A peanut allergy is no joke. Experts say that when someone has a nut allergy, their body has an abnormal response to the proteins in the nut. And accidentally eating a peanut, a dish made with a peanut product, or even made on surfaces or with utensils that have been in contact with peanuts, can cause an allergic reaction. The response can be as minor as swollen lips or as dangerous as shock. So before you cook for any strangers, check whether they have a food allergy. If you’re cooking for someone who can't eat peanuts, or someone you don’t know anything about, it’s best to stick with nut-free recipes, just to be on the safe side. And now for the good news: peanut-free foods may qualify as a special diet, but these easy recipes are just as simple to prepare, and fast, too. Once you get past any peanut butter or peanut-oil cravings you might have, you’ll find that there are tons of different ingredients that can easily be used in place of peanut products and they taste just as good…
Peanut-Free Dessert Recipes
With the exception of certain cuisines, like Thai and Chinese food, desserts are some of peanut-friendliest recipes out there. You’ve got your peanut butter cookies, brownies, cakes, bars, and plain old peanut-butter-smeared-chocolate-bar. So what on earth can you possibly make for dessert that doesn’t contain peanuts but still has a nutty and sweet flavor? Well, tons of stuff, actually. Banana bread comes to mine. Bananas are a little sweeter than the peanut, but still have an earthy and natural nut-like flavor. One key to the best banana bread on the planet is by using overripe bananas. Or if you’re ready to make banana bread right now, but have only ripe bananas, just place them on a parchment-lined baking pan and place in a preheated, 350-degree oven, for no more than 30 minutes. Be sure to snatch them out of the oven once the outside of the banana has gotten very dark, but before it burns. Here are a few other dessert options for people who like nutty desserts, but need to steer clear of the potentially dangerous peanut: cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake or angel pound cake, caramel brownies, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip or vanilla bean sugar cookie recipes. And if everyone is gathered around a fire roasting marshmallows and serving them on graham crackers with peanut butter, just use a tree-nut butter instead, like cashews or almond.
If you’re a fan of different Asian cuisines, like Chinese and Thai , then you know that there are a lot of peanut-based ingredients. Some recipes call for chopped peanuts, peanut oil, and peanut-butter sauce. So what to cook instead when you need a peanut-free alternative? Try a nut-free pad Thai. It turns out that flaXeeds are a great substitute for the pesky peanut. Just make your tried and true recipe, but where it calls for peanuts or peanut oil, just swap in the smooth but subtly nutty-tinged seeds or coconut oil. Another favorite dish that typically comes served with chopped nuts and contains peanut oils is Asian noodles (it’s also served as cold Asian noodles). One way to get around the peanut barrier in this recipe is by using sesame paste – also known as tahini. As for the creamy, toasted-nut flavored sauce, tahini is the perfect substitute. It's consistency is similar to peanut butter, but with a lightly nutty, savory flavor. More practiced chefs have learned to use a little molasses or honey to increase the sweetness, but keep the bold, earthy flavors in tact.
Everyday Peanut-Free eating
The fact is that even though peanuts are life threatening for some folks, they still tend to live life on the edge because they can’t stop eating foods that taste like nuts. So it’s important to collect a cache of tasty peanut-free recipes and ingredients so that when you’re at the market, you know what ingredients to purchase, and which to avoid. Starting with protein, lean chicken, red meat (like steak and ground beef), pork, seafood, and tofu are all 100-percent nut-free. Chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, fennel and herbs are all great staples for making tasty sauces and marinades. Like peanuts, these ingredients are very earthy in taste and texture, but they don’t have the proteins that can cause a reaction. Finally, just because someone may be sensitive or allergic to peanuts doesn’t mean that she also has a tree-nut allergy. So instead of using PB in recipes or as a bagel schmear, use a different nut or seed butter, like cashews, sunflower seeds, or almond spread.