The free from market can often be really confusing when you first get diagnosed whether it be with allergies, coeliac disease or even lifestyle. For all the reasons you might find yourself searching the aisles for the best products it can be a very stressful and long experience. I have been a coeliac since I was two and have spent many a moment trying to find the best milk for my tea or the best bread for toast so I hope that this list of products gives you a bit more time for yourself and less time wondering round supermarkets overloaded with ingredients:
Milk is such an important part of everyday life but what to choose there are so many types do you go for almond, coconut, rice, hemp the list is endless… When Little Duck was small we tried many options and as we had to be soya free to it was something that became more restricted. We also had to have a nut free option for nursery so we opted for KOKO milk once she was old enough of course*. The best part about KOKO milk is that the coconut flavour is very faint so is perfect for all round use in the kitchen we have it our tea, on our cereal and I use it in all my baking to. They offer so many choices and even do small on the go packets for little ones in normal, strawberry and chocolate flavour (for that extra special treat).
Gluten Free Bread can be something of a discussion builder in the free from aisle it has definitely improved from my toddler days and no more a cardboard dry or crumbly mess. The selection available now is like magic to me I mean the days of heading to the pharmacy to get a loaf of vacuum packed bread are truly gone. However we struggled to find a bread that suited all our needs if they didn’t have egg they had soya in it was a real battle. But in the end we finally found Bfree Foods their bread is not just the only one readily available to us but also the best one I have tasted over all my 25 years of being a coeliac. Not only is there bread gluten free and egg free it is also dairy free, soya free plus being suitable for vegans. They offer a white bloomer, brown bloomer, bagels and wraps which can be bought in a wide range of supermarkets and in their online shop.
One thing I think any dairy free house will miss is cheese it is definitely been a hard one to replace and to be honest I wouldn’t say that anyone has really achieved the proper cheesy taste yet. We have never found a one cheese fits all yet and i doubt we will. For those who can have soya the market is huge there are various brands along with a new range in Tesco with the help from Bute Island Foods, but i’m sure as many of you are aware most of those who cant have dairy also can’t have soya. One of our favourite brands is Violife they offer a wide range of cheeses for all our needs a creamy as a good Philadelphia replacement, a cheddar for any melting needs on Nachos or a cauliflower cheese and there are also some special pizza cheeses available. If you are looking for a good Mozarrella replacement there is a really good and nice rice cheese by Mozzarisella which can be found on all Zizzis vegan pizzas. But the one cheese I really struggled to find a good replacement for was Parmesan I tried Violife’s and wasn’t keen it didn’t capture the real Parmesan taste for me but one that I really love is by Follow Your Heart it comes ready grated perfect to add to you bolognese and pasta dishes.
Yoghurts and Treats
Everybody loves a treat right, but when you have dietary requirements these can seem something of a challenge and often a chore as you may have to make them yourself the hours I spend baking are unreal. But for a quick and easy treat we love a yoghurt and our favourite brand has to be KOKO and they are so well priced to for just £1.25 for two yoghurts and come in various flavours they are a winner in our house. Unlike other coconut yoghurts these taste very much like the flavour they are meant to be and less like coconut, plus with the added benefit of the added calcium they are a perfect addition for growing little ones and those of us needing the extra boost.
For a more ice cream treat our favourite has to be Booja-Booja every flavour is made from just 5 ingredients with the main base being cashew (unfortunately not suitable for those with nut allergies) with so many flavours to choose its hard to pick a favourite but mine would have to be Hunky Punky Chocolate it really gives me that chocolate fix that im missing out on from being dairy free. For Little Duck her favourite would have to be Raspberry Ripple these are quite pricey so can seem a stretch for some but are definitely worth it for some cheaper ice cream brands we have tried the Alpro Hazelnut Chocolate Ice Cream which has memories of Nutella and Little Duck has a new love for 4U Free From Lion Ice Creams which are fun and free of all the things we have to avoid.
We all need a quick chocolate fix but if like us your dairy free that is something not readily available so I usually try and buy mine in bulk haha. My favourite of all has to be Booja-Booja truffles the flavour list is endless and you can get so many sizes and types for even nut free needs. I usually get mine in Wholefoods but they can also be found in Waitrose in the smaller packets but definitely get them hidden away from the rest of the family.
As much as Little Duck loves a good truffle I try to keep those for myself so we usually get her Moo Free chocolate bars which have a great range of all types from bars to drops, I have tried every flavour now and my fav and Little Ducks has to be Bunnycomb it tastes just like a Crunchie bar without the stuck in your teeth moments.
A cheap adult fix for me is the Tesco Dark Chocolate Mint Thins these do have a notice for may contain milk so wouldn’t be suitable for allergy sufferers. There cheap and super yummy just like a good After Eight I actually think their better myself as they have more chocolate and less filling then an after Eight.
Last but not least in my list is snacks….. I LOVE LOVE LOVE snacks of all kinds, nuts, crisps, pretzels I could go on and on. For those who can tolerate some soya there are some really good options on the market some of the best great for parties and movie watching is the Gratify Range they have lots of flavours available and can be readily found in Tesco and very often on a deal. Another good find in Tesco for cheap is their own dairy free Cheese Nachos which are perfect on their own or add some dairy free cheese (see above) some jalapenos, guacamole and your ready to go these are not only soya free but gluten free to and are a great price of just £1 a bag :O .
Of course an easy sweet treat is fruit in our house and homemade cakes and cookies which you can find a list of my recipes on the blog.
I hope that all of the above has been helpful to you I will be updating this every few months with any good finds I come across.
All Brands Mentioned can be found below:
Check out all my recipes using some of these great products here
*Please consult your paediatric doctor or dietician before giving any children under 2 dairy free milks as there main milk.