The Lactose-Free Cookbook


By Sheri Updike

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$12.99 CAD


ebook (Digital original)


ebook (Digital original) $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 19, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The first major lactose-free cookbook for millions of people worldwide who are lactose intolerant.



Copyright © 1998 by Sheri Updike

All rights reserved.

Warner Books, Inc.,

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at

First eBook Edition: December 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-57140-1



Rich, sinfully creamy sweetness contrasting with an exquisite taste of lemon, this beauty won a ribbon against "real" cheesecakes at the Malibu Annual Pie Contest. The judges didn't know it was lactose free. Your guests won't either!


Spicy tomato sauce, tender veal, irresistible melted cheese—that's Italian! But this "parmigiana" is 100% lactose free, and so simple, you can create it in minutes!


An old-fashioned favorite, this dish is wonderfully warming on a frosty day, but families love it anytime. And now no one has to say no to this truly elegant adaptation…


Fluffy, white, buttery, these are genuine, from-scratch mashed, and absolutely the best you've ever tasted!


A hint of Chablis, chunks of mouthwatering crab, and quiche so authentic-tasting, not even a chef would know it uses lactose-free substitutes. Serve this to the ladies who lunch … or to everybody!



Without the love and support of my family, I never could have realized my dream. For this, a simple thank you is just not enough. I believe in the family, and ours has always been very close, so I want to dedicate this book to my family.

To the love of my life, my husband Zip (and they said it wouldn't last!)… thirty years of love, through good and bad times, you are my best friend, my life. Without you this book would never have been written. Thank you for enduring those "taste-testing" sessions… never spitting anything out, and always tactfully explaining how it needed a little more work—with a smile!

To my beautiful daughter Christina, whose creativity and independence I greatly admire. You never stop reaching for your star, no matter how hard the stretch gets. Thank you for turning my own words around on me in our many discussions, and making me believe in myself. I am very proud of the woman you have become and the friends we have found in each other.

And finally, to my wonderful son, David, whose business sense and humor astound me. I am very proud of the man you have become. I thank you for the words of wisdom you share and the way you can always make me laugh, even when I don't feel like it. Also for having so-o-o many friends willing to taste-test, even when I didn't want them to.

Family is the foundation I have built my life on. Without the love and support of my husband, and our two precious gifts, Christina and David, my dream would never have become a reality. For this I am forever grateful.


Everyone should have a fairy godmother… mine is Amy Einhorn! With a whisk of her magical wand, she made my dream an exciting reality. For this I will be eternally grateful. Thank you, Amy, for having the faith in me I wasn't sure I had. You are a wonderful friend, aside from being the best editor!

To my "special friend" Sandy Hoevel, thank you for your never-ending words of wisdom and encouragement, for knowing me better than I know myself, and for the hours of laughter that we continue to find in ourselves. A friend like you is one in a million… and I'm glad you're mine.

In memory of my dad, Hugh Rawdon, who taught me that the impossible wasn't. His love lives in the faces of my children, and he'll always be in my heart.

And finally, to the two women in my life I couldn't have lived without: my mother-in-law, Elaine Updike, who taught me everything she knows about cooking with patience and love. You never laughed when I measured your dashes, pinches, and sprinkles; you gave me wonderftd memories of frantic holiday baking late into the nights, laughing ourselves silly. And of course to my mom, Eileen Duffy, who raised me to believe in myself, to make a difference and be proud of who I am. Thank you, Mom, for encouraging my creativity, for teaching me the importance of family and for being there. I love you.

If this book helps one person, I know I've made a difference… one I couldn't have made without these people. Thank you all.


Milk. How could it be bad for you? Didn't your mother drill it into your head to drink your milk? Television, magazines, billboards… everywhere you look, there are "white mustaches" reciting the virtues of milk. Milk and cookies are part of the American image. After all, how could you eat a cookie without… MILK?

Well, hold on to your cookies… approximately 80% of the world's population can not drink milk without experiencing some digestive problems. And some accounts state that one in five Americans have these problems. What those commercials and wonderful ad campaigns should say is, "Got Lactose Intolerance?" because that is the norm—those "white mustaches" aren't. You need to realize that you do have choices, and you can enjoy your favorite foods without experiencing the embarrassing discomfort and pain.

"What's the big deal? So I'll give up drinking milk," you may say. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. While lactose exists in foods that are easy to identify—like ice cream, cottage cheese, and margarine—it also exists in many foods you never dreamed of—like cold cuts, breads, and chips.


To be Lactose Intolerant is to lack the enzyme necessary to properly digest the lactose, or milk sugar, in a simple glass of milk. This enzyme is called the lactase enzyme, and it exists in the cells on the surface of the small intestine. Sufficient amounts of this enzyme change the lactose into two sugars: galactose and glucose. Then the lactose enzyme moves through your body, fueling your cells with energy. But if you lack sufficient levels of lactase to break down the lactose, then it remains in your small intestine for an extended period of time. Eventually it will be carried to your colon, where bacteria will cause it to ferment. This fermentation is what causes you to have diarrhea, cramping, bloating, excessive gas, stomach distension, etc. The degree of severity of these symptoms is as individual as people are. It all depends on the level of the lactase enzyme you possess. You can just experience mild discomfort or you can suffer severe diarrhea or pain. But one thing is very clear: for people who have Lactose Intolerance the problem is as traumatic as most diseases, because it changes your life.

Lactose Intolerance is a difficult problem to diagnose. The reason is its symptoms are very embarrassing, and the patient can find a million reasons to attribute his discomfort to—the "flu," a "virus going around," "stress" (these days when aren't people stressed!), and so forth—rather than seek a medical diagnosis for his or her excessive diarrhea, gas, or bloating.

There are tests that can be done by your physician to make sure that Lactose Intolerance is actually the problem. Doctors often tend to look in other areas for the cause of distress at first examination, but it's good to rule out other more critical problems first. If you know your body, keep track of what you're eating and its effects, then you'll be able to narrow it down yourself. Remember, everyone's level of tolerance is different… it's up to you to find yours. You may feel fine after eating fettuccine. Alfredo but double over with stomach cramps after a scoop of ice cream.

Sounds pretty ominious, huh? Well, it doesn't have to be. That's what I want you to understand. Being Lactose Intolerant is normal, not abnormal. Simply explained, the lactase enzyme is meant to diminish naturally through our aging process. At birth, the lactase level is high because mother's milk contains twice the lactose that cow's milk has. As we grow, the need for this enzyme is reduced or completely eliminated. We were never meant to continue consuming milk or dairy products! But throughout history, cultures have created "dairy societies," finding new ways to use milk and milk by-products. Which brings us to today… where we have been raised to believe that milk is good for you, the healthy American way. The truth is, there are millions of people who are Lactose Intolerant.

Okay, so where does all this leave you, if you are Lactose Intolerant? The easy answer and the most obvious one is, "Just give it up." Yes, that works, if you think just giving up a glass of milk will do it. But it won't. You won't believe the list of foods lactose is included in. While lactose is found in ice cream, butter, and cheeses, did you know it's also in dairy-free foods prepared in restaurants when you dine out, and in prescription and over-the-counter medicines? Lactose is a great filler and anticaking agent used by many manufacturers in many items. Check birth control pills… it's in those, too, and in simple things such as seasonings: Lawry's Salt, Ac'cent, Bon Appetit Seasoned Salt! If a product contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), it also contains lactose because lactose is a filler used in MSG. And the list goes on. If you keep eliminating foods from your diet that contain lactose, pretty soon you'll feel as if there aren't any choices left! Life gets very boring. Mealtime becomes "meaningless" time. There's little enjoyment or anticipation left in any meal.

So far I have given you nothing but bad news. And I'll bet you're asking yourself, "Who is this 'Grim Reaper,' and what makes her an expert?" Well, my "official title" is not "Grim Reaper," or physician, dietitian, nutritionist, or even chef. I am a wife of over twenty-eight years, and a working mother of two great kids. I love to cook… it's my passion. For over ten years, my husband has been affected by Lactose Intolerance, severely. His solution to this problem was the obvious—"just give it up." For a person who was raised on good, wholesome farm cooking, eating was an event, not a necessity! Discovering he was Lactose Intolerant turned my husband's world upside down. He began cutting out milk, then butter, cream, cakes, cookies, and so on. My journeys to the grocery store became "pilgrimages," because I was reading every label that went into my cart. Two hours later, I'd arrive home, excited about a new addition to his limited list. For our growing family, dinnertime and Sunday brunch were very big. Slowly, my husband began losing interest in these meals because it meant watching us enjoy his favorite dishes while he had to abstain. Sometimes the temptation was too much, and he'd have a slice of my famous cheesecake, but then the suffering I watched him endure afterward was too much for me. I wouldn't accept the fact that he couldn't have his favorites, let alone so many everyday staples. So, over ten years ago, I embarked on my mission to adjust my recipes, to search for store foods without lactose, and to show my husband that his love for food was not over! He has choices, and so do you. No, I'm definitely not an expert. What I am is a wife who loves her husband and has expanded his food horizon so much that I want to share it with everyone who desperately wants a "choice" of good, real food that happens to be lactose free. I don't have all the answers, but I do have a few good ones.

If you have searched the bookstores or specialty cookstores, you know there isn't a "lactose-free cookbook." For over ten years, I've been looking for one. Even though Lactose Intolerance is so prominent, no one has yet written a book to help the millions of people who deal with this problem. But this book isn't a restricted dietary format just for those who are Lactose Intolerant. It contains "real food" recipes that you can make and serve to everyone without them ever knowing they are lactose free! No one will feel deprived, I assure you! And for the person who is Lactose Intolerant, the feeling of being different won't be there, since they'll be reaching for the same serving dishes as everyone else.

I wish I could tell you that all the lactose recipes I tried to duplicate were a smashing success. But the man who ate my mistakes wouldn't be so generous. He wouldn't let the opportunity go by to tell you about my first attempts to make "real" ice cream. I had read that you could substitute margarine and lactose-free milk for cream.… Don't try it. As I was anxiously waiting for my husband's remarks after his first, big bite…the expression on his face was priceless, and he couldn't answer me because he had greasy slime coating his lips! But I continued to experiment and I scoured the stores for the right substitutions. In the end, he did forgive me because now he enjoys real vanilla ice cream. And so can you!

In these pages you'll find recipes that even the most inexperienced cook can prepare with confidence and pride. But more important, these pages contain choices, something you haven't had a lot of lately. You will also find the practical experience without the mistakes as you benefit from my husband's courageous assessments! The recipes have been tested. My panel was composed of unsuspecting "victims" (my children, their friends, our friends). And the raves were unanimous! No one knew they were eating lactose-free foods. That is the real test. In fact, I entered the annual Malibu Pie Festival (it's an annual event for me, too) in October 1996, and won third place for a lemon cheesecake, third place for a peach melba cobbler pie, and second place for a chocolate raspberry tart—all lactose free … all unknown to the judges! I have cooked on holidays for my husband's business associates, sometimes for as many as a hundred people. Everything was homemade, taking me three days of constant cooking to prepare three picnic tables full of food— all lactose free. And year after year, all those people have looked forward to these barbecues, raving about the food.

My book isn't a complete "know-it-all" book about Lactose Intolerance. All it does is take traditional recipes and make them lactose free. The information that I'm passing on to you is what I have learned over ten years. For Christmas a friend gave me Milk Is Not for Every Body, by Steve Carper. This wonderful book covers all the technical, everyday questions as well as giving clear explanations. I highly recommend this book for a more comprehensive, easy-to-read understanding of Lactose Intolerance.

For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, my husband and I went on a little cruise. One day at lunch, we were seated with two elderly ladies and I noticed one of them had very little on her plate. I commented that she ate like a bird, and she told me she had a dairy problem… Lactose Intolerance. Well, two hours later we finished our conversation and I had filled her head with all of the choices that she had. From that day on, whenever I passed her table, her plate was full and there was a big smile on her face! The joy that this brought me was incredible. That's why I want to share my searching and experimenting, my knowledge, trials, and tribulations with all the millions of people who are affected by lactose, because I care about you and the look in that little old lady's eyes could be in yours.

About Lactose-Free Substitutes…

I guess you could say this list of lactose-free substitutes is a "winning lottery ticket" for the Lactose Intolerant. This list gives you choices and lets you have just about all the food you love back in your life. When I was frantically scouring the bookstores and libraries for something that would help me cook lactose free, the tidbits of information I found were not rewarding. A common substitute for milk in a recipe is water… or juice. Common sense tells you this will change the taste and texture of the dish. After having to serve my husband "gray" mashed potatoes, using a manufactured store-brand substitution, I decided there must be something better out there! No one should have to be limited to such things.

My search is ongoing. Yours should be, too. Never stop looking for new products. Thanks to the little bit of awareness that the food industries are developing, more manufacturers are presenting better-quality lactose-free alternatives. Try them; some will work or taste better than others… find your favorites. The best places to seek out specialty items (as these are sometimes categorized) are health food stores, the more exclusive food store chains, and even bulk suppliers (such as Smart N Final or Price Costco) that supply restaurants. Always keep your eyes open, you never know where you'll run across a useful ingredient. If you find an item at one of the more expensive food stores, approach your local grocery store's manager, request the item… and keep hounding him to order it. Remember, you aren't the only one with Lactose Intolerance, just the most informed one.

As you experiment with substituting an ingredient in a recipe, take into consideration that you may need to adjust the other ingredients to compensate for the specific taste of that substitution. If a substitution is very sweet by itself, you may want to cut the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe to compensate. Choose a good cream cheese alternative, one with body and creamier texture. I once used a cheap alternative for a cheesecake and found disaster waiting for me. It was a gray, liquid substitute that had no body, so after blending and whipping, it was more soupy than creamy. My cheesecake did not hold up firm; it looked as if it was going to slide off the plate. But don't get frustrated. Just be patient—it may take a few times to get your recipe "right."

Another area to explore is "the little pill." Pharmaceutical companies have produced lactase enzyme products, available over the counter, to be taken in conjunction with meals containing lactose. You can choose chewable tablets, caplets, liquid drops, or a powder. Taking these products within five minutes of consuming your meal has shown a 70 to 90% reduction of the lactose content. This is because the lactase goes right to the intestine and starts working on the lactose as it is being digested. Taking the pills at the end of the meal proves less effective, with only minimum relief because the food is already involved in the digestive process. In my husband's case, his tolerance was so sensitive in the beginning that the pills could not help him. After staying on a strict lactose-free diet, he enjoys the luxury of taking a few "pills" before eating in a restaurant, in case the bread or another ingredient has lactose in it. It provides a little added insurance of a pain-free evening.

Now, the most important information I can give you is what to stay away from. Memorize the following ingredients… and associate them with discomfort and pain. I call them "Lactose and Its Tricky Little Friends" because without knowing what they are you might think you were "safe" after reading a label. Dairy free does not necessarily mean lactose free. You need to watch out for:

  • lactose—the sugar found in milk
  • whey—combination milk sugar and milk protein
  • milk and milk products
  • butter
  • cream
  • curds
  • milk solids
  • dry milk
  • Simplesse—an artificial fat substitute made of skim milk and egg whites

These are the worst and most common offenders. If lactic acid is listed in the ingredients, this is not a "bad" thing. Lactic acid is lactose free because it is the end result of what the bacteria does to lactose in cultured milks. It is "safe" by itself.

If you have a sensitivity to milk protein as well, you'll be adding to your list:

  • sodium caseinate
  • casein
  • lactalbumin
  • lactoglobulin

Lactose is quite valuable to large food producers because, used as a filler, it maintains a long shelf life for many items. Whether bagged, boxed, or wrapped, in the end lactose makes the item taste "homemade" longer. Lactose can add volume, texture, taste, tenderness, and shelf life to a variety of foods. Remember, you are not just limited to giving up a glass of milk… but anything creamy, au gratin, batter dipped, powdered, gravied, mashed, or casseroled! Also watch out for chocolates (no more white chocolate), cold cuts, dips, appetizers, salad dressings, sauces, cakes, cookies, breads, candies, chips, pastries, pies, spaghetti sauces… and the list goes on.

Another area that is easily overlooked is the pharmacy. Yes, just as the food producers love to use lactose as a filler, so do the pharmaceutical companies. Lactose is great as an anticaking agent and for coating pills. Lactose is also tasteless. Over-the-counter drugs at least list their inactive ingredients, but prescription drugs pose another problem. You don't receive the original packaging to verify the inactive ingredients. The amount of lactose used as a filler or anticaking agent may be minimal, but accumulated doses of it, as well as the lactose in other foods you have that day, can pose a problem. Once my husband had diarrhea so badly he became dehydrated. We couldn't pin down what the culprit was until we found out that the doctor had given him a new prescription medicine that contained lactose. Once that was completely out of his system, he was fine. From then on I always check medications. Did you know that G. D. Searle's Demulen is the only lactose-free oral contraceptive that can be found? Geritol contains no lactose. In Milk Is Not for Every Body, Steve Carper provides the reader with an excellent list of medications, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs that contain lactose. He also advises you on forms of these medications that do not have any lactose in them. It is an invaluable resource.


This may be a good place to vent my opinion! I guess I'm naive. I assumed that our government, in its infinite wisdom, had set up stringent regulations for our system of production of foods, medicines, etc. And of course everyone follows the rules. I mean if something says, "nondairy" or "lactose free," it is, right? You'd be surprised when you start reading the labels! A while ago, a friend gave my husband a protein drink mix. He was so excited because it said "lactose free." Well, right under that it said, whey peptides. According to this label, "peptides" are the "preferred mechanism for the human metabolism to absorb amino acids from digested protein." All over the can of drink mix was the word "whey." Lucky for me the can also had an 800 number to call if you had questions… boy, did I have questions! This "lactose-free" protein drink mix contained 360 mg of lactose! I was told by the representative of the company that according to the FDA, any item containing less than ½ gram of lactose per serving can be labeled "lactose free." I was furious! It seems that under the FDA's rules, revised in 1994, what you read is not always what you get. The simple word "free" only has to mean extremely low, not zero.

"No added" is another phrase used. This means if any form of lactose is part of the original ingredients, the manufacturer did not add any more lactose, compounding the problem. Anyone who is highly sensitive to lactose has a good chance of having reactions because of this type of labeling. I believe that someone this sensitive, as my husband is, has a right to know that there is a possibility of side effects from using these products. Although changes have occurred with some "nondairy" products, the FDA regulators do not seem to be paying attention to products claiming to be Lactose Free. The squeaky-wheel-gets-the-oil syndrome may work in this case. The more lactose-intolerant people band together and speak up to have labeling changes made, the more government agencies will realize how many people there are who have a vested interest in "lactose… totally free" products. They say there is safety in numbers; maybe there is the power of persuasion, too.

Kosher dietary laws require that pareve (or parve) be labeled on all foods containing absolutely no dairy (therefore, lactose free). These foods, including kosher meats, are all safe. If you see a kosher food package with a "D," that means it contains some milk or milk by-product. If you come across any other product marked "dairy free," read the label carefully…you'll be surprised how many of these do have some milk product used in them.


On Sale
Dec 19, 2009
Page Count
384 pages