No Milk, No Problem

Marni Wasserman's Five Dairy-Free Tips and Tricks

Almost every one knows someone who can’t eat dairy. Hearing about stomach pains, lactose intolerance and alternatives to dairy has almost become a norm.  So, what exactly does it mean to have a dairy intolerance or allergy? Can someone with a love for wine and cheese still enjoy the dining pleasures of a soft creamy Camembert, sans the cream?

There are a plethora of options now available to people with allergies to dairy. You can still enjoy the pleasure of cheese, without the embarrassing gas, stomach aches, fatigue or general discomfort. Whether infant or adult, there is a wide range of options available. 

The truth behind a dairy-free lifestyle, is it’s not only for people with allergies or intolerance! It’s a healthy life-changing choice that people choose for so many different reasons!  Making meals at home or dining out dairy-free can be fun and easy!


1. The trend of making homemade milks,has become more popular than ever. People are using a nut milk bag, sieve or colander to strain their freshly blended almonds, cashews or hemp seeds to make deliciously creamy homemade milks.

2. Not quite ready to make your own milk? Just don’t have the time? Check out some hot items on the market: sunflower seed milk, hemp milk, coconut milk and rice milk. These are being widely used by consumers who may have allergies to soy or almond. Any milk can be used in cereals, baking, lattes, desserts or just enjoying a glass.

3. There are now a variety of plain, vanilla, and chocolate non-dairy yogurts to choose from. Canada now has coconut yogurt, almond yogurt and even rice yogurt. My preference definitely goes to coconut and the Yoso brand to be specific. What a great way to start your day with some granola, or you can add it to a smoothie or enjoy it as a pudding!

4. There are not only some non-dairy cheeses that you can buy that actually taste good and are made with good ingredients, but some restaurants, particularly raw ones, will even help fill the dairy void by offering ‘cheesy’ options using cashews, hemp seeds or coconut meat to mimic a cheesy texture. For store-bought items Daiya has become quite popular, melts nicely on pizza and is also available at places like Magic Oven & Kind Food if you’re on the go.

5. If there weren’t a delicious alternative to ice cream for people with dairy allergies then there would be many cheaters! Luckily with products like Coconut Bliss, a coconut based ice, or cashew based ice creams like the one from Blue Mountain, the dairy-free transition becomes delicious. If that isn’t enough, many dessert spots around Toronto also offer sorbet (made from ice and fruit).


Dairy allergy or not, the dairy-free world can be delicious and come with plenty of health benefits. Whether you’re cooking a considerate meal for your dairy-free friend or just want to play with some new options on the market, there are plenty to choose from!



Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy stems around whole foods. For more information please visit her website

Categories: Allergies & Special Diets