Top 5: Dairy- and soy-free substitutes for holiday meals

Maybe your family has mastered gluten-free cooking and baking, but could they accommodate a gluten- and dairy-free meal? What about soy free? Luckily, a selection of dairy-, gluten- and soy-free products are readily available at grocery stores, making their procurement and use hassle free. And trust me, no one will know the difference. Here are some of my favorite dairy- and soy-free substitutes for holiday and everyday cooking and baking.

1. Butter

Earth Balance natural spread comes in a soy-free version that can be used to make buttery mashed potatoes, when sautéing vegetables for stuffing, or for sweet potato casserole crumble topping or cobbler, and it spreads fabulously. Buy it in a tub or baking sticks.

2. Cream

So Delicious’ line of coconut creamers is ideal for baking and cooking. There is no coconut flavor, so use them in place of cream and half and half. The original is the best bet when making creamy mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or casseroles. The flavored creamers give coffee and tea a sweet, smooth kick.

3. Condensed and evaporated milk

Nature’s Charm has just about cornered the market on coconut-based condensed and evaporated milk. Made from plant-based ingredients, it tastes better than whatever dairy-based version you may have used.


4. Whipped cream

Available in regular and lite, the CocoWhip! from So Delicious is perfect for topping ice cream or pie, or eating straight from the container by the spoonful. It is light and creamy with a coconut flavor. Sorry, but Cool Whip isn’t dairy free, and the ingredients aren’t very clean, either.

5. Dessert

This category needs to be broken down because dessert is important and means something different to everyone. For me, it means ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate chip cookies.

  • Chocolate. Hands-down, my favorite dairy-free chocolate comes from Enjoy Life Foods. Its mini and mega chunks and dark chocolate morsels are perfect for baking because they are delicious and melt wonderfully. Free of the top eight common allergens, they are made with clean ingredients and taste great straight from the bag.
  • Ice cream. What is a holiday meal without ice cream for dessert? There are so many options to choose from, but my favorites are Sprouts Farmers Market‘s and NadaMoo‘s coconut milk and So Delicious‘ cashew milk ice creams. Sprouts’ chocolate coconut ice cream is wonderfully decadent and creamy. NadaMoo’s ice cream is made with coconut milk and sweetened with agave nectar. The cookies and cream (real cookies) and birthday cake (with real cake) varieties are personal favorites. So Delicious’ cashew milk ice cream is sweetened with cane syrup, and is creamier and a little saltier than its almond- or coconut-based versions. The creamy cashew and the salted caramel cluster are insanely delicious.

Happy holidays!

News Editor Jennifer Harris is a gluten-free consultant and blogs at



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