My husband has just drawn my attention to something I’ve forgotten to mention so far in my recipe posts … none of them contain ‘actual’ milk. So I thought that might be worth writing about.
I suffer from various food intolerance and my husband’s stomach can’t seem to tolerate any dairy products so we use alternatives in our every day lives: soya milk and vitalite are the main ones.
Most people turn their noses up at soya milk, but it’s usually because they’ve had the sweetened type rather than the non-sweetened. We like any supermarket branded value/smart price ‘Unsweetened Soya’ at 59p a litre. You can stock pile it in your cupboards and never run out! And it has plenty of calcium and vitamin D so your bones will be happy too
Don’t get me wrong, I do love my Dolce Gusto coffee machine which uses cow’s milk, and a hot piece of toast with real butter on top is delicious (even if it gives me a rash!), but for cooking purposes – whether it’s for cakes or white sauce for lasagne – vitalite or dairy free sunflower spread works just as well. I use it to grease the cake tins and for the ingredients themselves. I guess butter icing should be called ‘vitalite icing’ in our house!
So if you look back at my 5 recipes so far, whenever I’ve listed milk or butter, I’ve always substituted them for the soya or sunflower alternative and the results are just as delicious.
When I’ve made birthday cakes for friends and I know we are going to be eating some of the cake with them, I don’t tell them it’s dairy free until they’ve eaten a slice – they always say they never would have known as there’s no difference at all in the flavour or texture of the cake.
When we first started using soya milk I was frightened that I’d never be able to have my favourite yorkshire puddings any more as I didn’t think soya milk would work the same magic as cow’s milk – making them rise and go crispy on the top yet be nice and stodgy at the bottom. How wrong I was: just look at this picture of when I made us a roast dinner last Sunday:
A trick I learned from a friend of mine is to use a deep muffin tray. This seems to keep them stodgy. And they rose really well – always have a very hot oven and use very hot oil my husband’s always telling me. I’d better not put the rest of my husband’s Yorkshire pudding tips or he’ll tell me off for giving away his family secrets! I don’t think generations in the past would ever have used soya milk but it really works if you can’t tolerate milk.
I hope this post is useful both to those who struggle with dairy products like us; and for those who are lucky enough to eat everything with no problems, this may be helpful if you have any ‘dairy intolerant’ friends or family if you never know what to make for them when they come over for dinner. The answer is to make exactly the same as you, just with a couple of alternative ingredients, safe in the knowledge they’ll work the same way as the real thing.