Last month, I had high hopes of posting lots of yummy Christmas recipes and sharing all my seasonal filled bakes with you, but then things changed and I find myself in the midst of a food crisis. You see, I've recently found out I'm Dairy Intolerant. For anyone with an allergy or intolerance, this can be troublesome. But for a butter loving baker, I'm taking it pretty hard.
I see myself as a pretty positive person, I never shy away from a challenge, so I cheerfully accepted my new dairy free lifestyle and carried on regardless. But then with every passing day came a new revelation of a favourite food that I could no longer eat. Pizza, carbonara pasta, milk chocolate, calzone, mashed potatoes, cream cakes, biscuits, crackers, most flavoured crisps, halloumi, cheese, buttered toast etc all gone in one fell swoop.
Now of COURSE I can go about substituting products in all of these things and eating a dairy free version of all of the above, but any readers of this blog will know my penchant for milk chocolate filled bakes and butter laden cookies so it was slowly dawning on me that things were going to have to change. In a big way.
I've been looking towards Vegan food options for 'safe' supermarket purchases, but this is proving costly so I'm now going back to basics and am committed to trying to teach myself how to cook. Most people are surprised by the fact that I can't cook but I'm a sweet baker born and bred. Gimme savoury ingredients and I tend to get a bit lost...
So that's where I look to my lovely readers! Do you have any dairy free/vegan food finds and recipes that you can share with me? I can still eat eggs and meat so I'm not fully embracing a vegan diet but it's safe to say I'll be looking towards Vegan foods when I start to eat out again as any cross contamination with milk products does not end well for me...
And on a positive note, I'm sure my arteries will thank me for this diet change in years to come! I don't find myself craving the foods I cut out as I visualise how they make me feel when I eat them and it puts me right off.
Thankfully, new food labelling legislations mean that any products with milk in have to be clearly labelled as so and that's been a life saver for me. My biggest hurdle seems to be buying any loose foods from supermarkets as you have to physically 'ask' for allergen lists and this can be very time consuming. I wish the leading supermarkets could just have an accessible list of allergen info somewhere ON the aisle so I could find out for myself but instead I'm resorting to printing off the allergen lists online and trying to remember to take them with me when shopping. I guess it'll all sink in eventually!
So that's my news. I'm hoping to be able to start to share some dairy free/vegan recipes with you shortly but please feel free to post any links in the comments. See those muffins above? Banana and dark chocolate chip dairy free muffins! And the (American) Oreo brownies below? Dairy free too!
Oh and guess what? Peanut Butter is dairy free! Silver lining people!!