A nut allergy is a severe condition. The food allergy may only affect some 4 percent of the U.S. population, but those who have a sensitivity to peanuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and more must be extremely careful about the food they eat. A single bite of a recipe containing – or cooked with utensils and on surfaces shared with – nuts can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. That’s why there are laws were passed requiring food manufacturers to indicate when food products contain nuts and when foods are made in a kitchen where nuts are present. So if you have a nut allergy, or live with someone who does, you probably know all about the perils of eating out and taking a chance on pre-cooked meals. At least when you’re home and cooking for yourself, you know exactly what's in your allergy-friendly recipes…
First meal of the day
No one wants to start the day having an adverse reaction to their morning cereal. So instead of eating cold cereal and risk it, go for bran or banana muffins or homemade waffles or pancakes with syrup. These tree-nut-free and peanut-free breakfast food recipes have ingredients that can have a warm, nutty flavor and aromas, like banana, bran, and, yes, even maple syrup. If you need something warm and nutty to smear on a bagel or English muffin, use sunflower-based butters.
Nut-Free Snacks and Dessert Recipes
When you’re craving a salty, fiber-filled treat, or even some chocolate, you may be thinking that a handful of nuts would hit the spot. But since that’s not an option for those with a serious food allergen to nuts, you’re going to have to find recipes that use non-nut substitutes, like sunflower seed butter – also called sun butter. Coconut products – whether they're shredded coconut, coconut chips, or coconut oil -- are also a perfectly fine options when you need a non-nut cooking oil, or a smooth, earthy flavor for topping caramel brownies, cinnamon rolls, candy or caramel coated apples, and roasted marshmallow with graham cracker or chocolate bar treats.
Nut-Free Dinner Recipes
If you’ve ever made a Chinese or Thai dish, then chances are you scrambled to find a substitute for any number of ingredients you couldn’t eat – like peanuts in pad Thai, or cashews in your Chinese cashew chicken. On the other hand, if you scrapped your water chestnuts, then too bad. They’re a type of water vegetable that grows in mud! And they’re entirely safe to eat if you have tree nut allergies. Well, you don’t have to stop making those Thai and Chinese dishes after all. Just make nut-free recipes instead.
When the recipe calls for nuts, use flaxseeds. These tiny sesame-like seeds have an earthy, nutty flavor, too. Asian noodles – the type that served either cold or at room temperature – is typically made with peanut oil and the recipe calls for nuts. One way to get your noodle fix is by using sesame paste – also known as tahini, which is a creamy sauce with toasted-nut flavors. It has the same consistency as peanut or almond butter but slightly more savory. If you’re making dish that should have a little bit of a sweet aftertaste, then do what the professionals do and add a little molasses or honey to different nut butters to make them taste more like a sweet, nutty peanut butter, but without the bad stuff that makes your lips puffy and your eyes water.