Wellness and Diets

A Simpleguide To Allergy Free Pantry Essentials

There are a lot of foods that are naturally free of the top 8 allergens, such as fruits, vegetables, some grains, meat, beans, seeds, and oils. There are also many specialty products that are made to be top 8 free. Always be sure to read labels and if you have questions about the ingredient list, be sure to call the manufacturer.

A Note About Coconut: you have included coconut in these recipes. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) states: "Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet."

Rice – There are so many delicious varieties of rice available. White rice, brown rice, wild rice, red rice, jasmine rice…the list goes on. Rice is a wonderful gluten free grain that is very non-allergenic.
Quinoa – Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, and is a great source of protein. Quinoa is a good substitute for couscous and other small grains that contain gluten. It has a nutty flavor and cooks up rather quickly.
Gluten Free Pasta – There are so many varieties of gluten free pasta available now! From the standard brown rice pasta, to pasta made with corn and quinoa, to black bean pasta, there is sure to be a gluten free pasta that works for you.
Beans and Lentils – you love to keep a good variety of beans on hand. We regularly eat black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, and lima beans. They are a great source of protein, and are very inexpensive, too.
Gluten Free Oats – There are a few different brands that make gluten free oats. Make sure the label says "gluten free," as oats are often processed in a facility with wheat and can become cross contaminated with gluten.
Gluten Free Flour Blend – There are so many gluten free flour blends on the market. you often use King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour Blend. This blend does not include xanthan gum, so you will need to add about ¼ teaspoon per cup of flour in your recipe. Namaste Perfect Flour Blend is another favorite of mine and is made in a dedicated allergen free facility. This blend does include xanthan gum and is a great cup for cup replacement for all-purpose flour. Namaste Perfect Flour Blend is your favorite for cookies. Enjoy Life Foods has also just come out with an all-purpose flour mix that is top 8 allergen free. Bob's Red Mill, Hodgson Mill, and Arrowhead Mills also make gluten free flour blends. Since every family's allergen needs are different, you will want to research and find the best flour blend for you. Please call the manufacturer if you have any questions about the facilities and the risk of cross contamination.
Sunbutter – Sunbutter is a great substitute for peanut butter or other nut butters in baking.
Coconut Milk – Full fat coconut milk is a nice replacement for the creaminess that comes from dairy. Use it frequently in curries and soups, and it can also be used to make a delicious dairy free whipped topping for desserts.
Seeds – Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds can be a good substitute for nuts. When mixed with water, ground flax seed meal makes an excellent egg replacer. Read the label to be sure that the seeds are not processed in a facility that also handles nuts if that is a concern for you.
Broth – Chicken, beef, and vegetable broth are great to keep on hand for making soups and stews. Soy and gluten are often hidden ingredients, so make sure you double check the label. You can also make your own broths if you have the time.
Dairy Free Chocolate Chips – Use chocolate chips made by Enjoy Life Foods or PASCHA Chocolate, because both of these companies make their chocolate in dedicated allergen free facilities. Their chocolate is perfect for baking – it has a wonderful rich flavor. Enjoy Life Foods makes mini chips, dark chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks for a nice variety in your baked goods. PASCHA Chocolate also makes allergen free gourmet chocolate bars
Oils – Organic unrefined coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and organic canola oil are always in your pantry.
Vinegar – you often use apple cider vinegar and white vinegar in your cooking and baking. Make sure that the white vinegar you use is not distilled from a gluten containing grain. Heinz states that their white vinegar is made from corn and is gluten free.
Baking Powder – Use Featherweight Baking Powder because it is gluten free and corn free. If you are not allergic to corn, you may not need this particular brand. Rumford Baking Powder and Clabber Girl Baking Powder are also gluten free.
Tapioca Starch and Arrowroot Powder – These thickeners are fairly interchangeable and work very well to thicken up gravies and soups.

Refrigerated Items:
Vegan Buttery Spread
– Use Soy Free Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread. Make sure you get the red container that says "soy free." Use both the spread in a tub and the baking sticks.
Non-Dairy Cheese – you prefer to use Daiya non-dairy cheese because it is made in a dedicated facility, so you know that it is safe for your family. Some non-dairy cheeses are processed in a facility that handles milk or nuts. As always, be sure to read the labels.
Non-Dairy Milk – There are a lot of non-dairy milk options out there. Rice, hemp, coconut…what you choose for your family is up to you. Again, always read labels and call the manufacturer if you have any questions about possible cross contamination. you prefer to use SO Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk found in the refrigerator case. This milk is also available packaged in shelf stable boxes if you prefer to store it outside of the refrigerator.