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Tag: dairy-free

Should Everyone Be Gluten-free and Dairy-free?

Reader question: (note: this is a multi-part conversation)

Hi Elizabeth. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your time and wisdom last we talked. I really appreciate you and your consciousness around healing and food. 
I’m wondering if you could share information with me. I am in conversation with my son’s father about nutrition . He has up to this point honored my requests for my son to be gluten and dairy free and also my request around him eating organic food options. Now his dad is really beginning to resist this and we are meeting to have a conversation this Sunday.

I am seeking information about the benefits of eating gluten free, dairy free and organic. Do you have any resources you can share that I can use in my discussion? I would love to come to the conversation with good information. I have a good grasp and am reaching out to others who use good to heal to gain additional source support. Any articles you can share would be deeply appreciated.
Blessings ~Rachel T., Denver, CO

Hi Rachel! A new study out last week showed that organic foods could ward off cancer.

Actually I am not sure I believe that all people should be gluten-free and dairy-free (only those who are sensitive to them, and as long as they are organic sources) so can’t really give you much in terms of those. I do think that organic is the most important of the things you mention.

Thank you ! Can you tell me why you feel gluten and dairy are beneficial to those not sensitive ? 

I want to do what is best for him . 
He’s always eaten gf and dairy free because I am. We have never had any issues with digestion, spitting  up as a baby or rashes. He seems pretty balanced. Would it make sense to get him tested? 

Rachel, I am personally wheat-free and dairy-free (among other things) because my body can’t tolerate them, but my husband and kids eat wheat and dairy and I keep them in the house for them. If they had to abstain from everything I have to avoid eating, they would really hate me. They are exposed to a lot of alternatives to gluten and dairy, which they sometimes choose, but it is their choice.

While I use my influence as The Mom to provide organic foods, homemade meals, and fruits and vegetables, the only things I think everyone across the board should avoid are:

  • Additives, preservatives, and other chemicals in our food supply.
  • Artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and scents.
  • Anything synthetic.
  • GMOs.
I feel so strongly about this that it was the topic of my TEDx talk titled, “Poisons in Our Everyday Foods.

Beyond that, it comes down to the individual as to what their body can tolerate. I’m not a fan in general of removing entire food groups willy-nilly. Most people do fine with organic wheat (70-90% of the population), and wheat has sustained human beings for more than 5,000 years. It’s difficult to go through life without eating wheat in our world, and just because something is “gluten-free” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier. Often gluten-free items have many more ingredients and are more heavily processed than their wheat counterparts. Homemade bread, for example, only has a few ingredients.

Same for dairy. If he tries it and has issues, then he should avoid it. But otherwise, organic dairy products aren’t necessarily “bad” for everyone. I don’t think kids need to be drinking milk, though whole milk is always preferable if they want to.
How old is he? Does he have any ailments or struggles, digestive or otherwise?
I usually only recommend testing for people who are trying to resolve symptoms. Healthy people can certainly do the test, too, but not 100% of the population needs to or even should.
As for getting the MRT food sensitivity testing for a healthy kid with no current physical issues? I would say it is not needed. I’d rather not test a child who isn’t suffering and put him on a restricted diet unnecessarily and possibly create an unhealthy attitude toward food or an eating disorder as a result.
If his normal state is healthy, then you can likely identify the culprit of any new negative symptom if it arises in him. Just remember that food sensitivity reactions are dose-dependent and can manifest as long as four days after exposure. Then do the detective work to remember what new he could have eaten within the time frame.
Of course, if at any time he or anyone else experiences anaphylaxis, call 911 and give him an appropriate-sized dose of Benedryl or use an Epi-Pen as directed.
I hope this is helpful! Best of luck!

Miyoko’s Vegan Cream Cheese from Cashews and Coconut Cream

If you are living dairy-free, it can be hard to find a good, satisfying cream cheese, so I was thrilled to discover Miyoko’s Plainly Classic Vegan Cream Cheese. A little tangy, smooth and spreadable, it’s seriously yummy.

Made from cashews and coconut cream, it’s a safe option for many people on restricted diets, or following a customized anti-inflammatory LEAP dietary program for maximum relief from inflammation.

Enjoy it anywhere you’d enjoy regular cream cheese: on wheat products like bagels, crackers, or toast; or, if you’re trying to avoid wheat and gluten, try it with gluten-free bagels, rice crackers, or even gluten-free matzohs (made from potatoes).

You can even bake with this vegan cream cheese: hello cheese cake! I’ll let you know if I make the attempt to make a dairy-free, wheat-free cheese cake with this. If you make one, please share the recipe in the comments below!

If you want to know more about the anti-inflammatory benefits of a customized LEAP diet, contact me to schedule a free initial phone consultation to learn more about it.

Wheat-free Swedish Pancakes

Dorothy's Derby ChroniclesMy son went to a friend’s slumber party and came home raving about the Swedish Pancakes his friend’s mom made for breakfast the morning after. He begged me to make them when it came time to host his own slumber party, and my friend and author of a really fun new book series about a fiesty eleven-year old girl who gets into roller derby, Meghan Doherty graciously obliged with her grandmother’s recipe for this family favorite.

Swedish Pancakes -- Wheat-free, Dairy-free
Swedish Pancakes — Wheat-free, Dairy-free These are prefect circles because I cooked them in an itty bitty cast iron Le Creuset skillet. The ones cooked on my larger griddle were amorphous but every bit as tasty.

Swedish Pancakes, I learned, are kind of like crepes, but perhaps a little more eggy. The version I made were thin and spongey, slightly reminiscent of the Ethiopian crepe-like flatbread called injera in texture though not in flavor. The flavor was tantalizingly of butter.

A light texture with the taste of butter. Like a croissant tastes like butter. Decadent and delicious and addictive.

I altered the recipe a little to make my version of the pancakes wheat-free and dairy free. I also tripled the recipe to make enough for the eleven pre-teen boys and myself and my husband. I cooked them on my cast iron pizza pan and in my itty-bitty one-egg cast iron skillet, and I was at the stove for well over an hour flipping pancakes.

I love substituting spelt flour for wheat flour in recipes. Spelt is an ancient cousin of wheat but has not been as adulterated as our wheat has been. Although spelt is a gluten grain, the gluten protein is different from that of wheat. Many people who cannot tolerate the wheat in our country without uncomfortable symptoms can handle spelt just fine. If you try spelt flour you’ll find love it for its reliability in recipes that call for wheat. I use a one-to-one ratio of spelt flour to wheat flour.

My reward was hearing Meghan’s son declare that my Swedish Pancakes were as good as his mom’s were. While I don’t know about that, I will say that it made for a fun morning.

Good thing that the evils of butter have been debunked and we can recognize that real butter can be a part of a nourishing whole foods diet. I always choose organic butter that is rGbh-free and made with milk from cows that were fed a non-GMO diet.

Here, in Meghan’s own words (with my alterations in parentheses) is the easy recipe for these breakfast treats. Thanks, Meghan!
[print-me target=”.recipe”]

Swedish Pancakes

Makes enough for 4-5 people.

1 ½ cups flour (spelt flour)

1 tsp salt (sea salt)

2 tsp sugar (organic cane sugar, maple sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey)

3 well beaten eggs (organic)

3 cups milk (organic milk substitute of choice: soy, almond, coconut, etc.)

3 tbs butter (organic butter or coconut oil)

Fry at 380 degrees, super hot (medium-high on a gas stovetop).  I use pam on the griddle before I pour batter (I used butter to grease the griddle). I usually combine the flour, salt, sugar, and then I melt the butter in the microwave before mixing it into the rest or it gets too lumpy.   Wisk or use the hand blender to get smooth batter and all the lumps out or they don’t taste quite right.  I do these on the griddle.  Just know that they are super runny and will never be round, but firm up in a few seconds.  Just cook them a couple minutes or so on each side, or until light brown flecks show up.  Super crepe like consistency.

Gluten-free Quinoa Muffins

A food-sensitivity client asked me to help her create a quinoa muffin recipe that uses ingredients that are all safe for her. I decided to take it a step further and make the recipe more universally-accessible for a variety of sensitivities by writing it to be adaptable to any needs. Use your preferred oil, milk or milk-substitute, eggs or egg-substitute, berries or fruits, etc. and make the recipe your own.

I tested it out this weekend and my kids gobbled up the results. I hope you like them, too.

LEAP-Safe Quinoa Muffins

Gluten-free Quinoa Muffins
Gluten-free Quinoa Muffins

Wheat-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Nut-free 

Yield: 12 muffins or 36 mini-muffins


  • 2 cups quinoa flour
  • 2 ½ tsp aluminum-free baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbs. safe oil or mango puree
  • 1 cup milk, safe milk substitute, or water
  • 2 eggs, or 2 Tbs tapioca flour or ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs warm water, or 2 mashed ripe bananas, or other safe egg substitute
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or safe sweetener
  • 2 cups dried cranberries or other dried or frozen fruit or berry, or nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the milk or water, oil or fruit puree, eggs or egg substitute, maple syrup in a smaller bowl and add to the dry mixture. Stir well. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Add the berries and/or nuts and fold into the batter.
  5. Ladle the batter evenly between 12 cups. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Move to a wire rack to cool completely before storing or freezing.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins for regular muffins, 12 mins for mini-muffins
Total time: 35 mins


Quinoa Muffins

Dairy-Free New England Fish Chowder Recipe

I love the taste of creamy New England fish chowder, but that dairy base does not love me back. So, when I was faced with a few pounds of rapidly thawing fish fillets of various sorts after our recent freezer thaw, I created my own dairy-free version of that creamy chowder that may even surpass the classic.

Creamy and delicious, this dairy-free New England Fish Chowder was a big hit.
Creamy and delicious, this dairy-free New England Fish Chowder was a big hit.

I made something like 10 quarts of this soup to freeze for the winter, so I’m just going to tell you what I did and what I used but you’ll have to figure out your own amounts.

[print-me target=”.recipe”]

Non-Dairy New England Fish Chowder


  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fresh green chiles (I used Anaheim and Jalepeño)
  • Potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • Corn kernels (frozen are fine)
  • Kale or chard, washed and chopped
  • Fillets of fish


First, I minced a bunch of garlic and onions and sautéed them in coconut oil in a large stock pot. Ok, I actually blended them up in my Mini Bullet blender because if my son can spot a shred of onion chances are he will reject the entire bowl. He’s ok if he doesn’t see it, so I blend them. In your own soup, you can, of course, do whatever you’d like.

I seeded and deveined a fresh Anaheim green chile and a fresh jalepeño pepper, then chopped them up and added them to the sauté.

After just a few minutes, I poured pure coconut milk and water into the pot. I’m trying to avoid canned coconut milk these days because the cans are lined with BPA, so I used an ingenious product that is organic dried and condensed coconut milk. It comes in a small brick. Chisel some off and add water and voilá! Instant coconut milk. I’ve also used this dried coconut milk in place of dried dairy milk in an instant hot cocoa mix.

When I had a good bit of coconut milk/water in the pot, I added a dozen diced potatoes (with the skin on), the kernels from six ears of fresh organic corn, a bunch of kale, washed and chopped roughly, and about 6 lbs. of fish fillets. I think we had orange roughy, tilapia, and halibut, but it didn’t matter. Any fish would have been just fine.

The chowder simmered until the potatoes were tender and the fish flaked apart. After seasoning with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, the soup was ready to serve!