Food and gluten allergy: substitutes to know about

Food and gluten allergies represent a growing public health problem in the country, with an estimated 2.5 million Canadians affected. Sometimes, simple contact between the skin and the allergen can trigger anaphylaxis, a serious and potentially fatal reaction. Living with a food or gluten allergy is no easy feat, especially at first. Here are some substitutions to help you in the kitchen!

EGGS

In the case of eggs, you need to see how the latter will be used in the recipe. If it is only used to moisten or bind the ingredients, fruit purees will do the trick:

  • ½ medium banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup fruit compote (or vegetable puree if it is a savory dish)

On the other hand, if the egg is intended to give volume as in cake, banana bread or muffin recipes, here is what I suggest:

  • 5 ml (1 tsp) xanthan gum
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder + 30 ml (2 tbsp) water

PEANUTS AND NUTS

When peanuts or tree nuts are called for in your favorite recipes, don’t hesitate to substitute roasted pumpkin seeds. Peanut butter can easily be replaced by sesame butter, sunflower butter, or pumpkin seed butter. For the crunch of peanuts in an Asian stir-fry, for example, consider roasted soybeans or chickpeas. These last choices can also be included in trail mixes alongside dried fruit. Be careful! Some people with peanut allergies can sometimes have reactions when eating legumes.

GLUTEN

If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, there are several simple substitutions you can make to replace wheat. Look for gluten-free grains or pseudo-grains such as millet, amaranth, legumes, quinoa, sorghum, rice and buckwheat.

Here are some ways to easily replace 1 cup of all-purpose flour:

  • 220 ml (⅞ cup) rice flour
  • 220 ml (⅞ cup) chickpea flour
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) potato starch
  • 325 ml (1 ⅓ cup) oatmeal (caution: make sure the oats are not contaminated by looking carefully at the ingredients on the package)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) tapioca flour

SOY

People with a soy allergy should be careful, especially when it comes to Asian dishes where soy sauce is often used. An interesting substitute for this (very salty) sauce is made with balsamic vinegar to which you add a little salt. The same principle also applies to teriyaki sauce: balsamic vinegar, a little orange juice, honey, water, olive oil and pepper.

Finally, don’t forget to be careful about cross-contamination! It’s all well and good to pay special attention to the foods you choose, but the environment must also be adapted. For example, be careful with small appliances such as the toaster and blender, as they may have come into contact with allergens (nuts, gluten, etc.).

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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