- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 05 October 2016
- Written by MARIE SOLDO | STAFF WRITER
The struggle is real, and it has been exceptionally real for me. For the past three years, I have endured awful stomach pain. After several misdiagnoses and countless doctor visits, I found out that I am lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance means that your body has a deficiency of the enzyme lactase which aids in the digestion of lactose, a sugar found in milk. I had to immediately change my lifestyle, and the transition has not been easy. The only bright side to lactose intolerance is that I do not need to be on any medications; I simply have to avoid anything that contains lactose. There are many alternatives and lactose-free recipes I have found to make this transition into a lactose-free diet a bit simpler. For those of you that know the struggle of being lactose-intolerant, I hope that you will give some of these recipes a try.
Fall is upon us, and what’s fall without a warm, delicious pumpkin spice latte? Here is a recipe that’s healthy and lactose-free. In a saucepan on the stove, heat 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, or the two can be microwaved anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds. Next, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of Stevia or any sweetener of your choice. If needed, blend for 30 seconds to make sure it is foamy enough. Pour 8 ounces of brewed coffee into a mug, add the foamy mixture, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy. Besides the typical PSL, there is the simple pumpkin spice iced, or hot, coffee. I run on Dunkin’ and I am a pumpkin lover. Many do not know this, but Dunkin’ Donuts has almond milk that can be added to coffee instead of regular milk or cream if you are lactose intolerant.
If you can’t get enough pumpkin and have some free time, there is a recipe that would be perfect for you to try. Whip up a batch of some cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins. A lot of ingredients are involved but they are worth it in the end. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup canola or coconut oil, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, and lastly, 1 cup whole wheat flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the muffin pan with any non-stick baking spray. First, whisk together the pumpkin puree and your choice of oil and then add in the eggs. Then add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Give it a good stir and then add the last two ingredients, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour. Pour the batter into the muffin pans, sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. If you are baking mini muffins, they typically only need about 13-15 minutes to bake.
As the search continues for more lactose-free recipes, there are many alternatives to ingredients that might upset one’s stomach, which has made my journey, thus far, of being lactose intolerant an easier one. Instead of regular milk, I have been drinking Califia Farms almond milk. They have many different delicious flavors: vanilla, chocolate, coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla coconut. Califia Farms also has lactose free cold brew coffees with flavors like cocoa noir, XX espresso, salted caramel, mocha, cafe latte, and there is even a pumpkin spice one for fall. If you have a sweet tooth, you will definitely want to try the almond milk and coconut milk ice cream by So Delicious. They have such an array of flavors that it is almost overwhelming, and difficult, to choose which ones to try because they really are so delicious. The ice cream flavors are chocolate cookies and cream, very vanilla, creamy chocolate, cappuccino, dark chocolate truffle, salted caramel cluster, snickerdoodle, chocolate peanut butter swirl, cookie dough, mint chip, mocha almond fudge, butter pecan, simply strawberry, and Oregon mixed berry. I have tried chocolate cookies and cream as well as snickerdoodle and both are too good for words. These products can be found at Whole Foods and other health food specialty stores.
The brand So Delicious has a variety of recipes on their website, including seasonal ones for Thanksgiving and Christmas, like pumpkin donuts, gingerbread cookies, bundt cakes, and plenty of pies. If you’re looking for something healthier than ice cream, be sure to try Stonyfield Organic O’ Soy yogurt. As of right now, there are only four flavors: vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry, but they are all delicious and very filling.
Lactose intolerance, although chronic, is a diagnosis that requires a lifestyle change. However, there are many resources that guide a lactose individual in making these changes. Utilizing online lactose-free recipesh and finding alternatives to your favorite foods will help make your transition to a lactose-free lifestyle much smoother. You will find that the struggle of being lactose-intolerant is not that bad after all.
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