Baking Substitutions For The Top 10 Allergens
A colleague and friend Alea Cardarelli, has compiled a great summary of easy substitutions for those who have common allergens for baking. Have a peak and bon appetite!
In place of milk, use equivalent nut or grain milks (Nut Milks: Almond, Cashew, Coconut. Grain Milks: Rice, Hemp, Oat) plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or use equivalent of apple juice because of the natural acidity, sweetness for flavour, and pectin for binding plus a tsp or so of a nut or seed butter for fat content.
Detailed information on Dairy substitutes:
Instead of eggs, to bind your baking you can use unflavoured gelatin, agar agar powder, nut or seed butters plus starches like tapioca or corn or arrowroot for cookies, pureed soaked dried fruit (dates, figs), ground flax seed, or applesauce or mashed banana for cakes or cupcakes. You can also use extra oil in cakes, but that works best for gluten flour.
Detailed information on Egg substitutes:
Although it seems pretty obvious to simply not include fish or shelfish in a recipe if it is an allergen, there are places where fish/ shellfish may actually be a problem. In various asian cuisines, fish sauce or oyster sauce is used. In that case, you can use coconut aminos plus rice vinegar and a touch of agave nectar to give a similar flavour. Coconut aminos are a soy sauce replacement made from raw fermented coconut and it has a very similar flavour.
Substituting wheat and gluten takes some getting used to. As a beginner, try to stick with an all purpose GF baking mix, Pamela’s pancake mix is actually great for that. If you are making your own flour blend, use several flours to get an even taste- a light flour, a heavy flour, and a starch. You’ll need a binding agent as well such as xanthan gum or eggs. If you are entirely grain free, nut and seed flours plus a starch and pureed beans with eggs works very well.
Detailed information on Gluten Free Flours:
Sulfites are a very sneaky preserving agent used to prolong shelf life of almost all prepackaged foods. From coconut milk to dried fruits, cereal, lunch meat, all sauces, pickles, soups, soup stock- its almost endless. Working around this can seem endless but one quick rule of thumb- make your own. For items such as coconut milk and dried fruit go organic as they often are sulfite free.
Soy is another sneaky ingredient. You would think simply eliminating soy milk or soy sauce would fix everything but it doesn’t. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier for everything from rice milk to chocolate, to the oil used for making chips and nachos. And that ‘vegetable’ oil and ‘vegetable’ shortening? same deal. Soy is in there. Here are some suggestions for substituting.
For soy sauce, replace it with Coconut Aminos, a similar tasting sauce that is made from raw fermented coconuts. Crazy, I know- but really good!
For non-dairy milks, try making your own almond milk or cashew milk- Cashew is easiest- soak a bunch, then throw in the blender with water and sweeten to your preferance.
For chocolate- go with EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips, they’re the only ones that I’ve found soy free. Alternatively, in baking you could use a mix of cocoa powder plus coconut oil or unhydrogenated organic palm oil plus honey or agave.
For vegetable oil, substitute in baking grapeseed oil- its light and flavourless.
For Shortening, substitute coconut oil or unhydrogenated organic palm oil.
Although sesame is less common in food than you would find soy, it does make a difference if you are eating stiryfry or other asian or middle eastern-inspired dishes because of the sesame oil and tahini sauce. When you are cooking, try substituting for sesame oil for flavoured olive oil, or fresh nut oils like almond or hazelnut plus some garlic or ginger to give your dish that extra kick. For dishes requiring tahini, try using sunflower seed butter thinned out with olive oil, and add in extra lemon juice and any other seasoning you wish to give it that lift.
Granola, tahini, sesame oil – asian cooking
– sunbutter, pureed beans/ white bean dip instead of hummus
– flavoured oils olive oil and herbs or lemon or chili pepper
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