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[The following post is sponsored by Lactaid.]
Over the weekend I was planning my Thanksgiving menu. The kids and I were actually drinking smoothies made with Lactaid milk at the time, and that got me thinking about how I could make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier on my stomach using Lactaid milk.
Since Lactaid is 100% real milk (just without the lactose), I can drink it and use it in cooking without any stomach problems.
Thanksgiving Mac & Cheese
One of the things that I always make on Thanksgiving is some kind of mac and cheese. I have five or six different mac and cheese recipes that I like to use, and really, all of them could be made easier on my stomach just by using Lactaid milk instead of regular milk (which I often do). But I wanted to make something a little more special than my usual mac, and completely lactose free (or close enough not to affect me). So after we finished our smoothies I got to work, and tested an idea out for lunch.
My idea was to replace some of the cheese I usually use in mac and cheese with butternut squash, reduce the butter, and replace all of the milk with Lactaid milk.
It was delicious! It’s rare that I hit a homerun on the first try when making a recipe, but this one was all I hoped it would be. The butternut squash adds a sweetness that was really special, but doesn’t scream “There’s a vegetable in my macaroni and cheese!!!” This is a mild, subtle mac and cheese.
Remember, Cooking Doesn’t Get Rid Of Lactose!
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the sauce first. No making a roux, no standing there stirring forever to avoid lumps. The milk goes onto the pasta cold and thickens up during baking.
You can choose your own pasta for this mac and cheese, too. I used penne, but you could also use elbows, bow-ties, ziti, shells, really anything.
And remember, cooking or baking doesn’t do anything to the lactose in dairy. It took me years to realize that!!
A Note About Cheese
This recipe calls for sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, and in my experience, those are not cheeses that will bother my stomach at all. In general, the harder the cheese, the less lactose it contains. Cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan don’t bother me at all.
So enjoy this dish, and when you’re planning your holiday menus, think about which dairy substitutions you can make!
I have received information and materials from JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER, Inc., McNeil Nutritionals, LLC Subsidiary the makers of LACTAID®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
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