I want to begin by asserting that NONE of these brands asked me to endorse their products. These are honestly my favorite lactose-free alternatives that have helped me recreate virtually every type of food I was missing.
I was 13 years old when I found out that I was lactose intolerant. I’ve always viewed that as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I did get the pleasure of eating ice cream, yogurt, cheese, etc. However, that also means that I know what I’m missing out on. And for years I’ve been searching for good options.
- Kraft Cheese – No, I didn’t type this incorrectly. A lot of Kraft cheese is lactose-free. Not all of it, though, so make sure to check each bag before you purchase it. Underneath the ingredient list on the cheese that is, it will say “Contains 0 grams of lactose”. This is included on many of the shredded cheese (not the ones with cream cheese, though), a couple of the slices and some of the blocks. Cracker Barrel blocks are included in this list, as they are manufactured by Kraft. Once again, I stress, check each bag that you purchase. But finding out this information allowed me to have cheese on spaghetti, baked potatoes and tacos for the first time. I even got to make macaroni & cheese!
- Daiya – If you’re not one for Kraft cheese or if you have a dairy-intolerance, try Daiya cheese. This is my favorite of the completely dairy-free cheeses. You choices are more limited, but they do have all of the basics in shreds, slices and blocks. The best place that I’ve found to find this is Whole Foods Market, but I’ve seen it in other supermarkets as well.
- Almond Breeze – Almond milk, in general, is really good for you and has a great taste. They make both refrigerated and unrefrigerated options in original, vanilla and chocolate, sweetened and unsweetened. Original unsweetened is best for sauces while vanilla is fantastic in baking recipes. And if you don’t like the taste of almonds or if you have a nut allergy as well, they have coconut milk varieties! Side note: their iced coffee is also delicious.
- Lactaid – If you just want real milk, minus the lactose, this is what you need to get. Once in a while, this still bothers me, so I would try it in small doses but I know several lactose-intolerant people who drink it all the time. It’s fairly affordable and comes in all the normal kinds of milk you’d purchase (skim, 2% etc.)
- So Delicious – This is hands-down one of my favorite brands. They have endless yogurt flavors made from both almond milk and coconut milk. They even have Greek varieties that you can use in many recipes just as you would use ordinary Greek yogurt. They’re a bit more expensive than regular yogurt but still won’t break the bank.
- Yoplait: Yes, Yoplait does make lactose-free yogurt. It only comes in four flavors (cherry, peach, strawberry and vanilla), but it’s just as affordable as regular yogurt and tastes just like it as well.
- Smart Balance Light Original Buttery Spread – I’m very specific about this product because not all Smart Balance products are lactose-free. Make sure to check the label! This is great to use in recipes and on bagels etc. And it’s 50% less calories than regular butter!
- Earth Balance – This brand has both spreads and sticks that are dairy-free, which makes it ideal both for cooking and spreading. It’s a tad bit harder to find than Smart Balance, but is a great alternative to dairy butter!
- So Delicious – Once again, this brand comes through! They have great coconut, almond and soy milk varieties in every single flavor you can imagine! Finally, I can have mint chocolate chip and cooking & cream ice cream! They even have ice cream sandwiches and fudge bars. I’ve found several flavors at Publix and Kroger, but Whole Foods has the widest variety. Plus, this ice cream has less calories, sugar and fat than ordinary ice cream. Welcome back milkshakes, root beer floats and ice cream cake!
- Breyers – For the basics, Breyers makes lactose-free options that you can find at most grocery stores. However, they only have chocolate and vanilla, which get old very quickly.
- Amy’s frozen pastas – These are absolutely incredible. Amy’s is a vegetarian, so if you’re looking for something with meat, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But I promise you won’t miss it! They make dairy-free lasagna, macaroni and cheese and baked ziti. You can find these many of these products at Publix and Kroger, but all of them are at Whole Foods.
- Daiya frozen pizza – These are absolutely delicious and come in several different kinds. You won’t even miss the cheese!
- Amy’s frozen burritos – These are great for a snack or light meal! They’re delicious, completely dairy-free and come in several different varities.
- Amy’s vegetable pot pie – Finally, a creamy, delicious frozen pot pie that is dairy-free!
- Tofutti Cream Cheese – Now, I don’t like many of Tofutti’s products. However, their cream cheese is delicious, especially if used in a recipe such as breakfast grilled cheese or cream cheese icing. And it’s available at most grocery stores.
- Lactaid Cottage Cheese – A great, delicious alternative that is absolutely fantastic on fruit. And you can find it at most grocery stores!
- Tofutti Sour Cream – Another great product from Tofutti, this lactose-free sour cream is delicious and perfect for dips and toppings.
- Smart Balance Popcorn – This makes a great, guilt-free snack. Unlike other lactose-free options, it’s incredibly flavorful and uses lactose-free milk to make the butter topping. Plus it’s low-calorie and fat!
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – These organic, dark chocolate peanut butter cups are honestly even better than Reese’s! And they’re lactose-free. Find them at Whole Foods and some Starbucks locations.
So there you have it – great lactose-free alternatives that make it easier to eat all of the same foods that you love! I’ll continue to update this list as I find other great products. And check out my recipes to see great ways to use these products!