Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking with Food Allergies

Published date: August 31, 2012 | Modified date: October 15, 2019
(image thanks to

This great list comes from our friends at Living Without Magazine.

Replace 1 cup cow’s milk with one of the following:

  • 1 cup soy milk (plain)
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 cup fruit juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup goat’s milk, if tolerated
  • 1 cup hemp milk

Replace 1 cup buttermilk with one of the following:

  • 1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon white vinegar (Let stand until slightly thickened.)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 7/8 cup rice milk
  • 7/8 cup fruit juice
  • 7/8 cup water

Replace 1 cup yogurt with one of the following:

  • 1 cup soy yogurt or coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup soy sour cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup fruit puree

Replace 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter with one of the following:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine
  • 8 tablespoons Earth Balance (Non-Dairy) Buttery Spread
  • 8 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

For reduced fat:
6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce + 2 tablespoons fat of choice

Replace 1 large egg with one of the following:

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (or other fruit puree) + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal, chia seed or salba seed + 3 tablespoons hot water. (Let stand, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until thick. Use without straining.)
  • Egg Replacer, according to package directions
  • 4 tablespoons pureed silken tofu + 1 teaspoon baking powder

Replacing more than two eggs will change the integrity of a recipe. For recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like a quiche, use pureed silken tofu. Because egg substitutions add moisture, you may have to increase baking times slightly.

Note: To replace one egg white, dissolve 1 tablespoon plain agar powder into 1 tablespoon water. Beat, chill for 15 minutes and beat again.

Replace tree nuts or peanuts with an equal amount of the following:

  • Toasted coconut
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • (use only 2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • Crushed cornflakes
  • Crushed crispy rice cereal
  • Crushed potato chips
  • Pumpkin seeds

More information on substitutes for food allergies at


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