Vitamin A, B’s (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 & B12) & Fatty Acids


I’m not a professional/nutritionist or a doctor; this is just the result of research that I’ve done for myself that I am sharing.  Please research for yourself and don’t forget to consult/discuss with your healthcare provider!

Did you know there are 7 different B vitamins?  Today I’m discussing vitamin A & all 6 B vitamins.  Vitamins in general are used for oxygen transport; antioxidants & help our bodies use carbs, proteins & fat.  Vitamins are fat soluble (need to eat with fats – avocado, olive oil, etc) or water soluble (works with water in our bodies).


Vitamin A – dairy is a great source of vitamin A, so we need to replace this vitamin in our diet.  Animal foods contain retinol & retinyl esters (retinoids) ~ a form of vitamin A; plant foods contain B-carotene (carotenoids), another form of vitamin A.   Vitamin A helps the body with our vision, gene expression and reproduction & immune response.

According to Healthy Eating, SF Gate “The recommended dietary allowance for adults age 19 and older is 3,000 international units for men and 2,333 international units for women.”

Some non-dairy sources of the retinoids are eggs, cod liver oil, fish & beef liver.  Carotenoids are in red & orange vegetables.  Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin.


B Vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 & B12.  The B vitamins are water soluble.

B1 – Thiamin; metabolizes carbs;

B2 – Riboflavin; is an electron transport;

B3 – Niacin; required for energy metabolism;

B5 – Pantothenic Acid; Fatty Acid Metabolism (see Fatty Acid section below)

B6 – Pyridoxine; Metabolism of protein & glocogen (energy that is stored in liver & muscles) and metabolism of sphingolipids in our nervous system;

B9 – Folate – metabolism of proteins & nucleic acids and assists in blood functions; there is only a small amount in milk.

B12 – Cobalamin; protein metabolism & blood functions.

Best non-dairy sources of B vitamins & Fatty Acids (Omega 3 & 6) are as follows:

A, B Vitamins & Fatty Acids

Fatty Acids

Fatty Acids are not made by the body; they need to be ingested in our food or supplements.  Linoleic & linolenic support the body with hormones, muscle contraction, blood clotting & immune response.





Next month, I will finish vitamins (C, E & K).


Are these helping in your non-dairy journey?  Comment & let me know.

Comparison – Butter

I’m a cheese girl, however, I used real butter (along with olive oil) in my cooking prior to going dairy free because it was a natural ingredient.  I’ve struggled for years with using margarines due to the controversy over the ingredients.  Dairy free caused a conundrum for me.  Did I want to substitute?  What did I want to try.  I have found that I really don’t use a major amount of the “butter” any more, so I’m okay with having small amounts on occasion.


For “Butter” ~ I mainly use Earth Balance, Melt & Coconut Oil

Earth Balance ~


has a “whipped” container that I use as “butter” ~ spread on bread & “baking bars” which are shaped like traditional butter ~ these are much easier for baking.  They can also be used as traditional butter.  One note on baking with EB ~ I use half EB & half Butter Flavored Crisco.  I have noticed that when I use just the EB the baking turns out much harder & a mix the finished product is a softer product.  EB has 3 flavors, regular, honey & chocolate.  I’ve not tried the chocolate yet, but the honey flavor is amazing on fresh-baked bread!  Even my dad, who is very strongly against anything “vegetarian/vegan” liked it.  Ease of use:  I have to allow it to sit & soften before using.  Eating/mouth feel:  Buttery flavor, I use this along with butter flavored Crisco in my baking (50/50).

Melt ~


I love this for spreading on bread as my “butter” more than Earth Balance.  I also cook/bake with this.  This is my main butter.  Ease of use:  It spreads more easily straight out of the fridge; if it sits too long it will get very soft, almost to a pour-able state.  Eating/mouth feel:  creamy, buttery, able to spread (mostly) right out of the refrigerator.  Honey flavored is just as yummy, lightly sweet.  Amazing on homemade bread…

Coconut Oil ~ (No picture)   I’ve just started using this, but have had success with it in the baking I have used it in so far.

Better Buttah ~


Ended up with flavored (garlic & chives) – delicious.  Found this at my local nutrition store.  Ease of use:  this liquefies at room temperature.   Eating/mouth feel:  Light & creamy.  (I’ve only used this once so far).

Smart Balance ~

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Original:  Ease of use:  I’ve only used this once; I haven’t been able to form a strong opinion yet.  Eating/mouth feel:  Creamy, very light flavor.     Flax Oil:  Ease of use:  I’ve only used this once; I haven’t been able to form a strong opinion yet.  Eating/mouth feel:   Creamy, light flavor



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Note on “margarines”:  I have found that most other margarines (with the exception of some of the Smart Balance) has some form of dairy (Casein/Caseinate, whey, etc); double-check carefully before purchasing ~ if in doubt, contact the company & ask.


Where I find these (the stores will be different for your area~ feel free to comment where you’re from & where you find your “butter”).

Earth Balance & Melt are found at Safeway’s.

Earth Balance is found at S-Mart, but only the “whipped”, you can also find this at Food-4-Less.

I think you can find both at Raley’s also.



Do you see what I see:


(Creepy finger pointing…)


What is your favorite brand/flavor?  Where do you find you “butter”?  Comment & let me know.

National Day of Souffle – May 18

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes since I live on my own.  It is simple & filling.  This recipe can be multiplied for more servings – I’ve done up to 6 servings with success.


Cheese Soufflé

1 serving


3 ½ teaspoons Earth Balance, Melt or other non-dairy “butter”, divided

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

¼ cup milk (I used almond)

¼ teaspoon minced chives (optional, but delicious)

1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg, separated

1/3 cup shredded non-dairy cheese (I used Follow Your Hear Provolone)


Butter the bottom and sides of a 1 cup round baking dish with ½ teaspoon butter. Sprinkle buttered surface with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Add chives and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount into egg yolk; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat egg white until stiff peaks form; fold half into yolk mixture. Fold in Swiss cheese, then remaining egg white. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.



Happy Mother’s Day (Breakfast/Brunch)

Today we celebrate our Mothers; in addition, in our family, we are also celebrating my mother’s birthday – it is tomorrow, so we have an extra special Mother’s Birth Day celebration.  This year, with my youngest brother and my sister-in-law in town (they lived out-of-state since they married almost two years ago) it will be the first family celebration with the new family structure.  I’m going to share my menu in just a minute, but the inspiration comes from when our family would visit from out-of-state; my mom would fix what we came to call “Company Breakfast”.  Usually included bacon and/or homemade sausage, “glorified scrambled eggs” (eggs w/cheese, onions, peppers, sausage – sort of like an omelet in ingredients), orange and/or apple juice and pancakes or waffles.  Most of the breakfast items are “special” items that we didn’t have everyday.  Us kids really liked when family visited because we had “Company Breakfast”.

For the special day this year, I am having a “fancy-smanshy” “Company Breakfast”.

Instead of waffles/pancakes, I’m going to attempt crepes with sweetened creamy center and fresh strawberries (glad I live in CA – they are in fully season right now – plump, juicy, delicious!) & chocolate sauce for drizzle.  

For the “glorified eggs”, I’m going to create “Egg Omelet Muffins” – with turkey sausage, asparagus & non-dairy cheese (no meat for my SIL – that’s the great thing about this is that you can custom for each guest).

Beef bacon (or veggie bacon for my SIL)

for beverages I’m going to have apple & orange juice & milk for those who want it (cashew or almond for me!).  I’m also going to have my mom’s two favorite beverages – Martinelli’s sparkling cider (YUM!) & “Pink Ladies” (non-dairy for me & raspberry sherbet for the family – click beverage title for the non-dairy recipe) & we can’t forget to have coffee (non-dairy creamer for me – see here)

Are you drooling yet?  Here are the recipes:

Egg Muffins

(I made for 7 people – approximately 2 “muffins” each)

@14 eggs

1 bunch asparagus, in small dice

2 lbs turkey breakfast sausage, cooked & in small pieces

non-dairy provolone cheese, I used 2 packages, shredded – set aside about 1 cup or so for sprinkling on top

salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)


garlic powder

onion powder


(See photos below)

Scramble eggs; add a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder; set aside.  combine asparagus pieces, sausage & shredded cheese & season with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.  Place about 1/4 cup or so of sausage mix into a muffin tin (large muffins, not standard muffins).  Slowly, pour eggs over, just until you see the eggs starting to come up the sides of the muffin cups – don’t fill to to top (it will make a huge mess!).  Sprinkle a bit of extra cheese on top of each “muffin”.  Bake in 350* oven until set – about 45-60 minutes.  Serve warm.

These can be cooled complete & frozen for individual servings for a quick breakfast on the go or as a make-ahead for a party – that’s what I did.  Defrost in refrigerator & re-heat in low oven until heated through – 10-15 minutes or so.

To customize – you can change up the meat or eliminate completely; use any vegetable you desire & you can use more than one – I have some in my freezer with tomatoes, sausage & green peppers.  This is such a versatile recipe since you can customize to each person who will be eating these.

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(Due to an unforeseen issue, I wasn’t able to make the crepes this weekend – I will make them in the future & share the recipe then – we are having waffles instead) 



How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?  Do you have a special story about your mother?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Barbara’s Cucumber Salad


This is one of my favorite salads my mother makes; I was sad I couldn’t enjoy once going dairy free, however, with this altered recipe, I can continue to enjoy it.  I hope you do to.

With just a few ingredients that come together in less than 10 minutes, this is a great picnic recipe and a great way to use up any overabundance of garden produce.


3-4 large cucumbers, peeled & sliced

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dill (to taste)

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup non-dairy sour cream (you can add more of both mayo & sour cream – they just need to be equal amounts)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

dried parsley, to taste

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped


Combine everything except the cucumbers; slowly stir in the cucumber slices.  Refrigerate until serving.