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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Cinnamon Rice Pudding

This week I’ve been lying low, slowly recovering from gum grafting surgery. I have very thin gum tissue around four front teeth on my lower gum line, and it has been gradually receding over the years to expose the roots of some of my teeth. So I decided to take care of it before it got worse. Last Friday I had a minor surgery done where a rectangle of skin on the roof of my mouth was taken and sewed over the exposed roots and thin area of my lower gum line. Sounds gross but it’s very cool!

It was a quick and easy surgery but came with a 10 day recovery time that limited my ability to eat (I’m so hungry!).  Being restricted to a soft food diet, I needed to come up with some creative ways to eat substantial food without chewing. I had the added challenge of my lactose intolerance so ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, etc. all had to be dairy free.

Here is a delicious rice pudding recipe I made for a breakfast option. Besides being easy to eat it has the added bonuses of being dairy free, gluten free, and low fat/low sugar! I used Very Vanilla soymilk, but any dairy free milk could be substituted. If it’s not vanilla then I recommend adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract to the recipe.

The sweetness can also be varied to taste. I used exactly 1 tablespoon of SPLENDA packet sweetener, which is sweeter than the granulated SPLENDA. The estimated equivalent in SPLENDA granulated form or white sugar is a 1/2 cup. But I haven’t tried this measurement yet so I can’t be sure of the equivalent sweetness. I would start with a 1/4 of a cup and add more if needed. You can also substitute with Agave syrup or Stevia sweetener. I would start with a 1/2 cup for these as they are not as sweet as white sugar or SPLENDA.


2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup white rice
3 cups Silk Very Vanilla soymilk
1/4-1/2 cup SPLENDA granulated sweetener
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. In a medium size saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and salt, stir. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed–about 10 minutes.

2. Add Very Vanilla Soymilk, SPLENDA, and cinnamon. Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the soymilk is absorbed–about 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm. Easy for someone recovering from surgery!

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