Hi, I’m Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, and the “voice” behind Ask Alisa. With so many dairy-free products on the market (I love being able to write that!), you may be wondering where to begin. I thought it might help to give you a sneak peak inside my pantry and fridge to see what items I regularly stock (and can obviously recommend), products I love to splurge on, what cookbooks I regularly use, and the equipment I have come to rely on for getting the job done. As these lists evolve, I will be sure to update …
These are the cookbooks that I use and reference the most. This list is a condensed version of my Favorite Cookbooks, because some of my “favorite” books don’t necessarily get a ton of mileage.
- Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living – Yes, it’s my book, but I still love the recipes, and it is my most referenced book. I keep two copies on hand since they tend to migrate around, and both are beyond worn!
- Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities – When I need to make an allergen-free cookie or bar, I reach for this cookbook to offer some good base recipes to work with.
- The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame – Cybele Pascal, the author, is a genius at creating allergen-free baked goods. I often use a variation of her gluten-free flour blend in my own baking and use her recipes as a guide.
- The 30 Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking – This is an oldie but goodie from the vegan world. I like the variety and inspiration from these recipes.
- The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs – Dairy-free living is a breeze when you expand your flavor repertoire. I constantly reach for this dense book for ideas on what to pair with what.
- The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free, and Often Egg Free – Kelly does such a great job and creating addictive recipes. They are beyond unique, but always tasty and fun. I actually use this book most for the savory recipes, but the desserts look pretty darn good, too!
Staple Foods in My Kitchen
Naturally, you will want to stock an abundance of fresh produce, nuts, beans, and meats (if non-vegan), but there are still many healthy “packaged” foods that I purchase regularly and am happy to recommend.
- Nutiva Coconut Oil – Can’t beat the price and quality. Coconut oil has amazing versatility too, since it is a solid at room temperature.
- San-J Shoyu, Reduced Sodium Tamari, and/or Wheat-Free Tamari – This company uses non-GMO soy.
- Earth Balance Soy-Free – I rarely bake with it (just oils), but do like it for finishing sauces and simply spreading on toast or rice.
- So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage – Love this for its richness and versatility for sweet and savory; my husband uses it for protein shakes.
- Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter – Okay, this isn’t always in my kitchen because it is pricey (TJ’s peanut butter fills in the gaps), but this is the best PB I have ever had, and I splurge when it’s on sale.
- Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Sugar – Simply the best!
- Coombs Organic Maple Syrup – Amazon just keeps stocking me with this lovely thick maple syrup (always grade B for the best flavor!) for a good price.
- Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour – It isn’t just a health-thing; spelt has a nice nutty taste that we like better than wheat
- Let’s Do Organic Coconut – Some don’t like it because it is unsweetened and very finely shredded, but I think it works wonderfully in baking and no-baking.
- Good Earth Tea – Right now I’m into the White Tea with Vanilla (also has lemongrass, yum!) and the Sweet & Spicy Original Caffeine Free.
- Yogi Ginger Tea – I always have this tea on hand. Yes, I drink loads of tea.
- Organic 365 Canned Coconut Milk – Some of those Whole Foods products really are a good value
- Martha Stewart Space Saver Spice Rack – I never thought I would buy a “fancy” spice rack, but this one makes cooking so much easier and the spices it came with were even fresh!
- Misto Olive Oil Sprayer – Use it weekly, such a time and money saver and no need to buy those yucky store-bought sprays
- Spice Grinder – The brand I use most was discontinued, but really, any will do (just go for the highest power!)
- Hamilton Beach Blender – I got it for half that price, and the thing just keeps on going. Three cheers for cheapy glass jar blenders
- Analon Baking Sheet – Trying so hard to keep this gem away from my husband’s chicken wings! Works beautifully and easy clean-up