Lifestyle

Food Substitutions for Allergies & Sensitivities

More and more people are cutting certain foods out of their diets. Some are doing it because they’ve discovered that they have allergies or sensitivities. Some are doing it because they have a health issue that means they need to get rid of certain foods, even if they don’t have an allergy or sensitivity. And some are doing it because they’re trying to eat healthier. I’m the person who cut foods out because of a health issue only to discover that I have an allergy/sensitivity to them. In my case, it’s gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and egg, and I cut them out in phases over the course of several years. Because of how many foods I can’t eat, I’ve figured out how to replace ingredients in recipes, and I figure that it’s time to share what I know to help other people who need to know food substitutions whether it’s for an allergy/sensitivity or to become healthier.

Food Substitutions for Allergies & Sensitivities

Replace Dairy: Use soy, almond, or coconut milk. Almond is my favorite, as it can be used pretty much exactly that dairy milk. If you also have a nut allergy, try rice milk instead, although I’ve heard that it doesn’t work great if you’re trying to use it as a thickener.

Replace Soy: Earth Balance has been my savior. Not only do they make dairy alternatives, but they also have soy-free options, as well. The biggest thing is to read labels and make sure that the ingredients in whatever you’re making don’t have soy.

Replace Gluten: The biggest key is to understand where to find gluten. Since it’s mostly found in wheat, recognize that you’ll need to replace flour. King Arthur has an amazing amount of alternatives. Their flour is amazing especially since you don’t have to add xantham gum to your recipes like you used to; xantham gum tastes horrific. Completely awful. Not only due they have multi-purpose flour, but they also have bread and pizza mix, cookie mixes, brownies, cakes, and more. And the best part is that (other than the corn bread) they don’t have other allergens in them! Check them out here.

5 Food Substitutions for Allergies & Sensitivities

Other brands are Bob’s Red Mill and Cherrybrook Kitchen, whose mission is “to provide delicious all natural baking mixes for the millions of people that are affected by food allergies” (x). They have mixes for pretty much everything you could need. Another thing you should know is that oats are naturally gluten-free, but Quaker Oats are not gluten-free. They do offer gluten-free products, but don’t assume that all of their products are safe to eat.

Substitutions for 5 common food allergens Click To Tweet

Replace Egg: There are 2 options when a recipe calls for an egg – make a flax egg or use an egg replacer. By this I mean a powder egg replacer like Ener-G, which is what we use. It’s free of gluten, casein, wheat, dairy, yeast, soy, and nut. I personally use a flax egg when I bake.

Replace Corn: When you’re baking, generally you’ll run into corn with corn syrup. According to The Balance, corn syrup replacements include syrup, honey, light molasses, or maple-flavored syrup (I suggest clicking that link to read more about it and how to choose what to use). For corn meal, consider grits, and Kids with Food Allergies has a great article on replacements for all the things with corn in them, which is unfortunately a lot.

What are your favorite food substitutions?

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  • I wish replacing eggs was that dead simple 🙂 Although flax eggs can do miracles, true 🙂

    • True! That is the problem with replacing eggs – 60% of the time flax eggs work, 40% they’re just not exactly right. Especially since eggs are one of those foods that do so many different jobs!

  • Cristina Alciati

    The biggest challenge for me is to substitute wheat flour with something that mimics the behaviour of gluten. This is most important when making bread from scratch (so there is no added sugar) or egg pasta which needs a certain amount of elasticity for working it and shaping it. I tried all sorts of things and the best for me so far has been buckwheat flour. Mega expensive here in the UK but I only need to add it to commercial GF blends to get decent results.

    • Good to know! I don’t know if this works (or if they even reach out to the UK), but King Arthur Flour has an amazing bread mix. My parents make it for me all the time – I am a complete mess at making bread and I never succeed.

  • Ashley Angle

    I don’t have food allergies, but I still really enjoyed this post! It was very informative!
    Ashley // A Cute Angle // acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

    • Well I’m glad! And besides, you never know when someone you know is going to discover they have an allergy or sensitivity.

  • It’s crazy what is added to food products…how in the world are Quaker Oats not GF if oats are naturally GF? Crazzzy.