It sometimes seems like every food product is free of something these days (or even many things), whether it’s gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free or dairy-free. As someone who celebrates transparency and allergy-friendly products, this is exciting, but it’s critical to remember that a healthy product isn’t just determined by what is not in it – it’s actually much more important to check out what IS in it! Read the labels on these (mostly Canadian made!) products. You’ll be impressed, your body will be happy, and your taste buds will be satisfied. *A reminder that we don’t *need* dairy in our lives, no matter what anyone tries to tell us to glorify the health of the product or the calcium you get from eating it.
Mother Raw (formerly RawFoodz) Enjoy their creamy, raw, and organic dips, salad dressings, and spreads. Remember that classic French onion dip you used to enjoy? Mother Raw makes one with all organic ingredients (the base is hemp seeds and real chives). Enjoy it with veggies, chips, or as a sandwich spread.
Yoso Yoso’s dairy-free products, made in Cambridge, Ontario, are delicious on their own, and in baking and cooking. Yoso makes their cream cheese from organic cashews, and their yogurts from organic almonds and cashew, or nut-free yogurts made with organic coconut flesh. Their yogurts are cultured and offer a great source of calcium, iron, dietary fibre, and healthy prebiotics to improve digestion.
Chufa Co This delicious and plant-based ice cream and milk is made from tigernuts – which are in fact not nuts but small root vegetables with an impressive nutritional profile. Full of fibre, they will keep you full longer, and are prebiotic, promoting the good bacteria in our gut. Plus, they are freshly made in Toronto and come in many flavours.
Culcherd Culcherd makes delicious nut-based butter and cheeses, and we love that their packaging is natural, compostable, and eco-friendly. Plus, forget the butter versus margarine debate and try this pure and nourishing butter made from organic cashews and coconut oil in Toronto – as good on toast as it is to cook with, or drizzled over organic popcorn or a simple bowl of pasta.
Nuts for Cheese Spreadable and meltable, all of these handmade-in-Hamilton cheeses start with a base of cultured organic cashew milk. Perfect for a cheeseboard, varieties such as blue cheese or brie are sold as beautiful wedges.
Grinning Face This Cabbagetown-based company cracks the coconuts, makes the milk and churns it into naturally rich, creamy gelato one small batch at a time. It’s free of artificial anything and contains no dairy, no nuts, no gluten, and no soy– vegan apple cider caramel is my favourite flavour.
Miyoko’s We love the artisan cheeses and butter Miyoko’s crafts from cultured nuts. Between flavours like VeganMozz (mozzarella), Sharp Farmhouse, and Double Cream Garlic Herb, you’ll have trouble deciding where to start! You can’t go wrong. All of Miyoko’s products are delicious and made from organic ingredients – just check out how beautiful their cheese are on their website.
Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss This coconut-based frozen dessert is every bit as creamy as you would want and expect from an ice cream. Luna and Larry’s uses organic ingredients to create flavours that will please everyone. Pick up a tub or try one of their ice cream bars! You are welcome.
Screamin Brothers Made with coconut milk and free from common allergens like nuts and soy, this ice cream was created by actual brothers, who started selling their frozen treats to raise money for the people of Haiti after an earthquake hit in 2010. Today, they still donate 5% to support youth-supporting initiatives. Plus, it tastes great and is made from premium ingredients like organic coconut milk and honey. My favourite is the chocolate mint, after letting it melt at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.