Category: Soy and Dairy-free

Great use for leftover almond pulp

We have been making our own almond milk now for a while with great success.  It saves a ton on the grocery bill and my son loves it.  I have found that soaking the almonds overnight is sometimes too much, so I usually only soak them for an hour.  Using our recipe of 1 c almonds (soaked for an hour and then drained), 3 c water, 2 T sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla (optional), we blend it all together in our VitaMix and then pour it through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth (I use a spoon to push out the excess milk or twist the cheesecloth and squeeze the milk out over a pitcher (I wash my hands really well to do this)).  We then chill until ready to use.  This method produces roughly 3 c of almond milk or so, costing about $1 (buying almonds in bulk).  That said, I have found that when I save the “paste” or leftover almond pulp in a tupperware, I can use it in baking.  There is enough paste leftover to make 4 c of almond milk.  I put the pulp in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 4 c.  I then stir it together to make the reconstituted “milk.”  I use this in muffins and pancakes and sometimes cake.  We can’t really taste the difference.  Using this method, I can get around 7 c of almond milk for $1!  This totally makes the effort worth it considering 1/2 gallon of almond milk costs almost $4 where we live.  Happy baking:)

Almond Milk Recipe

We have finally come up with a delicious almond milk recipe!!!!  My kids love it, and it bakes beautifully as well as tastes great.

Here it is:

1 c raw almonds
3 c water
2 T raw sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Soak almonds for 6 hours or overnight.  Rinse off almonds and place them in a blender (I use a Vita Mix) with 3 c water, sugar, and vanilla.  Blend together for 3 minutes.  Pour milk through a sieve lined with cheese cloth.  Use a spatula, if needed, to help milk strain faster.  You can also squeeze any additional milk through the cheesecloth if desired.  Place milk in refrigerator and enjoy!

Note:  I have been saving the leftover almond paste/matter and have had great success in using it in cakes and muffins.  No waste, and very yummy!!!  I’ll post another recipe soon!

Fortifying Almond/Rice Milk with Calcium

I’m looking into making my own Almond Milk and Rice Milk to save a little bit of money.  My biggest concern in making my own is making sure that it has enough calcium for my children (or that I supplement calcium in other ways).  When making almond milk, I am going to use a soy milk maker, though you can also use a blender or VitaMix, you just need to strain the almond/rice pulp out before sweetening and drinking.  I’ll let you know how it goes:)

For 6 cups of Almond Milk, I will use 1/2 c raw almonds + 1/4 c brown rice, soaked for 8 hours first.  I will then add 6 cups of water and process in my soy milk maker.  (If using a blender, blend until milky white and strain pulp.)  To sweeten I am going to add Raw Sugar and a little bit of vanilla, to taste.  I may also add a little bit of salt if I think that it needs it.  If you want to avoid any sugar, there are plenty of other options which I will discuss below.

Naturally Occurring Calcium Content in 1 c of Almond/Rice Milk:  38.08 mg of calcium

(1/2 c of almonds is roughly the same as 2.7 oz. (this is based off of the number of servings in my package of raw almonds).  This would make roughly 216 g of calcium in 6 cups.  The 1/4 c of brown rice will add 12.5 mg of calcium to the 6 cups of milk giving a total of 228.5 mg of calcium in 6 cups of almond/rice milk.)

Options for adding more calcium:

  • If you have calcium supplements (we have chewable), then you can add them to the rice/almond mixture before processing or blending them to add more calcium per cup (add as much as you need to compensate for lack of calcium, or to taste).

  • In trying to find the calcium content of certain items in g/mg, it is a little bit more difficult because many products label calcium as a percentage of the Daily Value rather than the exact mg.  Fortunately, I was able to find out what the recommended Daily Value for Calcium is (according to packages).  It is 1000 mg, so you can adjust your measurements based upon your needs.  Oat groats contain 20 mg per 1/4 c, so if you substitute oat groats for the brown rice (in the recipe above), then you will be able to add a little bit more natural calcium, though not much.  1 c almond/oat milk will give you 39.3 mg calcium.  Oat milk also has a really nice flavor, so I’m definitely going to experiment combining oats and almonds to see what results I can get.

(For more Daily Values, go here:

Options for sweetening almond/rice milk:

  • Although I haven’t tried this, in looking at the chart below, I am very interested in trying to add dried figs and blending them into the almond/rice milk as they have 300 mg of calcium per cup.  I think it’s worth trying to see if it sweetens it nicely.
  • Dried dates also are a great sweetener.  I would soak them in freshly made almond/rice milk (HOT) and then blend them together to form a smooth mixture.
  • Stevia and agave nectar are also other options for sweeteners.

If you have any good almond, rice, or oat milk recipes that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below and add them:)  According to what I currently spend on Rice and Almond milk each month (I have 6 kids), making my own will save me well over $60 a month.  That’s over $720 a year, and I will know exactly what is going into it, so no cross-contamination!  I’ll post my results later:)


In doing my research, I ran across this chart that lists the calcium content of certain foods (obviously we have to leave out the dairy right now):

Calcium Content of Selected Foods
Dairy and Soy Amount Calcium (mg)
Milk (skim, low fat, whole) 1 cup 300
Buttermilk 1 cup 300
Cottage Cheese .5 cup 65
Ice Cream or Ice Milk .5 cup 100
Sour Cream, cultured 1 cup 250
Soy Milk, calcium fortified 1 cup 200 to 400
Yogurt 1 cup 450
Yogurt drink 12 oz 300
Carnation Instant Breakfast 1 packet 250
Hot Cocoa, calcium fortified 1 packet 320
Nonfat dry milk powder 5 Tbsp 300
Brie Cheese 1 oz 50
Hard Cheese (cheddar, jack) 1 oz 200
Mozzarella 1 oz 200
Parmesan Cheese 1 Tbsp 70
Swiss or Gruyere 1 oz 270


Acorn squash, cooked 1 cup 90
Arugula, raw 1 cup 125
Bok Choy, raw 1 cup 40
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 180
Chard or Okra, cooked 1 cup 100
Chicory (curly endive), raw 1 cup 40
Collard greens 1 cup 50
Corn, brine packed 1 cup 10
Dandelion greens, raw 1 cup 80
Kale, raw 1 cup 55
Kelp or Kombe 1 cup 60
Mustard greens 1 cup 40
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 240
Turnip greens, raw 1 cup 80


Figs, dried, uncooked 1 cup 300
Kiwi, raw 1 cup 50
Orange juice, calcium fortified 8 oz 300
Orange juice, from concentrate 1 cup 20


Garbanzo Beans, cooked 1 cup 80
Legumes, general, cooked .5 cup 15 to 50
Pinto Beans, cooked 1 cup 75
Soybeans, boiled .5 cup 100
Temphe .5 cup 75
Tofu, firm, calcium set 4 oz 250 to 750
Tofu, soft regular 4 oz 120 to 390
White Beans, cooked .5 cup 70


Cereals (calcium fortified) .5 to 1 cup 250 to 1000
Amaranth, cooked .5 cup 135
Bread, calcium fortified 1 slice 150 to 200
Brown rice, long grain, raw 1 cup 50
Oatmeal, instant 1 package 100 to 150
Tortillas, corn 2 85

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, toasted unblanched 1 oz 80
Sesame seeds, whole roasted 1 oz 280
Sesame tahini 1 oz (2 Tbsp) 130
Sunflower seeds, dried 1 oz 50


Mackerel, canned 3 oz 250
Salmon, canned, with bones 3 oz 170 to 210
Sardines 3 oz 370


Molasses, blackstrap 1 Tbsp 135

* When range is given, calcium content varies by product.
* The calcium content of plant foods is varied. Most vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit contain some calcium. Listed are selected significant sources of well-absorbed calcium.

  • USDA database, Handbook 8 palm program
  • Bowes and Church

How Much Do You Need?

Age Calcium (mg)
1 – 3 year old 500 mg
4 – 8 year old 800 mg
9 – 18 year old 1300 mg
19 – 50 year old 1000 mg
51 – 70 year old 1200 mg
> 70 year old 1200 mg
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
This website is also a great resource for nutrition information on fruits and vegetables!!!

For example, we’re going to have butternut squash (from our garden:)) tonight.  I looked it up on the above website, and one cup of butternut squash has 84 mg of calcium in it!!!  In looking at all of our options, I feel confident that having enough calcium with a well balanced diet will not be a problem.

Valentine’s Day Allergy Friendly Ideas

Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be a reminder of your food allergy.  I got this information from:  I’ve added some of my own tips in red.  Enjoy!!!  (Also, another great allergy friendly bakery just came out called Kravingz.  I haven’t tried it yet, but have heard great things about it!  They do custom cakes, cookies, and treats, and accommodate many food allergies.)

10 Food Allergy Safe Activities for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Heart1. Make homemade presents for the teacher or class such as:

  • A Valentine’s Day card
  • Cupcakes or bread  
  • Chocolates or candy  
    • There are plenty of dairy-free candies out there.  We also saw a yummy chocolate truffle recipe in the Family Fun Magazine.  It uses soymilk, but I’m certain that you could use almond milk or rice milk if you have a soy allergy.  Here’s the link:  I’ve purchased the Giardelli’s semi-sweet chocolate chips before, and they are dairy-free (though I believe that they may have been manufactured in a facility with dairy).  They also sell soy-free and dairy-free chocolate chips at
  • A homemade bouquet of paper or silk flowers  
    • When my husband and I were dating, he made me an entire bouquet of flowers using origami.  It was such a wonderful surprise and so thoughtful!  I loved it:)
  • A bouquet of fresh flowers

2. Make and decorate a fun mailbox for Valentine’s Day. Some suggestions:

  • Paper mâché, tins or a shoe box
  • Decorate with craft foam, glitter, magazine cut outs, markers, stickers or different materials from the arts and crafts store to make it really fun.

3. Create original Valentine’s Day cards at home.

  • My kids LOVE making their own Valentine’s Day cards.  I pull out stickers, stamps, cardstock, scissors, and glue and let them have fun.  The possibilities are endless!!!

4. Make homemade chocolate that is safe for your child for the holiday.
5. Make homemade sugar candies (see Valentine’s allergy-free recipes or visit our Safe Eats™ Database).
6. Style decorative wrappers out of aluminum foil or colored plastic wrap for your candies and chocolates.
7. Make a decorative box for your chocolates or candies out of:

  • Wood or cardboard boxes from an arts and craft store
  • Paper mâché or tin

Be Mine Hearts8. Make homemade hearts with fun Valentine’s Day sayings on them such as “Be Mine,” “Cutie Pie” or others. Hearts can be made from:

  • Safe dough or clay baked and then left to air dry and harden
  • Paper, card stock, or foam
  • For a special touch, personalize them with the recipient’s name
  • Decorate with hand-drawn pictures using crayons, markers or paint.
  • Add glitter for a sparkling touch.

9. Make fun Valentine’s bracelet jewelry using loops of decorated construction paper, or strings of beads or safe pasta noodles.
10. Create flowers by hand out of tissue paper, cloth, or clay.

Dairy-free and Soy-free Protein Shake

I’ve started working out again and wanted to find a dairy-free and soy-free protein shake (as we have both allergies in our home). I found vanilla flavored Hemp Protein powder, and despite its color, found it quite tasty. Here’s the recipe I used:

8 oz. Rice Milk OR Almond Milk
2+ T Hemp Protein Powder
1 frozen banana
1/4 c blueberries or strawberries (frozen or fresh)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
Blend all the ingredients except for the ice together. Add ice one cube at a time until you reach desired consistency. This is a great post-workout shake as well as an energy shake. Warning…the Hemp Protein powder is GREEN and your shake will look like it came from the movie Shrek! My kids, however, liked this perk:) Although it is a little bit powdery, I find it quite enjoyable and not too different from other protein shakes.
(I’ve posted this earlier, but another quick protein shake is to take pasteurized egg whites (1/4-1/3 c) and mix them with orange juice, pineapple juice, or berry juice. You can even blend in a banana and ice, if desired.)

Soy & Dairy allergy update

I’ve been off soy now for over a month. Thus far we have been trying out alternative forms of milk for my family. My favorites thus far are rice milk and oat milk. Almond milk is okay alone, but DELICIOUS in blueberry muffins. I also liked it with Honey Nut Cheerios and bananas. I didn’t really care for goat milk. Our favorite pancakes thus far have been made using oat milk. I’ll post the recipe soon!!! As of right now, I’ve been able to tolerate Soy Lecithin and Soy Oil just fine. I also had soy sauce with no adverse reactions (yeah!!!). I tried dairy the other day and my baby (now 4 months old) had no reactions that I could tell. She has developed a small rash, however, under her chin. I think it’s from the constant drooling, but if it doesn’t go away, then I will continue to stay off of dairy for a little while longer to see if it goes away. As far as dairy-free and soy-free margarines go, I tried to order the soy-free and dairy-free Earth Balance, but my store hasn’t gotten it in yet. Right now I am using Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine (has soy lecithin) for baking and Smart Balance LIGHT (regular has dairy) for spreading on toast, etc. So far, so good!!!

Soy allergy invades our dairy-free home

I went to the allergist last week and found out that I have developed a soy allergy. It was a 3+ on the skin prick test (the same size as the histamine test). I suspected it because my throat got a lump in it after eating soy yogurt and started tightening. I felt the same thing after drinking a cup of soymilk…lump in throat, tight chest, difficulty swallowing. I know that adults developing allergies was possible, however, I never thought it would happen to me, especially since we suffer with so many dairy allergies in our home. I found myself angry, bitter, and then devastated this past week. That said, I am determined to make lemonade. There are many people out there who suffer from both a dairy and a soy allergy, and if they can do it, then so can I! Since soy has been a major source of protein for me since I currently can’t have dairy (it upsets my nursing baby), I will begin by finding ways to get my protein needs met. Although the cookbook that I wrote contains soy in many of the recipes, most are easily adaptable to be both dairy-free and soy-free. I will list the adaptations on my website as soon as I can. One success we had was a Lemon Barbecue Grilled Chicken dish (delicious!!!). I will post the recipe on my website under the “Free Recipes” section.

I did a little bit of research on to find out the nutritional content of various milk substitutes. It looks like almond milk can vary immensely depending upon brand. I included goat’s milk, but since I don’t know if goat’s milk is safe for children with a dairy allergy, I am going to do more research before introducing it into their diet. I don’t want to introduce something that will hurt my anaphylactic son.

Here’s the list:

*Food Item:* Serving Size: Protein (g): Carbohydrate (g): Calories: Fat (g): Dietary Fiber (g):

*Almond Milk (West Soy)* 1 c; 9; 5; 90; 4.5; 4

*Almond Milk (Blue Diamond)* 1 c; 1; 8; 60; 2.5; 1

*Almond Dream* 1 c; 1; 6; 50; 2.5; 0.5

*Hemp Bliss, Manitoba Harvest* 1 c; 5; 7; 110; 7; 1

*Oat Milk, Pacific Foods* 1 c; 4; 24; 130; 2.5; 2

*Goat’s Milk, whole* 1 c; 8.7; 11; 169; 10; 0

*Goat’s Milk, Low-fat* 1 c; 7.4; 9.4; 89; 2.4; 0

*Rice Milk* 1 c; 1; 23; 120; 2.5; 0

Almond milk by West Soy and Low-fat Goat’s Milk seem to have the best nutrients and highest protein sources, however, if they taste bad then it’s back to square one! I do love Rice Milk, just wish it had more protein:) I’ll continue to blog more as I gain more experience with a soy allergy. From what I’ve read so far, there’s a good chance that I can still have Soy Lecithin and Soy Oil, although I still need to do a little bit more research:)

Earth Balance now dairy and soy free!!!

I got this information off of an allergy support group. Great news for those looking for a soy-free as well as a dairy-free margarine!

Maybe some of you have heard but Earth Balance now offers a dairy and soy-free spread, but note that they do include pea protein and sunflower lecithin in the product.

More info at

And there’s a review at:

Other margarine’s that can be used for a dairy and soy free diet (as long as soy oil and lecithin are permitted) are Fleischmann’s UNSALTED and Smart Balance LIGHT. I’ve found Fleischmann’s has been best in baking because it has a higher fat content. That was a tip from Linda Coss’ cookbooks.