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
Concentrated fruit juice
Balsamic or other vinegar
Ground spices (like curry powder, cinnamon, or chili powder)
Brazil nut milk
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
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
This is a really great post. I find that many people are just at a loss when it comes to trying to figure out how to make a recipe work for their diet. This is a great reference list.
One thing though is brown sugar is not a good substitute for regular sugar because it is just sugar with molasses added to it to make it brown. It is not going to help someone who can't eat sugar. However, agave nectar is a great substitute because it is low glycemic.