Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Dairy-Free Substitutes April 30, 2012

A few friends of mine recently found out they were lactose intolerant and others have discovered their children are allergic to dairy.  In response, I sent them my dairy-free cheat sheet so they could eat without problems.


If you find yourself in the same position or know someone who is, here’s a list of some dairy-free substitutes to help you out:


Margarine (also use for baking, etc):  

Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread (or Sticks) or

Smart Balance Organic (the vegan kind seen here:  

Both taste exactly the same as margarine and work well in baked goods.


Ice Cream:

We sub sorbet for ice cream as it is nearly always milk-free.  We buy either Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s variety, although there are probably others that work.  There are also many places to find sorbet (restaurants, ice cream shops, etc) in our area and elsewhere (see


Cream Cheese:  

Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (tastes almost exactly like regular cream cheese).  Tofutti also makes dairy-free sour cream which mimics regular sour cream and dairy-free cheese pizza (found in the frozen food section).


Chocolate Chips:  

A great way to satisfy that chocolate craving is with Chocolate Dream chocolate chips which are dairy-free.  So are Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.



Pillsbury’s Cream Supreme frosting is amazingly dairy-free.  So, if you’re not interested in making it from scratch, here’s a great off-the-shelf option.


There are a few things that are surprisingly dairy-free “naturally” (using that VERY loosely), like Oreos (all sugar! no milk!) and Nabisco Sugar Wafers.  You may be surprised at what contains and doesn’t contain milk, so I would start reading the backs of everything without assumptions!


Best of all, I have found all of the above products in our local Safeway, Giant and Whole Foods!  Convenient and dairy-free!


Now here’s where you help me:  We’ve tried tons of soy yogurts but still haven’t found one that tastes similar to its dairy counterpart.  Let me know if you all come across one!  Also, looking for a decent tasting dairy-free cheese.  Would love to hear if anyone has had any luck with that?


5 Responses to “Dairy-Free Substitutes”

  1. Lisa C Says:

    Green Valley Organics makes a lactose-free sour cream that is delicious and actually tastes like sour cream (I’m not a big fan of the Tofutti stuff.) Cabot makes a number of lactose free cheddar and mozzarella cheeses that I could find easily on the East coast (they are a NY company), but I’m having a hard time finding them in California. Finlandia also makes a number of lactose free cheeses like Gouda, muenster and havarti.

    • malawer Says:

      Thanks for the fabulous info! Cant wait to try the new sour cream. Great recommendation, right in time for Cinco de Mayo taco night!

  2. Amy M. Says:

    How I would have loved to find this list 2 years ago when my son was dairy-free! He has both traditional food allergies as well as Eosinophilic Esophagitis so I’m never sure when we might need to eliminate certain foods again. Fortunately he has been tolerating dairy for some time now, but we’re still off eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, beef, and peaches. I found your site recently and am loving your positive attitude toward food allergies!! I’m always looking for new recipes and fun, safe, food-related activities to explore with my kiddos, allergies or not.

  3. Nicole Says:

    coconut milk yougurt is hands down better tasting (& better 4 u) than soy based
    yogurt IMO 🙂
    cheese- daiya shreds, although I just stay away feom cheese, don’t need it 🙂

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