Add These To Your List... More Safe Products We Can't Live Without
As I said in my previous post about Allergy Safe Alternatives That Saved Us, I could not be more grateful for the incredible allergy-free products that have allowed me to cook the same types of delicious meals and treats for my food-allergic kiddos that the rest of us enjoy. And, we are so fortunate to live in a time when it actually takes me a couple of posts to get through them all! I am not a paid spokesperson for any of these companies, but I am a satisfied customer. This next group of my favorite products contains some lifesavers, and the great news is that many of them are top-8 free.
So, here you have it - four more of my family's allergy-safe lifelines:
1. Daiya cheese. Okay, I'll be real, cheese is tough. It's difficult to replicate the distinct characteristics that make cheese what it is: its richness in flavor, touch of saltiness, and ability to melt well. But, Daiya gets as close as a dairy-free product can possibly get. This cheese alternative comes in a number of flavors, including cheddar, pepperjack and mozzerella, and is offered in both sliced and shredded varieties, among others. But the cheese is not the only type of Daiya product that my dairy-allergic son Luke loves... Daiya pizza is his favorite. We have one of his "safe" pizzas in our freezer at all times, and we bring a few slices with us whenever we have pizza out at a restaurant or a friend's house. (By the way, Daiya pizza is also soy and gluten-free!) Daiya has given me the opportunity to replicate every kid staple that involves cheese - pizza, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, nachos - safely for Luke, and we could not be more grateful for that freedom.
2. Veganaise: Like I said about Earth Balance butter in my last "life-saver products" post, there are just some allergy-free products out there that are so incredibly close to the real thing that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference. That is exactly the case with egg-free Veganaise! What an incredible product. It tastes exactly like real mayonnaise, and it's the only thing we use in my house for sandwiches, dips, dressings or whatever else may require mayo. It is so freeing to be able to make things like cole slaw, chicken salad and potato salad safely for my boys, and our friends and family members have no idea when I've made the substitution. To add to the good news about Veganaise, there is something for everyone; you can find both soy-free and reduced fat variations on your grocer's shelf.
3. Toffutti Sour Cream. We've all come across recipes in baking that call for sour cream, and if you've tried any of them, you know that this unlikely ingredient can add a little magic to an ordinary cake or muffin. And, when baking without eggs, there's no better place to shoot for the extra moistness that sour cream can bring to the table. Enter, soy-based Toffutti. If I'm going to be honest, it does taste different than its dairy counterpart if used alone (on a taco, for example), but when baked into a cake, muffin or bread, it's absolutely impossible to tell the difference and adds that extra something that will give any baked good an edge. Tofutti also makes a cream cheese that is the magic behind my favorite cream cheese frosting. Like the sour cream, it's a little different by itself, but it is perfect for the base of any sweet treat that requires cream cheese. Keep an eye out later this week for one of my favorite recipes of all time - chocolate chunk brownies - with dairy-free sour cream on the ingredient list!
4. So Delicious. Okay, this one has been a game changer for us. So Delicious' yogurts and ice creams are just that, absolutely delicious. In fact, my non-allergic children beg to eat Luke's yogurt and ice cream all of the time because they love it just as much - if not more - than their own dairy versions. There are two caveats, though. First, while not technically a tree nut, the base of the So Delicious products that we use is coconut. If your child has issues with coconut, So Delicious offers a soy-milk version of its ice cream, which has also been a winner in our house - so, this may still work for you! The second thing I want to mention is that fact that many So Delicious products (particularly the ice cream) have peanut and tree nut varieties and some are even made with nut milk. The company employs a stringent allergen control program (which includes testing its products for the presence of undeclared allergens), but please review it for yourself to determine if So Delicious products are best for your family. You can find details on their allergen policies at http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/allergen-information.
Please take some time and experiment with these allergy-safe alternatives. What I love about each of them, and those that I mentioned previously, is that these products were developed because of the needs of the food allergy community. Take the freedom that they give you to make life "normal" and special for your food allergic loved-ones, and run with it!