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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Coconut Milke - milk and cream substitute

COCONUT MILK

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Meat dishes are tricky.

MEAT DISHES

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Creamed" sause/gravy

CREAMED GRAVY or SAUCE

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
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Avocados are GREAT!

AVOCADOS

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"
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
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. http://nutiva.com/the-nutiva-kitchen/coconut-manna-recipes/ 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.
 

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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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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.
I have a jar of the coconut manna by Nutiva sitting on my stove top at the moment. In appearance it looks much like their regular CO. It seems to be solid when room temperatures are cool (as they are now in our region). The texture is sort of like peanut butter, although not that easy to spread. Flavor is definitely 'coconut' and a little bit goes a long way IMO. The "jury" is still out on this product and don't know if I will buy it again. It isn't bad, but just not sure how much I like it either.

My CO, on the other hand, we love! Our store was all sold out of the smaller sizes and only the very largest size was left on the shelf. So I paid over $30 for the large jar, but do not regret it as I have plenty of CO for anything and everything. One of the younger clerks in our market (who has gorgeous skin btw) said she uses CO as a moisturizer, especially in the Winter months. Learned something new that day from her :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
...said she uses CO as a moisturizer, especially in the Winter months. Learned something new that day from her :)
I keep a 50/50 coconut oil/olive oil mix in the fridge. I use it as a hand moisturizer after washing my hands while cooking. It's safe to be handling food with it on my hands. Nice on chapped lips, too.

AND, it makes a decent spread for crackers and breads, as a substitute for butter or margarine.

You need to heat the coconut oil so it's liquid before stirring into the olive oil. Keeping it in the fridge prevents separation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Saturated Fat Source - when you can't eat butter

I have going from using veggetable oils to using beef tallow - rendered beef fat* - as my primary source of saturated fat.

* pork fat is called lard, beef fat is called tallow

I use tallow for frying and to add fat to any dish. I have also used it as a spread on toast, just like butter, although it's an acquired taste.

Beef tallow is probably a lot like butterfat - it comes from the same animal, afterall. When rendered pure, it has little taste, but itastes different from butter. It certainly has the same melting point. Also, it seems to have a moderately high smoke point, which is good for frying.

I also render chicken fat, and use it to "fatten" up a chicken dish, especially when fixing chicken breasts which has next to no fat content.

Beef tallow is EXCELLENT for frying CHICKEN - it really works well. Much better than oils or vegetable shortening. It gives it a great taste.

I don't eat pork bacon, but will add beef tallow to the pan when frying lean turkey bacon.

If you do eat bacon, save the excess fat for use in other dishes.
 

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Tallow actually has LESS saturated fat than butterfat. It is mostly monunsaturated, if I recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rendering fat

I know someone will ask - how to you render fat.

Well, most of you have been doing that all along. When you cook meat and pour off the fat - you have rendered fat. When you put the juices from cooking meat or making soup into the refrigerator so the fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off - that's rendered fat.

You could collect this fat and use it for cooking - it won't be "pure" in that there'll be meat juices in it. When I collect fat this way, I take the cold, solidified fat from the top of the liquid, break it up, and store the pieces in the freezer - and use straight from the bag.

However, a more pure form of fat is rendered by cooking just the fat with no meat so the fat is melted out of the fiberous material. You strain this through a mesh while pouring into a dish. Let it solidify in the refrigerator, break it in pieces, and keep in the refrigerator, or if a lot, put the excess in the freezer.

There are excellent tutorials on the internet to help one learn how to render fat - and some videos. Just do a search and find the way you like best.

There are two basic ways to do this
1) put the fat in water and slow boil for an hour or so. When cooled down, place the pan in the refrigerator. You can then lift the solid fat up from the water.

2) slow cook it on stovetop. You don't have to contend with the water this way.

WHERE TO GET THE FAT

I buy beef fat from Whole Foods - they charge me $1/lb. The reason is that the beef from there has not been given hormons or antibiotics. It is in the fat that the hormons will be concentrated. So for quantity tallow, I go for the better raw ingredients. That's not to say that I don't skim fat when cooking regular grocery store beef, but it is a smaller part of the whole for us.

Chicken fat: we don't like the skin on our chicken. So when I skin the thicken thighs I cut off some of the fat, and put the whole mess in a pan of water and slow boil it to render the fat. It isn't "pure" in that it hasn't been strained, but since I keep it in the freezer, this isn't a storage problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Tallow actually has LESS saturated fat than butterfat. It is mostly monunsaturated, if I recall correctly.
When I said tallow is a lot like butterfat, I was thinking on its physical properties as related to cooking with it.

I didn't know about the less saturated fat part, but for me, since I can't eat butter, it'll have to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay, foxl, you got me curious.
I went online - this was the first place I looked and it had nutritional breakdown for more foods than you can think of. Also fats.

Data from: Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com

Comparison…
1 oz. of beef tallow / butter / coconut oil

Total fat:................. 28.0g / 15.4g / 28.0g

Saturated fat............ 13.9g / 9.6g / 24.2g
Monosaturated fat.... 11.7g / 4.5g / 1.6g
Polysunsaturated fat... 1.1g / .6g / .5g

Omega 3 fatty acids.. 168mg / 225mg / 0
Omega 6 fatty acids... 868mg / 348mg / 504mg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tallow actually has LESS saturated fat than butterfat. It is mostly monunsaturated, if I recall correctly.
Not "mostly" at all, but a bit less than half is monounsaturated.

It certainly is better than vegetable oils, which is what I was using.
 
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