Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Healthy Cooking: Allergy Free Cooking Recipe Substitutes

Coping with Multiple Food Allergies and How to Cook Allergy Free Meals: Tips to Shopping and Eating with your Food Allergies.

If you are like me, you most likely have some sort of food sensitivity or even a diagnosed food allergy. From lactose intolerance to severe allergic reactions to nuts and shellfish, hope does exist. After hearing a story on Martha Stewart's television show; I realized this is a huge problem and wanted to share a great website and information with my subscribers.

Read the labels:

Learn the different names for your allergens and their derivatives; therefore, you won’t be surprised by “hidden” allergens in your food. This may take some time to learn, but is a good skill to understand what’s actually in the food you’re buying.

Shop organic, if possible

It may seem impossible to learn the labeling and names right away, so I found that shopping at organic food stores help. Organic packaged foods tend to have less ingredients and more human-readable names than normal supermarkets. I found that this was especially helpful for grains – like corn and soy – which tend to be in tons of packaged foods nowadays.

While Whole Foods or Wild Oats are great supermarkets for organic shopping, there are more and more brands with minimalist (organic, or at least less complicated) ingredients creeping into other grocery stores daily. Your first shopping experience will be lengthy... very lengthy. But when you get home, you will have a few good brands that use less 'formulated' ingredients and are descriptive in their labeling. Each subsequent trip will be faster; you'll start to easily recognize brands that work for you.


There is so much food out there. You just have to be adventuresome.

In my opinion, its easier to avoid fruits/vegetables because there are so many other varieties and some pretty exotic stuff out there, if you can find it. It can take more effort to avoid the grains like wheat, corn, and soy. Variety is great, so that you can get some great ideas you may have never found otherwise.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions

You might have to throw away some inedible dishes (which I definitely have had to do). Eventually, though, you start to learn what substitutions work in certain types of dishes. I have made some real disasters in the kitchen when trying to substitute for eggs. However, I keep trying and think learning to substitute is better than an allergic reaction which can ruin even the best-tasting meal.

Food Substitutions For Food Allergies


  • Allspice - cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg
  • Nutmeg - cinnamon or ginger
  • Cinnamon - allspice (use 1/4 the amount), nutmeg, or cardamom
  • Cloves - cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg
  • Ginger - cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg
  • Chili powder - dash hot pepper sauce, cumin, and oregano
  • Cumin - chili powder
  • Thyme - basil, oregano, or marjoram
  • Basil - oregano or thyme
  • Chive - green onion, onion, leek, or shallots
  • Cilantro - parsley
  • Parsley - cilantro or chervil
  • Chervil - parsley or tarragon
  • Mint - rosemary, basil or marjoram
  • Sage - marjoram or rosemary
  • Italian seasoning - blend of basil, oregano, rosemary
  • Oregano - thyme or basil
  • Tarragon - chervil or dash of fennel seed
  • Rosemary - thyme or tarragon
  • Cardamom - ginger
  • Baking powder - half cream of tartar/half arrowroot powder


  • Brown sugar
  • Maple sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup
  • Concentrated fruit juice
  • Rice syrup
  • Molasses
  • Date sugar


  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried herbs
  • Balsamic or other vinegar
  • Ground spices (like curry powder, cinnamon, or chili powder)
  • lime juice
  • lemon juice

Allergen Substitutions


  • Water
  • Rice milk
  • Almond milk
  • Pecan milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Water
  • Brazil nut milk
  • Walnut milk
  • Fruit juice


  • Commercial egg replacements, e.g. Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • Flax seed; for every egg white, use 1 tbsp of flax seed and 3 tbsp water
  • Tofu
  • 1 Banana = 1 egg in cakes
  • 2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder = 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder
  • For substituting up to 3 eggs: for each egg, use 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp liquid, and 1 tbsp vinegar


  • 1/2 cup honey = 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tbsp water = 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • Arrowroot powder = cornstarch
  • Tapioca powder = cornstarch

Wheat flour

  • Oat flour
  • Rice flour
  • Rye flour
  • Barley flour
  • Millet flour
  • Teff flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Amaranth flour
  • Kamut flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Garbanzo flour
  • Soy flour


  • Carob powder
For more information about Food Allergies: visit this great website:

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