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Substitions for milk. Any advice?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 tamiam

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 01:09 PM

I am going to make some bread pudding later on and all my recipes call for lots of cream or milk. Since the lactose really makes me suffer, I try to avoid it where I can. Usually I just eat something else. But I miss all the baking I used to do before discovering the cause of all my blecky stomache feelings. :wacko:

I know that the higher the fat content, the less the sugar (lactose) content. Luckily, for me, this means that butter is fine (thank god!!!), as are many cheeses, and heavy cream in small doses.

I've used soy milk instead of milk in baked goods where the volume is small (i.e. 1/4 C or less). But I don't care for soy milk on its own or in a latte because it has a kind of wierd sweetness to it.

I am curious about people's knowledge or experience about when using soy (or something else) is fine. When would you substitute? When wouldn't you? Does anyone have experiences or great ideas to share???

PS...I am ashamed to talk about yucky tummy in a place devoted to the worship of food, but since this is reputed to affect 1 in 3 people, someone must know how to bake well and still avoid the problem).
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

#2 scott123

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 10:51 PM

As vegan of about 3 years, here are some ideas I came up with for replacing milk:

Blended soft tofu - you can't use too much of this, but overall it's a lot more 'milkier' than soy milk. Better color too.
Almond milk - homemade is better than the watery/sweetened stuff in boxes
Cashew milk - homemade
Coconut milk - it really depends on the recipe (and your willingness to consume fat)

As an Atkins follower for about 1 year, here's what I've picked up recently:

Whey protein isolate/calcium casienate (the two milk proteins). Although they won't be even close to real milk, they will give you a dairy like taste.

Can you handle cultured milk products? Buttermilk and sour cream is fairly low in lactose.

#3 EdS

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 01:33 AM

You could try using Lactaid. I actually prefer the taste of soy milk over dairy milk but I cannot imagine cooking with the stuff. Then again, I'm a tofu fiend. Real tofu, that is, not that stuff sold in a plastic tub.

#4 tamiam

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 07:30 PM

Almond milk - homemade is better than the watery/sweetened stuff in boxes
Cashew milk - homemade

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Thanks for the ideas. How do you make homemade nut milk?

My bread pudding came out delish. Either the soy milk works just fine or the bourbon, sugar and vanilla covered it up really well. My fiance, who says he doesn't really care for bread pudding, ate about half the pan as a taste test.

I wonder if you can get nut or seed milks to thicken into a custard or otherwise behave like real milk???
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

#5 scott123

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 08:54 PM

Almond milk - homemade is better than the watery/sweetened stuff in boxes
Cashew milk - homemade

View Post


Thanks for the ideas. How do you make homemade nut milk?

My bread pudding came out delish. Either the soy milk works just fine or the bourbon, sugar and vanilla covered it up really well. My fiance, who says he doesn't really care for bread pudding, ate about half the pan as a taste test.

I wonder if you can get nut or seed milks to thicken into a custard or otherwise behave like real milk???

View Post


To make nut milk, you toss water and blanched raw nuts (either almonds or cashews) in a blender and then blend until smooth. More water = thinner, less = thicker. If memory serves me correctly, if you blend it enough, it should become nice and milky, but I think some people pass it through cheesecloth.

Nut milks, as far as I recall, act very similarly to milk in cooking. You definitely don't want to boil them (unless you add some sort of stabilizer), and simmering might be iffy as well. But keep the heat to a minimum, they should be fine.

Because of the gentle heat involved, I think they'd be fantastic in custard or bread pudding.

Blended raw cashews (cashew paste) play an invaluable role in North Indian Cuisine as well.

#6 NulloModo

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 09:06 PM

I wonder also if the Low-Carb milks (like the Carb Countdown stuff by Hood) might work? They are much lower in sugar, which I am assuming is lactose, so perhaps consuming those half and half with heavy cream might do the trick?
He don't mix meat and dairy,
He don't eat humble pie,
So sing a miserere
And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

#7 Amanda2004

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 09:19 PM

I was highly allergic to dairy as a child and my mom always gave me soy milk until I developed an allergy to that as well. I can recommend rice milk. It doesn't have too strong a flavor (unless you get a flavored variety, I think they make vanillas and chocolates and things now) although it's a bit on the watery side.

Also, in some cases, like in making a cake or something, you can use an applesauce/water/oil combination to compensate for the milk and eggs. The resulting product will be denser but I've always thought it's better than going without.

#8 tamiam

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 02:29 AM

Thank you all....many tummies will be calmed by your ideas. Actually, except for the cream in my coffee and things like custards, it isn't much trouble to avoid milk. Never had much in my diet to begin with, and an itty bitty or two of someone else's creme brulee won't hurt much...
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther