NOTICE

At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge. Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU. DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS INGREDIENTS AND INFORMATION DO CHANGE. Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP. Thank you so much!

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Ingredient Substitutions



Note:
This content was accurate at the time of posting, but it is possible that it is outdated at the time of your viewing.  Please, do NOT let this information replace the advice of your doctor/allergist.  ALWAYS follow their instructions and recommendations over mine.  

Also,
CHECK LABELS EVERY TIME, EVEN IF YOU'VE BOUGHT A PRODUCT A MILLION TIMES BEFORE!

Ingredients change often, companies change hands, and policies change.  What once was safe, can now be unsafe.  For your own health and safety, please make it a habit of ALWAYS reading the ingredients of EVERYTHING before you buy it.

Also, if you notice that I have a product listed as "safe" for your particular allergen/sensitivity needs, PLEASE let me know so that I can update my information.  I strive to keep things current, but I do miss things from time to time.  Your help in this matter is invaluable to provide the most current information to my readers.  

Thank you so much!


I have been thinking for awhile now that most of my recipes can be adapted further than they are to be even more allergy-friendly or even diabetic-friendly, but to edit them and change the titles can cause a mess with link-ups and such, so I decided to post this page of handy substitution ideas.  My hope is, that with this guide, you can find a recipe you like here or elsewhere and be able to make it fit your or your loved one's allergy and nutritional needs.

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To Make A Recipe Gluten-Free:

1. Make sure all the ingredients you are going to use are gluten-free, first and foremost. 
Double check labels always, even if you have used that particular ingredient or product a dozen times before.  Ingredient lists and/or processing procedures tend to change often!  Sad, but true, I know.  It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you have a severe reaction when you consume gluten.

2. If a recipe calls for flour of any sort:
  • In baking:
    • Substitute a gluten-free flour in its place. You may have to add xanthan gum (not recommended if you have issues with soy or corn) or ground flax seed in the amount of 1/4 teaspoon per Cup of alternative flour used to help with texture.  Some people who cook gluten-free more than I do have told me that you can even use up to 1 teaspoon per Cup of alternative flour used in recipes, so if 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum or ground flax seed per Cup of alternative flour used doesn't seem like enough, feel free to increase it.  Also, if you are using an odd amount, like 2 1/2 Cups of alternative flour, round up to the nearest Cup (in that case, 3 Cups) to determine how much xanthan gum/ground flax seed to use.  For example, use 3/4 to 3 teaspoons of ground xanthan gum/ground flax seed for a recipe calling for 2 1/2 Cups of alternative flour.  You can also use guar gum, if you can use it, in place of xanthan gum or ground flax seed.
      Note: When using ground flax seed, you may have to add it to the wet ingredients and let it sit for a few minutes first to help it along (It doesn't get "slimy" as quickly as xanthan gum, and that "slime" is what helps get the texture of glutenous bread/baked goods without the gluten.).
         
    • You can sub cornmeal, but 3/4 Cup of it for 1 Cup of flour.  You may also need to add 2 1/2 teaspoons of extra baking powder per Cup of flour replaced to your recipe, too.
         
  • In sauces:
    • Substitute corn starch or a gluten-free flour or leave it out.  Most times flour is just used as a thickener, and you can leave it out without consequence in regards to flavor, but the sauce will be thinner.
3. If a recipe calls for oatmeal and you have trouble with that or are grain-free, you can substitute gluten-free flour (using the rule above) for it or you can sub quinoa flakes.




To Make A Recipe Soy-Free:
1. Make sure that all the ingredients you are going to use are soy-free. You need to make sure
Image by adamr from freedigitalphotos.net
to always double check labels because they change way too often, and it is better to be safe than sorry.  I have found that soy tends to sneak its way into our food the quickest because it is cheap and can take on just about any flavor or texture, so when companies are looking to cut costs, they tend to replace a more expensive ingredient with soy more often than not.  It may be tempting to just "grab and go" but I don't recommend it. 

2. If a recipe calls for an ingredient that contains soy:
  • Look for a substitute for that ingredient that does not contain soy.  For example, if the recipe calls for strawberry yogurt and you cannot find a soy-free one, use a soy-free plain or vanilla yogurt and add some strawberry jam or puree instead.
    • 
  • Look for a soy-free recipe to make the ingredient you need.  For example, if the recipe calls for taco seasoning, make your own.

    To Make A Recipe Egg-Free:
    
1. Make sure that all the ingredients you are going to use are egg-free.  Check everything,
Image by antpkr from freedigitalphotos.net
even if it is something that you cannot even fathom eggs being in, like broth. You might be surprised!  Stranger things have been known to happen.  Manufacturers will go for the flavor and texture they want for the cheapest cost which means if eggs are cheaper and achieve the result they want, they will use them first, so keep that in mind at all times.  They are in the business of making money, not catering to specific needs, and they will tell you as much nine times out of ten.  This is not every business's philosophy, but it is a majority of businesses' reasoning.  Thankfully that is changing, but until then, be an avid label reader!
   
2. If a recipe calls for eggs:
  • Use one of these substitutes:
    • An egg replacer, but be wary of these as they tend to not be very allergy-friendly.
    • Flax seed "egg" (original recipe found here): Whip 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 Tablespoons of liquid (i.e. water, milk) until you get an egg-like consistency. (Note: If your liquid is warm, it will become thicker and egg-like faster.)  Use one flax seed "egg" per egg the recipe calls for. This is great for use in any recipe you want to make egg-free.
    • Applesauce and baking powder: To replace one egg, use 1/4 Cup applesauce plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. I recommend using unsweetened applesauce and only using this substitute for things like muffins, sweet breads and cakes. (Note: some say the baking powder can be left out without issue, but I'll leave that up for you to decide.)
    • Mashed banana or pumpkin: To replace one egg, use 1/4 Cup mashed banana or pumpkin, but I would not recommend using this substitution unless you wanted the pumpkin or banana flavor in that particular recipe.
3. If a recipe calls for mayo:
4. Another resource that may be of benefit in deciding on egg substitutions is this page: Vegan Cooking - Lose the Eggs, Milk and Butter! (Thanks to Elizabeth Nitz for bringing this information to my attention!)

     To Make A Recipe Dairy-Free:
1. Make sure that all the ingredients you are going to use are dairy-free, even if it is a product
Image by Somchai Som from freedigitalphotos.net
that you cannot even imagine dairy being in, like broth.  I have heard of milk sneaking in there, so always double check!  Even if you have used the ingredient or product a million times, continue to read the labels every time.  Manufacturers look for ways to cut costs all the time, and sometimes that means adding dairy where there was none before because it's a cheaper way to get the texture or taste they want.  Never assume that what was "safe" yesterday is "safe" today, because sometimes, it's not!  Really!  I have witnessed this happen on numerous occasions.  Makes one frustrated, that's for sure!

2. If a recipe calls for milk:
  • Use a milk substitute like coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. SoDelicious seems to make the most allergy-friendly options out there, so I recommend them highly.
  • Sometimes you can substitute juice or water instead (i.e. in a smoothie) or even broth (i.e. in soup or mashed potatoes) with success. I recommend thinking about the taste profile you want and the texture you want and going from there. For example, do not add apple juice if you don't want apple flavor.
3. If a recipe calls for sour cream or yogurt:
  • Use a non-dairy substitute. SoDelicious has a lot of options to choose from.
4. If a recipe calls for butter:
5. Another resource that may be of benefit in deciding on dairy substitutions is this page: Vegan Cooking - Lose the Eggs, Milk and Butter! (Thanks to Elizabeth Nitz for bringing this information to my attention!)

6. Bob's Red Mill has a great article on Dairy Free Substitutions for Cooking that you can read here.
       
         To Make A Recipe Tree Nut or Peanut-Free:
    1. Make sure that all the ingredients you are going to use are free from tree nuts/peanuts,
    Image by Grant Cochrane from freedigitalphotos.net

    whichever you need to avoid. Always double check labels, because nuts can sneak in sometimes and/or sometimes manufacturers use the same equipment for things containing nuts and things that do not. It is up to you to decide if you will use a product that says "Manufactured in a facility that produces nut containing products", "May contain traces of peanuts", etc. or not.  I would recommend, though, that if you have an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts or tree nuts, to not take the risk of using a product that could even remotely contain peanuts or tree nuts.  I think that's just common sense.  
    
    2. If a recipe calls for peanut butter:
    • Use a tree nut or seed butter instead, if you can use them without problems.  You can make your own by grinding up the seeds or tree nuts in a food processor along with a little salt (if desired) until it is the desired consistency.  You can add a little sugar, too, but that is definitely not necessary.
    3. If a recipe calls for tree nuts or peanuts:
    • Most times you can just leave these out without compromising the recipe.  The taste will be different, but the recipe should still cook/mix/bake up correctly.  I have noticed, though, that if you leave the tree nuts/peanuts out, the recipe will tend to cook 5 to 10 minutes faster if baking/cooking is required.
    • You can substitute sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or another type of seed that you think would taste good with the flavor profile of the recipe.
    4. I do not consider coconut a tree nut (and I label recipes as nut-free that contain coconut), but some do, so I will list some coconut-free ideas here.  
    • If you are allergic to coconut, and a recipe calls for coconut oil, you can substitute another fat in its place like lard, butter, etc. that suits your allergen needs.  
    • If a recipe calls for coconut, you can generally leave it out with success unless it is a main ingredient (i.e. coconut macaroons).  You can also generally sub nuts, seeds, dried fruit or chocolate chips for coconut in most recipes that have coconut as an add-in, if you wish.
    • If a recipe calls for coconut milk, you can use another form of milk (dairy or non) that fits your allergen needs in its place.  
    • If a recipe calls for coconut butter, you can use another butter (dairy or non) that fits your allergen needs in its place.
    Keep in mind that most recipes containing coconut that also have coconut in their name (i.e. coconut cream pie, coconut cake, coconut cookies) or that have a tropical aspect to them (i.e. pina coladas, tropical pies, Hawaiian recipes) rely on the coconut flavor as a huge part of the recipe's success.  Altering the coconut aspect of these recipes will change the flavor dramatically, and the recipe most likely will not turn out as anticipated.  
      
    To Make A Recipe Diabetic-Friendly or Free From Refined Sugars:
    
    

    Image by audfriday13 from freedigitalphotos.net
    1. I am not a big fan of sugar substitutes, but I know that some people prefer them, so that is why this section is here.  I am all for using as unprocessed a sweetener as possible, though, for my own personal reasons.  I would, however, recommend that you do some research before making your choice in sweeteners or sugar substitutes.  This can help you make an informed choice in regards to which sweeteners or sugar substitutes are best for you and yours.  I would also recommend talking with your doctor about your choice.  He/She may be able to give you insight that you may not find in other means, especially when it comes to side-effects (yes, there can be side-effects to using most of these substitutes, some of which may surprise you).  I always say, an informed choice is the best choice because then there are no surprises.  In the end, do what you believe is the best thing for you and yours, and forget everyone else's opinions. :)
    2. If a recipe calls for sugar:
    • Use one of these substitutes if you do not want to use refined sugar:
      • Raw Honey
      • Molasses (Particularly Black Strap)
      • Pure Maple Syrup
      • Agave Nectar
      • Evaporated Cane Juice
      • Brown Rice Syrup
      • Barley Malt Syrup
      • Raw or Organic Sugar (there is debate on whether this is a non-processed food or not, but I will leave that up to you to determine)
        Note: Using a liquid sweetener in place of a granulated one can cause texture issues (i.e. too much liquid) in some cases, so make sure that you adjust the amount of liquid or the cooking time to compensate if necessary.
    • Use one of these substitutes if you want to leave out the sugar:
      • Stevia
      • Splenda
      • Sweet N' Low
      • Xylitol
      • Equal
      • Any other sugar substitute on the market
        Note: Using a liquid sugar substitute in place of granulated one can cause texture issues (i.e. too much liquid) in some cases, so make sure that you adjust the amount of liquid or the cooking time to compensate if necessary.  Also, if you are going to be using the sugar substitute for baking, make sure you use one designed for baking.


    Seasonal Cooking:

    I know that cooking seasonally isn't not exactly an food allergy substitution idea, but it is not a bad idea and can greatly benefit your health.  There's all kinds of ways to incorporate seasonal foods.

    1. Use pumpkin puree and about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice per loaf for mashed bananas in banana bread to get a yummy, autumnal Pumpin Bread.  You can also use mashed berries for the banana or even applesauce and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per loaf for some other seasonal options.

    2. Add seasonal fruits, veggies, nuts and/or seeds to your salad greens!

    3. Experiment with seasonal fruit purees in recipes that call for them (i.e. applesauce for banana, strawberry for pumpkin, etc.).  You can adjust the spices, too (i.e. 1 teaspoon cinnamon for 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice, leave out the spice if using a berry in place of pumpkin).

    The possiblities are only limited by your imagination!

    If you are looking for a chart on what is in season and when so that you can cook more seasonally, check out this one called "Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables" by Molly Watson on About.com.   It's great!



    ~*~*~*~

     

    That should about cover it!  If you have anything to add, know of anything that I have forgotten or have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or email me.  Thanks! :)

    Oh, and you probably noticed that I used the phrase "read your labels" or one like it in every section.  As I've said a million times, reading labels is so very important.  Make it a habit to read them every time.  A few minutes time reading a label may save your health or the life of a loved one.  Keep that in mind, and you will have no trouble remembering to check those labels every time. :)
       


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    2 comments:

    1. Do you know of a product that can be substituted for worchestershire sauce--w/ out soy. Or a soy free product.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I don't, but I did find a recipe for Worcestershire sauce here:
        http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/04/homemade-corn-free-worcestershire-sauce/
        You could find other recipes by Googling "soy free Worcestershire sauce recipes".

        Here is a link to some substitutes for Worcestershire sauce, some of which are soy-free:
        http://www.md-health.com/Substitute-For-Worcestershire-Sauce.html

        I was not able to find a soy-free, ready-made Worcestershire sauce at this time. Some say that Lea Perrins is soy-free, but I could not confirm that.

        Best of luck! Hope some of these help!

        Delete

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