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 peanut and tree nut free foods to replace them with. With that said, there are a few foods typically made with peanuts and tree nuts that 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 butter is 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!
- Make your own sunflower butter! This nut free chocolate spread is delicious and easy to make!
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 ⅓, 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 their appearance will be scrutinized, you probably don't need to worry about altering your recipes.
This brand comes in multiple flavours, including chocolate.
This one comes in convenient individual-sized pouches.
Peanut and Tree Nut Free Chocolate
Just because you're allergic to peanuts and tree nuts doesn't mean you have to give up chocolate!
Chocolate candy companies
Chocolate candy bars and other candies may not have nuts in them but they're often at high risk for cross-contact with nuts in production.
Luckily, there are several companies that make chocolate candy and bars in dedicated peanut and tree nut free facilities.
Go to the nut free chocolate post for the most updated list of these allergy friendly companies.
Nut free and allergy friendly chocolate chips
Like chocolate candy, it can be hard to find chocolate chips that don't come into contact with nuts in production.
If you aren't avoiding shared lines and facilities, you'll be able to find a lot of chocolate chips that don't contain nuts. But, for most people managing nut allergies, avoiding shared lines at the very least is necessary.
There are several companies that have nut free chocolate chips made in dedicated facilities. You can get the full list on my nut free chocolate post.
Recipes using nut free chocolate
Chocolate chips are not only great for baking and making your own candies but they're also pretty good on their own. I often include a few morsels in my nut free trail mix.
Here are some more of our favorite recipes using nut free chocolate.
Peanut and tree nut free granola bars and trail mix
Granola bars, protein bars, and snack mixes often contain peanuts and/or tree nuts. Luckily, there are some companies that specialize in nut-free snacks.
Or, if you'd like you can make your own!
88 Acres - A company specializing in seed bars, butters, and granola with whole seeds and simple ingredients. Products are made in a dedicated bakery free of peanuts tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and sesame.
Don't Go Nuts - Makes nut free snack bars that are also free of dairy, egg, and gluten.
Enjoy Life Foods - Snack bars, cookies, granola, and more that are free of the top 14 allergens including tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, dairy, egg, soy, and wheat.
Libre Naturals - Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Nut-Free, Non-GMO, Dairy-Free, No Artificial Flavors & Allergy Friendly granola bars.
Made Good Foods - Makes a variety of nut free, gluten free, allergy friendly snacks.