As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’ve unfortunately developed several food intolerances, and when an elimination diet (see my E is for Elimination Diet post) quickly pinned one of the culprits down as dairy I was a far-from-happy bunny. Up til this point, my diet had always included a lot of dairy. The only coffee that I can tolerate is latte, and my addiction to Giant Chocolate Buttons is legendary! I find the taste of soya milk highly unpleasant (not to mention its faint grey pallor exceedingly off putting!), and the prospect of having to live a dairy-free life was not only quite depressing, but also very trying. You wouldn’t believe the weird and wonderful things milk sneaks into! It’s the James Bond of food substances! Thankfully, I discovered Lactofree.
What is Lactofree?
The majority of dairy intolerants do not produce sufficient lactase enzyme and are therefore unable to digest lactose, a natural sugar present in cow’s milk. Lactofree is a range of cow’s milk products which do not contain lactose.
What products are available?
- Semi-skimmed milk (chilled, long life or long life portion packs)
- Whole milk (chilled or long life)
- Fruit yoghurt
- Semi-hard cheese
- Soft white cheese
- Cream (available May 2011)
The relief to be able to have some real dairy in my diet again was absolutely monumental. I don’t have anywhere near as much dairy as I used to, but it’s so wonderful to have the freedom to have dairy once in a while yet be confident that I won’t be horribly ill afterwards.
Lactofree are still developing new products and have carried out several surveys to see which products their consumers are most eager to see. Personally I’m really hoping they add a skimmed milk imminently. I used to use skimmed milk in my pre-dairy intolerance days in any case, and following a year avoiding dairy altogether, I find even the semi-skimmed Lactofree tastes too creamy for me in a latte. Lactofree tastes exactly the same as regular cow’s milk to me, and I have also used it in cooking with great success.
The semi-hard cheese has a texture much the same as Edam (slightly rubbery, to my mind!), but tastes like quite mild cheddar. I prefer my cheese quite strong, and used to buy the extra mature brands so I find it a little mild for my tastes but still buy it quite happily rather than go without cheese. I’ve also tried grilling it for Welsh Rarebit, and whilst it doesn’t melt quite so well as cheddar, it still tastes lovely. I’m hoping Lactofree may eventually make a more mature version as well.
Lactofree have some quite impressive resources to support us dairy intolerants. Their website has regular news, advice on following an elimination diet, a restaurant guide, a community forum, helpful links, and even a recipe club. There is also a Lactofree facebook page and twitter feed. Now, everybody join up and petition for Lactofree Giant Chocolate Buttons!