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September Newsletter 2021 (Con't)
Oh No! What Can I Eat if I Can't have Dairy or Gluten?: I thought it was time for me to address this thorny problem since many of you have removed the above coveted items from your diet. I am mostly dairy, gluten and nightshade free, so I have some experience in taste testing quite a few products. Let's just say I have done your work for you. You're welcome. Here are my favorites (emphasis on "my"), and let's tackle gluten first:
For bread, you can buy Sami's bread and have it shipped to you from Florida. It is very very good plus it has no tapioca starch or flour in it, but I stopped buying it because I don't have a stand-alone freezer and the bread takes up a lot of room. I am very sensitive to tapioca anything and you will find that most GF products are made with tapioca as it imitates very well that ambrosial mouth feel of gluten. Out of the Breadbox is good, too, but it has tapioca in it. Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Style is excellent if you can do tapioca. (I can test you on tapioca). Currently I am using Schar's bakery products, specifically their White Bread. No tapioca and it's very good. I have only found it at Sprouts.
For crackers, I am hooked on San-J's Rice Crackers. I get this at Natural Grocers.
For baking, I use Tiger Milk Flour (Amazon) and/or Bob's Redmill 1:1 Baking Flour.
For cookies and sweets, you are on our own, as most of the packaged cookies have too much sugar in them. I make my own Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies and pretty much keep them in stock for healthy nibbling. Ask me for the recipe.
For pasta, hands down, Jovial brand is the best. It says right on the package "Cooks to Perfection" and it does. I also use Lotus Foods Pad Thai Rice Noodles which I order by the 8-pak from Amazon.
So much for Gluten, let's go to dairy: Make no mistake, diary is by far the hardest to give up. At least it was for me. I love dairy, miss it tremendously, and yes, I have it every now and again, but mostly goat or sheep. (Yeah, Yeah, it's still dairy...) I had the worst time finding something to replace the heavy cream for my tea and coffee. I must have gone through 15 alternatives, all tasting. . . just WRONG. It may be different for you, so try Califia Farms, Betterhalf Coconut Cream and Almond Milk Creamer (Original). Too coconutty for me, but may be OK for you. I have finally settled on NutPods almond and coconut creamers. They are found above the coffee at Natural Grocers. Not refrigerated and not too coconutty - and, if you crank up your imagination - with that lush feel of heavy cream. Sort of.
For cheeses: I think Violife is the best brand, but do NOT expect any fake cheese to taste ANYTHING like real cheese. But, you can eventually hallucinate yourself into thinking you are eating real cheese. Sort of. I buy the Violife Epic Mature Cheese in the black wrapper, their parmesan and feta. Then Follow Your Heart Mozzarella.
For yogurts: I am hooked on Cocoyo, vanilla. Scrumptious.
For "ice cream": I am hooked on SO Delicious Mint Chip Coconut milk Non-dairy, frozen dessert. Choose the aqua lid as there is less sugar. The aqua lid also comes in vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan.
For butter: Try Miyoko's Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter. It is NOTHING like our beloved Kerrygold butter, but after a while it will do, at least eventually you won't be sobbing when you are "buttering" your morning GF toast. I can test you on butter, as I found that I can do a reasonable amount of butter.
For the "milks": Just try all of them and see which one appeals to you. Some of you like Malk, which is made of fermented almonds. Then there is Ripple's "pea" protein milk. Or you could make your own turmeric milk which is delicious. Ask me for the recipe.
And lastly, how about sweeteners? I do keep cane sugar in the house, but it's only for the hummingbirds. For humans I use two kinds of sweeteners: Swerve and Sweet Leaf Stevia. That's all. Oh, then when I make salad dressings, I have found that a teeny tiny bit of maple syrup will bring all the flavors together in major deliciosity.
"Even now we aren't in charge of much, and it is exhausting to believe or pretend we are. The best we can do is to help the poor, get some rest, help the pets at mealtime, observe the rules of health and safety during the virus. Watching the ways we try to be in charge can help us get our sense of humor back and laughter is a holy and subversive battery charge."Anne Lamott, Dusk Night Dawn, 2021, p 110
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