If you know me, you know I’m Lactose Intolerant.
I’m SO lactose intolerant, I’ve been known to swear at cows. It’s has been an issue with me since I was 20, and without letting on how old I am, let’s just say I’ve learned to live with for some time now.
People like me can eat anything Vegan, thankfully that’s pretty popular around the Pacific Northwest. Also anything Kosher listed as Parve. There’s a great market in Poulsbo that has nice Vegan and Kosher sections.
Over the years, the soy world has made great strides, and you can get amazing soy products beyond just soy milk that taste (to me) just like the real thing. Granted, I haven’t tasted the real thing in so long, I’m probably not the best judge of that.
But I’m talkin’ really good soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cream cheese, soy sour cream, soy cheese. There’s even a German product that’s soy whipped cream, in the fancy dispenser squirty can just like the real thing. They even make a really good soy yogurt that — while no more than about five flavors — at least taste really good. Sure, you have to stir them up to make sure there aren’t any tofu clumps that might turn you off, but that’s fine. Tofu has no taste, you understand, so if there are clumps it’s just your own mental state that might take issue. Since I have serious texture issues with things like Tapioca or Rice Pudding, I stir the yogurt.
For the most part, I don’t miss all the old dairy stuff. Milk, ice cream, milk-chocolate, cheese . . . Okay, the cheese is an issue when eating out, but you just deal with it and find other menu items to enjoy. (And can I just add – seriously, people, you don’t need a pizza with extra cheese, with more cheese stuffed in the crust. You may never poop again) But I can order a take-and-bake pizza (Papa Murphy, I adore you) sans cheese, bring it home and add soy cheese, and enjoy a great pizza. The teenagers behind the counter have even stopped gaping at me when I order a large Canadian bacon and tomato, no cheese.
“Whaddaya mean, no cheese?”
“I mean please don’t put cheese on the pizza, thank you.”
“But I don’t . . .I mean, it’s pizza.”
And I can use soy ingredients to make my own version of Ranch salad dressing, my favorite. Soy milk can be substituted for regular milk straight across in any recipe, and there’s even a to-die-for soy pudding now.
The one thing I’ve been really frustrated with are those Yoplait Light Yogurt commercials, where the woman is telling her friend all the wonderful things she’s eating and still losing weight. Yogurts that taste like Lemon Meringue Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake.
Soy yogurts don’t come in those flavors.
Well during my internet travels, I’ve come upon several cow-swearing sites that claim we can eat regular yogurt, so long as it contains Active Live Cultures – because those little buggers are digesting the lactose for you. Plus, like cheese, during the creation of the yogurt, the lactase enzyme is removed, only unlike cheese, they don’t put it back in.
Unwilling to risk it, I got my sister to try a regular yogurt, she’s intolerant too but she has a higher threshold than I do.
And she really misses yogurt !
So she did. She ate one, and we waited.
And waited a bit more.
The next day, she ate another, and we waited.
We did this for a week, she’d have a regular yogurt once a day, and low and behold she didn’t get sick!
So I decided to give it a shot, and while it still surprises me, I didn’t get sick.
Now we’re buying those Yoplait Light flavors every week, having one a day (occasionally a second one as an evening snack, since hell, they’re only 100 calories) and neither of us has gotten sick.
And damn, these things are great! They seriously do taste exactly how they claim, which is probably all due to chemistry and science, but who the hell cares, they’re Yummy!
Now if only I could figure out a really tasty milk-free fudge. . .