Food & Lifestyle
Updated: August 5, 2019
Back To School: Nut Free Alternatives
Research suggests that for every classroom, two students may have a life-threatening nut allergy.
Side note: A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response. The immune response, called an allergic reaction, occurs because the immune system attacks proteins in the food that are normally harmless.
This becomes very scary when taking into consideration that food allergies are steadily on the rise. Nuts are just one of the eight major food allergens (tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, and wheat) responsible for most critical allergic reactions. Whether directly or indirectly affected, all lives are impacted by food allergies.
So, with that being said, we’re going to fill you in on a few tasty nut alternatives!
SeedsSeeds are a nut-free source of nutrition, that helps to bridge the gap where taste and nut allergies combine. There are commercially made sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, flaxseed, and hemp seed butters.
Sesame seeds are a well-known source of vitamin E and omega-6 and monounsaturated fats. They are also thought to aid in digestion, stimulate blood circulation, and help the nervous system. Sesame seeds are very versatile and are used in many foods -a great substitute to nuts!
Sunflower seeds are rich in the B complex vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E. Sunflower seeds make a great replacement for nuts in granola bars, bread, and butters!
Pumpkins seeds contain protein, iron and are low in carbohydrates. They also have a good source of zinc and are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Roasting pumpkin seeds helps to bring out their natural flavor. They are especially delicious sprinkled over salads!
Chia seeds are the edible seeds native to Central America, that are notorious for being known as a superfood. They are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter around 1 millimeter. They are one of the world’s best sources of several important nutrients and are loaded with antioxidants. Chia seeds can be used in pudding, smoothies, and even as a topping!
Pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin c, potassium, and fiber and they contain a high number of antioxidants, which help protect the body against inflammation. Pomegranates are low in calories, and rich in taste – they’re great to eat all on their own or can be put in sweet and savory dishes alike!
For more seed-based alternatives for nuts, click here!
BeansBeans are a great alternative to nuts as they’re packed with protein! You can roast beans in your oven and make tasty, crunchy, nutritious snacks. They’re a perfect a replacement for nuts in salads.
Soybeans are among the best sources of plant-based protein. They contain a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K1, folate, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamine. Many people use soybeans to make their delicious oil, they can also be used with curry!
Green Peas are high in fiber and protein and contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re excellent paired in meals as they are considered very filling. Make green peas as a side, or pair it with dishes such as pesto pasta!
Chickpeas, otherwise known as Garbanzo beans, are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. They help lower cholesterol and can decrease tumor growth rates, they’re also delicious in a lot of Caribbean dishes, such as Trinidadian Doubles!
PretzelsPretzels normally contain wheat and/or sesame but can be used in place of nuts for recipes, especially for pie crusts and chicken coatings! There are gluten-free brands of pretzels available, for those of you who need to avoid wheat or gluten.
This alternative has a variety of different uses as it’s also the perfect salty mix for dessert and ice cream toppings! And lastly, did you know that pretzels can be used to make their twist on ‘pecan’ pie? Check it out here!