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VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:17

Eating low-carb, WITHOUT dairy
This thread is for those of us who are sensitive/allergic to dairy.

It seems that there are very few of us on this forum, so this would be a good place to share ideas and tips for dairy substitutes and other ways around our restriction.

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:18

Coconut Milke - milk and cream substitute

Coconut milk is my mainstay as a milk and cream substitute. While it has a distinct flavor, I’ve used it for so many years now that it just seems “normal”.

I buy the cans of coconut milk, and find the Thai Kitchen brand to be the smoothest. They all taste pretty much alike. I don’t buy the coconut milk “beverage” since it’s more expensive because you’re buying a lot of water in that product – one can always water down the canned milk. It’ll keep at least a week in the refrigerator.

I reduce the carbs in the canned milk by cooling the can in the refrigerator so the fats rise to the top. Then I open the bottom of the can and pour off the liquid (which contains the carbs) and then just use the fat. I call this “coconut cream”, as it’s a lot like heavy whipping cream.

I use the “cream” in recipes calling for cream or cream cheese. I dilute the “cream” to the consistency of whole milk if that’s what’s called for in the recipe.

The coconut fat (“cream”) can be whipped just like heavy cream. Actually, it’s easier because it’s more dense. I find the leftovers of whipped coconut cream doesn’t “fall” or lose it’s bulk. It actually becomes more solidified. I have used it as a topping for desserts – made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator – keeps for days.

There is a dried/powdered “coconut cream” – sort of like powdered milk – that is found in Asian stores and also online, that I sometimes use (carb count isn’t as low as the skimmed fat from the can) but it is handy to have when traveling and wanting to wet my low-carb cereal. The brand I have right now is Chao Thai – “Coconut Cream Powder” – but I think they’re all pretty much the same.

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:19

Meat dishes are tricky.

This is where our no-dairy restriction makes the most impact. So many of the low-carb recipes one finds in books and on-line use a lot of cheese in them. It takes some searching to find dairy-free recipes. MCS has made some for his mother and has posted a few, as have others on this and other low-carb/diabetes forums. When I run across one, I copy it and put it in my file.

If you make one of the cheesy recipes without the cheese, it probably needs less liquid and won’t hold together – but would be full of flavor and worth a try.

Mayonnaise can be a substitute for dairy in some recipes. It is a different flavor, but delicious. I discovered this when I found a baked chicken recipe that called for it.

I have taken lunch meat (usually turkey or chicken), cut it up and sauteed it in fat (removes a lot of the water in it, and browns it up a bit). I’ll then stir in a spoonful of mayonnaise – surprisingly quite delicious.

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:20

"Creamed" sause/gravy

Here’s where I have something that’s BETTER than using cream. I add my Cashew Cheese sauce to the meat drippings to thicken and “cream” it – adding more water usually to keep it a gravy-like consistency. A great way to make beef stroganoff, and creamed chicken. We love this at our house. Anyone who has had one of these meals at our house loves it, too. The carbs in the Chashew Cheese sauce are higher than dairy cream, but if one keeps the total under ¼ cup, it’s just fine. (It is so good one could easily eat it with a spoon.)
Cashew Cheese - non-dairy

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:21

Avocados are GREAT!

This is a very good source of fat and fiber. I don’t ever eat them plain because there are so many other ways of fixing it that I like better. But others like them plain, or spread on low-carb toast.

Simple salsa: mash the avocado with the fork, stir in a spoon of salsa and a spoon of mayonnaise (if you like) and stir. Add taco seasoning to spice it up more.

Quick dessert: mash the avocado, add flavoring (lime, raspberry – my favorites), sweetener and a spoon of mayo. Stir up good. Top with a few fresh or frozen raspberries or strawberries.

AVOCADO SMOOTHIE / MOUSSE – my latest experiment using avocado and coconut cream. Smoothie/Mousse - "now and later"

foxl 03-30-2012 15:21

Have you tried the coconut manna, that Nutiva sells?

I am curious whether it is any good.

I also use almond milk. If I had to give up or reduce dairy, I would definitely have to eat meat.

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:23


Originally Posted by foxl (Post 89643)
Have you tried the coconut manna, that Nutiva sells?

I am curious whether it is any good.

I also use almond milk. If I had to give up or reduce dairy, I would definitely have to eat meat.

Haven't heard of coconut manna - I found their site with this product - looks VERY INTERESTING. I like that it can be a substitute for yoghurt, which I've not been successful with. Worth giving it a try - if I do, I'll certainly post a review here.

Re: almond milk. It contains no fat, so isn't a good substitute for that reason. However, if I don't want the coconut flavor at all, then I do occasionally use it. I'm so used to the coconut flavor that it just seems like "regular" to me.

Patdart 03-30-2012 15:52

Someone brought me some manna and I don't like it because of the texture and taste. It tastes strongly coconut. It does make pretty good fudge, tho'. :)

VeeJay 03-30-2012 15:52

Coconut Manna
I did a Google search for "low carb with coconut manna"

Came up with some forum discussions, and A LOT OF IDEAS and recipes using this product. It seems it is the consistency of peanut butter. It's also fairly easy to make your own in a food processor. But those who bought the Nutiva one gave it rave reviews - like, "could eat the whole jar, and nearly did!" (Is that good or bad:confused: )

So, definitely, it will be on my next on-line order, or maybe there's a jar at Whole Foods - will check.

jwags 03-30-2012 15:53

The only dairy I eat is hard cheese and I am OK with it. I never could drink milk without a reaction. I was using the SO low carb Coconut Milk for the past 4 years but our store just discontinued it. So I need to look for a new source. In the meantime I am using the Silk unsweet almond milk for 1 carb. You could try the vegan cheese in some of these recipes. My daughter is a vegan chef and uses something called Nutritional yeast in place of cheese in sauces. I've never tasted it but she raves about it. She also uses the fake cheeses. When I look at recipes online, I am always making substitutions depending on what I have on hand. Most of the time they do come out well, only once in awhile I get a disaster.

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