A lot of people are switching to dairy alternatives because they find that they have a dairy intolerance. It’s a choice many families make after finding that their child is allergic to milk products. But what if you are a dairy eating family and your guest is not? Chances are you may not know what to serve a dairy free guest. Luckily there are plenty of choices when it comes to eating dairy free. The best practice is to just ask your guest what her preferences are. Is she vegan or just intolerant and if she is vegan does she eat some animal products or none at all?

Some vegans eat soy based products and some don’t, it really just depends on the individual. If your guest does eat soy based products then tofu and soy beans can be incorporated into meal planning. Dairy free liquids include soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, and hemp milk and can be used in breakfast foods like cereal or oatmeal and can be used in other meal preparations that call for cow’s milk.

Finding meat free alternatives for vegans

lasagnaThere’s also a bit of choice when it comes to meatless meat texture products. Sandwich meat, bacon and eggs can be substituted for tofu mashed, fried or sliced. Black beans and other grains are often used to make meatless hamburgers. Lentils, wheat berries and other grains can substitute for ground beef pieces for tacos or anything that calls for ground beef. If your guest arrived unexpectedly and you are unsure what he or she can eat, and there is no time to ask them, then vegetables and fruits are probably the easiest table pleaser. You can add bulk and protein with beans or grains cooked and mixed in with the vegetables.

Desserts for vegans can be challenging…

mc2You may be wondering what you’re going to feed your guest for dessert and rightly so. There are so many choices that have animal products in them that it probably feels overwhelming to try and choose a vegan appropriate dessert but it can be done. Coconut, soy and almond based products offer desserts like ice cream, cake and cookies but you need to make sure there are no animal based products on the ingredients list. If your guest eats strictly organic then look in the frozen organic section of most grocery stores for specialty dessert items. If all else fails remember that fruit is always the healthiest treat.

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