Newly diagnosed food allergy is often accompanied by a steep learning curve in family kitchens and grocery shopping experiences. In a part of the world where milk, cheese and yogurt are staples in the standard diet, finding out your child has a dairy allergy can be difficult for your little one, who not only is used to eating such things but also enjoys them regularly. If you cook with yogurt and/or offer it to your kid as a snack on a regular basis, you do not have to remove the creamy and slightly sour substance from his or her diet altogether when faced with a dairy allergy diagnosis. There are plenty of enjoyable dairy-free yogurt alternatives available today.
Store-Bought Dairy-Free Yogurt
Non-dairy yogurt alternatives are coming out of the woodwork, as lactose intolerance and milk allergy prevalence is on the rise. Here are some smooth and creamy commercial brands for you to try with your yogurt aficionado.
- Silk Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative: This is a very economical and sweet option.
- So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt with Cultured Coconut Milk: This product actually relies on coconut milk to create a creamy yogurt similar to dairy-filled yogurt.
- Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt: Many people who like this yogurt say it tastes similar to dairy yogurt.
- So Delicious Cultured Almond Milk Yogurt: This is another great option with six live active probiotic cultures, and it is sweetened with organic dried cane syrup.
- Stonyfield O’Soy Yogurt: Another great soy yogurt, this one comes in several fruit flavors.
Make Your Own Yogurt at Home
You can make your own homemade yogurt to sprinkle granola over, serve with fresh fruit or make a delicious home-baked, allergy-free treat like these Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins we have shared previously.
This recipe is ridiculously easy as it only calls for two ingredients. You only need coconut milk and probiotic capsules (so you can benefit from the positive probiotic properties of a balanced gut flora). To make dairy-free coconut milk yogurt, follow these steps:
- Pour a 14-ounce can of full fat coconut milk into a clean jar or glass bowl.
- Open two probiotic capsules (not pills) and pour in.
- Cover with a cheesecloth (secure with a rubber band if you like), set in a warm place (preferably 75 degrees F) and wait for it to activate for at least 24 to 48 hours. When finished, refrigerate until cold and enjoy! This keeps for up to 7 days.
You can add in whatever you like. If you need some ideas, try maple syrup, fruit, vanilla extract, nut butter or honey.
Substituting Yogurt in Recipes
If a recipe calls for yogurt, you do not have to throw it out with all of your milk products after your child is diagnosed with milk allergy. Plenty of recipes turn out great with dairy-free yogurt alternatives. In addition to store-bought and homemade dairy-free yogurts, these yogurt substitutions may come in handy.
One alternative you can rely on when yogurt is called for in sauces, baked goods and dressings is a buttermilk alternative. To make it, simply add 2 to 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tartar to a measuring cup then add enough plain or unsweetened milk alternative (such as rice, almond, soy, oat, etc.) to make one full cup. You can then substitute this buttermilk alternative for yogurt at a 1:1 ratio, meaning if the recipe calls for ½ cup of yogurt, you can sub ½ cup of buttermilk alternative.
Coconut cream is another wonderful yogurt alternative when baking and cooking. Coconut cream can be obtained by allowing a can of full fat coconut milk to settle at room temperature for about an hour. The cream will rise to the top, and you can skim it off. This alternative also can substitute for yogurt using a ratio of 1:1.
Medium-firm silken tofu can also be used as a yogurt alternative and purees into a smooth consistency. This is a great option for heartier dishes and can also be subbed with a 1:1 ratio.