I used to feel sorry for people who had food allergies, but not anymore. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out! :-) Last week my daughter Britta decided to cook up some treats to test out some allergy-friendly ingredient substitutions and they were some of the best-tasting treats I’d ever had! OK, I still do feel sorry for people with allergies, because allergies just plain aren’t fun, but I’m here today to at least offer hope that you don’t have to “suffer” with boring treats!
While we don’t have any food allergies in our house, my son does have celiacs disease, so we have had to find gluten free substitutions when we bake. I know many of you also must eat gluten free AND have other food allergies as well. So Britta and I decided to put together a list of allergy-friendly ingredient substitutions that will help us all put some of the YUM back into our baking!
Allergy-Friendly Baking Substitutions
Dairy-free milks can be substituted 1:1 for traditional milk when baking.
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Oat milk
You can create an easy buttermilk substitute by combining 1 cup of your preferred dairy-free milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Coconut cream – allow a can of full-fat coconut milk to settle, skim cream off the top
- Pureed silken tofu
- Store-bought dairy-free yogurt – there are a growing number of dairy-free yogurt options available in most health food stores, including soy-, almond-, and coconut-based “yogurts.”
Eggs (one egg)
- Egg replacer (like Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill)
- Flax or chia “egg” – 1 Tbsp flax/chia meal, 3 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu
- 1/2 banana
The easiest substitute for butter are the dairy-free butter sticks that are widely available in grocery stores, like Earth Balance (this brand also has soy-free options, for anyone with soy allergies).
Other butter substitutes include:
- Coconut oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
Store-bought gluten-free flour mix
Make your own gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. For one cup, just combine:
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
- Agave nectar
- Maple syrup
I have also made this list into a printable (see end of post) that you can print out and put somewhere handy for easy reference. (I taped mine to the inside of my baking cupboard door.)
To test out some of these substitutions, Britta made up two delicious treats that I ate a LOT of and can’t stop thinking about!
The first was Raspberry Hand Pies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free) by Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats. I have never made or eaten a homemade “hand pie” before (which look suspiciously like turnovers to me) and I literally could not stop! If I had not known they were gluten free & vegan, I would NEVER have been able to tell by the taste or the texture! I’ve been dreaming about them ever since! :-)
The second was Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Brownies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free) by My Gluten-Free Kitchen. Now, I have had many chocolate zucchini desserts before, but NONE as good as this! They were SO moist, and full of smooth chocolatey goodness. I’m pretty sure I ate half the pan!
Whether you are already a skilled baker or are a baking novice, hopefully this list will give you the recipes and confidence to make at least a few treats your family can safely eat and enjoy!
What is your favorite allergy-friendly recipe? Please share!