Nut-free pecan pie & other food allergen substitute ideas

Nut-free pecan pie & other food allergen substitute ideas


 

The holidays are here! That means lots of festivities, family, and the challenge of making enough food for everyone to enjoy. Home cooked meals, desserts, and loads of gift baskets are sure to make you feel full just at the sight of it all. 

 

But it's not all carefree eating for all... Thanksgiving is no time to let our guard down when it comes to our kids with food allergies.  The good news is that most of those common food allergen ingredients can be easily substituted, so you and your kid can enjoy those treats safely and without feeling deprived.  So here are some of our favorite and pretty easy FOOD SUBSTITUTES for common allergen ingredients.

 

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If your kid with food allergies, can't eat TREE NUTS OR PEANUTS you can substitute them with roasted seeds or pumpkin seeds. Either of these would make a good substitute and are healthy options too. In fact, pumpkin is considered a superfood (one that's very high in nutrients). I find many recipes that call for nuts can be replaced by seeds. I make a great pesto sauce by replacing pine nuts with sunflower seeds, beans or roasted peas or chickpeas. Beans or roasted peas or chickpeas aren't just for baking; they're also great in those nut-bowls. I sometimes toss baked chickpeas into our salads, and it gives the meal that little bit of crunch and flavor very similar to nuts. 

A substitute for pecans in pecan pie is Pretzels!  Yes, you heard that right. In fact, pecan pie is a favorite on many holiday tables and tastes pretty awesome using pretzels!  

  

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If your kiddo is allergic to DAIRY, replace it with a dairy-free substance, such as rice, soy, almond, cashew or coconut (but of course, be careful, since many of those items mentioned are also other common allergens). I have found oat milk to be an amazing substitute (and many times overlooked) for those looking to avoid dairy as well as other common food allergens. Here is a recipe for dairy-free mashed potatoes

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First, figure out if the EGG is going to be used as a binder (to hold all the ingredients together) or a leavening agent (to make the baked good rise and be fluffy.) If your recipe calls for an egg white glaze, use some melted margarine instead. If the egg is used as a binder in the recipe, you can use a little mashed fruit, such as 1/2 banana or a cup of applesauce. This is one of our favorites, because it adds a healthy touch to a not-so-healthy item. Please be careful if you do decide to use a commercial egg replacement product. You want to be sure it says egg replacement and not substitute. The substitutes are usually in the dairy section with the eggs and they address things like cholesterol-control, not allergy-control.

 

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We've all been introduced to gluten-free flour and gluten-free cakes, cookies, and other goodies, but one thing to be mindful of in regards to the Thanksgiving meal are the less obvious foods that may very likely contain GLUTEN. For example, the broth used in turkey may contain wheat. As always, your best bet is to make everything from scratch and to read the ingredients of anything store bought. Luckily for those living gluten-free, there are tons of recipes out there and even store-bought foods. Here is a whole batch of Thanksgiving recipes to chose from to make your holidays as easy and fun as possible. 

 

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For the most part, SOY is commonly found in almost ALL processed foods. That's right! Want food made in a factory and conveniently packaged in a box or a can? Then, say hello to our little friend soy. What's really tricky is that even during the holidays when many meals are home cooked, there can still be hidden soy just about anywhere. Individuals or parents of kids with a soy allergy should be on the lookout for any pre-prepared store-bought foods not completely made from scratch. And by scratch, I mean scratch. That includes the more obvious like store bought stuffing mixes but also the not so obvious foods like gravy flavored with store-bought bouillons (which contain soy). Another thing to be on the lookout for is the TURKEY! That's right! Some turkeys are injected with a self-basting solution that very likely contains soy along with other allergens. A lower costing turkey is most likely where you will find these allergens. A free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free turkey is a pricey option but most likely your best bet (along with careful reading of the label and asking questions if necessary).

 

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Don't forget to check out our AllerMates allergy bracelets to wear as a constant reminder for your child, during these busy Holiday times when food is anywhere and everywhere!

Our Deluxe Medicine Cases and EpiPen Cases for Kids can help you carry around your meds this holiday season everywhere you go.

 

Happy and Safe Holidays!

Iris Shamus

Inspired by her food allergic son, Iris Shamus founded AllerMates
with the goal of making the world of medical awareness, friendly and fun. AllerMates bracelets, medicine cases and more are sold
worldwide.

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