Finding allergy free substitutes is a big part of eating well with food allergies. Once you find foods that can be substituted for those that you're allergic to, you can start cooking and baking recipes that you've always loved. You'll probably discover new favorites as well.
It's true that it takes an open mind when cooking with different ingredients. The first time I made wheat free bread and the recipe called for xanthan gum, I was a little nervous...especially when I saw how much it cost! But it is now something that is always in my pantry (and a little goes a long way!)
Even though there are so many alternative ingredients for the common allergens, some things can never be substituted. I have yet to find an egg substitute that can duplicate an omelet. And, no, egg substitutes (such as Egg Beaters) are not safe substitutes for eggs (I get that question a lot).
What is an "allergy-free" or "safe" substitute?
An "allergy-free" or "safe" substitute is one that is free of the allergens that you are avoiding. I put both of these terms in quotations because they are both really relative terms - they are different for everyone.
Sure "allergen-free" is used often and usually refers to foods free of the most common food allergens - the top 8. But no food can be considered completely "allergen-free" because it is possible to be allergic to almost any food.
Throughout this website and, especially in Allergy Free Recipes, I put the word "safe" in quotations for that very reason. A "safe" margarine for someone with a dairy allergy is different than a "safe" margarine for someone with a soy allergy. Always be sure to use substitutes that are safe for YOU.
Looking for some ideas? Click on an allergen below to get started: