If you suffer from milk allergies, it may be casein protein that you are allergic to.
What Is Casein Protein?
Casein protein is the predominant protein found in milk, cheese, cottage cheese, and other daily products. It can also be shown on food labels as caseinate or micellar casein.
Casein Allergy Symptoms
This type of protein is very slow digesting and provides a steady stream of amino acid to your muscles. For someone with a casein allergy, ingesting casein can cause:
- difficulty breathing
- a serious pain in the gut that can lead to an inability to get nourishment from food
- dangerous weight loss
Casein Free Diet
Cooking without casein can be quite challenging, as it is a binding agent used in so many foods. If you are allergic to casein, you must learn to read food labels on everything to ensure that you do not have a bad reaction. Just because something is non-dairy does not mean that it is a casein-free food.
A few easy substitutions include:
- For butter, substitute unsalted margarine, Crisco, or soy butter
- For milk used as a liquid, substitute Rice Dream. When baking recipes call for milk, fruit juices can be substituted, but be sure to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe
- For milk used as a thickener, use pureed tofu
Natural casein-free foods include vegetables, fruits, and nuts. However, some processed foods containing fruits, vegetables, and nuts do contain casein, so unless it is in its natural form, you must always check labels.
Kitchen Appliances and Casein Free Diets
It is often hard to operate your home kitchen with one person suffering from a casein allergy, as even using cooking utensils with traces of milk products can set off an allergic reaction for someone with a sensitive allergy. Color coding food prepared with milk (and that without) makes it easier to manage this type of situation.
If you are looking for kitchen appliances, a bread machine is a great addition to the kitchen for someone that suffers from a casein allergy, as it is often quite difficult to find casein free bread. You can simply omit the milk called for in the recipe. It changes the texture of the bread slightly, but the taste remains the same.
Also, an ice cream maker can be great to make sorbets out of your favorite juices. For those that eat no milk products, they must watch their calcium intake, and sorbet made from calcium fortified orange or apple juice is a great treat and is packed with the calcium that your body needs.
To find more casein-free foods, you can check your local organic or health food grocery store. There are some substitutions available for dairy products, but they are more expensive.