Almost five years ago, when my hubby and I started our allergy-free journey, we just had to worry about gluten and dairy-free ingredients which at the time seemed really difficult. Fast forward about a year and half, after persistent digestive issues my husband agreed to an allergy test. The results back showed high intolerances to eggs, almonds, cranberries and sesame seeds.
If I thought shopping for allergy-free foods was difficult before it became near impossible… so I felt. I actually cried when I read the results because even though cooking and baking gluten and dairy-free wasn’t easy, it was doable. But baking without eggs? Trying to find granola that didn’t contain almonds and searching for gluten-free marinade without sesame seeds just seemed impossible. 🙁
Thankfully, with the rise of food allergies their are a ton of companies that are striving to have clean and simple ingredients which has made the impossible very POSSIBLE for me.
But that doesn’t mean that every food product that met our allergy-free list was tasteful or even palatable. Since we have been at this allergy-free lifestyle for a few years we have definitely have had our share of “Oh, this is heavenly – are we sure we can eat this?” and “this is so awful but we just spent $X amount on it so we are going to eat any ways” moments.
Anyone else been here? Where you spend $6.00 on a box of 6 chocolate chip gluten-free vegan cookies only to find out that they taste like cardboard? In the beginning of our food journey, I remember the hardest food to adjust to was bread. Soft, moist and flexible were often lacking in the descriptions of the bread that I would bite into.
But thankfully due to my adventurous spirit and my love for good food – I have spent the money and have tried over dozens of allergy-friendly brands. I will say that typically, once I find a brand that I love, I can usually trust it. However, I do recommend that if you are buying allergy-free foods for yourself or a family member and you are relatively new – always read the ingredients. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 🙂
Best Allergy Friendly Foods & Where to buy
Okay, so these are in no particular order but if it’s listed here you can bet that I LOVE them. Thankfully, we live in a time where you can almost find anything online. So, if you find an allergy-free brand here but can’t find it in your grocery store don’t get discouraged. There are several brands that have online shops or several online stores that sell the food item at cost or at a discounted price. 🙂 Some of the best places I love to shop for food items are Vitacost , Costco and Amazon.
Also, many of these products over lap since my family as multiple allergies. Meaning my dairy-free alternatives will also be gluten-free and mostly likely egg free too as well. Another thing to keep in mind, is to make sure that you check each product individually. Once I have a brand I love – I am very loyal. But several organic brands offer both gluten-free products as well as whole grain products so be sure to check ingredients or look for the gluten-free label.
1. Wholesome Chow All Purpose Flour – My all time favorite. This flour is made especially for those who are vegan along with being gluten-free. This flour actually rises making cakes, pancakes and muffins fluffy and full like they are meant to be. A must especially if you are allergic or sensitive to eggs and dairy.
2. Pamela’s All Purpose Flour – I really like Pamela’s Gluten-free All-purpose flour. It works extremely well if you are gluten and dairy-free. Pamela also has a baking flour but that does contain almonds and dairy so if you want to bake stick with her all purpose flour.
3. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Oats – I always make sure to have a bag of this in our house. It’s perfect for a filling breakfast or baking. (See the snack list below for recipes)
4. TruRoots Organic Gluten-free Pasta – This is the only pasta both my kids will eat. I love it because it has great texture, consistency and tastes amazing. You can also find this at Costco.
5. Bread- Our family doesn’t eat bread often but when we do we think this bread is the best. Texture and taste just like regular bread. The Essential Baking Company (not egg-free) You can also find this brand at Costco and on Amazon.
6. Cereal – There’s a joke in our house that we eat ice cream more than we eat cereal. My go to is EnviroKidz. It’s organic, free of artificial colors and flavors and my kids LOVE it. We also are big fans of Nature’s Path Organic Whole “O’s.” I love that this cereal is partially sweetened with pomegranate juice and high in fiber.
7. Glutino Gluten-free Pizza Crust – I still remember the first time I used this crust because it was discounted. I packed the mix on a trip to FL. My sister, who also is GF, and I were astounded in the thick crust and the great taste and texture of pizza crust.
8. San J Marinades – Whether is Teriyaki, Orange Sauce, or Mongolian these marinades are the perfect way to spice up a summer grilled meal. You can also find these at your local grocery store.
1. Just Mayo – this literally blows all other vegan mayo out of the water. No dairy, no eggs, & no soy. It’s simple clean ingredients makes this my go to mayo.
3. Earth balance butter – Whether is the spread butter or stick, I’m really a fan of both. This is always in my fridge. I also love that they have soy- free options.
4. Milk – We have several favorites. Really, my family has only given thumbs down to Silk’s Cashew milk (too salty for us), Rice Dream rice milk seems too watery and sweet and anything flavored Vanilla is usually too sweet for us. If you open our fridge you will most likely find either Kirkland’s Organic Rice milk or Kirkland’s Organic Soy milk. In my cupboards, I typically have coconut milk (full fat) and I buy flax milk monthly to mix things up. I buy milk either from Costco or our local grocery store.
5. Ice Cream – We love So Delicious when we want to have a frozen splurge. It’s coconut based so it’s dairy & soy free. We also love to make our own. Here’s our Strawberry Ice cream recipe and my 3 Ingredient Mango ice cream recipe.
6. Chocolate – It felt the world was right again the first time I stumbled upon Enjoy Life Dairy-free Chocolate. I love that they are free of the major allergies and the chocolate tastes legit. Check the gluten-free section or baking section at your local grocery store.
7. Salad dressing – My family loves when I make this Dairy-free Ranch dressing.
Vegan Favorites (My husband is allergic to eggs):
1. Egg Replacers – bananas, flax meal, applesauce and Ener-G egg replacer (Since my husband is the only one so far allergic to eggs. I only bake egg free. My daughter and I still enjoy eggs almost every day. This is why I have not tried Vegan eggs. Crazy, huh? You can check out Vegan eggs here.
Baking egg free is truly a science so charts like below are a must. This gives me some much needed guidance before I go off on a baking frenzy.
2. Protein Powder – Since my husband has a very fit lifestyle but a severe dairy allergy we have tried at least a dozen vegan protein supplements. Some were just chalky, while others were tolerable. Hands down we all (my kids included) love Vega Protein. I love their commitment to quality clean ingredients and the fact that my kids are chugging down all types of vegetables without even knowing it.
20 Allergy-friendly Snack Ideas:
- Fresh fruit & dried fruit – Fresh fruit is a great alternative to feed your children rather than processed sweets. Since dried fruit is expensive, I use it for Christmas stockings and Easter baskets as a fun “treat” instead of healthy candy options.
- Rice Cakes – So many great organic brands out there. We love Lundenburg Organic Rice Cakes.
- Fresh sliced vegetables: carrots, celery, snap peas, baby peppers, cherry tomatoes, etc.
- Seaweed – I know what you are thinking – Seaweed, ick. But don’t knock it until you have tried it.
- Pickles & olives – Miniature relish trays is a great way to get healthy fats into your child and it definitely keeps things interesting.
- Avocado – Sliced wrapped in lunch meat is our favorite afternoon snack but avocado mashed with salas, garlic and lime is pretty good too.
- Energy balls – Another great recipe to use with your oatmeal on hand. These No Bake Energy Balls will power you up for any task that lies ahead.
- Muffins – Apple Cinnamon muffins or these Vegan Chocolate Chip muffins.
- Granola – Skip the pre-made granola and make this healthy alternative instead. Gluten-free Buckwheat Granola is great as warm cereal or sprinkled in yogurt.
- Popcorn – If we are feeling like we need something sweet we make Cinnamon Swirl Popcorn or we love Earth balance Vegan Aged Cheddar popcorn.
- Pretzels – We love Glutino and Snyders. This is our go to snack when our children are in a class or nursery setting and we need to pack them a GF alternative that is also nut free friendly.
- Hummus or this Ranch dressing
- Bars – Again, this where Vega comes in. So many delicious flavors and a good source of protein. We also love the brand, The Gluten-free Bar. So good!
- Lettuce Wraps – Using romaine lettuce, take your favorite lunch meat, egg or tuna salad or make a vegetarian with beans and veggies and you have a great mid afternoon snack. It’s low calorie for you and it’s a really good way to get your kids to eat lettuce.
PeanutButter – Although we don’t have any peanut allergies, since it’s a high allergy food – I have limited the amount of peanuts my kids consume. Instead we LOVE the Sneaky Chef.
- Cookies – Here’s where your oatmeal comes in handy. Try my Blueberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal minis, Dairy-free No Bake cookies or these 8 Ingredient Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Popsicles – My kids love frozen treats especially after a fun time in the summer sun. To keep our frozen treats allergy friendly we enjoy Dairy-free Fudgsicles, Watermelon popsicles, and Paleo Wild Berry Popsicles.
- Smoothies – fresh organic spinach, a scoop of vega protein, dairy-free milk and some fruit is a great snack on the go – that never gets old because the combinations are endless.
- Trail Mix – Due to all of our food allergies, I usually can’t buy pre-made trail mix. Instead, I make our own which ends up being more cost effective and healthier. Buy sunflowers seeds, raisins, cashews, pumpkins seeds, (you can throw some dairy-free miniature chocolate chips for a added fun) and now you have a great trail mix ready to go.
- Kale Chips – We love Kale chips especially when I sprinkle this dairy-free ranch seasoning on top before baking.
I would love to hear from you. If you found this post helpful or have a favorite allergy-friendly brand you want to share, please leave a comment below.