Special Diet Pantry Items :: dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo

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Wow!  -  I can’t believe we’re just about finished with these 10 Days of Stocking Your Real Food Pantry & Freezer.

Today, I’ll share just a little on helps for stocking the special diet kitchen.  Feel free to add your own resources in the comments.

Our family has dealt with severe dairy allergies for over 6 years.  While cooking with allergies in mind eventually became second nature, at first the adjustment was really tough!  I’m glad to see more and more products in regular grocery stores because when we started out, finding substitutes was hard.

I’ll begin talking there….

The Dairy-Free Kitchen

My son’s allergies were incredibly sensitive, so all traces of casein had to be avoided or he would experience anaphylaxis.  Believe me when I say casein seems to be in everything!  

He couldn’t have most varieties of pretzels, animal crackers, regular crackers, bread or any fresh bakery or shelf items unless we made them ourselves.  Not to mention butter, sour cream, milk, cheeses, yogurts, syrups, and the list went on.

I found a variety of bread he could eat, and only bought this brand and we made ALL other bread products – muffins, rolls, buns, etc. or he simply couldn’t have it.  The risk for him was too high.

The dairy replacements we used:

  • milk:  almond milk
  • cheese:  none.  I found these ‘vegan’ cheeses to be rubbery, non-tasty, and expensive.  We just skipped the cheese altogether.
  • butter:  Earth Balance soy-free spread or virgin coconut oil (both used in cooking and baking)
  • yogurt:  coconut milk yogurt; I attempted to make homemade several times with little success – the kids didn’t like it at all!
  • heavy cream:  sometimes I used MimicCreme, a cashew & almond based cream for sauces and gravies
  • chocolate chips:  Enjoy Life mini-chips

Some of the items above won’t work if nut allergies are present, but in our home, they were helpful!

Here’s a bit more information on dairy-free ingredients to keep on hand.

The Paleo Kitchen

Paleo is a term I’m becoming familiar with, and we haven’t practiced the diet in our home.  But, it’s gaining popularity so I thought I’d mention it in special diets.

Also called the ‘caveman’ diet, paleos eat foods such as:

  • meat
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • eggs
  • tree nuts
  • vegetables
  • roots
  • fruits
  • berries
  • and drink water, coconut water or green tea

Use this printable pdf list of paleo foods to eat and avoid if this interests you, and here’s a post all about stocking the paleo pantry.  *Update:  another super printable of paleo foods to eat – this website is full of information!

The Gluten-Free Kitchen

Thanks to the prompting of a friend, I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free flours.  I honestly think my body responds better to leaving some wheat out of my diet.

Step by step, I’m trying to wean myself.  I’m not allergic or have celiac, but can definitely tell a difference.

Some helps for stocking your gluten-free pantry:

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I’ve barely scratched the surface on these topics, but hopefully the links will lead to more in-depth resources.  Oh, and remember to enter the giveaway before next week.

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