When dealing with clients with food allergies or sensitivities, the most common question I get asked is, “What can I eat?” They have a list of forbidden foods but all too often they don’t get any information on what they actually can eat. For someone who is intolerant to gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs or soy, it may seem like there is nothing left to eat but with a little experimenting you’ll find there are still many great options out there despite your unique limitations. Eating bland chicken and rice at every meal is not your only option! So let’s focus on what you can eat with my top 10 food substitutions to make allergy free eating enjoyable.
1. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos: This soy free sauce is amazing in Asian inspired dishes. Not only is it soy and gluten free, it’s also much lower in sodium than traditional soy sauce (113mg per tablespoon compared to 920mg per tablespoon!), which makes it a great option for those on low sodium, diets as well.
2. Vance's Foods DariFree Original Powder Gluten-Free Beverage: This potato milk may not taste as good as a drink but is great for cooking. Use it like powdered milk or it can be made to mimic regular milk, half and half or evaporated milk depending on how much water you add. Follow directions on the canister.
3. Soy Free Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread: A great substitute for butter without any dairy or soy ingredients. Most margarines contain soy products so look for this specific brand if you are in need of soy and dairy free products.
4. Coconut Bliss: This dairy, soy, and gluten free ice cream sounds a lot scarier than it is! With flavors like chocolate hazelnut fudge, naked coconut and ginger cookie caramel you won’t miss traditional ice cream anytime soon.
5. Zing Bars: Being gluten, dairy and soy free while still providing 10 grams of protein is no easy feat. And they taste great too!
6. Rustichella Corn Fusilli Pasta: Made with organic corn and water, this pasta’s texture is as close as you’re going to get to traditional wheat pastas. With a sweet corn flavor, this pasta pairs well with a hearty sauce.
7. Garden of Life RAW Protein: Trying to be vegetarian or at least eat less meat, while avoiding dairy, soy, eggs and/or nuts can be challenging. Luckily there are protein powders out there like this one that are vegan, soy f and gluten free. One scoop provides 17 grams of protein, plus all essential amino acids, probiotics, enzymes and additional nutrients.
8. Organic Original Sunshine Burgers: For soy free folks, most veggie burgers are forbidden, but with 12 grams of protein, these burgers are gluten, dairy, and soy free making them a great choice for any BBQ.
9. Sunbutter: This sunflower seed spread is peanut and tree nut free. It makes a great “sunbutter” and jelly sandwich that even your kids will love!
10. Ener-G Egg Replacer: Just as the name says, this product is great for replacing an egg or two for anyone with dairy or egg sensitivities. Great for vegans as well as those needing to avoid gluten or soy!
Katie Jones, M.S., R.D. is currently a nutritionist at Full Circle Wellness in Denver. She is passionate about using food as medicine. Katie has experience treating IBS, migraines, reflux, fibromyalgia, celiac, migraines, diabetes, weight loss in addition to advising on anti-inflammatory diets for autoimmune diseases such as M.S. Katie previously worked at Rose Medical Center and Summit Gastroenterology and is a certified LEAP therapist. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Masters in Nutrition and received her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Colorado. You can follow her on her blog or Facebook.