Handy Substitutions for Allergen Free Cooking

Egg-free reapes-substitute for 1 egg:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon liquid, 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in V4 cup warm water
  • 1V2 tablespoons water, 1V2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 packet plain gelatin, 2 tablespoons warm water (Don't mix until ready to use.)

Wheat-free recipes-substitute for 1 cup wheat flour:

  • 3/4 cup rice flour plus V4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal or corn flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour and V3 cup potato flour
  • 1 cup soy flour plus V4 cup potato starch flour
  • 1 tablespoon wheat flour equals:

1V2 teaspoons cornstarch, arrowroot, white rice flour, or potato starch 2 teaspoons tapioca or uncooked rice

Milk-free recipes-substitute for an equal amount of milk:

  • Fruit juice
  • Rice or soy beverage
  • Water

Need more strategies for handling food sensitivities? Check here for "how-tos":

  • Sharpen up on ingredient detection as you shop—see chapter 11.
  • Ask the right menu questions when you eat out—see chapter 14.
  • Monitor an infant's food-induced reactions—see chapter 15.
  • Get more help from a registered dietitian— see chapter 24.
  • Find organizations that offer additional help—see "Resources You Can Use."
  • Be "ingredient-savvy" when you eat out. Keep restaurant menus handy to review ahead.
  • Make a chef card to explain your food allergy or sensitivity. Share it with your server and the chef as you order. See page 541.
  • Explain your needs to your food server. Ask about the menu—ingredients and preparation—before you order. The same dish prepared in different restaurants may not have the same ingredients. Play it safer by ordering plain foods such as grilled meats, steamed vegetables, and fresh fruits—still ask questions!
  • Ask for the chef or manager if your server seems unsure about the ingredients or preparation. It's okay to leave the restaurant if your request isn't understood.
  • Skip sauces and condiments. Allergens may be present.
  • Choose restaurants where you can special order.
  • Caution! Avoid these situations:
  • Buffet-style or family-style service—the same serving utensils may be used for different dishes.
  • Steak—butter, which melts into meat, is often added to grilled meat for flavor, again an issue if you have a milk allergy.
  • Coffee drinks with foam or milk topping—it may contain eggs, an issue if you have an egg allergy.
  • Fried foods—since the same oil may be used for many different foods.
  • Seafood restaurants if you have a fish allergy— since cooking utensils may contact fish protein.
  • Many Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, and African foods if you have a tree nut or peanut allergy—since peanuts and nuts are common in these ethnic cuisines.
  • Breaded foods—since the problem protein may transfer if the same breading mix is used for different foods.
  • Scooped ice cream—since the scooper for several flavors may be kept in the same tub of water.

To the Chef:

WARNING! I am allergic to_.

In order to avoid a life-threatening reaction, I must avoid all foods that might contain _, including these ingredients:

Please ensure that my food does not contain any of these ingredients and that all utensils and equipment used to prepare my meal, as well as to prep surfaces, are thoroughly cleaned prior to use. Thanks for your cooperation.

Reprinted with permission from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

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