“Switching to a plant-based diet can benefit both you and the environment, but it can seem overwhelming to make the switch when you have to navigate food allergies, especially since a lot of plant-based foods contain allergens like soy. Plant-based diets are not necessarily vegan, so they can still contain many of the common allergens. Keep reading to learn our top tips for plant-based eating with allergies.
In the vegan world, soy in the form of tempeh or tofu is a common choice for protein. The key to plant-based eating with soy allergies is to choose meals that are centred on whole legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables, with soy-free seasonings for flavour. When it comes to replacing common soy-based ingredients in your diet, legumes like chickpeas are a great, protein-packed alternative.
Here are some of our favourite soy alternatives:
Miso: Chickpea miso is made with rice and chickpeas instead of soybeans.
Edamame: Substitute peas, fava beans or lima beans, which are similar in texture and flavour to soybeans.
Soy milk: Take your pick! From almond to oat milk, the soy-milk alternatives are practically endless. If you have multiple allergies make sure the alternatives you choose are suitable for all of your allergies.
Tofu: Substitute regular tofu for hemp tofu, or in dishes like curries, swap the tofu out for chickpeas!
Wheat and gluten are in a lot of products you might not expect, so it is always important to check food safety labels for traces of them. Breads of all kinds, pastas, cereals, and baked goods are obvious sources, but things like packaged soups and condiments (most notably soy sauce) frequently contain wheat or gluten as well. Even nut-based milk can have gluten, so be sure to familiarise yourself with those labels if you’re gluten-intolerant. Grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and cornmeal are all suitable, as well as all legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu/tempeh, and most plant-based milks (almond, soy, rice, etc.) You can also use gluten-free whole grain flours when baking.
Tree nuts include walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pecans, pistachio, and brazil nuts. Unfortunately for those with nut allergies, common plant-based dairy and meat alternatives are almond, cashew, or macadamia-based, but the dairy aisle is now packed with dozens of other choices, like rice milk and oat milk. Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, chia, and hemp are great alternatives to nuts in their whole form and also in creamy, seed butter form. Sunflower seed butter, otherwise known as Sun butter, is a fantastic creamy alternative to any nut butter out there and is most similar to peanut butter.
Giving plant-based a go? myWellaBee can help
MyWellaBee has a huge database of awesome allergy-friendly foods that you can filter by ingredients. If you are transitioning into a plant-based diet with or without food allergies, it is a great way to quickly find products appropriate for your dietary needs. Browse the site today to find delicious food allergy products. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the myWellaBee team.