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No Milk? No Gluten? No Problem!

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2003 edition of Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity.

Celiac.com 01/27/2012 - Wheat is the most popular grain in the United States and is found in a multitude of products.  We are taught from young that milk helps our bones grow strong.  So what do people do who cannot safely consume these products?  They eat very well!

Connie Sarros“No Gluten” means avoiding all wheat, rye, barley, malt, kamut, spelt, triticale, graham flour, and contaminated oats.  But that won’t stop anyone who loves chocolate chip cookies from finding an alternative way to make them!  On a gluten-free diet, combinations of substitute flours are used (see Table 1).

Once you have the magic combination of gluten-free flours, add a little more flavoring, a little more leavening, and voila!  You have wonderful chocolate chip cookies!
But how do you make those cookies if you are also allergic to dairy products?  Do not despair.  There are viable alternatives to all ingredients.  Allergies to dairy products may be a reaction to the lactose in dairy products (the natural sugar in milk), to casein (milk protein), or to both.

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Lactose is often used in breads, cakes, cereals, cooking mixes, prepared meats and fish, and in soups.  Tuna fish often contains sulfites and has lactose in the broth.  It is even found in some medications.  Read labels constantly for hidden lactose.  Some lactose-sensitive people may tolerate un-pasteurized yogurt because yogurt cultures produce the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose into a simpler, more readily-digestible form.  This also applies to buttermilk and some cheeses.

Casein is the protein found in milk.  Fortunately, cow’s milk is one of the easier ingredients to substitute in cooking; use equal amounts of soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, water, or fruit juices.  Read labels—beware of products labeled “Dairy Free”, like Cool Whip, which often contain casein (milk protein).  Some non-dairy cheese substitutes made from soybeans and almonds may still contain casein to give them a more authentic texture.  Casein is also used as a binder in products like hot dogs, pepperoni, salami and sausage.  Milk protein increases production of mucus-aggravating conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis.  It acts as an irritant to our immune systems, contributing to allergies and autoimmune diseases. 

Let’s get back to our chocolate chip cookies.  What do we use instead of the butter and milk?  Here are some substitutions that I often use:

  • Applesauce (may replace up to ¾ of the butter in a recipe.)
  • Coconut Butter (Use ¾ cup coconut butter for each 1 cup of butter called for in a recipe.)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Lactaid Milk (The lactase enzyme has been added to milk to convert 99% of the lactose into an easily-digestible sugar.  While many lactose-intolerant people are able to safely consume this milk, it contains casein and is not suitable for those on a casein-free diet.)
  • Milk-free Margarine (Fleischmann’s makes a milk-free, gluten-free margarine.  Milk-free margarine may burn if heated too high over direct heat.)
  • Non-Dairy Yogurt
  • Nut Butter
  • Oil (Use ¾ cup corn, vegetable or olive oil for each cup of butter called for in a recipe.)
  • Rice Milk
  • Soymilk (Each brand of soymilk reacts differently.  Some will give an un-wanted color to your dish; others cannot be heated to a high temperature.  When substituting soymilk for cream, add a little vegetable oil to achieve the right consistency.  Read labels carefully, as some commercial soymilk products are not gluten-free.)
  • Vegetable Shortening
When in doubt about the diary-free status of a product, the Kosher symbols found on some packages may also be used as a guide:
  • UD:  Contains diary
  • KD:  The product has milk protein.
  • DE:  The product was produced on equipment shared with dairy products.
  • Pareve  (or Parve):  The product is “neutral”, which means no animal ingredients.  The majority of Parve products are dairy-free.  However, Jewish law states that if the product has less than 1/5% dairy by volume, they may take special measures to allow for the product to be labeled Pareve.
Now we just have to search for safe chocolate chips for our cookies.  Many of the darker chocolates do not contain diary or gluten, for example, “Now” brand carob chips contain no dairy or gluten.

Eureka!  You have successfully converted your chocolate chip recipe!  Eat and enjoy!  The important thing to remember is that there are always good, viable substitutions available.  The more diet restrictions you have, the more innovative you have to be with your cooking.  There is almost nothing you cannot eat—you just have to learn to make it a little differently—enjoy!

Table 1

  • Almond flour
  • Amaranth flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Chestnut flour
  • Corn flour
  • Fava bean flour
  • Flax Seed Flour
  • Garbanzo bean flour (Chickpea flour)
  • Lentil flour
  • Mung bean flour
  • Pea flour
  • Potato flour
  • Potato starch flour
  • Pure Cornmeal
  • Sorghum flour
  • Sweet potato flour
  • Sweet rice flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • White bean flour
  • White rice flour

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5 Responses:

 
Diana
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said this on
30 Jan 2012 11:02:46 PM PDT
Thank you for the information, especially the Kosher symbols. I also am glad to see the butter and oil substitutes which will be very helpful. I'm been using flax meal for egg substitution which works well for me.

 
Dolores Eilers
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
31 Jan 2012 7:18:20 AM PDT
It is a big help because I love chocolate chip cookies and have trouble finding chips to use safely.

 
StellaB
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said this on
21 Mar 2012 4:43:10 PM PDT
This is a wonderful set of ideas--I made these cookies and they came out perfectly! I've nominated this recipe for an award at Top Ten Recipes Contest.

 
Debbie
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said this on
12 Nov 2013 4:27:08 AM PDT
Thank you for the wonderful information, I am caring for someone who is not allowed dairy or gluten in their diet and this will help immensely as it's not easy trying to find alternate ingredients for so many recipes I would like to make.

 
nahia
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said this on
17 Feb 2014 5:56:42 PM PDT
The information was helpful.




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Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.

Called my GI doctor today to make sure he is going to look at my small intestine and do biopsy for Celiac for my EGD and he is. Thanks for the tip everyone about have to start eating gluten again. The office told me to break my gluten free diet and start eating gluten everyday until my EGD. Here's to being miserable again for a few weeks ???

I can completely relate! The horrible mental effects that I have been living with for years is the absolute worst side effect of eating gluten, HANDS DOWN. Worse than the endless tummy aches, worse than the constant diarrhea, worse than the week long migraines, worse than the daily fatigue and body pain.... I honestly though there was something seriously wrong with me and hated my life because of how I felt mentally. I always felt like I was drowning, not in control of my thoughts, trapped in some unexplained misery. My head was always so cloudy, and I was mad because I always felt so slow and stupid. I would feel so lethargic and sad and empty while at the same time be raging inside, wanting to rip out of my own skin. I was mean, terrible, would snap at the people closest to me for no good reason and just felt like I hated everyone and everything. Think of how crappy you feel when you have a terrible cold and flu - I felt that crappy, but mentally. Some days were really bad, some were mild. I always thought it was because I was getting a migraine, or because I had a migraine, or because I had just overcome a migraine, because I didn't sleep well, because....always a random reason to justify why we have all these weird unrelated symptoms before we get diagnosed. I'm happy to say that I have been gluten-free for about 2 months now and though I am not symptom free, the first thing that improved was my mood. I no longer feel foggy and miserable. For the first time in years, my head is clear, I can actually think, and I feel positive and like I am in control of what's going on in my head. I don't hate the world. I don't spend every day bawled up on the corner of the couch depressed and angry. The release of these horrible symptoms is enough to never make me want to cheat, no matter what I have to miss out on. So insane how a little minuscule amount of a stupid protein can wreck such havoc.