By Aleeza Riaz, Kid Advisory Board Member
Has someone ever come to your house who has a food allergy or intolerance, and you know what you want to serve them, but cannot? A simple solution for this is a substitution. There are many substitutions in local grocery stores and markets, but three substitutions that I will mention are sunbutter, egg replacer, and white or cannellini beans.
In many types of Thai foods, the noodles are usually coated with some type of nut butter or sauce, made with peanut butter. Nuts are a common allergen, and at many grocery stores a healthy option is available - sunflower seed butter or sunbutter is an amazing substitution for peanut or nut butters. The nutty flavor from the toasted sunflower seeds with a similar consistency to peanut butter gives a great flavor for any blank canvas. I use sunbutter all the time and it really carries you away, packed with flavor and protein.
In many desserts or sweets, eggs are a common ingredient and are used to add bind ingredients, and add creaminess and fluffiness to desserts. I use egg replacer in my desserts as I have an egg allergy. All though many people might think that it might give your dessert a dry feel as it starts off as a powder, once you mix the powder with water, that creaminess feeling is back. This product is available in many grocery stores at a reasonable price - one packet goes a long way. Egg replacer is a great way for you to make a sweet treat to someone with an egg allergy or intolerance.
Many starters start with some type of dip which could be salsa or hummus. Traditionally hummus is made with chickpeas or garbanzo beans, yet if someone has a dislike or intolerance to this type of legume, white or cannellini beans are available for you! In my opinion, white beans have a lemony flavor that compliments really flavorful dishes. Also, white beans are easy to find at an affordable price.
In conclusion, substitutions in foods do work, and even if you are not allergic to something, I would try a substitution because they all carry really nice flavors. I encourage you to get creative with your substitutions and try something new!