“Casein, one of the proteins in milk and dairy products, is particularly difficult to digest. These molecules are known to stimulate opiate receptors in the brain thus producing “brain fog” and quite literally an addiction to casein containing foods.”
A child who craves dairy products and who largely limits his diet to dairy has a high likelihood of being sensitive to them and has high potential to benefit from a casein free diet.” (1)
For families who have opted to remove casein from their child’s diet, they often are left wondering about how to best substitute milk products in their diet. For more information on how to begin, visit Starting a Casein Free Diet.
Replacing milk products is not as difficult as it may initially seem. These days, the markets are filled with a wide assortment of alternative “milks”. You can find milks made from:
Be sure to check both the refrigerated and shelf sections in your store. I recommend experimenting with various types of milk substitutes until you find one that your child likes. One advantage of a lot of the milk substitutes on the market today is that many come in original, chocolate or vanilla flavors. Depending upon your individual needs some offer additional variations in fat, sugar, calcium or protein amounts.
Substitutions for Baking
If you are using milk when baking, substitute the exact measurement needed of cow’s milk with your alternative milk.
Earth Balance, an artificial-free substitution comes in tubs or sticks. There are many varieties, including the newest one, which is Gluten Free and Casein Free. Soy free is also available and comes in a red tub.
Ghee is another option that individuals moving toward a casein free diet seek out. Although Ghee is casein free, it does contain milk fat, as it is clarified butter. It has been reported that some react to Ghee as it is hard to remove all of the casein, however others are fine with it.
You can find Ghee in international markets or the international areas of your store. Look in either in the refrigerated section or on a shelf.
Substitutions for Baking
When baking, consider using shortening in place of butter or margarine. I recommend Spectrum or 365, as they both make organic shortening products.
When baking with Earth Balance, simply use the same measurement in your recipe as you would regular margarine or butter.
Oils are another option to use in place of melted butter or margarine.
Replacing milk products does not have to be as overwhelming and tedious as it initially sounds. With a bit of investigation and trial and error, you are sure to find a milk substitute to meet your needs.
(1) Baker, Linda, M.D. “What Does Digestive Health Have To Do With Autism?” Special-Ism. Special-Ism, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2014.