Monday 25 February 2013

Dairy Free Ham Muffins: week 1 of my dairy fast


Once upon a time, milk and I were best friends.

I ate ice cream, I loved cheese, and I lived on yogurt.  And then one day, rather suddenly, milk turned on me. They called it lactose intolerance; I called it the most epic betrayal of all time. As a person who doesn’t cook meat (though I’ll eat it), I had become quite reliant on dairy products as a source of protein. Something had to be done.

So I spoke with my nutritionist, Jodi Turner, at Jodi Turner Nutrition. Jodi and her former business partner, Heather Moxley, have been  the fairy godmothers of my digestive system. They’ve helped me out with my lack of a gall bladder and many other woes, and Jodi had a recommendation for this lactose nonsense, too: go 2-8 weeks absolutely dairy-free, and then try to introduce it back into my life.

So dairy and I are taking a break from each other.


I started preparing for the fast by making muffins at home. I added a bunch of potential recipes to my Dairy Free Pinterest Board. I can't live without a morning muffin, so this was very, very important. I found a ham & cheese muffin recipe that looked good and made two small changes to make it dairy-free. Here it is:


All you need to make 'buttermilk'
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (dairy-free: coconut or other 'milk', with a tablespoon of vinegar mixed in to sour it)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (dairy-free: Daiya 'cheese' derived from tapioca. Best when melted into something.)
  • 1 cup ham, chopped fine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil and maple syrup and stir to combine.
  4. Add the buttermilk to the egg mixture and stir.
  5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just combined.
  6. Fold in the cheese and ham.
  7. Scoop the batter 2/3 of the way up into greased muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes (15 minutes if using mini muffin cups).
  8. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
 I threw these in the freezer and heat them up for 35-40 seconds to make them hot and melty in the morning. My only complaint: I wish I'd made them twice as big because somehow my homemade muffins are always tiny. Also, next time I would add in spices and seasoning to flavour the batter itself a bit more. But I recommend giving it a try; it's a nice break from the usual sweet muffins, and healthier for you than an ham and egg english muffin from your local drive-thru.

So basically, I'm working hard to keep this diet up without feeling like I'm losing out big time. Thank god for good fake cheese.

Mr Darcy doesn't care if it's dairy-free or not;
he just wants some.


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