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A quiche is a type of open tart that contains a soft filling. Commonly, the filling contains milk or cream, among other ingredients. Cheese, ham and onions are also commonly found in this entree. If a person is allergic to dairy products, or prefers not to eat dairy, then it is possible to make a quiche without these ingredients. Soy products like soy milk or tofu can be ingredients, as can nut milks.
Some people are allergic to cow's milk, and possibly to other mammalian sources of milk like goat's milk. Symptoms for those with this condition include trouble breathing, skin rashes and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is another reason why some people may avoid dairy products, as they do not have the enzyme necessary to break down lactose properly, which is a specific protein in dairy products. Problems that can occur if a person with lactose intolerance eats lactose are primarily gastrointestinal in nature, such as diarrhea and gas. Affected people can only avoid these symptoms if they avoid eating dairy products altogether.
Dairy-free quiche offers people with medical problems with dairy an opportunity to eat quiche. Instead of traditional ingredients, a dairy-free quiche contains components which are similar in effect to the traditional inclusions, but which do not contain dairy products. A regular quiche has a tart base made from flour, salt and water. Butter or lard are the oils that keep the base together.
Fillings for regular quiches are vegetables and cooked meats, all held together in a liquid matrix that cooks into a fluffy texture. Typically, milk and cheese go into the fillings. Alternatives for milk in a dairy-free quiche include milks from nut sources, such as almond or coconut. Soy milk is another option to give the filling the necessary liquidity.
Cheese is the component of a quiche that usually gives the dish a saltiness and a richness. Tofu, a solid, creamy substance made from soy, can provide a replacement, although some dairy-free quiche recipes call for many vegetables instead of cheese to bulk up the filling. Eggs form part of most dairy-free quiche recipes, as do the traditional inclusions of onions, salt and pepper.
By definition, a vegan quiche is suitable for those who are allergic to components of dairy products. Vegans do not eat any animal products, so the quiche does not contain eggs either. Normally a quiche base contains butter or lard, but these ingredients are replaced with a vegetable oil or similar ingredient.