Dairy-free, usually translates to casein-free. Casein is a protein found in dairy products, as well as some non-dairy products. Those who have casein intolerance should always read labels before purchasing food or a product.

Foods with Casein: Casein-free Alternatives:
Butter Coconut Butter
Cheese Coconut Milk
Cream Coconut, Hemp, Potato, Rice, or Soy-based Milks
Creamed Soups and Vegetables Ghee (if guaranteed casein-free
Custard Italian Ices
Half and Half Pareve Creams and Creamers
Ice Cream Sorbet
Ice Milk
Soup Bases
Sour Cream
White or Milk Chocolate

*Avoid bovine products, as all bovine milk and milk products contain casein.

Foods labeled kosher pareve are casein-free, whereas foods labeled kosher non-dairy or pareve are free of dairy products. Kosher is good for those with casein intolerance.

Dairy-free does not mean Casein-free
Foods that are labeled non-dairy, may still contain casein. Avoid foods that contain either casein or caseinate.

May Contain Casein:
Artificial Flavorings
Dairy-Free Cheese (most brands)
Hot Dogs
Lactic Acid
Lunch Meats
Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Tuna Fish

Always read labels and ask if you are unsure of an ingredient.

There are ways to substitute dairy products while cooking, outlined as follows:


Replace 1 cup cow’s milk with one of the following:

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup fruit juice
1 cup grain milk (7-grain, oat, rice)
1 cup plain soy milk
1 cup nut milk (almond, hazelnut, hemp, sunflower)
1 cup water


Replace 1 cup buttermilk with:

1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 TB lemon juice, or 1 TB white vinegar

(let stand until slightly thickened)

Replace 1 cup yogurt with one of the following:

1 cup fruit puree
1 cup non-dairy sour cream
1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt (almond, coconut, soy)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Replace 8 TB (1 stick) butter with one of the following:

8 TB Earth Balance (Non-Dairy) Buttery Spread
8 TB Spectrum Organic Shortening
8 TB vegetable or olive oil

*for reduced fat:

6 TB unsweetened applesauce + 2 TB fat of choice