Dairy/Casein Free Resources

As with my gluten-free page, ​I will begin this page with the following disclaimer-


I am a strong believer in the 90/10 rule of nutrition (minus, of course, the issue of allergens and sensitivities which must be avoided 100% of the time). 90% of the time we should try to eat the right/healthy foods in the right amounts and in the right way. This last part not only means cooking preparation but also giving ourselves enough time to eat and properly digest. However, I think there is immense value in having some semblance of sanity and normalcy in your life.


All that being said, here is a collection of my personal favorite resources to help you eliminate dairy and not lose your mind. Many of these things will fall into that less than perfectly healthy 10-15%, but that's okay. Enjoy in moderation! :)

Know the Three Types of Reactions

Lactose Intolerance

  • Immediate bloating and discomfort following the ingestion of dairy

  • The "dose makes the poison"- the more you eat the worse you feel

  • Usually easily self-diagnosed

  • Low lactose products (Lactaid, yogurt) are tolerated well

  • Caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. Supplementing with that enzyme generally helps curtail symptoms from eating normal dairy

Food Sensitivity

  • Sensitivity to one or more of the proteins in dairy

    • ​Examples include casein (most common) and whey

  • Similar to gluten sensitivity- can cause a wide variety of symptom

  • Need to avoid dairy entirely, even in trace amounts.

    • ​The dose does NOT make the poison- even a little bit will cause the immune system to go wacko!
  • Beware: Casein is an additive in certain "dairy free" cheeses and coffee creamers

    • Whole Foods carries a vegan/dairy-free block cheddar that is made with almond milk-It contains casein!

    • Beware of “lactose free” products- many still contain casein!

      • Ex: Trader Joes brand shredded cheese

Unable to tolerate pasteurized dairy

  • This may be due to the modification of proteins, altering of the bacterial colonies in the dairy, altering the vitamin and mineral profile of the dairy, or the general “killing” of everything nutritious in the dairy…

  • Raw dairy may be better tolerated

Beware (Especially in Restaurants)

  • Sautéing in butter

    • It is not uncommon to sauté veggies in butter

  • Seafood

    • Most places will cook seafood with butter OR brush it on after cooking unless you ask them not to

  • Steak

    • Some steakhouses finish their steaks with butter

  • Sour cream in dips

    • Some places will add sour cream to guacamole or other dips

  • Cheese

    • Always ask about dressings and toppings with salads

  • Mayonnaise

    • Mayo based dips (like aioli) are generally safe (unless you’re intolerant to eggs) but always ask if they add anything else to it

  • Soups

    • Creamy soups may contain cream or milk

    • Thai curry, Thai soups (like Tom Yum), and Indian curry are typically made with coconut milk… but always ask just to be sure!

  • Indian food

    • Always ask about cream versus coconut milk/cream in sauces

    • Beware of heavy reliance on yogurt sauces and cheese

    • Many dishes are safe- just be sure to ask about dairy

  • Chocolate

    • Be careful! Even a lot of dark chocolate has dairy in it. I have noticed that this is especially true of main-stream brands like Lindt, Ghiradelli, and Hershey’s.

Local (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill NC)

My Favorite Products and Recipes

Dairy-Free Pizza (Yes, it deserves it's own section!)


I have searched for a reasonable vegan pizza cheese for nearly a decade, and I am pleased to say that 2018 has been THE year for vegan pizza progress. Ranked in order of deliciousness and realness, I have found the following cheeses to be melty and cheesey!

  1. Miyoko's Vegan Mozz (left)

  2. Daiya Cutting Board Mozzarella shreds (below)

    1. Note, regular old Daiya is weird and gross. Their new "cutting board" collection is great, though!

  3. So Delicious Mozzarella shreds


Also noteworthy:

  • Follow Your Heart dairy-free Parmesan is great on top of a pizza or eggs. I'm sure it has other appliactions, too.


Finding these yummies:

  • Whole Foods carries Miyoko's, FYH, and SD. I'm unsure if they carry the new Daiya (I have requested it), but rumor has it that the new Daiya is available at Target.


Other Good Resources

  • http://www.godairyfree.org/

  • Vitacost is a great place to buy natural(er) bathroom goods, cleaning supplies, and some special diet needs… And their prices are generally better than Amazon. We get some gluten free flours and nutritional yeast here.

Now I'd love to hear from you!

What are your favorite dairy-free recipes and products?

Is there something I didn't include on this list?

If there is, I'll update it!​

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