Suite of Sweets Continues with Go Dairy Free Review, Plus Truffles 4 Ways

Full disclosure: The copies of Go Dairy Free provided for my review and this giveaway were free. However, this is not a paid review and the opinions expressed are my own.

Update: This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Niv—congrats, Niv! Niv’s comment was selected using random. org: “Shirley, thank you for the great review and now with the combination of your tasty GF recipes and Alisa’s DF recipes I will have more choices to make GF/DF recipes for my 7 year old son.” Please remember that another copy of Go Dairy Free will be given away as part of the final giveaway package for the Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts event, with all comments/entries for the entire event eligible!

Alisa Fleming, founder and author of Go Dairy Free, the website and the book (complete title is Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living), is a no-nonsense, “get to the heart of the matter” kind of gal. That was my first impression a few years ago when we met online and Alisa sent me a copy of her book for my support group to use. Of course, me being me (i.e., always asking for more!), and also always being on the lookout for excellent speakers for my support group, I invited Alisa to speak to the group on going dairy free via teleconference. The fact is that many folks who eat gluten free, also eat dairy free. Sometimes that can be a temporary situation as some gluten-free folks are advised to also go dairy free initially until their gut heals and then dairy is slowly reintroduced into their diet. Some do find out they can eat dairy again; others may need to (or choose to) permanently refrain from eating dairy as well as gluten.

Alisa agreed to speak to my group even though she said she’d never given such a presentation before. I know that has changed dramatically as Alisa has become the voice for living dairy free. Hey, she was even quoted here with a Lola Lollipop cartoon. She’s also speaking at the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference in June. Even if it was her first presentation for our group, she did a wonderful job sharing the highlights of her book and the basics of going gluten free. Her presentation included the history of humans consuming dairy, the different types of dairy milk consumed throughout the world, product and recipe ideas, and she even fielded numerous questions at the end.

One of the factors that has always appealed to me about Alisa’s approach to her site and her book is that she shares her own story and how going dairy free dramatically changed her life, but then she very objectively presents the data and resources for living gluten free. That is not to say that she’s not passionate and fun … Alisa is an enthusiastic, ever present voice in the dairy-free world and for healthy eating in general. And, she’s not against a treat now and then. Case in point, her dairy-free rendition of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies shown here. Note that these cookies are not gluten free, but I’d love it if one you would adapt Alisa’s recipe to be gluten free as well. Likewise, not all of the recipes in Go Dairy Free are gluten free, but they are easily adapted to be gluten free. I finally got to meet Alisa at BlogHer Food last fall and we’ve stayed in touch. I am happy to say that Alisa’s now a good friend of mine, but that has not impacted my review … I was a fan of her book, Go Dairy Free, long before we met.   

I’ve actually planned to review Alisa’s book here for quite some time with her generous offer of a giveaway to one of my gfe readers. I decided to include it in our Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts, but when I went to refresh my memory by looking at Go Dairy Free again and making a recipe, it was nowhere to be found. It seems it’s been “checked out” from our group’s library for the moment. So let me give you some overall info and my general impression of Go Dairy Free, plus share this recipe from Alisa’s blog, Alisa Cooks, with you.

Go Dairy Free, the book, is broken up into several chapters that fall under the following key sections:

* Understanding Dairy & Dairy-Free From a Health Perspective
* Eating Away From Home
* Grocery Shopping & Preparing Your Kitchen
* All You Ever Wanted to Know About Dairy Substitutes
* Time to Eat! – Recipes & Recommendations
* More Recommended Resources

Those are definitely the areas you’d want to know about when embarking on a dairy-free diet. I was very impressed at the comprehensiveness of this book and happy to add it as a reference for my group’s library. Some information was so new to me that I read it more than once because I found it so surprising and fascinating. The bulk of Go Dairy Free walks one through actually transitioning to dairy free, even giving one recipe options for dairy-filled, common staples like sweetened condensed milk and cream soups. Incidentally, Go Dairy Free is self published, which I feel is an admirable feat, and it’s a bestseller. Alisa is working on her next dairy-free book right now … a cookbook!

FYI—Go Dairy Free is currently $13.54 on Amazon. It has 58 reviews and a 5-star rating; those two together say a lot!

You may also want to check out other reviews of Go Dairy Free:

Linda (The Gluten-Free Homemaker)

Thomas (The GFCG Experience)

One lucky gfe reader will be getting Alisa’s book, Go Dairy Free. To enter the Go Dairy Free giveaway, which will be open until Monday, February 21, midnight Eastern: simply leave a comment. You can get additional entries by tweeting the giveaway, sharing the giveaway on Facebook, or sharing the giveaway on your blog. For each additional entry, be sure to leave a comment on this post.

Just so you can plan ahead, I’m letting you know that I’ll be offering another copy that I purchased as part of the final giveaway package for Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. That package includes the Cook IT Allergy Free app as well. That giveaway is still open until Friday, February 18, at midnight; enter here. Remember ALL comments on the Suite of Sweets posts will be entered for the final giveaway, so leave those comments, tweet, share on Facebook, or blog about each of the Suite of Sweets posts and leave a comment saying that you did each time.

Now for Alisa’s recipe. I hope you’ll forgive me on sharing another chocolate recipe. I know you will … because it’s a truffles recipe with four variations. Truffles always make an appearance at my house for our Valentine’s Day party. Now I have this wonderful recipe from Alisa that’s gluten free, dairy free, grain free, egg free, nut free, and soy protein free. And, look at her photos of these treats. Definitely sweetheart worthy … every one of them!

Semi-Sweet Mint Truffles – 4 Ways
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Cream (see directions)
  • 8 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or dark if you prefer), approximately 1-1/3 Cups (as mentioned, I used those dairy-free Chocolate Dream Chips – blue bag)
  • 3/4 to 1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (to taste)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Optional Toppings: Crushed candy cane, powdered sugar, melted semi-sweet chips, cocoa powder.

First things first, let’s get some coconut cream. You can actually buy coconut cream in a can or aseptic package at many stores, or you can just skim the cream off the top of a regular (not light!) can of coconut milk. Grab a can, and don’t disturb it. Do not shake, stir, or otherwise emulsify the contents of the can. When you open the can, it should look somewhat like this …

See that nice thick cream on top. It should scoop out nicely. I usually get about 1/2 cup of cream per can (just enough if you opt to double this recipe). Underneath is a watery coconut milk. You can reserve that for using in some other savory meal or sweet baked goodie.

Okay, now that you have the cream, melt the chocolate. I’m lazy, I just fire the chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals (usually just two will do it), vigorously whisking in between cycles to get a smooth consistency. You can go the fancier way and melt it with a double broiler if you wish though. Once the chocolate is nice and smooth, stir in the coconut cream, mint extract, and vanilla extract. The cream may be a bit lumpy, just whisk until it all smooths out. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.

Once it has firmed up, scoop and roll into balls – whatever size you like. The chocolate will be firm, but it does soften a bit at room temp, so I like roll each of the balls (to coat) in one of the following:

  1. Cocoa Sugar Combo – Sift together equal parts cocoa and powdered sugar.
  2. Melted Chocolate – Melt some more chocolate chips with a touch of shortening or coconut oil. Dip the balls to coat, and place them in the freezer or fridge to set up.
  3. Peppermint Crush – Place a little candy cane in your spice grinder and whiz until powdered / crushed (just takes a few seconds). Note that the Peppermint Crush exterior can get a bit sticky over time, so this version is best served fresh. For a similar idea that stores better, try the Peppermint Crunch …
  4. Peppermint Crunch w/ Cocoa – This is another favorite; when you scoop out some of the chocolate, press it into some of the crushed candy cane, and then mush it together and roll into a ball so that you end up with wee crunchy peppermint bits throughout. If you don’t want a super mint rush, you can just do the peppermint crunch and reduce or omit the mint extract. Roll in cocoa powder or cocoa/sugar to coat.

Makes a boatload of truffles … I don’t know, maybe 4 or 5 dozen?

Recipe and photos (see more here) courtesy of Alisa Fleming of Go Dairy Free, Alisa Cooks, and Dairy-Free & Fit.

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

55 Responses to “Suite of Sweets Continues with Go Dairy Free Review, Plus Truffles 4 Ways”

  1. Katrina (gluten free gidget) on February 17th, 2011 7:27 am

    Awesome! I just so happen to have coconut cream concentrate in my pantry! Thanks for a great review & recipe!

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:00 pm

      Hi Katrina– :-) Is coconut cream concentrate just like the cream skipped off the top of full fat coconut milk? Hope you enjoy Alisa’s truffles!

      Shirley

  2. Penny on February 17th, 2011 8:05 am

    The truffles look *amazing*!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe and pictures!

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:02 pm

      Penny–You’re welcome … I had it easy sharing Alisa’s *amazing* recipe and photos! :-)

      Shirley

  3. Ricki on February 17th, 2011 9:00 am

    I’m not entering the giveaway, as I already have a copy of this awesome book! Love it and Alisa, too. Those truffles look jaw-droppingly good. Great review, Shirley, and I know one of your readers is going to be thrilled with Go Dairy Free! :)

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:05 pm

      Hi Ricki–I sooo appreciate you stopping by to share your love of Alisa and her book! It will be fun to run the random number generator and give away Go Dairy Free. :-)

      Shirley

  4. Heather @CeliacFamily on February 17th, 2011 10:16 am

    I’ve been thinking about going dairy-free for years, but can never quite do it completely. I just can’t seem to give up the cheese. Maybe this book is the inspiration I need.

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:12 pm

      Heather–We’re in the same boat … going dairy free is the next step for me. I actually was dairy free for months after going gluten free and saw amazing results, but then reintroduced it and slowly became addicted again (much like what is said in this article). Alisa’s book goes a long way in opening one’s eyes about dairy. I’m hoping that one of my members will return our group’s copy so I can re-read it for inspiration myself. :-)

      Shirley

  5. Mary Ann N. on February 17th, 2011 11:06 am

    Can’t wait to try the gluten- and dairy-free fondue! I’m a vegetarian who recently found out I need to go remove both gluten and dairy from my diet. I’ve been focusing more on the gluten, so your book could REALLY help, since I don’t know enough yet. I’m looking forward to exploring both websites and would LOVE to be entered in your book giveaway. (no ability for the app)

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:15 pm

      Hi Mary Ann–Welcome to gfe! :-) Alisa’s book is an amazing resource. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

      Shirley

  6. Claudine K. on February 17th, 2011 12:00 pm

    Wow! The truffles look and sound yummy! Can’t wait to try them! Great Review!

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:18 pm

      Hey Claudine–Welcome to gfe! :-) Thanks for the kind words. I’m so happy to share Alisa, her book, and her truffles–all terrific!

      Shirley

  7. Debbie on February 17th, 2011 1:08 pm

    Oh, I love it! These look wonderful! I know my thoughts will be coming back to this all day! Simple, but who would ever know?

    Debbie

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:20 pm

      Hi Debbie–I agree … Alisa did a phenomenal job with these truffles! :-)

      Shirley

  8. Nancy on February 17th, 2011 1:24 pm

    Just venturing into Dairy-Free,Gluten Free. Happy to find resources that are manageable to follow.

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:27 pm

      Hi Nancy–It looks like you might be new to gfe–welcome! :-) Hope you’ll take a look at Alisa’s Go Dairy Free site and even my Recipes page for many gf/df options. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

      Shirley

  9. Dave on February 17th, 2011 2:31 pm

    I am just investigating Gluten and dairy free. I am staying with my sister and it is my night to make dinner. She and her daughter are both on G+DF. We all love to eat. Never done this before, but here I go….

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:31 pm

      Dave–Welcome to gfe. :-) Bet you came up with a wonderful gf/df dinner for your sister and family! Thanks for entering the giveaway.

      Shirley

  10. tawna on February 17th, 2011 2:46 pm

    nice!!!! i would love to own this book!

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2011 11:33 pm

      Hi tawna–First, welcome to gfe! :-) Last, best of luck in the giveaway! ;-)

      Shirley

  11. Johanna B on February 17th, 2011 3:00 pm

    I eat quite a lot of dairy. I’ve never been sure how healthy this is for me. I started using a non-dairy milk and I’m not as congested. Not sure the two things are connected. Would love to check out Go Dairy Free.

  12. nicola @ gfreemom on February 17th, 2011 3:08 pm

    I love this review Shirley. I think you and Alisa share some things in common. Both of you definitely fall into the ‘no stone left unturned’ category. (that’s a compliment ;-)) The truffles look amazing!

  13. J'Marinde Shephard on February 17th, 2011 3:28 pm

    I keep packets of coconut cream powder on hand in my cupboard. They are reconstituted with warm water and the amt of water determines the thickness of the product. I get them at the Asian grocers.

  14. Alisa Fleming on February 17th, 2011 4:06 pm

    You are the bomb Shirley (yeah, I know I’m too old to say that phrase :)!!

    Thanks for taking the time to review my book and for the wonderfully sweet words!

  15. Michele on February 17th, 2011 4:49 pm

    I would love to own a copy of this book.

  16. Brittany on February 17th, 2011 5:26 pm

    Looks yummy!

  17. Hannah on February 17th, 2011 7:32 pm

    I love the use of coconut cream here! I’ve so far only made raw vegan truffles, but I think it’s time for some more traditional, albeit dairy-free, treats :)

  18. Katherine on February 17th, 2011 8:46 pm

    after dealing with eating issues, I am trying to find healthy eating balance and recipes. this would be a dream come true to help me out! I cannot wait to see who wins! (I’m hoping karma rolls the dice my way :))

  19. Susan R on February 17th, 2011 9:18 pm

    I always love to try new recipes. :)

  20. Tia @ Glugle Gluten-Free on February 18th, 2011 12:08 am

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway, since I already have the book. But, I love Alisa and you, so I have to give some love. It’s February after all.

    Sam and I have recently gone dairy-free, too, since I was reading Alisa’s book while he was reading The Inflamation Diet (or something) at the same time. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. And, like gluten, after not eating cheese for a week or so, I don’t really miss it. Funny.

    It seems as though Alisa likes the peppermint. I knew there was a reason I liked her. My head has been a’twirling with ideas on how to make those thin mints gf. I did love the thin mints. Like eat-the-whole-box-and-feel-guilty-for-days kind of love. So part of me is debating on making the cookies. We’ll see. I will let you both know.

    xoxo,
    Tia

  21. Niv on February 18th, 2011 12:51 am

    Shirley, thank you for the great review and now with the combination of your tasty GF recipes and Alisa’s DF recipes I will have more choices to make GF/DF recipes for my 7 year old son.

  22. Alena Mack on February 18th, 2011 2:21 am

    The truffles look awesome! I have been trying to go dairy free (in addition to being GF), and I am finding it much much harder than going GF. Maybe because I’m from Wisconsin! I could really use her insights!

  23. alisa joy on February 18th, 2011 2:25 am

    as someone who is gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free AND named alisa…obviously i’m a BIG FAN!!!

  24. InTolerantChef on February 18th, 2011 6:20 am

    I like the one recipe 4 ways- that means less washing up for me!

  25. Karen on February 18th, 2011 8:59 am

    Yum! We’re dairy free, but don’t know a thing about substitutes, etc. And I’d love to have more recipes!

  26. Courtney on February 18th, 2011 9:49 am

    I would love to win this book…my library doesn’t have a copy, and I have been curious about it for a while!

    Courtney

  27. Christine Kelly on February 18th, 2011 10:20 am

    Delicious for sure! Would love a copy of this book. Christine

  28. Liz Taylor on February 18th, 2011 12:44 pm

    I would love to have this book! It would help me to go 100% dairy free! The recipe looks great; thanks for posting!

  29. Goatgirl on February 18th, 2011 12:44 pm

    I would LOVELOVELOVE a copy of this cookbook! thanks for the opportunity to try!

  30. Royale Scuderi on February 18th, 2011 5:44 pm

    I was recently diagnosed with a casein dairy allergy and am struggling my way through adopting this new eating style. I would love the Go Dairy Free Book. Help!

  31. rudy on February 19th, 2011 8:46 am

    This book looks really cool. I’m excited for the chance to win it!

  32. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free on February 19th, 2011 11:38 am

    Of course I am not entering because I already have my sweet Alisa’s book, but just wanted to say that these Truffles look AMAZING and just may be what I play with in the kitchen this long and RAINY COLD weekend!!
    Great review of our pal, Shirley!
    xoxo
    k

  33. Cayti Burch on February 19th, 2011 8:46 pm

    The recipes and information I’ve gotten from Alisa’s blogs and site have really helped me make the switch to dairy-free (diagnosed casein allergy 3 yrs ago @ 34!) I’ll definitely be following yours as well. Thanks!!

    Also shared on FB

  34. Maggie on February 19th, 2011 11:30 pm

    Hi Shirley – Great overview of Alisa’s book! She is amazing – so kind and so talented! I love her recipes. I need to get my hands on a copy of this book! One day! And perhaps some of those truffles…

  35. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on February 20th, 2011 11:47 am

    Delicious truffles! I’d love to win the book as my husband NEEDS to be dairy free. Sweet hubbies need help, so guess who gets to do the prep? :) Gladly.

  36. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on February 20th, 2011 11:50 am

    I “liked” gfe on Facebook!

  37. allie on February 20th, 2011 2:32 pm

    I’d love to read this book. I just made a dairy free bechamel sauce and need more similar recipes! :)

  38. Sarah on February 20th, 2011 3:39 pm

    I would love to win this book :)

  39. Audrey J on February 21st, 2011 9:03 am

    I have been dairy free since 1983. Some new recipes would be welcome!

  40. Nancy @ TheSensitivePantry on February 21st, 2011 9:43 pm

    Truffles! Again, chocolate. What can I say…it’s my favorite flavor. Thanks for sharing the information about Alisa’s history and book. I definitely need to get it…but I might wait to see if I can win it first.

  41. Niv on February 23rd, 2011 12:10 pm

    Hi Shirley & Alisa

    Thank you for this great offer and letting me win this book. I will be able to explore and try new dairy free recipes. I am sure I’ll be able to combine your recipes along with Shirley’s recipes and make a delicious dish.

    Thanks
    Niv

  42. Debi on February 28th, 2011 11:55 am

    Trying to catch up on my blog reading for a bit. Chocolate and peppermint. Shirley, if I haven’t said it enough, I ♥ you! There was a time when I didn’t like the chocolate and peppermint combination, but now I can’t seem to get enough of it!

    • Shirley on February 28th, 2011 1:07 pm

      Hi Debi–I have to say please don’t feel like you have to catch up here at gfe, but I’m happy to see you well enough to be making the rounds again! :-) And, aren’t you too sweet? Giving me a heart. I still can’t remember how to make them. ;-) I do love chocolate and mint myself, too (and always have!), but Alisa offers several variations for those who don’t. ;-) Have you seen Tia’s (Glugle Gluten Free) thin mint GS Cookies? OMG. Seriously.

      xo,
      Shirley

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