Learning To Cook Allergy Free

There are a few things you need to know about cooking and baking allergy free.  Please check back at this page as I will add to the list as I learn new things myself.

            Milk Alternatives:

            Rice milk-I use this primarily for baking and cooking, pouring over cereal, smoothies and pretty much my all around milk replacement.

            Coconut milk vanilla flavored-This is used as a beverage, and smoothie and ice cream ingredient.

            Hemp milk-I use this when I want to make something “creamy” such as mashed potatoes, or again, in ice cream.  This also makes a great beverage especially when you add chocolate syrup.

            Other milk alternatives:  Almond, soy, hazelnut, and flax are few other milk alternatives available.   I don’t use almond milk due to an almond allergy.  We try to avoid soy even though no one is allergic to it, and I still have not tried the others.

             Other Dairy Alternatives:

            Sour cream:  There are several vegan alternatives available.  Tofutti makes an outstanding “sour cream” although it does have soy in it.  It tastes the most like regular sour cream as well as the same consistency.  WayFare makes a product called “We Can’t Say It’s Sour Cream.”  This tastes alright, although it is runnier than Tofutti and the flavor isn’t spot on, but works well for those who need or like to avoid soy.

             Cheese:  The only “cheese” I’ll use is by Daiya.  I use the cheddar and mozzarella style.  They come shredded, and are dairy and soy free.  It melts well, tastes very good and freezes very well.  It retains heat so be careful when eating to not burn your mouth.  One must read cheese alternative packages very well, as many are marketed as dairy or milk free, but when you read the ingredient list, casein or whey is mentioned—two things you need to avoid if you have a milk allergy.

            Yogurt:  Yogurt is available made from rice milk, soy milk (if you can tolerate soy), almond milk and coconut milk.  These are quite pricey and I purchase rice or coconut milk yogurt only as a special treat.

             Butter:  Smart Balance margarine (in the tub) is dairy free as well as the Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine sticks. Earth Balance (in the yellow tub) makes a very good dairy free margarine as well.  Unfortunately, these all contain soy.  If you need or like to avoid soy Earth Balance makes a wonderful dairy free and soy free tub margarine (it is in a red container) and it works just as well as anything I have ever tried.  Earth Balance also makes a coconut spread that I have used occasionally in my baking as a butter or shortening alternative.  It is dairy and soy free.

             Egg replacers: Use according to package directions or as stated in recipes.

            Ener-G egg replacer

            Unsweetened applesauce

            Flax meal with water

            Hot water

             Soy replacers:

            Use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.

            Palm oil shortening is found under the brand name Spectrum instead of regular shortening and works just as well.  Earth Balance makes a coconut spread that can work as a shortening or butter replacement.  It is dairy and soy free.

            Canola, corn, olive, grape seed, safflower seed oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.

             Peanut and tree nut replacers:

            Sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, and sunflower seeds.  I haven’t tried pumpkin seed butter yet, but sunflower butter is delicious and has the same consistency as peanut butter.  Sunflower seeds work well on salads, as a snack and other places one would use tree nuts.

             Wheat/gluten replacers:

            For grains to eat or for pasta: brown rice, quinoa, corn, millet (not a pasta)              

            For baking:  This really depends on the cookbook you are reading/cooking from.  There is no cup for cup replacement when cooking without wheat flour and you can’t use just one of the following in a recipe…it must be a blend.  The blend must contain flours and starches.  I keep the following flours stocked:  brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, garbanzo bean flour, garbanzo/fava bean flour, quinoa flour, Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour and xanthan gum.  And believe it or not, there are other flours out there that I use occasionally and others I still need to try.  I personally do not like the prepackaged flour blends that contain xanthan gum.  I have not had good success with those.

        Tips for good allergy free baking:

        Cow’s milk can be replaced cup for cup with any milk alternative. I prefer rice milk in baking as opposed to hemp. I feel that hemp milk makes the baked goods too heavy, although I know that others love hemp milk in their baked goods.  I will occasionally use coconut milk in baked goods.

      When baking without eggs, always put the item in preheated oven right away.   If you are using Enter-G egg replacer mix it right before you need to add it to the recipe.

      Whisk gluten free flours/starches really well to remove any clumps and thoroughly mix the xanthan gum in with the flours.

      When measuring gluten free flours or starches, use a spoon to fill the cup and then level off.  This is a good tip for baking with wheat as well.

      Read the recipe all the way through before starting the recipe and do not make modifications unless you are really adept at allergy free baking and cooking.

      Parchment paper is a must for baking cookies.  This is a good tip for regular baking as well.  Your cookies will cook so much more evenly and bottoms are far less likely to burn.  Do not use wax paper.  Parchment paper is heat resistant up to 450 degrees while wax paper is not.  The wax on the paper can also seep into your baked goods and stick to the pan.  It can also create a smoky kitchen environment.

        Stocking your kitchen:

 Whether you are cooking allergy free or not, you need a well-stocked kitchen.  Here is a list of utensils and appliances that you will need to successfully cook:

 3 sets of dry measure cups

3-4 liquid measuring cups

4 sets of measuring spoons, including at least one 1/8 tsp. and one ½ T.

Spatulas-several heat resistant silicone spatulas for cooking

Spatulas (the kind to flip pancakes etc.)

Several heat resistant “wooden” spoons

Whisks—large and mini



Kitchen scissors

Pizza cutter

Soup ladle

Vegetable scrub brush

Vegetable peeler

Pastry cutter

Can opener

Grilling tools

Set of sharp cooking knives

Cutting boards

Meat thermometer

Pots and pans and skillet

9×13 pans-several

10×15 pan

8×8 pan

9×9 pan

Two round cake pans

Cookie sheets

Cooling racks

Pizza Pan (without holes)

Bread pans

Muffin tins-at least two that each hold 12


Food processor-small and large

Stand mixer

Slow cooker


Mixing bowls

Glass and plastic storage containers

Baking stone (optional)

Mini muffin tin (optional)

 Ice cream maker (optional)



18 Responses to Learning To Cook Allergy Free

  1. rachel says:

    Hello! I have discovered this year that I have over 15 food allergens. My immune system has gone haywire, literally. Through blog’s like yours I have discovered that mutliple food allergies are more common than I ever realized. Thank you for you blog and recipes. I’m excited to try the buckwheat pancakes tonight!

    • admin says:

      I am sorry to hear about your food allergies. It can be tough to take in at first. But you will soon find out that there is still tons of great foods to eat. I’m glad you found me and really appreciate you coming by to comment and say thanks. That means a lot to me! I hope you will stick around. Peggy

  2. Adrienne Doebelin says:

    A friend of mine recommended your blog. I have just found out that my 13 month old son has an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, beef, soy, and eggs. I have never had to deal with food allergies before and am completely freaking out! He is still breastfeeding, so I’m trying to cut out his triggers from my diet as well. I have a referral to an allergist and nutritionist, but haven’t heard from them to make an appointment yet, so I’m on my own until then.

    • admin says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you are dealing with food allergies. It’s a tough pill to swallow at first. After a while of eating without those foods it will become second nature. You can search the categories on here and find lots of options for you and your son. Thanks for coming by even though it’s under stressful circumstances.

  3. Molly says:

    Awesome and informative!

  4. April says:

    I recently found out that I have food allergies to milk, wheat, soy, fish, peanut, apples & sesame seed. I went to the store to buy gluten-free foods as my doctor had recommended. I noticed that a lot of the gluten-free items either had milk, eggs or soy in the ingredients. I felt discouraged and wondered how on earth I was going to make this work. While I was doing some research today I came across your blog.
    I am looking forward to trying out your recipes and learning how to cook foods that not only taste good but are allergy free as well. Thanks so much for creating your blog!

    • admin says:

      You are welcome! That’s why I created the blog…to help others. It can be SO daunting at first, but after a couple of months it will become easier. I know it’s discouraging that the gluten free store products have other allergens in them (been there), but honestly, they are often high in sugar and expensive. Making your own can be much more affordable and much more tasty!

  5. Sylvia Ives says:

    I am very appreciative of this site. Tonight I’m going to try the dinner rolls for my daughter, who is allergic to wheat, rice, and oats along with many other things. I already use the flour mix you’ve used, but I never tried putting soda on it before baking. I’m intrigued by that because I love the texture that you’ve achieved (as shown by the picture). My daughter is also a very fussy eater and so I have many failures in trying to help her learn what to eat. It hasn’t yet been a year since she was diagnosed with these food allergies.

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you find this site helpful. Make sure to look all around the archives etc to find many more recipes. Thanks for coming by and best wishes for helping your child. That is a tough situation to be in.

  6. April says:

    I found my way here while looking for an allergy free ranch recipe. My 15 year old daughter was diagnosed last year with crohns disease. I had her tested for allergies and the list was overwhelming; corn, eggs, dairy, soy, all legumes, all grains in the wheat family, tree nuts, yeast and brewers yeast, clams, cranberries, and mushrooms.. quite the list. So very thankful for blogs like yours to help simplify this new way of eating. Oh, and the ranch is awesome! It was one of the things she was missing most.
    Thank you!!

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you love the Ranch dressing. I understand how difficult it can be to first learn of food allergies and that is quite the hefty list, but it will get easier over time. From personal experience, avoiding my food allergens has greatly improved my health and been quite the blessing. Here’s to hoping your daughter can find her chrons more manageable. Please come back or subscribe if you wish.

  7. Nedrra Lanakila says:

    Hi Peggy, can Coconut Oil be substituted for ‘shortening’?

    • admin says:

      Well, I like to use Earth Balance Coconut Spread in place of shortening. It’s a little firmer than the coconut oil and a lot more like shortening texture wise. I have not experimented too much with coconut oil in baking. I do know that I do not like to make frosting out of coconut oil.

  8. Nicole says:

    I just wanted to thank you for creating this website. As a soon to be Grad Student, who just recently found out I have a ton of food allergies, it was nice to find a website that can help me. It has been tough, trying to find new ways to cook when I was used to using the stuff I was apparently allergic too. I have 13 different food allergies, and it is hard to even eat salad or fruits most days because I have to avoid some of the strangest things. Super huge thank you for this website.

    • admin says:

      You are welcome! Thanks for telling me. It’s nice to know I’m being helpful to people. I’m sorry to hear you have so many food allergies. It can be daunting at first, but over time it becomes second nature.

  9. Anna-Liisa says:

    I am so excited to have found your blog. I have a 1 year old that we know for sure is allergic to Mike Protein, Soy, Carrots, Eggs. We take it a day at a time as I add new foods hoping that he will be okay.

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