One of the toughest parts of making a big dietary change is knowing what ingredients to stock in your allergy friendly pantry. If you’re used to eating gluten, but suddenly have to go gluten free, then you may wonder what kind of flour, baking mixes, pasta, or even vinegars are safe. When you go dairy free, not only is cheese, milk, and butter out, but many common pantry staples and snacks that may contain dairy are out as well.
If you have multiple food allergies, stocking your kitchen pantry can become even more difficult.
Thankfully there are so many options available now to fit a variety of special diets, so it’s getting easier all the time to find tasty substitutions. But going to the grocery store can be challenging – what products are allergen free and actually taste good as well? I’m going to share what we have in our allergy friendly pantry in our kitchen.
I believe that you can enjoy amazing, easy recipes even when cooking for multiple food allergies. Of course, it’s easier to get in the kitchen and start cooking delicious recipes if you have the right foods in your pantry.
Disclosure: This post contains my opinions. I am not a healthcare professional. If you have any questions about whether a food is safe for your diet, please consult your healthcare provider and/or contact the company directly to find out more about their allergen statement. This post also contains affiliate links.
Allergy Friendly Baking Supplies
Flour Blends: One thing that I think makes allergy friendly baking so much easier is to find a good cup for cup replacement flour. There are a lot of different varieties available, and you may need to try a few different options before you settle on one that works well in your recipes. Make sure you read the label and see if it requires the addition of xanthan gum in order to bind properly – if so, you can get that at any health food store.
King Arthur Multi Purpose Gluten Free Flour is a very nice blend for all your baking needs. It works very well for cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. I find it to be a nice, light flour that doesn’t make baked goods too heavy. Although this flour does not contain xanthan gum, I find that it works really well without it.
If you want to be adventurous, you can also make your own gluten free/allergen free flour blend. Cara has a recipe that’s very straightforward, and would be a good place to start if you want to make your own gluten free flour blend.
Baking Mixes: Sometimes you want to keep things even simpler, and just reach for a boxed mix in order to make pancakes or brownies or muffins. Enjoy Life Foods, who specializes in making snacks, chocolate chips, cereal, and cookies that are allergen free has released a line of new products – five baking mixes. Now you can easily make allergen free brownies, muffins, pizza crust, pancakes and more. These mixes contain ancient grains like teff flours to give these mixes extra protein per serving. Although they may not be on your store shelf just yet, they are available to order online.
Baking Powder: Make sure that your baking powder is gluten free. I prefer to use Featherweight Baking Powder because it is gluten free and corn free.
Cocoa Powder: I use unsweetened cocoa powder for all my recipes. Pure cocoa powder will just have one ingredient listed: cocoa.
Chocolate Chips: Chocolate is one of the foods that can be really tricky for people with food allergies – especially dairy, peanut, and tree nut allergies. Because chocolate often contains these ingredients, it can be difficult to find chocolate chips that don’t have an allergen statement on the back that says something about possibly containing milk, tree nuts, or peanuts.
Fortunately, PASCHA Chocolate makes rich, delicious, chocolate chips and bars that are perfect for baking, and they are produced in an allergen free facility. I love their baking chips and have used them for everything from cookies to pudding to pizookies.
Egg Replacers: If you’re new to baking without eggs, you may want to start by reading my guide to making egg replacers. There are so many options for egg replacers. I keep unsweetened applesauce, pureed prunes, ground flax seeds to make flax eggs, and chia seeds on hand to make egg replacers.
Sugars: I use Wholesome Brand sugars because I am comfortable with their allergen policies. According to my most recent information from them, their facilities are free from nuts and sesame seeds. Of course you should call the company to find out about the most current procedures.
Gluten Free Pasta, Rice, and Grains
Pasta: There are so many varieties of gluten free pasta to choose from. The most basic type of gluten free is made from brown rice. It’s easy to find in health food stores and in most grocery stores.
There are other gluten free pastas made from quinoa, corn, or beans. Make sure you check the allergen statement on the package if you are concerned about cross contamination as pasta could be made in a facility that also handles eggs, dairy, or other allergens.
Rice: The least expensive option of all the gluten free grains or pastas is rice. Rice is naturally gluten free, and also one of the least allergenic foods. There are so many varieties of rice to add color and texture to your recipes – white, brown, red, wild, jasmine, and more.
Grains: Millet, teff, buckwheat, and amaranth are all gluten free and can be used in a variety of ways, whether it be as a warm side dish or a base for a cold summer salad.
Quinoa is another gluten free grain that has many benefits – it cooks quickly, it contains a good amount of protein and fiber, and it is a great neutral base for salads, soups, and side dishes.
Oats are gluten free as well, but you do want to make sure that you purchase certified gluten free oats as most oats are processed in the same facility as wheat and can contain traces of gluten. You can use oats whole, or grind them up to make oat flour.
Oils, Vinegar, and Spices
Oil: I keep extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, a canola/coconut oil blend, and avocado oil in my pantry. Always read the label on oil blends to make sure that there are not any nut or peanut oils listed as an ingredient.
Vinegar: Vinegar can be tricky. Many vinegars are gluten free. However, malt vinegar is made from barley, so it is not safe for those with celiac disease or a gluten allergy. Distilled white vinegar is generally considered safe due to the distilling process, but it could possibly be made from a gluten containing grain, so you may want to avoid it and choose another vinegar. I use Heinz brand white vinegar that is made only from corn and is labeled gluten free.
Spices: A well-stocked pantry is filled with spices, but make sure you read the label – there are often hidden ingredients in some spice blends, such as gluten or soy. There can also be a risk of cross contamination depending on where they are produced, so be sure to check with the company if you are not sure. Pink peppercorns are a hidden allergen that can cause reactions in those with cashew allergies, so beware of peppercorn blends.
I prefer McCormick brand spices after reading their allergen statement and calling the company.
I love Kitchen Basics brand broth. Made by the same company that makes McCormick, these broths are delicious and I am comfortable with their allergen statement.
Beans and Seeds
Beans: Our pantry is always stocked with beans. As with all things, it is important to read the label if you are concerned about cross contamination. We also buy dried beans and lentils as well. One important thing to note is that it is not safe to purchase beans or anything else from the bulk bins if you have food allergies. There is a huge risk of cross contamination due to people using the same scoops in multiple bins.
Seeds: Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are an awesome alternative to nuts, but are often produced in a facility that also processes tree nuts and peanuts. We love SuperSeedz – I use these pepitas in baking and for snacking. I have also recently heard that DAVID brand sunflower seeds are made in a tree nut and peanut free facility, although they do contain soybean oil. (This is new information to me, and I have not looked at the packaging for this brand, so read the label and check with the company if you have questions). We alos love Sunbutter – I use it often for making no-bake desserts and for making granola.
There are many non-dairy, allergen free milks that can be stored without refrigeration, like rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and more. I generally use SO Delicious brand milks because although they do process nuts at their facilities, I am comfortable with the process they use to clean and test their equipment to prevent cross contamination.
There are other brands out there that make allergy friendly products as well. Do you have a favorite that you would add to this list?
Thank you for your comprehensive list of alternatives. I was recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies, one of which is eggs. You cover subs for baked goods but what about things like meatloaf and meatballs? Thank you in advance.
Mygerbs.com : spices
Andrea D Wiener
if you’re multiply-intolerant (like I am) and love pasta…..
1) Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta – i get the spaghetti and the penne – and at only $1.99 per bag….
2) Tinkyada – the ONLY one I would NOT buy from them is the white rice spaghetti – but EVERYTHING else in the product line is EXCELLENT!
What beans or lentils have you found that are not run on the same equipment as nuts? That’s been the struggle for me. Every package available locally has a nut warning on it, so I will need to order something online.
On top of my son and daughter’s allergies we can not eat anything with MSG. We are pretty much limited on what we can have. Especially now that we found out my daughter has egg and milk allergies. Do to the protein even though she has been off of all eggs and milk products for about a month-and-a-half now she is still breaking out in hives. It’s getting frustrating to grocery shop because we all have different types of allergies. Plus it is so expensive and when you’re on a budget it makes it very difficult, our daughter is 13 months old and just learning how to chew and trying to find her stuff that she’s able to eat is becoming very hard. Is there anything out there for such a young child to be able to eat? This egg and milk allergy is all new to us. we can find stuff that say egg-free and milk free but then it’s always made in a Factory that produces other products that contain eggs milk and nuts and we are very worried about giving her stuff like that.
I understand how hard it is to find safe products! Do you belong to the milk allergy or the egg allergy group on Facebook? They may have ideas about companies that make products in a totally egg and milk free facility. You should always call to double check, but that may be a good place to start.
I am glad I found your site. It seems like more and more things I can’t eat. After eating tuna and egg salad the other day and suffering for 4 days because of it, I have decided to stop ignoring all of my families aliments, no matter how small they may seem. I also am allergic to tomato, which is a rare food allergy. I can’t even cut them or my hands get all red and inflamed.
I hope you find some answers, and also some recipes that work for you! Glad to have you here!
Thank you so much for all your hard work in making cooking and baking easy for those of us that have multiple allergies. Years ago my son was born with milk allergies and as he grew, found out he had even more food allergies.(yeast, preservatives, anything with cane sugar, I too had to experiment to make things “normal” for him. One thing I noticed you didn’t have in your cupboard was a cane sugar substitute. Now a days, there is Truvia, Stevia you could use. Yet I find them tasting sweeter than fructose sugar. But back in the 80’s they were an unknown. I ended up finding that Fructose sugar was perfect. Cup for cup was the same but no chemicals and it tastes just like cane sugar. Now he is an adult and on his own. But I have acquired milk allergies and have to be GF. I agree that Earth Balance butter is fantastic! I have yet to find a cheese I like though. So will be trying your suggestion- Daiya Cheese. Will be trying many of your recipes in the future! To bad you weren’t around for all these great recipes and advice 33 yrs ago-lol I think you’re great!
I am allergic to dairy and I use Chao cheese slices by Field roast. They can be found at Whole Foods and similar stores and they’re made mostly of tofu (I think). They come in three really good flavors. I use the creamy original for grilled cheese! I also like American style slices from Follow Your Heart (also available at Whole Foods), who also make parmesan style shreds!
There are so many great dairy free cheeses now!
With so many allergies and health issues, we have a few fave staples! Coconut Oil, Quinoa, Coconut Flour, Tahini, Hulled Hemp Seeds, GF-Wheat Free Four Mixes, GF Brown RIce, GF Wheat Free pasta, and so much more!
I’m just getting started on eating healthier and trying to go GF. There’s so much to learn! Your web page is great…lots of specific info in one place. Don’t have many of the stores you reference but you give lots of options…thanks for helping me get started!
Thank you so much! Glad I can help! :)
I love oats because they are a great substitute for flour or any other grain. And so healthy, of course!
This is such a helpful post, and I truly appreciate you warning your readers about the probability of a reaction with pink peppercorns (which are often found in Four Blend peppers) in those with nut allergies!
Thank you! I didn’t know about the pink peppercorns until my son was diagnosed with a cashew allergy. It’s scary because we definitely had those peppercorn blends in the house. I had no idea.
Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit
My favorite has to be GF oats! There are so many ways to use them whole or as flour :)
Rebekah @ Naturally Blessed Mama
We love Pamela’s bread mix since it can be used for bread, pancakes, muffins and other things!