• franceswalker@thefoodinto

A Dairy Free Easter



How to enjoy your dairy free easter (and maybe chocolate free easter) is 100% dependant on your type of sensitivity.


Why you react to chocolate could be due to a number of reasons and each of these different reasons need different chocolate solutions!


Firstly a quick bit of chocolate science.......chocolate is traditionally made from cocoa solids, cocoa liquor or cocoa butter. As cocoa is bitter, sugar or condensed milk is often added to give that creamy alluring taste. Other ingredients are often added such as milk solids, flavours, preservatives other fats (for cheaper chocolate) and maybe extra additives such as soy lecithin.

White chocolate contains the most milk, but unless it contains cocoa butter as an ingredient is not technically a chocolate! White chocolate lovers may disagree.


Milk chocolate is the creamer and most loved form of chocolate and contains significant amount of milk.


Dark chocolate is the closest to plain cocoa you can get. It contains much less milk added and depending on the percentage of cocoa can actually be dairy free.


ARE YOU LACTOSE INTOLERANT?

Lactose is one of the 4 FODMAPs so if you have a FODMAP Intolerance you may have lactose intolerance. If you have completed your lactose challenges, you will know if lactose is a problem for you.


I don't mean to minimise being lactose intolerant but this is the easier issue of them all, because the solution is easy: DARK CHOCOLATE! Not all dark chocolate is lactose free but there are a lot of dairy free dark chocolates to choose from such as:

  • Lindt 70% upwards

  • Whittaker dark chocolate

  • Enjoy Life dark chocolate

  • Mallow bites

  • Alpha mini Easter eggs

However you can also have smaller amounts of the other chocolate varieties...according to the Monash University low FODMAP app- using the lactose cut off of 1g per serve, you can also choose

  • Milk or white chocolate: 4 squares (20- 25g)

  • Dark chocolate: 1/2 small bar (30g)

  • Dark chocolate (85%): a lot more, at 350g other FODMAPs called GOS kicks in, but no lactose limits

Of course you can also choose the many dairy free chocolates as well as seen below. Note that dark chocolate buttons can sometimes contain milk as an ingredient while cocoa nibs are completely lactose (and dairy) free!


DO YOU HAVE A DAIRY INTOLERANCE OR ALLERGY

You may have an intolerance to dairy or even an allergy which requires a strict avoidance of dairy. Only the very dark chocolate that is dairy free is appropriate- but always check the ingredient list as dairy needs to be declared on the label.


There is also a terrific range of dairy free chocolates available in Australia where the milk is replaced by other ingredients such as soy or coconut or even rice!


In case you are avoiding any of these as well (often people who avoid cow's milk may also avoid soy), it is useful to which dairy chocolates are your best choices.


SOY CHOCOLATE

  • Sweet William chocolate and Easter eggs (eggs contain chicory fibre which is high in FODMAPs)

  • Carobana Easter egg (made from carob rather than chocolate)

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE

  • Vego bar

RICE CHOCOLATE

  • So Free chocolate and dairy free white Easter egg and bunnies (formerly called Plamil)

  • Bonvita chocolate and Eater eggs and bunnies

  • Moo Free chocolate and Easter eggs

COCONUT/CASHEW CHOCOLATE

  • Loving Earth (check individual ingredient list)

VEGETABLE OIL eg coconut oil

  • Hopper HQ Easter eggs

AMINE INTOLERANCE

For those who are sensitive to amines, chocolate amines can be the worst! Many people find that chocolate triggers headaches or migraines, for others brings on unhappy moods and anxiety - quite the opposite to what chocolate is supposed to achieve.


The amines found in chocolate are Theobromine (previously known as xantheose) which is also found in tea and coffee but is very rich in chocolate and phenylethylamine. Phenylethylaimine is a chemical which stimulates the brain’s pleasure centres and is released when we fall in love, although in truth unlikely to have this affect in our bodies as it is metabolised before it reaches the brain. Sounds great but not if you react to it.


Additionally the process of making chocolate includes fermentation for 5-7 days which increases amine content.


So all in all lots and lots of amines. The amount of flavour that can be added to chocolate and generated through the chocolate making process can also be a big issue for peeps who are sensitive to naturally occurring chemicals in foods.


For you: chocolate is out and you are best to have some carob instead.


If you are avoiding dairy as well, take care of the carob melts or carob Easter eggs which can have milk added as an ingredient- check ingredient ist as any dairy has to be declared somewhere on the label.


Stick to

  • carob powder

  • carob nibs (high in fibre)

  • carob syrup (naturally sweetened)

If able to tolerate soy then the solid small Carobana Easter eggs may be a great pick.


GENETICALLY MODIFIED

The soy lecithin that is often added to chocolate is genetically modified- if you are trying to be GMO free then look for 'organic soy lecithin' listed instead.


There is an Easter egg for almost every occasion if you know your particular food sensitivities.


REFERENCES

  1. B Selengel et al, Chocolate...the sweet taste of chemistry? Australia Acadamey of Science. Retrived from: https://www.science.org.au/curious/everything-else/chocolate. Retrieved on: 11/4/19

  2. S Terenzi, Soy Lecithin In Chocolate: why is it so controversial? The Chocolate Journalist, 9/10/18. Retrieved from https://thechocolatejournalist.com/soy-lecithin-chocolate/. Retrieved on: 11/4/19

  3. Monash University low FODMAP app. Version 3.0.2. Accessed 12/4/2019.



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Frances Walker

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franceswalker@thefoodintolerancedietitian.com.au

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