I have logged many, many hours staring at nutrition labels in the grocery store aisles reading ingredient lists, searching for allergens and hidden allergens (why don’t they tell you where they source their sodium lactate from? Is it beets? Is it corn??) I once bought some turkey bacon whose label passed the test but gave me a severe reaction. Upon closer examination I saw “turkey broth” which must have contained gluten. This was a major setback for me.

I love sharing my allergen-friendly recipes with you, but I also know that you don’t always have the time or energy to cook a meal (oh, how I know that!). I know the feeling of being at the grocery store and looking at shelves and shelves of things you can’t eat. Plus, we’re going on vacation this summer and foods that I can eat from a cooler are in the forefront of my mind.

I also know that little “Eureka!” feeling when you find something that you can eat. So, with this post, I want to share with you some of my “Eureka!” finds to hopefully make that shopping trip a little easier for you.

So many of my finds are derived from coconuts. Seriously, is there anything a coconut cannot do? Coconut is such a good thing to be eating if you have GI issues and is so nourishing in so many ways. I love this article that is very detailed in listing the benefits of coconut milk (and don’t you just love that a Coconut Research Center even exists?!) I buy coconut milk every week and use it for anything that I would normally milk. I also buy a pint of coconut milk ice cream (Sweetie Pie even says it tastes better that the dairy variety–but only just). I also use coconut aminos as a replacer for soy sauce, when I’m not ambitious enough to mix up my own batch. I’ve been meaning for months to experiment with coconut flour, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. (Anyone tried that? How did you like it?) I also can’t not mention these macaroons. I buy two boxes every week of the chocolate chip coconut macaroons, which are not only allergen free but are fruit-juice sweetened to boot! Oh, and they taste really good too.

I use Ener-G brand for many things. They have the only bread I’ve found that is completely allergen and corn free. You should always toast it. Don’t even think about eating it cold. I also use their egg replacer, with which I’ve had some measure of success in baking. I haven’t been brave enough to try their recipe for egg-replacer quiche.

I was really excited when I found this cheese substitute which is just fantastic. The day that I brought it home and cooked up a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich felt like a celebration. It’s now a regular part of my diet.

Finally, anyone with food allergies knows that meat can be a sketchy area. I’ve never had any problems with products from Applegate Farms and eat their pre-packaged meats almost exclusively. Lunchmeat, hot dogs, chicken sausages and bacon have all been on my allergy-friendly menu.

Are there any allergen-friendly products that you really love? I’d be thrilled to hear about them.

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