When most people find out I don’t eat anything with lactose (and therefore stay away from pretty much all dairy) I get responses like, “So you can’t eat cheese!!??” “What about ice cream!” “No chocolate? Chocolate is life.”
My response? “It’s really not that bad.” And it’s not.
In all honesty, I’ve never been a huge fan of cheese (gasp!). I’m not Italian, so it was never a big staple in my diet growing up. In fact, few Jewish meals use cheese because of the whole kosher thing (not mixing dairy with meat). I don’t keep kosher, but still. Regardless of my background and how it relates to levels of cheese consumption, I have found some pretty great lactose free cheese (like Cabot) and even 100% dairy-free cheese (like Daiya).
At first, I really missed ice cream, but I’ve found some great alternatives. There are a ton in the grocery (especially my specialty grocery), and there’s a shop in the city (Stogo) that only has dairy-free ice cream. It’s incredible! I’ve tried a bunch of their flavors (Salted Caramel Pecan, anyone?) and not a one has failed to impress. Even my dairy-eating boyfriend claims their Banana’s Foster flavor is better than real ice cream!
The one thing I will admit to missing and have yet to find a good dairy-free alternative for is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. These have always been my absolute favorite candy bar (can you call it candy bar? candy cup? prepackaged goodie?). Milky chocolate mixed with creamy peanut butter. In big cups, mini-cups, little pieces. Mmm. I digress…
The whole point is that when I saw this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Baked Oatmeal recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie (a great healthy dessert blog), I got pretty excited. I’ve been living it up on the oatmeal front lately, and to be able to combine that obsession with the one I have for Reese’s was pretty exciting. It’s a healthier, dairy-free version of my favorite dessert for breakfast! I had to give it a whirl.
I whipped out all the goods, bought a mini-loaf pan, and was ready to create a masterpiece.
Well, I think I may have gotten a bit too excited. Don’t get me wrong, it ended up pretty good, but did it taste like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Not really. It was a new take on oatmeal and made for a good, filling breakfast, but it left me wanting for more (and by more I mean a real, live peanut butter cup from Hershey’s). Le sigh.
It still made for a good breakfast option, though, so if you’re in the mood for some chocolately, peanut buttery oatmeal (with a bit of banana flavor), definitely give it a whirl. Tally comes in around 315 calories per recipe, unless you use this magical peanut butter.
These are the goods:
Head over to Chocolate-Covered Katie for the full recipe.
I’m determined to get my Reese’s, so next, I’m trying these bad boys.