Alternatives to cow’s milk and dairy products

Goat, sheep and buffalo milk and products (such as cream, butter, yoghurt and cheese) – it is worth checking if you are able to tolerate small quantities of other animal milks as they are now quite easy to obtain and available both fresh and UHT.

Soya milk products (cream, yoghurt and cheese) – soya milk has been a staple vegetarian ingredient for many years so there are different varieties. It comes sweetened and unsweetened, flavoured and plain, fortified and unfortified. Most cook up well in sauces and soups and can be used in cappuccinos. Soya cream works as a pouring cream but you cannot whip it. Soya yoghurts both plain and fruit flavoured are now widely available. Hard soya cheese does not bear much resemblance to real cheese, soya cream cheese is more successful.

Coconut milk is an excellent cooking milk to which very few people react. It is extensively used in Southeast Asian cooking. Coconut yogurt and coconut creams are also available. The cream is available both in tins and as a solid block which needs to be broken down with hot water. Coconut oil is an excellent butter substitute.

Plant based milk substitutes include rice, oat, almond and soya milk.

Alternative spreads and margarines – check the labels carefully as some contain whey or casein. Most can be used in sauces and baking (pastry, cakes etc.). They are less good for frying carefully.

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