I was recently asked to put together a list of ingredient substitutions for the top allergens in commonly found recipes. I’m posting this list here and I will also create a new “substitutions” tab across the top of the page (I will work on this and get it up asap).
These are the ingredients that I use in place of food allergens on a daily basis. I know there are other substitutions out there as well. Some of my substitutions are made for the entire family, incorporating more allergens, but other substitutions are only for my son.
- Milk: rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk (carton, not can) — substitute equal amount
- Buttermilk: any of the above allowed milk plus vinegar (1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar, let stand for 5 minutes)
- Butter (spread only): Best Life Buttery Spread (does not work in baking or frying)
- Butter: Earth’s Balance non-dairy margarine (contains soy), coconut oil, olive oil (non-baking), grapeseed oil or canola oil (in baking, use about 3/4 cup oil per 1 cup butter)
- Cream Cheese: Tofutti Cream Cheese (contains soy)
- Yogurt: any soy-based yogurts
- Ice Cream: Rice Dream ice cream pints or sandwiches, Trader Joe’s sorbet
- EnerG egg replacer: This works the best of all the egg substitutions I have tried. The box is pricey up front, but it lasts a long time.
- Applesauce: 1/4 cup applesauce per 1 egg (This isn’t the best substitute for helping baked goods to rise.)
Peanut (if no tree nut allergy)
- Almonds, Cashews, Sunflower Seed: All can be used in whole form or made/purchased as butter — equal substitution.
- You can substitute various tree nuts if you are only allergic to one specific tree nut, but you must be very careful of cross-contamination.
- Oat Flour*: substitute approximately 1 1/4 cup oat flour (I grind old-fashioned oats in coffee grinder) for 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Rice Flour (white or brown): equal substitution
- As thickener (in soups/sauces): use oat flour, arrowroot flour, or tapioca starch as equal substitute
- For bread crumbs: oatmeal
- Noodles: Rice Noodles (I prefer those found in the Asian section, Asian grocer or Trader Joe’s. They have a better texture, taste and price than the advertised gluten-free pasta, in my opinion.)
- Almond flour and coconut flour sound like promising substitutes but I have not fully experimented with them yet.
- Substitutions I want to try experimenting with more: almond, coconut, potato
- *oats that are not certified to be gluten-free may contain traces of wheat
- Vegetable (soybean) Oil: canola oil, grapeseed oil
- Shortening: coconut oil, non-soy shortening (have not used this), butter, non-dairy butter, oil (use about 3/4 cup oil per 1 cup shortening)
- Earth Balance Non-dairy/soy butter: I have not used this because it contains corn.
- Soy Sauce: There is a gluten-free soy sauce on the market, but I do not believe I have seen a soy-free soy sauce. This is a very hard substitution to make, in my opinion. As a condiment, I have not found a good substitute. As an ingredient, I have used the following recipe: 1 1/2 cup beef broth (I have only found organic beef broth to contain no soy or corn), 4 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp molasses, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, pinch pepper and garlic powder. Boil about 15 minutes until reduced (or if you’re in a big hurry and don’t feel like this step, just throw it all in the recipe).
Corn (this isn’t a top allergen, but exists in my home):
- Corn Starch: arrowroot flour works best (have also used tapioca and rice starch)
- Corn Syrup: maple syrup
Are there any substitutions that should be added to this list? Have you found any of the above to work well or not so well? Please help us compile a thorough list for our readers and allergy cooks.