Unfortunately, if you used to love eating mixed nuts by the handful and now have a peanut or tree nut allergy you will have to find some nut free foods to replace them with. With that said, there are a few foods typically made with peanuts and tree nuts that a can be found in “nut free” varieties.
Following are some nut free foods that just might fill the void for you.
Peanut Butter Substitutes
Given the amazing amount of peanut butter consumption in the U.S. alone (in case you missed it on the peanut allergy page, somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 million pounds consumed in a year) one of the most sought after substitutes for those of us managing a peanut allergy is, of course…peanut butter!
If you aren’t allergic to soy, then soy nut butters are a safe alternative for you. They come in a number of varieties are even flavored (chocolate, anyone?) Here are a couple of brands available:
Sunflower butter is another peanut butter replacement option. My family actually prefers it over soy butter. To us, it tastes a bit more like peanut butter. In our house, we use two different brands of sunflower butter:
Sunbutter is widely available and I have heard that many schools even offer it in their cafeterias
- Trader Joe’s Sunflower Butter
If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you, their sunflower butter is a little bit less expensive. It’s a bit of a drive to Trader Joe’s for me so I always stock up!
A note about baking with sunflower butter: Sunflower butter has the tendency to turn green (yes…green!) when used in baking. According to the Sunbutter website, this happens because the baking powder/soda reacts with the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds causing the sunflower butter to turn green. According to Sunbutter, if you cut back on the baking powder/baking soda by 1/3, this will be prevented. Adding a small amount of acid, like lemon juice, might help also.
I have had my cookies turn green (it’s very subtle, but yes… green). Even though it looks a little bit odd, this doesn’t affect the flavor at all. If you’re not looking to enter your cookies into a baking contest where the appearance will be scrutinized, you probably don’t need to worry about altering your recipes.
If you’re looking for “safe” chocolate chips, check out Enjoy Life’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. They are free of all of the common allergens and are made in a nut free, gluten free facility. If peanut butter and chocolate were made to go together, then a spoonful of sunflower butter sprinkled with these chocolate chips were too – yum!
I see Enjoy Life products everywhere nowadays which is great! If you don’t want to track them down at the grocery store, you can buy them at Amazon.
Here is a list of online candy makers that specialize in nut free candy:
- Divvies – peanut free, tree nut free, egg free & dairy free baked goods and candies – not wheat and soy free
- Vermont Nut Free Chocolates – peanut and tree nut free candies. Some products do contain egg, dairy, soy and wheat.
- Whey Out Chocolate – Chocolates free of most of the top 8 allergens.
Granola and Granola Bars
Along with chocolate chips and chocolate bars, Enjoy Life Foods makes a variety of nut free “granola” bars and granola. These are becoming widely available at regular grocery stores and kids love them!
You can also make your own granola bars! Get the recipe here.