Substituting Dairy Products

An estimated 0.3% of adults and 2.5% of children in Canada are allergic to dairy products. Added to this are the many who are lactose intolerant because they are deficient in lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose. People newly diagnosed with celiac disease often have a temporary lactose intolerance caused by extensive villous atrophy of the intestine. For many people, this intolerance disappears after 6 to 12 months on a gluten-free diet, when the intestine is better able to absorb nutrients.

Replacing Dairy Products in Recipes

There are many dairy replacement products available on the market, often soy, rice or almond based. Many of these have good nutritional value because they are low in saturated fats and in sugars.


To make dairy-free buttermilk, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to a cup of soy, rice, almond, coconut or hemp milk. Let sit 5 minutes.

Cream Replacements

For a thick, rich texture in soups, replace 15% or 35% dairy cream with commercially prepared rice or millet cream. To make one cup of cashew cream, combine ½ cup of cashews with ½ cup water and blend until smooth and creamy. Use this to replace 10% or 15% dairy cream in your recipes.