The Cost of Dairy Free
June 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
I was lying awake in bed at 2am last night because something was niggling in the back of my mind. I blamed my sleeplessness on freezing toes that two pairs of socks couldn’t warm, but then out of the blue it hit me – the Arnott’s malt-o-milk biscuits that I had been eating all week contain milk powder! Apparently all my comments on ‘hidden dairy’ weren’t enough to get the message into my head, I was still only focusing on obviously dairy dairy!
This also led me to realize that my diet (apart from vanilla milk and ice cream) was more about avoiding anything dairy than trying to incorporate substitutions. So I spent some serious research time in the health aisle of my local Coles this afternoon and here are some findings:
- There are so many delicious oils you can substitute for baking, dipping breads, roasting, cooking mushrooms…Think olive, grapeseed, avocado, orange, macadamia, rice bran, canola and sesame (to name a few!)
- Sweet William Dairy Free Chocolate is $2.19/50g bar. Per 100g it has: 42.7g sugar, 32% cocoa solids, 2120kj (507cal), 31.7g fat.
- BUT! It tastes fake and watery and saccharine like. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dairy Free Eating tells me that chocolate with cocoa solids over 50% is usually fine for dairy allergies, so I would still prefer to eat Lindt Dark Noir: $3.50/100g block, 28g sugar, 70% cocoa solids, 2180kj, 40g fat. It’s the real deal and has no artificial sweeteners.
- LEDA produces:
- ‘Choculence’ – Tim Tam style
- ‘Minton’ – like a Mint Slice
- Choc rum balls (all made from dairy free compound choc) $3.99/pack of 9
- Fruit filled bows (GF, DF) $4.64/ 5 bars
- Freedom Foods has separate lactose free and dairy free biscuits so check the labels carefully.
I bought Freedom Foods crunchy coconut biscuits (GF, WF, DF) and LEDA Ginger Nut cookies (GF, DF). Both are pretty good, using canola oil in place of butter. The coconut biscuits are slightly reminiscent of macaroons, if that’s your thing!
- I bought faux cheese – Simply Better Foods Soy Cheese (black pepper) – no gluten, no butter fat, no lactose. This isn’t completely dairy-free as it does contain casein, but I couldn’t find one that didn’t in my supermarket. It tastes like the triangular pieces of long life cream cheese that I used to eat as a kid, but not quite as nice. It’s definitely edible but has 70% canola oil and leaves an oily aftertaste. It cost $5 for 200g.
Dairy free substitutes are slightly more expensive than the ‘regular’ product but I don’t think the difference would be too noticeable on the grocery bill.
Here are some comparisons (average price used):
Skim – $2.10
Regular – $1.90
Soy – $2.50
Rice – $3.00
Almond – $5.50
Blue Ribbon (buttermilk based) $5.25/1.25litre
So Good (DF) $5.65/litre
Weiss sorbet $6.99/litre
Butter (Check ingredients list as many oil based spreads contain dairy)
Nuttelex (DF) $3.18/500g
I also bought plain soy (skim), which I’ll try tonight, and another brand of berry yoghurt, this one only has 10g sugar.
The things you learn from half an hour in Coles – although one staff member came up to ask if he could help when he saw me note taking…maybe he thought I was going undercover for Woolworths?!