With the Holidays upon us, many hours will be spent in the kitchen, whether you are cooking for your family and friends to entertain, baking treats to give as gifts, or trying to put together a week night family dinner in the midst of a hectic season. Many of us want to try a new recipe or two, but ingredients can scare us if someone in our family is allergic to it. However, most of the high allergen foods have simple substitutions which barely change the integrity of the dish and make it safe to it.
Here are some things to try:
Cow’s milk, use equal parts:
plain soy milk
Equivalent amount of soy milk with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice added. Let sit a minute until thick.
Of course, you can often just leave out the nuts, but that does change the recipe. The texture of nuts is often what is needed, and these things can take the place of them. If using seeds, make sure they are safe for whoever will be eating this.
Pumpkin seeds or Pepitos
Crispy rice cereal
Whereas an egg substitute may work for many uses, other possibilities are good for other egg uses, like binding a meatloaf or an egg wash.
Try Honey for an egg wash.
Try Silken tofu or mayonnaise for binding.
Often a combination of the different flours makes for a better tasting baked good adn works more effectively (check out http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/12/baking-cooking-substitutions-for-gluten.html for some good combinations). Take a look in the “healthy” section of your grocery store and you may be surprised at what is offered. Here are just some of the different types of flours. You may need to do some experimenting to see which works best for your tastes and needs. Some ready blends are also available.
Blended oatmeal flour
It is important to think about the role that the ingredient plays in a recipe. For instance, if flour is used to coat something like chicken, you can replace it with maybe a crushed cereal instead of one of the other flours. It will give it more crunch and though may change the recipe a bit, it may even be better. Some of this may take a bit of trial and error, but you may end up with something better (and healthier) than the original and may be making it around the holidays for years to come.