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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in allergen-free (9)


Best Allergen-Free Chocolate 2013

Since I am a chocolaholic, I will always be on the lookout for the best chocolate for baking, cooking, eating and giving.  Here is a start to my list.  I'll keep adding to it and letting you know what else I find out, and publish a new one every year! So let me know your favorites and why.


Cooking, Baking & Confections

Barry Callebaut - North America - DARK CHOCOLATE

Barry Callebaut dark chocolate is used by confection makers, restaurants and bakers world-wide because it is a fantastic chocolateThe North American factory is a dedicated dairy-free facility, and they test for dairy.  The North American factory also does not produce any gluten or nut products, however, they do not test or monitor sourcing. I use this chocolate for many recipes. 

  • Dairy Free (processed on a dedicated dairy-free, dark chocolate North American factory line & tested for milk.)
  • Kosher Certified
  • Vegan (no animal products are processed on their dark chocolate line)
  • Soy: Contains small amounts of soy (soy lecithin is used for consistency)
  • **Gluten: currently, gluten products are not processed in the North American Factory, however, there is no testing for this at the moment. 
  • **Nuts: currently, nuts are not processed in the North American Factory, however, there is no testing for this at the moment.  Some European factories do process nuts, so please do your own research.
  • Organic Status: not certified organic
  • GMO Status?  Currently Unknown.

    **It's always best to do your own research and match your personal allergens with those of the company.


Check out Tender Palate's gluten & dairy-free recipes for Almond Cognac Truffles (contains nuts) & for our Coconut Truffles  using Callebaut.



Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder

UPDATE 5/13/16

PLEASE NOTE: Navitas started producing tapioca in their factories some time ago, so I am no longer able to use their products because I have an anaphylactic response to tapioca. however, I picked up a package this week to show a friend, and the allegen statement has changed. It states that it processes  in a factory that also produces wheat, dairy, peanuts and more. Please check with the company and the label to be sure that this product is safe for you to consume if you are sensitie or allergic to the top 8 allergnes.

"All of Navitas Naturals products are inherently gluten free and vegan. We do not source or process anything with gluten and therefore our entire production facility is gluten free. We do not have a gluten free certification at this point nor do we test for parts per million for each product, but are working toward doing so for the near future. Our foods are also all dairy free. Again we do not test for parts per million at this time, but no dairy is ever present in our facility."

~Arthur Mullin, Navitas Naturals, IN 2013

  • No Gluten: not sourced or processed with gluten, but not tested. In the process of getting gluten-free certification and performing a ppm test for gluten-free certification for raw cacao. Navitas Power Snack line is gluten-free certified.
  • No Dairy: no dairy is present in the facility, but not tested for dairy at this time.
  • Tree Nuts:  facility processes tree nuts, but handles cashews only.
  • Soy: We do not test for parts per million for soy or peanuts. Our superfoods come from around the world and are grown in natural, native habitats. The risk for cross contamination with gluten, soy, or other legumes is extremely low and/or unlikely.
  • Peanuts: We do not test for parts per million for soy or peanuts. Our superfoods come from around the world and are grown in natural, native habitats. The risk for cross contamination with gluten, soy, or other legumes is extremely low and/or unlikely.
  • Sulfite Free: None of Navitas Naturals products contain sulfites
  • Organic: All products are certified organic and use minimal processing methods such as freeze-drying. The facility is certified organic.
  • GMO StatusNavitas Naturals products are Non-GMO Project Verified! That means they’ve met the rigorous standards of the Non-GMO Project- an independent non-profit reviewer that ensures products are made according to best practices for GMO avoidance. Organic Facility. Under current FDA regulations, no GMOs are allowed in organic foods.
  • Certified Kosher: "Most of our products are certified kosher through Earth Kosher. You can find more information at"

Read the labels for your particular allergens at:

UPDATE 5/13/16

Navitas started producing tapioca in their factories some time ago, so I am no longer able to use their products because I have an anaphylactic response to tapioca. however, I picked up a package this week to show a friend, and the allegen statement has changed. It states that it processes  in a factory that also produces wheat, dairy, peanuts and more. Please check with the company and the label to be sure that this product is safe for you to consume if you are sensitie or allergic to the top 8 allergens.


Here's a recipe for a 14 allergen free (also not nuts/peanuts) Not Yo Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart & Chocolate Squash Muffins using Navitas Raw Cacao. Both are soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, tapioca-free.

Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

& Bittersweet Chunks

This is a great little chunk. The chocolate is very good, high quality and can be used in most of your baking needs. I've even used it to make truffles, which surprised me that these chunks would work for confection. Enjoy LIfe chocolate products do contain tapioca.

  • Free of the 8 most common allergens (NO wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, or shellfish. Also made without casein, potato, sesame or sulfites).
  • Nut-free (tested and produced in a dedicated nut-free and gluten-free facility)
  • Gluten-free  (tested and produced in a dedicated nut-free and gluten-free facility)
  • **Dairy-free (tested)
  • **Soy-free (tested)
  • **(produced in a facility that also processes dairy and soy, but produced on a dedicated dairy-and soy-free line.  Ingredients have been additionally tested for the presence of dairy and soy)
  • Contains Tapioca
  • GMO status?  Currently unknown.
  • Organic Status? Not organic

Read the labels for your particular allergens at:


Here's a recipe using these chunks/chips for Coconut Cream Muffins & Brownie Tart


Giving & Eating

Eating Evolved - The Primal Dark Chocolate Company

Eating Evolved Vanilla Latte TruffleI have not yet tasted these incredible looking treats myself, but am adding them to this list because I've read other reviews which loved them. It is also rare to find a chocolate product that has no dairy, soy, gluten, or tapioca in it.  I corresponded with Eating Evolved on Facebook to find out more specific information on how they handle common allergens.  Here is what they said:

Our chocolates are completely gluten, dairy, soy-free and is made in a facility that is free of those allergens. We do have three flavors of Primal Chocolate that contain nuts (banana walnut, coconut almond, and fig & almond) so our facility is not nut-free.

No Gluten: no gluten in the ingredietns and made in a gluten-free facility but is not yet tested for gluten. Gluten testing is in the company's future plans.

No Dairy: no dairy n the ingredients and made in a dairy-free facility but is not yet tested for dairy. Dairy testing is in the company's future plans.

No Soy: no soy in the ingredients and made in a soy-free facility but is not yet tested for soy. Soy testing is in the company's future plans.

No Tapioca: ingredients are tapioca free

Organic Status: All ingredients are organic except for the coffee beans used in the Maple Bacon Mocha Truffle and the Vanilla Latte Primal Chocolate. The estate that produces the coffee beans is Passive Organic and the family that owns it does not allow chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.). Click here to find out more about the coffee beans they use.

All of our ingredients are organic except for the coffee beans used in the Maple Bacon Mocha Truffle and the Vanilla Latte Primal Chocolate. The estate that produces the coffee beans is Passive Organic and the family that owns it does not allow chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.). Click here to find out more about the coffee beans we use. - See more at:

Tree Nuts: Certain products contain nuts

Peanuts: Though there are no peanuts in Eating Evolved products, nor are there any in their facility, Some of their ingredients that they get from other vendors are packaged in facilites that handle peanuts.



Righteously Raw

This is dark stuff, and I love, love, love it. If you haven't had raw chocolate that isn't too sweet, this might be a palate changer for you. The chocolate is developed to contain many phytonutrients from superfoods, including the raw cacao itself. I always feel like I feel better after I eat one of these bars. I don't think its my imagination! The acai and maca are my favorites. The caramel, which I also like, is an acquired taste (it doesn't taste like typical caramel), as is the rose. But I wouldn't kick them out of my shopping cart.

No Dairy: Certified Vegan, no dairy in the facility

No Gluten: Facility is free of gluten / wheat

No Soy: Facility is free from soy

No Peanuts: Facility is free from peanuts

No Nuts: Facility is free from nuts

PLEASE NOTE: I have a call in to discuss any testing that they do, and to see if any of their suppliers have allergens in their facilities. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Ceritifed Kosher

Certified Organic

GMO Status: part of the non-GMO project (love that)

Indie Candy 

Indie Candy makes allergen-free confections for Tender Foodies of all kinds.  Their truffles are very good, and they cater to several special diets. They offer selections that are:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Kosher
  • Vegan
  • Feingold Diet Approved
  • Contains Tapioca

Check out what The Tender Foodie has to say about Indie Candy in our Review.




RECIPE: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Nut-free, Soy-free)

Here is another great recipe from Chef Jenny Brewer, that uses the winter powerhouse called "Sweet Potato".  Chef Jenny will start guest blogging for us in March (2012), with cooking tips and recipes for Tender Foodies of all kinds.  I'm very excited to have Chef Jenny lending her expertise! 



Serves 6-8
Preparation Time:  
20 mins
Cooking time:  
35 mins



1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 anaheim pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs),peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 28-can whole plum tomatoes

1 cup water or vegetable stock

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalepeno), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Saute, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and serve.


About Chef Jenny Brewer

Jenny Brewer is a nutritionist and chef who believes eating healthy should be easy, delicious and fun! She inspires individuals to stay committed to eating healthy with her free healthy eating resource, Tasty Bites with Chef Jenny available at





More Recipes from Chef Jenny

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free, healthy & delish, delish, delish)


INTERVIEW: Bob's Red Mill on Gluten-free Processing, Testing and GMO's


This is an interview with Cassidy Stockton, the Social Media Specialist for Bob's Red Mill.  Through the interview, she takes us behind the scenes at Bob's, and gives us insight into their practices and philosophies, and some of the challenges in the allergen-free food market.  The above video opens the door to the plant and their testing facility, so we can see how things are done.



TF:  How & Why did Bob’s Red Mill get started? 

Bob’s:  Bob's journey began in the mid 1960’s after running across a book about old, stone-grinding, flour mills.  The book really struck him.  He became so enthusiastic, in fact, that he began to search the U.S. for stone mills that were still usable.  High-speed, steel, roller mills were quickly dominating the market, so any stone mill was a rare find.  Bob is pretty persistant, so when he procured millstones from an old water-powered flour mill in North Carolina , Bob and his wife, Charlee, began their first mill in Redding, California.

In 1978, Bob and Charlee decided to pursue others interests and moved to Oregon City, Oregon. On an afternoon walk, Bob came across yet another, beautiful, old mill.  As luck would have it, the mill was for sale.  In a few months, Bob was producing stone ground flours and cereals for local customers. Word quickly spread and Bob's Oregon City based mill enjoyed much success until 1988 when a fire destroyed the building.

Bob knew he owed it to his family of employees and loyal customers to rebuild.  He spent many years growing the business to where we are today. Our current site, located in Milwaukie, Oregon is a 320,000 square foot facility covering some seventeen acres and produces thousands of products each day.  Our products are all made with the same good old-fashioned techniques our customers have come to love and trust since our beginning.



Bob's Whole Grain StoreTF:  How does Bob’s keep their GF flours truly “gluten-free” when also processing other products that contain gluten grains?

Bob’s:  Our gluten free process begins at the farm. We source from suppliers who can deliver clean, gluten free grains.  We do not use suppliers who cannot provide us with grains that are mostly clean from gluten-containing grains. Once we receive a shipment, it is tested in our on-site gluten-free laboratory for gluten before it is released into our gluten free facility. If an ingredient does not test gluten-free, it does not go into that facility. All products and ingredients are tested to be under 20 ppm.

Within our building we have two manufacturing facilities- one that is entirely gluten free and one that is for everything else. The gluten free facility has dedicated storage areas, manufacturing lines, employees, and even a separate ventilation system. Customers can learn more, here: (links to a tour of our GF facility). All gluten free products are tested when they come in (as ingredients), during and after production before being released to the public.

Our entire facility is HACCP certified, which means that we practice Good Manufacturing Practices and all of our employees are well-versed in preventing cross contact between allergens.

Link to HACCP

Link to GMPS


TF:  Do you use a particular process for cleaning machines and your facility?   If so, why did you choose this particular process?

Bob’s:  Yes, we have a full procedure for cleaning machines. All lines are cleaned between runs using air and 30 lbs of the new product is flushed through the system before packaging begins. Production is scheduled with allergens in mind so that cross contact is minimized, for example if a soy product is to be run on a line, only products containing soy are run after it.


TF:  What certification organization(s) do you use?

Bob's:  We are certified organic by Quality Assurance International and certified kosher by Kehilla Kosher. Our HACCP certification is done by Randolph Associates, Inc.


TF:  Do you source your gluten-free grains from farms that do not rotate their gluten-free crops with wheat, rye or barley? 

Bob’s:  Yes, all of our gluten free oats are grown by a farming cooperative in Canada who is committed to only growing oats. No oats can be grown on those farms within the last 3 years prior to joining the coop. Additionally, while I don’t know the exact mileage, all of those farms are located a certain distance from farms growing wheat/rye/barley or other gluten-containing grains to prevent cross contamination due to weather/ birds/etc.  


Bob's Gluten-free LogoTF:  To what ppm do you test for gluten?  Why have you chosen that particular number?

Bob’s:  We test products down to 20 ppm, which means nothing over 19 ppm goes out- period. We chose 20 ppm because we felt that was low enough for the mass majority of people and high enough for us to produce the wide variety of gluten free products that we carry. At the time, this was the standard used in Europe. People should know that while we do test to below 20 ppm, most of our products fall much lower than that.


TF:  You also process nut flours.  If someone has both gluten and nut allergies, is it safe for a nut-allergic person to eat your gluten-free flours?  What is your advice?

Bob’s:  Yes, we package hazelnut and almond meal in our gluten free facility. We do not grind these flours, as stone grinding cannot produce flour and instead turns nuts into butters. We do package those flours and as we stated above, use good manufacturing practices to prevent cross contact. We have many people with nut allergies who eat our gluten free products with no problem, but it really comes down to the comfort level of the individual. There are several companies that specialize in allergen-free and nut-free products and we recommend customers look to them if they are not comfortable with our practices.

TF:  Do you test for other top allergens? 

Bob’s:  No, we do not.


TF:  Are you considering testing for other allergens to help more people with multiple food allergies?

Bob’s:  No, there have been no plans to do so.


TF:  Why are some of your gluten-free grains, like whole grain millet, not labeled “gluten-free”?

Bob’s:  All of our gluten free grains that are tested, including millet, are labeled gluten free. Some products, such as the millet, are sold to all sorts of customers. Those products have a small symbol on the front of the package to indicate gluten free, while the products that have been specifically designed for gluten free eaters display a more prominent gluten free label. We do have some products that are inherently gluten free, such as Buckwheat Flour and Soy Flour, but are not packaged or tested to be gluten free. This typically happens when we cannot secure a supplier who can provide the commodity in a reliable, gluten free manner in a sufficient quantity for our needs.


TF:  Oats are another fairly common allergy for people with gluten allergies or celiac disease.  Do you also test for oats in your gluten-free flours?

Bob’s:  No.



TF:  While on the subject of gluten, what are Bob’s thoughts on the proposed gluten testing  & labeling law?  Do you think 20 ppm is enough? 

Bob’s:  As a leader in the gluten free industry, Bob’s Red Mill was asked in the original hearings. We fully support this labeling law and eagerly await its release. We have been very active in pushing this law through by working with our US senator, Ron Wyden. (

We support 20 ppm because we feel it is a reasonable level for most manufacturers to attain. When you start getting into 10 and 5 ppm, many companies won’t be able to meet that threshold and will not be able to produce gluten free foods.


TF:  Could you see the law going further in any area?

Bob’s:  One area that begs more consideration is regarding the use of the gluten free claim on foods that are inherently gluten free. The spirit of the law is to prevent people from putting gluten free on things such as milk and eggs- things that would not ever have gluten. However, it will cause problems for foods that are inherently gluten free, such as oats, but need to be produced in a way that makes them fully gluten free. It does not help the consumer to say that all oats are gluten free- they simply are not.

TF:  Could you clarify what the labeling law means for foods that are "inherently" gluten-free?

Bob's:  It’s kind of a tricky wording on the proposed law. It says that if a product is inherently gluten free, you must state that. So for things like Quinoa, for example, even if we go above and beyond to ensure that the product is gluten free (through sourcing, production, and testing), we’ll have to put “quinoa is inherently gluten free” on the labeling if we want to call it gluten free. What worries our company is that people might assume that all quinoa is safe for consumption because it’s "inherently gluten free", (when it could be sourced or processed with gluten grains, and is not tested for gluten). That’s just an example, by the way. It’s just scary with the foods that really do have a high chance of cross contact- like oats- and if customers are not as savvy about what something like "gluten free oats" really means, they might think that all oats are inherently gluten free, so safe to eat even if the label doesn't actually say "gluten free".

TF:  What is the most difficult thing for food manufacturers to deal with when serving people with food allergies (Tender Foodies)? 

Bob’s:  Cross contact and keeping our ingredients clean through the entire process. It’s hard when you’re trying to source grains and your suppliers don’t know enough about allergens to work with you.



TF:  I see on your web site that Bob is a big supporter of health and wellness.  In fact, he and his wife recently gave to Oregon Health and Science University.   What inspired this interest and the gift to OHSU?

Bob’s:  The donation to OHSU and the two given last year to Oregon State University and the National College of Natural Medicine are all working to create and bolster nutrition research and education. The OHSU donation is the largest and will create the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health. Bob and Charlee want nothing more than to help end childhood obesity and educate people about proper nutrition.


TF:  I also noticed that Bob’s site has a section dedicated to Autism.  I know that a gluten-free diet has helped many people with Autism.  What is Bob’s interest in this condition?

Bob’s:  Our gluten free products have always been free from dairy/casein and we started hearing from our customers about their success following a GF/CF diet to mitigate the symptoms of autism. We care about our customers, so we listened and started trying to get more involved in the autism community.


TF:  Do you have any new products coming to market, or any events coming up that you would like my readers to know about?

Bob’s:  We have a few new gluten free products coming in 2012, but we cannot divulge what they are at this time.



TF:  What is your position on GMO's?

Bob’s:  All of our products come from identity preserved seeds. This means the seed planted in the ground is non-GMO. We simply can't guarantee against cross-pollination due to natural occurrences such as wind drift, so we do not label our products GMO-free.



TF:  How can Tender Foodies help manufacturers serve them better?

Bob’s: By increasing education and awareness (in the community).


TF:  If you were to give the Tender Foodie Community one piece of advice, what would you like them to know?

Bob’s:  Be an advocate for yourself. You are your biggest ally in eating allergen-free.


My warmest thanks to Cassidy Stockton and to Bob's Red Mill for the information they provided for this interview. 



Do You Shop in Multiple Groceries Every Week? 5 Simple Steps That Could Help.

Nearly every week, I visit several grocery stores just to buy the staples that I need.  If you have multiple food allergies and intolerances, finding the most basic products in one place is nearly impossible.  If you live in a mixed-allergy/non-allergy household, whew, you are probably too tired to actually make dinner!  As I listen to the Tender Foodie Community, it's clear that most of you experience the same huffing and puffing and trucking around town.  You might have to drive across state lines.  Perhaps you also order from multiple internet stores. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just go to one or two stores to get what we need?  Here's the kicker:   The individual nature of mutlipe food allergies (along with your personal tastes) make it tough for grocery stores and brands to know what you need. Unless, of course, you tell them.  If we tell them en masse as a Tender Foodie Community, your request has more influence.

To help get your needs to your local grocers (and to the brands that they sell), I've put together a form.  Here's how it works:

1.  Sign up to become an email member in order to access this form.  Its free and we only send out updates once or twice a month.  Becoming a member will help us reduce the amount of spammers hitting our form.

2.  Log in to access the form whenever you find your head about to explode because you can't find X product, or you wished that you could find, for example, a cocoa powder that is non-GMO, non-alkaline, and produced in a factory that does not also process other allergens. 

3.  Twice a month, I'll send your request along with others in your community to your local grocer.  Where appropriate, I'll also send the request to whatever brands you list. 

4.  The more requests for a particular product that a grocer receives and the more requests the brand receives for better allergen processing, the more likely our community will benefit.  So ...

5.  Send this blog post to every Tender Foodie that you know. 

As a community, we are used to taking our knocks, doing our homework, and being silent.  If we have a way to act as a community, who knows, vendors might be swayed to work with allergen-free suppliers, test for multiple allergens, or make their facilities free of multiple allergens.   It could happen (here is one example).  Plus, you might reduce the number of trips you make, the amount of gas you burn and the amount of postage you drop.  Though we can't guarantee any vendor's actions, we think this could be super powerful.

Your input could help greatly expand the "safe" choices out there for Tender Foodies.


Does this Happen to You?

For example, I tend to visit the Meijer store near me for "some" organic vegetables, especially greens like kale and swiss chard.  They sometimes have the dairy-free chocolate chips that I use and sometimes have one of the many gluten-free flours that I use.  I go to one Harvest Health in Hudsonville to get the only truly dairy-free plain yogurt, that isn't processed in a factory that also produces other things I can't eat, even though their location on Burton Street is more "on my way" and both carry many allergen-free staples that I use.  I just gave a jingle to Saffrons, a Gluten-free Marketplace to see if they carried whole grain millet that isnt processed in a cross-contaminated factory, they didn't, but they were happy to get in a case for me.  Saffron's really does their multiple allergy homework.  They review products regularly, and label them for multiple allergens so it saves you shopping (and homework) time.  Although Saffron's is not conveniently located to me, I will drive there to get it and whatever else I can find, since they have great stuff.  For grassfed meats, I just made my first visit to Nourish Organic Market.  Nourish carries local and grassfed meat from local farms and butchers and other great products.  Plus, they are next to my yoga studio (From the Heart).  To try to add some measure of convenience, I now order local and organically raised vegetables from Doorganics - who delivers right to my door every Wednesday afternoon.  They are another new business that, although you can't yet order what you want in your weekly box (she says hopefully), they are helping me to expand my palate and try stuff I don't usually get (like turnips, which I now love).  Plus, their produce is straight from the farm keeping their fruits and veggies packed with the most nutrients.  I've also gone to Horrock's Market to get the Nature Made Frozen Fruit that I use in my smoothies.  For my favorite chocolate of all (Callebaut), and for organic wine I make an occasional trip to G.B Russo's and Son. They have great, higher end, specialty cooking supplies, too.  I used to visit the D&W Fresh Market near me because they were expanding their organic produce and allergen-free items.  However, it is now a Family Fare and they discontinued some of the items that I counted upon.  Several compoundingly disappointing trips later, I stopped trying.  I bet if they knew that, and other people spoke up, they would rethink what they are putting on and taking off the shelves.  Did I mention Trillium Haven Farms at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market in the summer?  Or trucking through Costco for items that might or might not be there from week to week?  Then there are the online stores, the internet searching, the cross-contamination research...

OK.  Now I'm exhausted. 


  (Send me an E-Jingle with your comments on the form, would you?)


Dairy-Free Butter For All

A Post by Audrey Depenbrook, Guest Blogger               (Thanks, Audrey!!)

As a Tender Foodie, with a severe dairy allergy, I’m always looking for ways to add that dairy-like richness to my food.

It’s been 9 years since any form of cow’s milk has touched my lips intentionally. If I had to pick something that I missed the most, you might expect me to say “cheese” or “ice cream”. However, something I missed the most was butter. Salty, creamy, delicious butter.

Think about it, butter has countless uses in the kitchen - it’s not just a condiment. It’s used endlessly in baking, we spread it on our toast and bagels, we use it to make a rue to thicken a sauce and much more.

Thankfully, the awareness of food allergens has been a higher priority of food manufacturers lately and there are many options for dairy free butter. I’ve found two that I love - and they’ve earned a permanent place in my refrigerator.


Earth Balance - Soy Garden

First up. Soy Garden - Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread. It has a wonderful creamy texture, with just the right amount of saltiness. It’s a perfect everyday spread. I use this mainly on toast, on veggies and in sauces. It melts beautifully. I have even used it on popcorn, and made a clarified butter out of it. I also love using this spread in one of my favorite go-to quick meals, dairy-free macaroni and cheese (I’ll tell you all about that some other day).


Shed's Willow Run Margarine Sticks

When it comes to baking, I have another favorite. Shedd’s Willow Run Margarine Sticks. Because this product comes in sticks it’s much easier to measure than a spread that comes in a tub. Earth Balance makes their spread in a stick variety, but it doesn't seem to work as well in baking, it lacks the richness that Willow Run has. I’ve found that Willow Run sticks work as a great substitute for both butter and margarine and they haven’t failed me yet in any baking experiments.

Both manufactures have done a wonderful job in eliminating the “soy aftertaste” that so frequently accompanies many dairy-free products. They have also both labeled their products well - making it very clear which allergens the product contains and which allergens have been avoided.

If you’re a Tender Foodie that has to avoid milk due to an allergy or intolerance, go ahead and pick up either of these products and indulge yourself in the deliciousness of butter.

Earth Balance and Willow Run spreads can both be found in store at Meijer and at Wegeman's.

PLEASE NOTE:  Since the labeling on these products expresses that they are "non-dairy", but not expressly "dairy-free", we have a requested more information about the factory practices from Earth Balance and Shedd's Willow Run.  We will post any information that we receive.
UPDATE 6/7:  Willow Run is made without contact with any dariry ingredients.  Click here to read their statement.

About Audrey:

As a tender foodie for the past 9 years, I'm determined to find an exceptional substitute for every food I miss enjoying. 
I'm a mommy, cake-aholic and nonprofit guru. You can find me tweeting away @mommy_kinz.