. We make our own rice milk (he can’t have sunflower & I haven’t found one without) & use that. Almonds are a new food he’s eating, we avoided tree nuts until how so I hope to try almond milk soon. Olive oil is great drizzled on veggies, instead of butter. Potatoes & corn are also recent foods we’ve successfully gotten back, so that opens a lot of new “food doors.” I think one of the biggest things we’ve learned is that food actually tastes really good with less- veggies sauteed in olive oil & little sea salt is so good & so simple! & sometimes we just find a recipe & switch some things around, hoping for the best. The results can be amazingly good & amazingly bad 🙂 Thanks for posting this, it’s great to read all these different responses! Breanna @ Allergic Adventures

  119. Marijana

    Hi Shauna
    I’ve been reading your blog since begining and love it. I live in Washington DC / Maryland area, so if you ever visit it would be a pleasure to meet you and your family. I love to cook so we have that in common for sure.
    Anyway I was wondering if you use Agave nectar as a sweetener. I love it and is gluteen free. Costco have the best price for Blue Organic, two in package for about $9.

  120. Kathryn


    I completely support your decision to blog and post only about ingredients and recipes that work for your and your family. You are not a one woman, or even a one couple, America’s Test Kitchen for heaven’s sake. I am GRATEFUL that you have helped me discover that “gums” were behind most of my ongoing symptoms, and have provided, without charge, recipes for me to try that don’t require them. Like a lot of celiacs I got very into baking after being diagnosed 5 years ago and it never made sense to me that sometimes (but not always) the stuff I made bothered me. Now I know why and your work is the reason. Thank you.

    Your blog, and now FB page, have been a welcome addition to my own personal food journey. Although inconvenient at times, I am grateful to have been diagnosed celiac. Yes, you read that right, grateful. I now know what is in my food at every meal. Being blissfully ignorant and going through a fast food drive through is no longer an option. I also now know where most of my food comes from and whether or not it is organic. I’ve watched I’ve read countless books. I’ve subscribed to magazines like Living Without. I don’t buy a lot of processed food anymore. I make most things from scratch with fresh wholesome ingredients. I’ve decided to feed myself and my daughter organic dairy products whenever possible. We get organic produce delivered to the house every other week. It is fresh, in season, and sourced locally whenever possible. We make a game of finding recipes for things we probably wouldn’t buy otherwise like red kale and dandelion greens.

    And you know what? My food tastes better. My friends love my cooking. My daughter and I spend quality time in the kitchen together almost every day cooking together. And it is fun.

    So I don’t understand why people would complain if your recipes don’t work for them perfectly, exactly as written. My goodness, I’ve been substituting ingredients ever since I was diagnosed and I’ve accepted the need to do so for the rest of my life. I’ve also had to make adjustments to your (and other) recipes because I live at 7000 feet in a dry climate near your husband’s home town. One size does not fit all and never has.

    Perhaps they are not in that place yet, that place of acceptance from which the gratefulness can come. I was angry off and on after being diagnosed for at least a year. Celiac sounds easy on paper. Just avoid wheat right? Riiiiight. Except, oh yeah, it is in everything. It is indeed a death to be mourned and if you don’t do the work around that then resentment breeds and infects you and those around you. I know. It happened to me.

    Happy Easter Shauna!!! Thank you for all that you do. What is the saying? Don’t let the turkeys get you down? I appreciate your books, your posts, your happy attitude and your willingness to try and try and try again when I’m too tired to do so sometimes. My love to you and your family today and always.

    Did you figure out a good hot cross bun recipe?


  121. Cristine

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” You write with so much heart that I can sense how much you care about your readers, but I’m writing to ask that you don’t censor yourself too much. I first came to this blog to learn more about being gluten-free but I continue to check in because I love your voice, your honesty and your fearlessness to discuss some of the more difficult things in your life – and the fabulous recipes, of course. 🙂 Keep doing what you’re doing and I promise to keep checking in regularly.

  122. meagan

    I was vegan for a while before developing intolerances, it seems like many here. I had to add some meat & animal products back in for a variety of reasons, but feel better about them now because eating less = the ability to buy higher quality with the same money (free-run, organic, grass-fed, etc.).

    I can handle smaller amounts of dairy; while I wouldn’t eat a cup of yogurt as a snack, I make David Leibovitz’s tandoori chicken by marinating it in the stuff as he directs, and I’ve not found it gives me trouble. I use almond milk when a recipe requires milk, and sometimes I thicken it with starch or simmer it down to a creamier consistency if that’s required. I plain don’t like soy or hemp milks, find rice milk pretty uninspiring, and goat’s milk around here is kind of expensive thus not worth it as I like the cheaper almond stuff.

    I still use butter (how else would I finish a sauce?!), and I still eat small amounts of cheese — usually soft or unripened (goat) cheeses like feta or brie. Daiya is nice for a pizza, as again for fake cheeses I can’t stand the soy products (I eat tofu a couple of times a month, but soy substitute products leave a horrid metallic taste in my mouth). I try not to buy Daiya too often though. Cheese can often be omitted entirely from a recipe; I have to avoid some dishes where it’s integral, sure, but I think we should all follow Shauna’s example and not gripe about what we CAN’T do/have. Let us focus on what we CAN do/have, as there’s plenty out there. Would I have tried Ethiopian if I weren’t once avoiding meat? Probably not, but it’s one of my favourite types of food in the intervening years.

    Eggs are the sticky wicket for me; I can’t seem to get the same results baking with flax + water as I can with eggs (perhaps because I always whisk the eggs a bit before adding to a batter — it may add more loft?). As I am from northern European stock, too, a hard-boiled egg with some Mary’s crackers and a nice slaw or some boiled kielbassa is pretty much an ideal quick lunch.

    To all you GF vegans, though, I heartily recommend So Delicious coconut milk ice cream. OMG, amazing amazing amazing, and who doesn’t deserve a treat now and then? I actually like it better than regular ice cream — it is much creamier!

    The only DIY tip I guess I really have is to anyone with a Vitamix or good food processor, you can easily make your own Larabars instead of buying them for a whole lotta coin in stores! My sister started doing this based on some internet recipes and has had great results — she works two jobs and is finishing her graduate degree, so I know it can’t even take that long to do or she wouldn’t bother! 🙂

    Finally thanks, Shauna, for everything you do on this site. You’re one of my food inspirations even when I don’t use a recipe for more than its kernel, its idea.

    Have a great day!

  123. Amélie

    Great post! I have to admit, I’ve always thought it was a bit weird that when you post a recipe that you’ve bothered to perfect in a gluten-free way, some people then want you to convert it for their dietary restrictions too. I am lactose-intolerant, and by now I bookmark any recipe that looks good to me, then figure out how to make it lactose-free (though that doesn’t necessarily mean dairy-free). I post recipes on my own blog,

    There are SO many dairy-free options in American grocery stores that it’s mind-boggling. Vegan cheeses, half-a-dozen kinds of dairy-free milks and creamers, vegan whipping creams… even in the prepared meals sections! I find that when cooking at home, making anything dairy-free is not an unsurmountable challenge (even if it does atake a few tries to get it right). I’m perfecting a butterscotch pudding recipe from Orangette right now, but without the dairy whipping cream. I’m fiddling with the consistency, but love the results already!

  124. Sharon Bowler

    ack! I’m trying it and it’s not setting up! I’m using pasteurized whipping cream because it’s all I could find. It’s been about 13 hours. There is a thick coating on the inside of the lid, but the rest isn’t much thicker than when I started.
    I wonder what I did wrong. Or if I just needed other ingredients.

    1. shauna

      Don’t worry! Let it keep going. With pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, it takes long. Let it sit on the counter and forget about it until tomorrow.

      1. Sharon Bowler

        thanks! it’s still runny and it’s been about 22 hours. I’ll leave it until tomorrow.

        I sure appreciate you taking time to reply!

  125. Susan Bourke

    I use creme fraiche all the time in cooking and for making waffles,pancakes,bread and sauces with great success and I am really thrilled to see your recipe here ! I will definitely be trying it this week . My daughter is gluten free and I have adapted lots of recipes to suit her. She can manage some cheeses and we also use goats and sheeps cheese.
    This is a recipe from my blog for a leek and potato bread pudding that I made with creme fraiche. I am delighted to find your blog
    Leek and Potato Pudding
    In Sligo we have a lovely French Bakery and I had a loaf of their Spelt and Potato bread so I used it in this recipe.
    Domini Kemp wrote about this pudding in the Irish Times Mag and I sort of copied it .

    Sweat the leaks in butter and oil until soft .
    dice the bread into cubes abd toast them in the oven for 15 minutes until crispy.
    Combine the leeks and bread in a large gratin dish.
    I melted some mascarpone and creme fraiche in a saucepan and quickly poured it over 3 beaten eggs in a bowl and then poured it all over the pudding .I then put grated cheddar cheese on the top and baked it in the oven for 40 minutes.

  126. madonnadelpiatto

    I have been almost dairy free for years even though I am Italian and it seems that most Italian food relies on cheese. I will not go into baking, but I found that a really good, fruity, fresh olive oil is a great substitute of cheese and cream on pasta. We cook with hardly any fat, but before serving we drizzle a little olive oil on the already plated food and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, is fantastic!

  127. Jet Harrington

    Good for you. You do so much work to bring wonderful recipes to the community. My Nana (and maybe yours, too?) said, “you can’t please all the people all the time.” It’s true. You could go mad trying. Thank you for all your work in the kitchen, for your stories, for teaching me how to make creme fraiche, and for giving me confidence to work with gluten-free flours and enjoy all the many things I can make with them.

  128. heatherf

    My fiance is gluten, dairy, and soy free… Not fun if you’re looking for a pizza. Luckily we’re both voracious meat eaters, so avoiding the soy is pretty easy. When it comes to baking, I noodle around with Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread but I find it makes everything taste weird! So I just found vegan, buttery flavored Spectrum palm-non-hydrogenated shortening and am going to give that a shot for things like pie crusts and cookies.

    With other recipes for full-meals (not baked goods, I usually do a straight sub with Trader Joe’s Rice Milk for cow milk), I don’t look for substitutions, I make things that aren’t lessened without the milk! Chicken with artichoke hearts, lemon and white wine over rice. Ground Turkey with fennel, fennel seeds, crushed red peppers, bell peppers, onions, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Udi’s gluten free toast for breakfast. Poached eggs over spaghetti squash with salsa. The fiance almost always eats vegan, gluten, soy free macaroni and cheese from Amy’s for breakfast, which is bizarre to me, but he is a grown up so he can eat whatever he wants!

  129. Merideth

    I’ve been missing your blog as I finished writing my thesis (on top of being a mom to two gluten free kids…) but I’m back and I loved your comments on creme fraiche. Go for it. Eat the good, real stuff and enjoy every minute of it! People get so hung up and so militant about food, when it’s meant to be such a beautiful gift and such a pleasure.

    I make my own homemade kefir from grains my friend passed on to me, and have found that it works best with good old raw, full fat cow’s milk that I get from a local farmer. I’m very lactose intolerant, but this stuff doesn’t bother me a bit and it’s delicious- I highly recommend getting your hands on some of the grains if you haven’t already! Also, some of the clear whey drained off is a great starter for homemade sauerkraut. There’s something so satisfying about seeing those jars of homemade goodness in the fridge! Next to my jars of homemade chicken broth, of course.

    By the way- took your choc. chip banana bread to a party today- people raved about it and had no idea it was gluten free. Thank you.

    And by the way, I find that coconut oil as a butter substitute in sweets pretty much rocks. But don’t cook eggs in it. They will taste weird.

  130. Karen

    Thank you for being honest. It’s such a rare trait anymore. With a husband sensitive to yeast and dairy, a 6 year sensitive to dairy and realizing that I’m probably sensitive to gluten getting dinner on the table and meals made sometimes is drudgery. I garden and we eat as seasonally as we can, I make substitutions when I can. Giving up dairy seems easy compared to gluten and feeding a family of 4. But your stories help (I’ve lurked for years actually) and inspire. You show great passion. I love the pork recipes! Everyone has to find their own path, what is right for them. Thank you for sharing yours so openly and honestly.

    We just spent 2 weeks in Asia – where dairy and gluten free are the norm, and we ate fabulous meals!

  131. Brooke

    I love that you could be honest about how you feel in this post! I switched to goat milk a while back due to lactose intolerance, and now I love the goaty taste and I’m no longer bloated. I can tolerate yogurt and most cheeses, hard cheeses having less lactose than soft cheeses. But I fall off the wagon once in a while and have a really good bite of brie. Keep doing things your way :-).

  132. Carla

    Thanks for your honesty about this topic.
    My family has a long list of things we must do without. For me, dairy is the easiest. I just substitute my milk of choice. Sometimes coconut milk, sometimes hemp, and rarely, rice milk. I’ve found each has a different niche it fits. (We can’t have soy.)
    As for cheese, the non dairy cheeses just don’t work for me. So I skip it. My next experiment is to work with nutritional yeast to make a “cheese” sauce. But mostly I’ve learned to be happy without cheese and yogurt. The trade-off in how I feel is worth it.

  133. Stephanie

    The thing I’ve learned most from your website, which I’ve been reading for 3 years now, is to experiment. This has become especially true in the last 6 months or so, as you’ve started playing with ratios and cooking by weight. I’m vegetarian and wheat-free. So I use your site, often blended with advice from others, to create.
    The “how would you do this” must be frustrating, but remember it’s very often asked of other commenters rather than you. (I think you know this, which is why you posted as you did–what an amazing community you’ve created.)
    Two weeks ago (pre-Passover), I wanted to thank my office with chocolate chip cookies. I looked at your version of the NYT recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever, along with the original NYT recipe (funny–in weight, but yours was volume), what I’ve learned about almond flour from Elena’s Pantry, and what I happened to have in the house. And I didn’t want them to be too unhealthy. The most amazing cookies ever! Whole spelt (not GF, everyone–make up your own combo!), buckwheat and almond flour. Part butter, part coconut oil, part grapeseed oil. Part cane sugar (none white), part coconut palm sugar. And fair trade 72% chocolate picked up from a food festival. They were a hit beyond all expectations. I never could’ve done that without everything I’ve learned from your site.
    The one thing I would like to see on your site, though, is a return of the Blogroll. I follow several food blogs now, and occasionally hit others for advice, because you had links on your site. The inference from its disappearance is that your site can be self-contained. Yet it’s really part of this huge community of bloggers with different needs and intolerances, that come together for those of us who need bits and pieces from each of you.

    1. shauna

      Thank you, Stephanie. The blogroll is still here! In fact, it grew so large — I’m inspired by so many — that it deserved its own page. Look up at the top of the website and click on the LINKS button. You’ll find plenty of inspiration there.

  134. Jenny

    I didn’t read through all of the comments, so I know I’m repeating some of what others have said and possibly nothing I’m about to add is new… but here it goes: Earth Balance vegan margarine has been a great substitute for me in baking your recipes (because I always use and trust your recipes!!!) and also works well for frostings. Sometimes to save $$ I’ll use part vegetable shortening in baking as well. Just yesterday I made a cobbler using Emeril’s recipe, replacing the flour by weight with your flour blend and using silken tofu in place of heavy cream. It turned out great!!! I have no issues replacing cream cheese and sour cream with Tofutti brand products or yogurt with Soy and Co. I also made your carrot cake from the cookbook for Easter- SOOOO good! 🙂 Thank you for everything you do! I use your recipes almost every week when I bake for my church. My gluten free, dairy free treats go super fast alongside the catered treats that the church provides- I love feeding people’s curiosity. 🙂

  135. GF only

    I am non-celiac gluten intolerant. I can and do have dairy, eggs etc., so I am looking forward to your recipes using creme fraiche. There is no reason for you to try to be everything to everyone. Thanks for the great recipes!

  136. Christine

    Hi Shauna! I would like to know what leaf lard is and where I can find it. Also, is the pastry recipe you mentioned above is in one of your cookbooks (with leaf lard and butter)? It’s rhubarb season and I’d love to bake a pie! Thanks much, Christine.

  137. Elizabeth

    Please celebrate the food you eat! I love to read about all of it. As for dairy free – sometimes I use yogurt as it is easier on stomachs with a habit of lactose discrimination.

  138. Julia Sarver @ Glow Health

    Shauna – Your post really resonates with me! I have been struggling with the same issue in my business lately – being everything to everyone, and never feeling like I’m good enough. It’s completely exhausting, and as you wrote, totally deflating. I hope you know that your blog has helped thousands of people (including me!) learn how enjoy food without gluten. I remember when I thought that wasn’t possible! Now it’s such a non-issue for me, but I remember when it was devastating. On a daily basis, I help newly GF people learn how to eat healthy, tasty, GF free meals without feeling deprived, and I always refer them to your website.

    As for recipes, here’s one for a chocolate pudding that’s gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free, and also totally delicious. Served this at Easter brunch yesterday.

  139. Jeanine

    I too want to thank you for all that you painstakingly share with us. After reading all the comments on this post I have come to these conclusions:
    – It is very unfair to make such negative comments to you.
    -Maybe folks aren’t so much mad at you, but their circumstances and you are the unjustified target of their frustrations.
    -Folks have seen you find the Shangri-La that you have found in gluten replacement and think that you can do that with all of the other allergens out there. You can’t. In fact no one can (that I have discovered) at least not with all that we’re allergic to (nut, egg, gluten, soy, dairy,and a high fiber requirement). If you only have issue with one allergen, recipes can be a little more forgiving with a replacement. As you add each replacement, one at a time, it gets increasingly difficult.
    After I read the heading on this post I was so excited! I get that way when I think maybe there is hope that everything I eat can taste as once did!
    Now, I just move on.
    The best substitute for dairy (or anything) I think, is a positive attitude. Don’t try and make it like it was. Be thankful that you are diagnosed, that in this day and age we have so many choices, for that matter that we even have food on our table.
    God put us each on our journey for a reason, find what yours is and live it.
    Bloom where you are planted…..

  140. Sara

    LOVE creme fraiche! The owner of the company I work for is gluten-free and it’s been fun finding blogs with recipes we can try out for him. I’m on a mission to find the perfect muffin recipe that’s not so crumbly or gritty. Cookies seem to be a no-brainer, but have yet to find a good muffin recipe. Definitely gonna make this creme fraiche! YUM!

  141. Nina

    Very sensible – with the range of intolerances, allergies, and special diets out there, you can’t please everyone. I am always slightly disappointed when one of your recipes relies on some dairy product I can’t eat, but I don’t hold it against you! I think soya milk makes the best substitute for cow’s milk in cooking, but these days I find it doesn’t agree with me. You can get live soya yoghurt too and it’s quite nice, but again I’m not eating that at the moment. I use rice milk mostly – recently I’ve been making your soda bread with rice milk instead of the buttermilk, and it’s been good. I also sometimes use a dash of rice milk in scrambled eggs, and I always use it for pancakes. I tried hemp milk in pancakes the other day and it didn’t work – they had a strange dry/hard texture – but I like hemp milk for drinking plain and I imagine it would make good banana milkshakes. Butter’s harder to replace, especially if you don’t want to use hydrogenated fats, but I have occasionally made (admittedly quite odd!) pastry with oil. Anyone wanting to bake gluten-free and dairy-free cakes should try the book ‘Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache’ by Harry Eastwood. She uses vegetables instead of butter, would you believe, and the cakes are amazing. (Btw, all her cakes use egg so not good for vegans.) For creamy stews, creamed coconut is hard to beat.

  142. JoAnn O'Linger-Luscusk

    Shauna, I do love your recipes just exactly as they are! Even if I can’t eat some of them, I still enjoy reading your posts and looking at the lovely photos.

    I don’t wish to offend, but must say something about soy….NO ONE should be eating soy grown in this country! 93% of the soy grown in the USA is genetically modified; the published results of studies done on rodents that were fed GM soy are truly horrifying and indicate that GM soy may not only be bad for our health but may have catastrophic effects on our children and grandchildren!

    Please read the following article: Or google “hamster birth defects soy”, that will give you plenty to read!

    The other issue with soy is that soy phytoestrogens have been apparently causing puberty to occur earlier and earlier in American children. This is due to soy being added to almost EVERYTHING in our diets now, and also the fact that bottle-fed babies almost inevitably wind up on soy-based formulas. Girls as young as 8 years of age are experiencing their first menstrual cycles!

    Eating GM foods and substituting foods such as soy for the meat, fish, eggs, and poultry our bodies evolved on may have terrible consequences. I don’t wish to be an alarmist, but I’m a scientist and have become persuaded that for health reasons, the optimal human diet is similar to that of the typical hunter-gatherer….that is, a Paleo or Primal diet, such as that promoted by Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry.

    In any case, I don’t know if you will allow this comment to be seen on your website, but even if you alone read this, please check out the information on soy I have provided.

    Take care, and thanks again for your beautiful site and for the great recipes!

  143. Mandy

    i’m vegan because i love animals and as much as i’ve tried, i can’t reconcile myself to eating them, or the food that was meant for their babies, or really anything that exploits them for my personal gain. and i have celiac. when i first got diagnosed, i deveganed because i just couldn’t deal with it all. but i found my way back, and it’s good here.

    so, what i use completely depends on the recipe, but cashew cream and coconut milk are pretty vital. daiya cheese works well if it’s a supporting ingredient, but it doesn’t make a great star. it’s a christopher walken. in baking, i use flax/chia “eggs,” sometimes tofu, somtimes xanthan gum (which i know you don’t eat shauna!) and other things. applesauce, pumpkin… i’m creative that way.

    i was recently reading a mac and ‘shews recipe from isa chandra. it was very creative, using sauerkraut. in the comments, someone said “i really want to make this, but i don’t like mac and cheese. what would you suggest?” she said “hmm, do you like apples? have an apple.”

    it’s silly. you be you. post the lovely recipes that you post, and don’t worry too much about comments. that said, it’s SO cool when you post vegan stuff! so please do keep it up from time to time, okay?

  144. Siobhan

    This post is generating so much traffic, I am afraid my question as a dairy-eater will be lost, but I would like to know
    what do you mean by buttermilk?

    1. Coach Laura

      Siobhan, It’s a tart milk that is a fermented, acidic milk. In the U.S. it is sold in the grocery stores. If you’re in Europe or elsewhere, I’m not of much use. It’s traditional in Southern U.S. cooking.

  145. Coach Laura

    Siobhan, It’s a tart milk that is a fermented, acidic milk. In the U.S. it is sold in the grocery stores. If you’re in Europe or elsewhere, I’m not of much use. It’s traditional in Southern U.S. cooking.

  146. Eln

    Hello there,
    I’ve never tired any of your recipes (yet), my cooking/baking skills being as limited as they are but love reading your blog. And I don’t like creme fraiche – or lard and many other things you write about – but I loved this post, so refreshing! Please keep posting your recipes as they are, your stories as you want, and also, the videos are great 🙂
    best, eln

  147. Sarah

    Your are darned if you do and darned if you don’t.
    I LOVE your website and can’t wait for each new post.
    Keep on doing what you are doing!

  148. Carly Marie

    First, thank you for this post. You can’t be all things to all people. But your blog is invaluable, and the care you put into each post is obvious.

    Earth Balance has saved my life as far as baking goes. I tend to cook with olive oil and have always enjoyed oil and vinegar as a dressing in lieu of dairy-based dressings. Being lactose-intolerant has its frustrating moments, as I’m sure any sort of intolerance or allergy does. But it’s not a tragedy as so many cheese-loving friends tend to think it is. I’ve made many interesting discoveries too about what actually contains lactose, and what my body can generally tolerate. Yogurt tends to be fine, so Greek yogurt has become a substitute for sour cream, cream fraiche, and the like. Well-aged cheeses, like sharp Cheddar, contain no lactose, so if I’m really craving cheese, I treat myself to a nice 2-year aged Cheddar (Sugarbush Frams from Vermont is my favorite). I’ve found that Tofutti cream cheese is great for thickening sauces, and I add it to marinara to make a creamy tomato for serving with pasta. I’ve come to enjoy soy milk more than I ever did milk, and a Starbucks soy milk latte is a regular indulgence. Otherwise, I experiment, I play, and I find I am much healthier for relying less on packaged foods and cooking real food. The only thing I ever really miss is pizza, and luckily there is a nearby vegan pizza place for when the cravings get unbearable.

  149. Erin

    Firstly, you should know, you are amazing!
    Secondly, I’ll have to jump on the coconut oil train. It’s been very useful to me and I can swap it out by the exact measurement of oils or solid fats in all the recipes I’ve used on your website (haven’t braved yeast breads yet) I can eat dairy sometimes, but the real reason I’ve kept using coconut oil is that the fat seems to soften down and really glue the ingredients together. I don’t use gums, and sometimes using butter with all those already crumbly-friendly flours are still a little too crumbly … butter is friendly to this pocket of tasty fat goodness, but not, i’ve seen as helpful as the coconut oil to making all the ingredients cling together.
    Plus, it has a very nice taste (:
    Thank you!!! You have empowered my family and I to bravely transistion all of our favorite recipes to gluten free and even dairy free as needed.
    Cheers, friend!

  150. Cindy in Albuqeurque

    I just had to write – I have more trouble with dairy than with wheat (not celiac but cutting it way back) but PLEASE just write about your PASSION. I think your book – and the philosophy behind it of celebrating what you can have rather than what you can’t – has had a much greater effect on me than wondering how or if I can substitute almond milk or soy for one recipe. I read your blog and recipes and want to go out and enjoy myself rather than feeling sorry for myself that I’m not like “everyone else.” I don’t want to lose that!

  151. Mila

    Oh, I can relate so well. I worked for the past year in a new/only designated gluten-free bakery and within a very short time there were all these demands. Can’t you make it dairy, soy,almond, SUGAR free? Now, come on this is a bakery, SUGAR free? Then came the oh, we can’t have amarynth, hemp, flax. Anyway, I am so glad you are doing what you’re doing.
    Celebrating food and showing all of us the true joy of preparing food for our family and friends. Love your website.

  152. Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    I stopped eating dairy entirely over 20 years ago due to a severe lactose intolerance. If I had even a small serving, within hours I would be afflicted with horrible stomach cramps, blinding headache, diarrhea, exhaustion. It was awful. But once I learned that by avoiding dairy I could feel really great, it was wonderful. And has caused me to be much more aware of everything I eat – junk food went out the window with the dairy, since so much of it contains lactose or dried milk. I’ve become a much healthier person over the last 20 years as a result.

    But a couple years ago, an acquaintance suggested I try raw (unpasteurized) milk. There is a great organic, raw milk producer here in Cal. So I did. Since then, I have found that I can have raw cheese and raw milk with absolutely no side effects. To my amazement, I was completely fine. How could that be? I believe the natural enzymes and bacteria (that would otherwise be killed by pasteurizing) allow me to digest these products. I can also have small amounts of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk products. After going without cheese for so many years, this is a wonderful thing.

    I still make many of my recipes with soy or rice milk (soy seems to work better for baking). And I make a great dairy-free lasagna by subbing crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast flakes, and soy milk bechamel for the ricotta. But it’s really nice to be able to have dairy again. Maybe this was my body’s way of telling me to avoid processed foods? Or maybe we all have these negative reactions to certain foods like wheat or pasteurized dairy because we are destined to eat a more varied, natural diet… better for us, better for the planet. We’re not afflicted, we’re advanced! 😉

  153. Lactard

    I have been lactose since I was a child (though I didn’t know it until I was in College!) and I love cheese 🙁

    This dilhema led to lots of research and this is what I found. The older and harder the cheese, the better. Many types of cheeses cheese have only trace amounts of lactose in them (similar to yogurt) because of the way that they are processed/aged.

    Hope this helps!!!

  154. MellyMel

    To Shauna –
    Stay true to your own creativity. We’ll make our own substitutions based on your enthusiastic, creative writing.
    To the others –
    Thanks for the ideas – my mom is getting testier 🙂 about her severe lactose intolerance so I forwarded some of your ideas – the creativity of the internet world is always fascinating to me – keep up the experimentations!
    PS – the lactose-free milk we can find at our local grocery store works great as well for my mom’s dairy-free chai tea mix 🙂

  155. Victoria

    I’m a few days late to the party, but after we discovered hubby was lactose senstive and cut out milk, now it even affects me (since we’ve reduced so much). I have found using soy or coconut milk CREAMER is a very nice substitute for milk products in all sorts of recipes (comes in plain or vanilla!). It’s a lot thicker than soy or coconut MILK, so it seems to be a better substitute in many recipes. We still eat cheeses – mostly aged, which don’t bother us too much.

    We also found out (through muslce-testing by our kinesiologist) that hubby should stay away from wheat gluten (but can handle other grains) so we’re trying to eliminate wheat gluten from our diets. And I’m sensitive to too mugh sugar, so we’ve substituted Xylitol or Erythritol for sugar in most recipes. Works well for us!

  156. Sarah

    Shauna, I love your blog. Just the way it is. Please just cook things that you love and enjoy; and for those of us who cannot eat what you’ve made we can live vicariously through your images and descriptions 🙂 I love that no food is off limits to you guys unless there are allergies or intolerances for you and your family. I love your celebration of food. I’m so pleased you’re not becoming a healthy living blog, I am SO tired of them. Healthy means so many different things to different people. And high-five for everything in moderation! I wish I had your fearlessness and freedom in trying different foods. You inspire me. Ok, rant over. Lots of love x

  157. Sarah

    PS I can’t tolerate lactose but luckily cheddar and many other cheeses are virtually lactose-free, as is butter; happy days x

  158. Kristen

    Ya know, your post reminds me of that old (70’s?) song: “you can’t please everyone so you might as well please yourself”. I think that’s how it goes anyway. For all those people who need modifications to your recipes (myself included) should make their own! You often talk about confidence in the kitchen afterall, so those people should be writing you WITH their own modifications instead of insisting you do it for them. Just keep doing what you’re doing b/c you are obviously doing something right!

  159. Sue

    Well said. As another once put it: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

  160. nikki

    I wonder if you have to use real buttermilk, or if I could do a substitue…. cause I’m allergic to milk. do i buy buttermilk or do the lemon combo?
    and should we fridge it after it thickens?

  161. Rachel L.

    I have tried to go without cow dairy for the past 9 months to see if it’s a migraine trigger. I sometimes have butter, maybe twice a month, but otherwise I have avoided cow’s milk and cheese. I like Blue Diamond almond milk (vanilla) for drinking and cereal. Silk’s unsweetened version is also good, but thicker – so for me, it works better in hot beverages. I have never been able to like soy milk. I seem to be OK with sheep (Manchego & Romano cheese are favorites)/goat items. I haven’t tried baking without regular butter, but I like Earth Balance’s soy-free spread. I don’t think I’m “lactose-intolerant” but my migraines are much less severe.

  162. Jennifer

    Hear Hear!! It’s your blog, and one of the most beautiful out there, and you don’t need to act like anyone’s nutritionist. I’m always amazed by how you make the most incredible things gluten free! I agree that making food from scratch is a big money saver. I want to start making sourdough soon and I’m playing around with mascarpone, although so far it’s more like thick cream!

  163. Amanda F

    If you need gluten free dairy free receipes – has a lot. Angela doesn’t use dairy at all, she is allergic to dairy & has celiac.

    Shauna – just wanted to say I *heart* your website, your receipes make my mouth water everytime! Thanks for making us think out side the box!

  164. KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

    I’ve done DF before and used a lot of almond milk (I don’t personally love soy milk straight) and used mayo to make things creamy. My skin was clearer and tummy better but I just LOVE cheese and yogurt too much to give it up forever. If I could find a nearby source for goat milk I would try making yogurt with it (I love making my own yogurt). But so far, I’ve not found any that doesn’t require an hours drive. I’m not DF now but I do still drink almond milk if I eat cereal in the morning or in coffee or cooking. I think it’s a great milk sub. I have no idea what one would sub for cream though. I know people who have made whipped cream with coconut milk but I’ve yet to try it.

  165. Toni

    I’ve never left a note here before but felt this might require a response. I completely agree with your attitude of ‘this is my blog and I like this food’. If people want a healthy eating blog then there are plenty out there. However, I should admit that I read your blog because my mother and my father in law are both Celiacs, so I cook a lot of gluten free produce. However, my main culinary obstacle is that my husband is cow’s milk protein intolerant (to the point that I can’t stir his tea with my spoon without making him sick for 6 days). Needless to say everything I make except my tea and coffee is dairy free. Here’s what I generally do to all recipes I find and like to try:

    1. Substitute butter with a hard dairy-free baking margarine (in the UK most supermarkets doe their own brand baking margarine, however, the only one guarenteed dairy free is Tescos).
    2. Use Vitalite instead of soft margarine.
    3. Substitute milk for oat/rice/soya milk. I stay away from soya milk unless I really feel it would be the best substitute by a long way, partly because apparently my husband comes from a family where everyone has allergies, and I understand soya allergies are on the rise, and removing that completely from his diet would be, well, difficult, so lets not push it. I use oat milk for savoury recipes and rice for sweets as it sweetens savoury recipes too much, but otherwise has a nicer taste than out milk.
    4. Cream – we can get goats milk cream which my husband is fine with, but it is difficult to get and expensive, and has a very strong taste. In general we “don’t do” cream. I normally find a different way of doing it (dairy free creme patisserie or Italian meringue buttercream are two of my favourite options).
    5. Buttermilk – I use alpro (soya) yoghurt with lemon juice. It always seems to work fine. No problems yet.

    So far nothing has been a disaster, though a few things have required more than one variety. One thing I do miss is cream, and the topping to cheesecakes never comes out right. I also miss milk chocolate – the soya ‘milk’ chocolate is awful, but most culinary recipes are actually best with a good dark chocolate which is naturally dairy free.

    Hope that helps – feel free to share this with others. What I can say is that as a woman with no food intolerances (with the possible exception of an intense dislike of all things mushroom related), I get no greater pleasure than creating food for people with allergies that they thought they would never be able to eat again. I’m pretty sure that’s how I got my husband to fall in love with me 😉

  166. Toni

    Oh I should mention cheese. My husband and I both love cheese and luckily he can eat non-cows milk cheese (sheeps/goats/buffalo – though the buffalo is in moderation only). So I use a creamy goats cheese for things like cheesecake and it is utterly devine. Hard cheeses make infinitely superior macaroni cheese in my opinion, and you can make a truly delicious 4 cheese pizza easily with all the different cheeses out there. I think if it was a truly dairy free regime we were in I would massively crave cheese. But goat’s milk cheese suits me fine!

  167. Dave

    I’m have celiacs and am in denial about a probably dairy allergy. I’ve been trying to eat a lower carb, Zone-ish, paleo-ish diet. Fortunately, I’m a big carnivore, so I can usually make due by going the meat and two veggies route for most meals.

    I try to reduce the amount of dairy I eat when it’s easy and makes sense, and just eat dairy and suffer when it doesn’t. To that end I’ve found that ghee doesn’t bother me as much as butter (in fact, high fat dairy in general bothers me less that low fat). I’ve switched to coconut milk as a cream replacement. For cheese I’ve moved to either goat or harder cow cheeses.

  168. Johanna GGG

    I am vegetarian and I am used to converting meat recipes to vegetarian or being inspired by them if I really like the other flavours – it surprises me people who expect everything to be set out for them. As for dairy substitutes I quite like tofu with nutritional yeast flakes, miso and lemon instead of ricotta. I have also veganised a nut loaf with egg and cottage cheese lately by omitting them and using silken tofu instead.

    However I wanted to make another point. No matter how much you try and give people alternatives, there is always someone else. I partly say this coming from Australia where there are lots of dairy/meat substitutes in America that just aren’t available to us here (and vice versa).

  169. Lynn

    I have been dairy-free longer than gluten-free–about six years. I didn’t discover the gluten issue until a year ago. I am allergic to casein, and my reaction is a very rare intestinal response–most with my allergy go into anaphylactic shock. I consider myself very lucky that accidental consumption of dairy does not kill me.

    Anyway, how do I live without dairy? Firstly, I avoid cooking that revolves around cheese or a cream sauce. I haven’t figured out how to replace those items well. Sometimes I can leave the cheese out and the recipe is still very good. But for baking, I have found that Silk Pure Almond milk is my best friend. I use it for pretty much anything I would have used milk for. I have used soy and coconut yogurt, but the expense is more than I am willing to pay. In dishes that would react well, I use coconut milk. We love coconut milk ice cream around here.

    1. Lynn

      Let me add, I rarely use a margarine-like butter substitute when I need solid fat. For cooking or baking, I mostly use oil–olive oil for cooking, peanut or canola for baking. If I must have solid fat, I use lard or coconut oil (which melts at 76 degrees . . . so I refrigerate it in the summer). I just don’t care for Earth Balance or the like–the product just doesn’t taste right to me.

  170. Sarah

    We use a whole gammet of things in our house!

    The spice of life is variety they say, so…
    almond breeze milk is nice and thick for baking
    oat milk is the preference of one of my boys that we did a blind taste test to get a smile
    all butter is goat butter in our house and you know what, it is white (no dye!)
    goat cheddar, feta and gouda
    goat yogurt with maple syrup, to die for!
    coconut ice cream or sorbet
    solid coconut oil melted for baking is fantastic

    We tend to buy things that have the least ingredients possible in them. One of the problems with “replacements” is that they fill them with too many ingredients and forget about whole food.

  171. B rian

    I don’t know what I’d do without coconut milk! New to the site and gluten and dairy free diet. This site is excellent!

  172. Edwina

    Shauna, I love your blog and your pictures which I must say have taken a turn since being on Creative Live with Penny DLS. Just beautiful! I have candida and therefore have been eating gluten free for a little while now and my body loves it! I found out today that my 11 year old son (who constantly suffers from various skin issues, wheeziness, asthma and mood swings) has now been diagnosed with candida (therefore no sugar for the next three months – info on my blog about candida and the symptoms), is highly allergic to gluten, eggs and cow’s milk and has to avoid yeast!!!! How in the world do I handle this? How on earth do you bake without eggs? All my gluten free bread recipes call for eggs. I am still trying to come to terms with all this, which for someone who is very conscious about the health benefits and pitfalls of food has all come as a complete shock and am now forced to review everything I know about food. Please send help and advise if you can:)

  173. Mary

    Shauna, one of the things I like best about your blog since discovering it a couple of months ago is how you don’t simply come out with a recipe that says “do it like this.” You encourage us and even give us the tools to be able to substitute what we can when we have to! I can take what I learn here about ratios, baking by weight, and the properties of food and flours out to any recipe, any kitchen, and make it my own. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Thumbs down to anyone who is critical of you for putting in ingredients you and your family (and many of us!) can enjoy.

  174. Carolyne Thrasher

    Just wanted to chime in here. First I’m glad you made the resolution you made. People always want things to be “figured out” for them instead of doing the hard work. What you are doing here is not so much giving recipes as you are giving “methods” and that is one of the reasons I love your site and come back here over and over. I can eat gluten/wheat. I can’t eat dairy or eggs (much). It doesn’t matter when I read your recipes because I have taken the time to educate myself on what happens when I bake something. I’m not a chemist, I have a high school education, and I’ve never attending a single cooking class. If people who have allergies would take the time to understand the principles and ratios of cooking, they would find an amazing world opening up all around them. Limitless possibilities. I’ve read your first book. It was very inspiring and eye opening. There is so much more to this world than our limitations if we only take the time to educate ourselves. Thank you for helping “enlighten” us!

  175. amaya

    THANK YOU for this great blog with such a lot of wonderful recipes and for this post!
    As I’m gluten and dairy-free too, I usually use almond puree (or almond butter) and olive oil as substitutes for butter in the cakes, cookies, tart crust or crumbles. It works really great !
    I also use silky tofu to sometimes replace cheese, for example to fill eggplant with a mix of silky tofu+aromatic herbs (basil, thyme,…)+garlic+onion+salt+olive oil+cooked flesh of the eggplant, and then in the oven.
    And I heard (but never tried) that you can use coconut cream or cocoa butter to make whipped cream.
    Here are some interesting links about the use of almond butter and cocoabutter. I’m sorry, they are in french, but with you can read them in english too 😉

  176. Zoe

    Homemade coconut yogurt: full fat coconut milk cultured with dairy-free probiotic supplements. Pure elation.

  177. Gwen Schweitzer

    I know I’m late coming to this party (Shauna, you mentioned years ago you may do dairy-free baking, and I’ve been glad to see it!), but I’ve found coconut milk to be a good baking substitute. In particular, coconut milk plus lemon juice makes a creamy buttermilk, better than soy. I’ve also had pretty good luck using thicker coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. Cheese is the trickiest thing to substitute, but I’ve accepted it. And tofu makes an AMAZING chocolate mousse.

  178. Felice

    Do you let it sit on the counter at room temp or sit on the counter in the fridge? Won’t it go bad? 🙂

  179. Beverly Kendrick

    I’m looking for a breakfast/brunch cassoreole that is dairy free, nut free, gluten free, soy free, and rice free.I hope I have included everything that needs to be left out for a special brunch we are having at church.

    Can you help me out?I need it for Nov.2011.

    I’m recommending this website to people who have children with allergies.I have have a ton myself.

    Thank you.

  180. Beverly Kendrick

    I discovered this website by accident.I want to explore it more to find recipes I can eat.I’m looking for a good bread recipethat doesn’t use wheat products, rice, soy, or flax.I have picked up some good ideas from this site.
    I have learned when I I throw the egg whites away, I can eat eggs.
    Thank you for all of the help.


  181. denise

    I am gluten free and cow’s milk free. Have you tried working with goat’s milk, there are soooo many cheeses that are made with goats milk now. Trader Joe’s carries a fairly inexpensive cheddar and gouda which are really good and goats milk pretty much drinks like cow’s milk, at least I think so. PCC markets even carries a goat ricotta and mozzerella, so I can make my favorite lasagna recipe now with some substitutions. I am on a journey of cooking as well and if I discover some great trick or recipe I will be sure to share it.

  182. marlo

    Hi, glad to have found your recipes. We use almond or coconut milk as our alternative mostly. I do use butter still in baking. No soy as it’s a nutrient blocker and mineral stealer. I am looking for an alternative to butter.

  183. Bodi

    Hey Shauna,

    I too have succumbed to the delights of crème fraîche. I took a class this past summer and learned how to make it- then, looking around, discovered it’s very hard to find it in stores around here anyhow …

    But making it at home is even easier than most people think. You don’t need to shake it, just stir it. And if you’ve got some on hand, starting a new batch is even easier, because you can use a spoonful of the current crème to start the next batch (IE, you don’t even need the buttermilk!).

    Cultured buttermilk works better than the stuff one tends to find in the grocery store, too.

  184. Joanne

    Yea – you go girl! I use your wonderful recipes for ideas and as a guide – I then modify depending on my needs/tastes. You can’t adjust for every need out there. It’s up to us to use your foundation of knowledge and creativity then customize for our own needs.

    I love your recipes!

  185. janet pelletier

    I know I am very late to the party but I feel the need to comment at this late date. Thank you for providing the opportunity to hear from so many knowledgeable people with a great deal of helpful advice to offer on how to be dairy free. I am grateful for that. I do object, however, to being considered a whiner by other readers because I would enjoy dairy free versions of the fabulous recipes on this website. It is really a compliment to the high quality of the recipes found here that I very much want to be able to eat them in a dairy free version. Having said that, cooking is a huge, unpleasant struggle for me and and experimenting is usually unsuccessful. To ask if a dairy free version is possible is not to denigrate the great amount of work already being done by Shauna and Danny, nor is it a shirking of my responsibility for my health needs. I, like other gluten free, dairy free people, am just looking for food that is healthy and tastes good, despite my dietary and culinary shortcomings.

  186. Sandra

    Just finding your website after finding out yesterday that, yes, I have a gluten sensitivity. Was actually much higher than I anticipated. So far I am enjoying your website and trying to get a handle on everything that I can and cannot eat. It’s going to be really hard…no gluten, no dairy (already knew that part) and now also no eggs! I did have to laugh though while reading this particular post. I had previously read the article about living gluten free and how people will look at you like you are crazy and not really believe you when you say you can’t eat something. You were trying to be supportive and basically said that we would feel like kicking them in the knees (or something along that line). I then proceeded to this blog and then read where you got angry when people found things wrong with the recipes that you worked so hard on and they would ask how to change the recipe and make it without “??”. Aren’t you having the same reaction as the other person that doesn’t understand the no gluten?? : ) I’m sure it is frustrating! However, I think I’m a bit more frustrated and overwhelmed trying to find something gluten free, dairy free, and egg free! UGH!!

    1. bob

      Sandra – I understand about finding things you can eat being hard! I have MANY intolerances.
      I find that reading these blogs helpful for ideas:, and are gluten, dairy and egg free. The is gluten, dairy free, and many recipes are egg free or have substitutes (increasingly so). ( is gluten free, mostly dairy free and often egg free. I love Kristin’s posts, so I had to include her blog in this list!) I find that raw blogs (such as are also fairly safe. Raw desserts are some of the most delicious! I’m sure there are more suitable blogs/places for inspiration out there, but these are the ones from off the top of my head.

  187. Jennie

    I am lucky that I am able to eat hard cheeses but anything containing lactose is out, due to strictly following a low FODMAP diet.

    A really good cream substitute called Mimiccreme, is available in health food markets.

    I use plain soymilk or almond milk in place of cow’s milk.

    A buttermilk substitute is simple: one teaspoon vinegar plus non dairy milk to equal one cup. Let this mixture sit at least five minutes before you plan to use it.

    You can substitute one tsp. flaxseed plus 3 tsp. water for each egg in a recipe. Should turn out the same.

    Vanilla flavored soy yogurt and Tofutti cream cheese are wonderful, and always end up in my shopping basket.

    1. bob

      I always thought it was 1 Tbs meal to 3 Tbs water? This made sense to me, since the eggs we usually buy are ~1/4 cup.

  188. Mish

    I stumbled upon this site while searching for info since my 4 year old was just diagnosed as having Celiac Disease. I love your philosophy about pleasing everyone. There’s always someone who can’t eat something. I’ve learned how to adapt recipes myself and be adventurous. I’ve had plenty of failures, but also plenty of successes too! You can do it!

    As for the dairy, COCONUT is the answer to all our lactose issues here 🙂 We use coconut milk (both canned and the kind you get in the fridge section) and coconut oil almost exclusively! Coconut milk ice cream is awesome. I even made coconut milk creme brulee last week, which was sublime! There are very few times that I miss milk. Cheese on the other hand, I could not live without. Luckily most hard cheeses are lactose free!

  189. Maegen

    I’ve recently started cooking gluten free, but we’ve been dairy free for a while as my 3 year old son is allergic.. When baking I’ll often replace the egg with either apple sauce/banana or a mixture of water oil and cornstarch… and when it comes to milk I use coconut, either the carton to keep in the fridge or the cream that comes in the cans… I also have used rice milk and almond milk, but I find them on the sweeter side… the carton of coconut milk (either by Silk or So Delicious) I find doesn’t make savory dishes sweeter… if I”m making a “cream” soup I’ll often blend some potato and thin it out with the stock of the soup, it gives it a “creamy” texture and taste… also I often replace milk in recipes with either stock or water.. or other flavorful liquids depending on the recipe.. I tend to mix and match and experiment… going Dairy Free has been a fun exploration of food, and I am enjoying delving into Gluten Free as well 🙂 (Not to mention, I feel better!! I didn’t know it was possible!!!)

  190. Miriamrae

    Hey all! I just got test results back on my three kids and we all have to go gluten-free. However, my middle son also has a casein, whey, egg, and all nut allergy to accompany his now gluten-free lifestyle. Needless to say, I’m looking at a crazy set of foods to prepare for my family. I’m confident in my crative cooking and baking abilities, as I have been dealing with all of his other allergies for over 5 years now. Here are a few things that help us out (I appologize if they were already mentioned, as I did not read every comment listed).

    1. Rice Krispies treats made with Fruity Pebbles (which are gf) and Earthbalance are an amazing substitute for a kid-friendly dessert. You can even put frosting on them as there are many g/f and dairy free frostings. Just make sure you are using a g/f cereal. Regular Rice Krispies are not g/f.

    2. Pumpkin, banana, and applesauce are fabulous subs for a fat in a recipe. I’ve used them in cakes and muffins and breads. This also works really well for g/f breads.

    3. I make a second dish identical to the first but without dairy. I know this is a lot of work and most are not up for it, but then my little guy doesn’t feel left out at all. I do this for all family gatherings too.

    4. Get family and friends educated well before you ever get together with them for gatherings or holidays. It saves embarrassing the person who haves the dietary restrictions being pointed out (if that sentence makes any sense).

    Thanks for all of your work on this blog, its amazing and will be a go-to website for my fledgling gluten-free’ers. =0)

  191. Merrilyn

    My second son has been GF DF for 9 years. I’m *still* learning. Can’t do the nut butter/tofu thing due to other allergies in the home.
    Besides what I’ve seen above, a few things I’ve picked up
    1) Hemp Milk bakes better than any other alternative milk. Believe me, I’ve tried them *all*.
    2) Grannysmith applesauce is a great yogurt/buttermilk substitute.
    3) Vitamin C crystals are your friend, when all else fails and you want something with a bit of tang.
    4) Spectrum shortening will sub okay for butter in most recipes. Saute w/ oil instead. (remember to reduce the amount since butter is part water.) When desperate, although not the healthiest, we use Fleishmanns unsalted sticks or Best Life sticks. Both are dairy free margarines that don’t break the bank.
    5) We’ve pretty much given up on cheese. He’s never had it so he doesn’t miss it.

  192. Marla

    Hi! My son has life threatening dairy and sesame allergies. He and I are completely dairy free (I just want to give him a little solidarity), and I have started a blog about it. I actually did a dairy free buttermilk challenge that will tell you how to make a very convincing dairy free buttermilk (the best was with soy milk and white vinegar, but there are many more that are very good as well). We use Earth Balance dairy free butter for everything- they also have a soy free spread. I have been using coconut oil quite a bit lately too. As for a dairy free cream, pop a can of coconut milk into the fridge to set for about a half hour, and scoop out the white thick cream. Put some vanilla in and confectioner’s sugar and whip it up for a few minutes. It is absolutely delicious. I would love for you to check out my blog!

    1. Marla

      Oh yes, I use oat milk (great for pancakes), hemp milk, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, and soy milk. There are so many dairy free options out there these days. I have no idea how people went dairy free even 15 years ago…

  193. Amanda

    I know this is a REALLY late comment, but I wanted to point out a few of my go-to items:
    -DariFree non-dairy powdered milk. I use this in recipes that call for powdered milk as well as for making my own instant hot cocoa mix.

    -Earth Balance buttery spread. I prefer the soy free one because I find the original to be touch-and-go when it comes to the soy taste.

    -For milk, I use almond milk (I prefer Silk PureAlmond), rice milk, and coconut milk (SoDelicious brand,I use the carton kind, but not the canned kind. The canned kind, to me, tastes too coconutty and is too fatty. SoDelicious also has some yummy flavored milks, at least some of which are seasonal (pumpkin spice: be still my beating heart), and Silk PureAlmond’s dark chocolate milk is amazing. I am not a milk drinker and never have been, but I do now occasionally with these yummy flavored milks. They’re such a treat! The only thing that I’ve found that dairy-free milk DOESN’T work well in is instant pudding. There’s some significance to the dairy proteins there or something, because it simply doesn’t set.

    -I had pretty much written off yogurt, but I recently discovered almond milk yogurt (which was delicious in a couple different brands) and just picked up some coconut milk yogurt from SoDelicious, which I anticipate will be good since the other products from them are.

    -For ice cream, there’s a TON of different ones based on almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk. I find the rice dream/almond dream ones to teeter between okay and good, whereas the coconut milk ones haven’t failed me yet. I’ve only tried one hemp milk one, and it was magnificent (mint chip!)

    -For whipped cream topping, I use Rich’s whip. It’s in the freezer section and is kept frozen until you are going to use it. You thaw it in the fridge and then just whip it up with your mixer like you would cream. The taste is very similar to Cool Whip before they started using real milk. There’s also a carton whipped topping that I purchased but haven’t tried yet, so I’ll have to report back on that one.

    -For cooking cream, Mimicreme is great. Depending on the type of recipe, I also love SoDelicious coconut milk creamer (this stuff is also great in hot cocoa in any number of flavors…yum).

    -Tofutti has a cream cheese and sour cream that both work well in strongly flavored dips, but personally, I can’t eat any of them plain on top of a bagel/baked potato/etc. The soy taste is too prominent for me.

    -HOWEVER…Trader Joe’s has a dairy-free cream cheese spread that I recently discovered through a friend. It tastes VERY close to the real thing.

    -SoDelicious also has a cultured coconut milk. I haven’t tried it, but I haven’t tried Kefir either. If you previously consumed Kefir, I’d imagine it’d be a good one to try, since plain coconut milk of that brand is good.

    -Nutritional yeast flakes can add a “cheezy” (note I said “cheezy,” not “cheesy”) flavor to dishes. I say cheezy with a z because it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like cheese, but it adds enough of a cheese element to keep from feeling ENTIRELY deprived.

    -I almost keeled over when I discovered, through a friend, Galaxy Foods’ Vegan grated parmesan cheese. It smells like parmesan cheese, and it tastes like parmesan cheese. I mean, it tastes enough like it that I’d sprinkle it in garlic toast, on my spaghetti, etc., not just bury it in a dish. It’d be great in a spinach and artichoke dip with the Trader Joe’s “cream cheese” spread.

    -I have heard good things about Daiya, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I tried some vegan soy American cheese slices once and the first taste was so bad, I haven’t dared to try another dairy-free cheese since…but with all the successes I’ve been having lately, I picked up a bag of some soy-based shredded cheese (a blend) this evening. If it’s great, I’ll report back.

    -For those who can have goat milk products, um…hello! There’s some really yummy goat cheeses. I am not sure whether or not I should be eating goat milk products (I am dairy-free as a result of Lyme disease, so I’ve never had any formal food allergy testing or anything) so I tend to avoid them except for the occasional treat. That said, Trader Joe’s has a wild blueberry vanilla goat chevre that is to die for. Some of that spread on top of a gluten-free graham cracker fulfills my every cheesecake craving.

    -I rarely cook with anything other than oil. I typically use olive oil, but also sometimes use safflower. I recently learned a lot more about the (lack of) health benefits of canola oil, so I just try to stick to the above as well as coconut oil (except in Earth Balance because there isn’t a version without the less healthy oils in it). I do some baking with Earth Balance but sometimes use oil or applesauce in place of the butter, depending on the recipe. For the most part, when I use Earth Balance, it’s probably as a spread on top of something: toast, a baked potato, brushed on a freshly baked soft gluten-free pretzel, etc.

    -For the person who commented on not having a dairy-free option when going out for ice cream, perhaps you can convince your partners-in-dine to hit a frozen yogurt bar. It still tastes delicious, you get to choose exactly what you want, you can mix and match flavors, it’s healthier, and for us dairy-free folks, there is almost ALWAYS at least one dairy-free sorbet option and plenty of topping options including fresh fruits, nuts, candies, etc. My favorites are the watermelon sorbet at any of the frozen yogurt bars, and the pineapple sorbet at Fiji. Mmmmmmm.

    -Of course, there’s also variations of these products in the form of make-it-yourself versions. You can make your own cashew cream with soaked cashews, you can make your own almond/rice milk, etc.

  194. Kae

    Thank you for this website! After discovering I was was gluten sensitive I quit cooking, it seemed like everything contained gluten! My boyfriend and love cooking together but with this sudden restriction I stopped even trying. After finding your website I feel like pulling out the pots and pans and cooking again, cooking food we both can enjoy and getting back to living! Thank you!

  195. Kristin

    Hi, I am fairly new to this website and I love the blog. I have gluten sensitivities with dairy and sulphite allergies that I have found so far. Thank you to everyone for writing in so I can figure out what I can eat and make and how I can make substitutions. Thank you.

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