Happy Herbivore Blog

May 5, 2012

This Week's Q&A (Talking Non-Dairy Milk, Perfume, & More)

You've got questions, I've got answers!

1. I need to lose a lot of weight and I just bought your meal plan. You list whole wheat or gluten free options in it, but I was wondering if I have to be gluten free to lose the weight?

No, you only need to be gluten-free if you have an allergy or sensitivity to wheat or gluten. Being gluten-free by itself will not necessarily help you lose weight.

warm vegan blueberry breakfast cake in pan

2. The recipes that I have tried in your Happy Herbivore Cookbook didn't specify a particular non-dairy milk, but I was wondering what you usually use when preparing these recipes. I had some coconut milk and I thought I could use it for cooking. However, I don't think it worked very well. The taste and the texture of the recipe was 'off' or something.

I don't specify the type of non-dairy milk because people can use whichever they prefer. I find some people like soy, others like almond, others prefer rice, some people use unsweetened, others can't stand anything other than sweetened, etc. I don't use canned coconut milk (it's not considered a nondairy milk or a milk substitute like almond milk is) or coconut milk beverage, or hemp milks in my cooking and I don't recommend those as a milk replacement or for everyday use in recipe. I use whatever nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond) is on sale or I have on hand. My advice is to pick a brand and type you like the taste of and use it. 

3. Can you tell me the difference between zucchini and summer squash?  Is one green and the other yellow, but otherwise they look alike?

Zucchini is green and summer squash is yellow. Their shape is also slightly different. zucchini looks like cucumbers, but summer squash are more curvy and squash-looking.

4. Just a quick question; do you know if perfume is animal cruelty free? All my cosmetics, moisturizers, toiletries etc are vegan but what I'm not sure about the perfume.

I imagine perfume is a lot like cosmetics. Some are tested on animals, some are not. I imagine most do not contain animal ingredients, but you never know. My friend Gin wrote a guest post on ingredients to look for in makeup. I don't wear perfume so I haven't looked into it much - sorry!

5. I want to make a strawberry truffle, do you have a recipe for vanilla pudding?

I don't, but I do have a recipe for banana, and chocolate, in Everyday Happy Herbivore (pg. 262), that you could try to tweek. Mori-nu tofu makes a vanilla pudding mix. All you do is blend it with mori-nu tofu and water and it makes a great pudding. (You can find their pudding packets at health stores). I want to say Jell-O's pudding packet is vegan, and can be made with soy milk. I have no idea if these things are healthy, however.

UPDATE: My sister's instant butterscotch jell-o box doesn't say anything about certain types of milk not working, however her roommate's cook & serve vanilla jell-o box does say that it will not work with soy milk.

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