A few months ago Alisa Fleming asked me to review her book, Go Dairy Free. Alisa runs a wonderful website, GoDairyFree.org – it’s one of the best resources to find information on dairy-free living that I’ve ever encountered. She also has a blog – One Frugal Foodie – that offers economical recipes for *real food* (all dairy-free of course).
Alisa’s book begins with her own story. She was diagnosed in her 30s with a dairy allergy after experiencing severe health issues for years. It’s quite shocking that it wasn’t diagnosed earlier (read her story – you’ll be amazed).
Go Dairy Free is like an encyclopedia for dairy-free living. Any topic you could have a question about is covered (I think). The first part of the book discusses the “health perspective” of dairy – why people think it’s necessary, what’s in it, how it’s processed, disease information, allergies, and more. This part was well written and detailed. I found it incredibly interesting, and often found myself nodding in agreement. I’ve experienced many of the problems that she discusses (acne, bloating, etc…) but only recently have I attributed them to dairy.
Next she offers a primer on how to start living dairy-free. Everything from tips for eating out, to helping kids be dairy-free, to stocking your kitchen, and a huge section on dairy substitutes.
My favorite part though – the recipes. After the first few sections, I wanted to see suggestions for dairy-free meals! I don’t eat much dairy at all (at this point it’s only minimal cheese and the occasional ice cream), but I definitely get stuck in a rut with my meals.
I haven’t posted about any of the recipes I’ve tried, but I’ve made a few – the “Spicy Sweet Oven Fries” with a few different potato and squash varieties. They are delicious. I love new combinations of spices. Alisa is so creative! Her “Lively Lemon Stir-Fry” is fabulous. Stir-frys are my go-to meal and this one does not disappoint. The recipes section is huge – she has breakfasts, smoothies, snacks, breads, soups, sides, salads, meals, sauces, and desserts. Yum!
Some more recipes that I want to try:
- “Real Donuts”
- Smoothie recipes (Coco-Nog, Mango Colada, and more)
- Carrot Cake Salad (breakfast or a nice side)
- Lemon Streusel Squares (I want to make these for my mom; we always share lemon squares for dessert when we go out together)
- I could go on…
(Alisa’s actually tried my recipe for Dutch Babies, a very cool German pancake! Check out her version.)
This book is great not only for people with milk allergies, but other allergies as well. At the end of the book is an allergy index for all of her recipes that says whether they are vegan, egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free, and peanut-free. How cool is that?
One thing in particular that I loved about Go Dairy Free was the tone. It’s not a crazed PETA publication, it’s a helpful resource for people that can’t eat dairy. Some people don’t eat it because of an allergy, some for religious reasons, others for ethical reasons, etc… Every statement in this book is backed up with facts, and it is evident that Alisa spend an *incredible* amount of time on this book, all in an effort to help those of us with dairy issues!
(If I had one complaint it would be a lack of pictures, but the cover image is beautiful and enticing. Update: this link has pictures for many of the recipes.)
I highly recommend Go Dairy Free and the oodles of recipes it contains (many inspired or created by fellow bloggers!). I learned so much reading this book (I’m a science & health nerd) and I have gotten so many good ideas.
Have you read it yet? What are you waiting for!