Dairy products, such as milk, cream,
yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and butter, are included in recipes to add richness and moisture, as well as usually adding protein
(any dairy other than straight butter) to the dish. That protein acts as a binding element in baked goods, so the elimination
of milk or dairy from a recipe usually requires replacement with a mild binder including protein and often a little fat, as
well as replacing the lost liquid. Most milk substitutes are made with soy or a grain such as rice or oats, or occasionally
with something like almonds; all include a protein and fat source, usually combined with spring water for the added
In addition, milk is used to produce
a softer crumb, promote browning, and slow baked goods from going stale. The addition of dry milk powder (or dry soy
milk powder) to a bread recipe tends to produce a sweeter, richer dough, that appeals to people trying to make a break away
from white bread into whole grains.
Dairy products made with whole milk
or cream are rich in saturated animal fats, adding that richness to recipes incorporating them. Calorie content can
be controlled with the use of low-fat or skim products, if desired, but this is NOT recommended for toddlers under two years
of age, who need the essential fats for brain development. When baking with gluten flours (wheat, oat, spelt, triticale),
the fat in whole milk can inhibit the formation of gluten, producing a tenderer result that crumbles a little more easily,
making whole milk products better for sweet, rich doughs.
Buttermilk today is not the same product
as the buttermilk of our great-grandparents' era. It is customarily produced by culturing with the same flora used to
make yogurt. Both buttermilk and yogurt add a tangy flavor to any recipe. Yogurt may be used as a lower fat substitute
for sour cream when attempting to lower the calorie content of a recipe.
Many people are lactose intolerant,
and cannot tolerate the natural sugars found milk; these people may be able to tolerate butter, where everything is
removed but the butterfat.
Dairy products are naturally high in
sodium, but further salt is added to many cheeses in the manufacturing process. When adding dairy products to a recipe,
many bakers and cooks will reduce or eliminate any additional salt in the recipe.
Proper intestinal health can be maintained
in part by encouraging beneficial flora, such as those found in cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, buttermilk, and sour
cream. It is important that such products be live-culture, or they will not repopulate the intestinal tract. This
is particularly important if you have been taking antibiotics, as antibiotics kill the natural intestinal flora, which must
be repopulated to prevent harmful bacteria from gaining a foothold in the gut.
Note: If you are following a restricted
diet for medical reasons, PLEASE do not deviate from the prescribed diet without consulting your health care professional.
Current dairy farming methods in common
use customarily result in contamination of the milk with artificial hormones, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and other
toxic residues. Organically-grown dairy products come from cows (or goats or sheep) which are raised without antibiotics
and other chemicals in the feed. Look for "organically grown" products, where possible certified by Oregon Tilth, internationally recognized as the benchmark for organic standards. Personal experience
and anecdotal evidence suggest that the removal of non-organic dairy from the diet can cause the loss of a significant amount
of weight, particularly in those who are overweight due to exposure to the hormones in both meat and dairy products.
Many people who suffer from allergies
find that dairy products are among the foods which most commonly cause a reaction. Common reactions include: respiratory
congestion, excessive mucus production, and recurrent ear infection. Exposure to cow's milk before the age of 6 years
is implicated in development of certain forms of diabetes, in which the allergic response mistakes certain cells in the pancreas
for the milk sugar galactose, attacking them in addition to, or even in the absence of, the standard dairy allergy symptoms.
cup of milk (unless otherwise noted), substitute:
cup soy milk
cup seed or nut milk - buy, or make by grinding sunflower or sesame seeds, almonds or cashews, then blending with water
into milk; or soak, and blend with fresh water
cup skim milk - use only to lower calories or fat content of recipe}
powder (use the same volume), substitute:
powder (also sold as powdered soy milk)
powder - a form of milk, not to be substituted where allergy is present}
powder (also sold as powdered soy milk)
sour milk, or buttermilk (use the same volume), substitute:
milk curdled with 2 tsp lemon juice
cup of butter, substitute:
or vegetable oil margarine
- 1 cup oil (reduce other liquids and bake slightly longer, lowering temperature about 25 degrees Farenheit)
cheese (use the same volume), substitute:
cheese - (grind or blend cashews to fine powder, then blend into thick cream with water or juice)
cream (use the same volume), substitute:
- use only to lower calories or fat, and if there is no milk allergy}