Upon discovering Ben’s allergy to milk protein (casein), I began a search for non-dairy foods including milks, “cheeses”, “yogurts” and frozen desserts.
Milks were the easiest to find; Ben is not fussy and will drink any soy or rice milk put before him. Even if it is not “vanilla” flavored. We like Silk, but usually buy Costco’s Kirkland Organic Vanilla by the case.
Yogurt-like foods were also appealing to him, more appealing than they were to me. Whole Soy & Company, Silk (Whitewave), and TJs all have fruity and vanilla variations, which have been universally enjoyed. Silk Live! Smoothies (a soy yogurt and fruit base) are as good as dessert.
Cheeses are not worth the time. Not only do most soy and almond “cheeses” taste horrible, they also contain casein, which is what we were trying to avoid in the first place.
Most of soy/rice dessert products we tried were modeled on ice cream. For our purposes, we usually stuck to vanilla so we could compare items.
Double Rainbow Mango & Vanilla combo (sorbet and soy cream): A nice combination. The mango sorbet is superb, and couples well with the vanilla soy cream. Gums help the mouthfeel, and mango helps offset sweetness.
Rice Dream, Vanilla: Smooth but dense. Very burnt caramel, burnt sugar flavor. Sold in pints.
So Delicious, Vanilla: A wonderful substitute for vanilla ice cream. Ben has no idea what he’s missing in flavor, and the mouthfeel is also decent.
So Delicious, Chocolate: Ben loves it, but I pass. The problem with many of the non-dairy chocolate frozen desserts I have tried, including sorbets, is that there is this taste of cocoa powder. It lacks the integrated texture and flavor that marks a good chocolate ice cream, and leaves me longing for, well, butter.
I’ll revisit this topic when I hve some other good stuff to report. Perhaps a survey of the world of “Not” Dogs!
UPDATE: Run, don’t walk, to your grocer’s frozen case to get a box of Tofutti Cuties. These are frozen dessert sandwiches, modeled after ice cream sandwiches and with a soy-cream filling. Most of the parents at Ben’s daycare had no idea they weren’t eating vanilla ice cream sandwiches, and the size is just right for little ones. Both the chocolate and vanilla varieties are great.