My roommate was diagnosed with an anaphylactic nut allergy when she was three and as much as I love almonds, I like her more. When we moved in together, I knew I had to move away from chocolate-covered almonds and roasted cashews as regular snacks.
Being the easy-going, caring gal that she is, my roommate felt bad for making me give up nuts. While I knew the adjustment was going to be difficult, I told her it was no big deal and I'd just get creative with my snacking. Truth be told, the nut-free lifestyle isn't nearly as hard as it's cracked up to be.
The adjustment forced me to research and come up with modifications of my favourite foods so my roommate and I could still enjoy them (because who shouldn't taste the incredibleness that is Nutella?).
Here's a list of cult favourite foods that traditionally are made with nuts, without them, so you don't need to worry about an allergic reaction.
It's a fan favourite, but for someone with a nut allergy, it's a stab of epi and a trip to the hospital. Allergic reactions are scary sh*t but with this recipe, you can get the taste of pesto without the nuts, and without the scare.
A lot of restaurants are really accommodating when you tell them you have a nut allergy. However, Asian cuisine restaurants can be particularly difficult because a lot of dishes use nuts as a main ingredient.
Luckily for you, relatively easy switches can be made to make a nut-free Pad Thai at home. Simply switch the peanut butter with tahini for the peanut sauce and omit the crushed peanuts as a garnish in this recipe or follow this recipe for a simple, peanut-free Pad Thai.
I am a peanut butter fanatic. I have been caught on too many occasions eating it straight from the jar with a spoon (or my finger, depending on my mood). For those allergic to peanuts, Wow Butter is a great option. Its creamy texture tastes so much like peanut butter you'll be saying, "wow, I can't believe this is peanut free." For an at-home option, this recipe is a simple substitute.
Nuts make great toppings for salads, a key ingredient in trail mixes, and a great addition to granola. Here's a list of great substitutes.
1. Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, and flax seeds.
#SpoonTip: Put them in the toaster until they are golden brown.
2. Dried Fruit - cranberries and raisins. They make great substitutes in cookies and granola bars.
3. Pretzels - random, right? But don't judge it until you've tried it. Stick them in a ziplock, crush them, and use them as breading on chicken or as pie crust instead of crushed nuts.
4. Roasted nuts - beans (chickpeas, soy beans, etc.). Roast 'em, season 'em, and nosh on 'em like you would a bowl of roasted almonds.
For nut-lovers, living a nut-free life seems worse than Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake's infamous matching denim outfits, but I promise the transition is not nearly as bad. Now go eat your heart out.
Reminder: Foods made in a facility with nuts can cause an allergic reaction. Make sure all foods being used in these recipes are labeled: "Made in a peanut and nut-free facility."