Whether you are lactose intolerant, have a dairy allergy or are vegetarian or vegan, you will find lots of interesting nutritional information and recipes in Dairy-Free & Delicious. The first five chapters look at "Lactose Intolerance", "Milk Allergy", "Building Strong, Milk-Free Bodies", "Superb Substitutes" and "Dairy-Free Dining." Information is provided that will help you learn if you have an intolerance to lactose or are allergic to milk. Considerable information is also provided on such topics as calcium, calcium supplements, vitamin D, milk substitutes, dining out and travel tips, to name a few.
While reading the section on vitamin D, I was hit once again with the realization that being truly vegan can be very difficult - and not because it is hard to eliminate meat, dairy and other animal products from our diet. That was easy. Learning to understand labels can be much more difficult - especially when important information is missing. For example, under the section "Does the vitamin D added to foods come from animals" I learned that vitamin D2 comes from plants while D3 comes from animals.
"There are two forms of dietary vitamin D: D2 or ergocalciferol, which is of plant origin, and D3 or cholecalciferol, which comes mainly from sheep's wool and hides, fish liver, and eels. Unfortunately, most of the vitamin D added to foods is vitamin D3. The main exception is nondairy milk - many of these products contain vitamin D2." (page 40)
Armed with this information I went to the kitchen to see what is in our multi vitamins. Arrghh! Of the three brands of children's vitamins, two listed vitamin D as D3 while the other just listed it as vitamin D and didn't specify whether it was D3 or D2. The bottle of adult multi vitamins contained vitamin D3 as well. A quick check of some of our soy and rice milks listed vitamin D3 or just vitamin D. We will have to be more vigilant in ensuring that the products we eat and drink are totally vegan.
The second part of the book is entitled "Dairy-Free & Delicious Recipes" and contains a good selection of vegan recipes for spreads, uncheeses, milk, sauces, breakfast, salads and dressings, soups, main dishes and desserts. Each recipe contains: yield, calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium and sodium.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan Dairy-Free & Delicious is a good book to have. If you are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies then this book is a "must have."
--Reviewed by Glenn Perrett