Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Baked goods: nut substitutes for allergy sufferers


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 thegreatdane

thegreatdane
  • participating member
  • 158 posts

Posted 25 May 2006 - 03:21 PM

Hello,
Does anyone know of good substitutes for nuts that won't affect allergy sufferers? I'm looking for something that can be made spreadable, like a peanut butter, but not made with nuts.
Thanks,
Tom

#2 SweetSide

SweetSide
  • participating member
  • 513 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 25 May 2006 - 03:50 PM

You can buy soy nut butter in the grocery store. I know nothing about making it myself, but that is what the "peanut allergy" kids I know use.

However, I'm sure you are aware that soy is also one of the top allergens...
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#3 flour girl

flour girl
  • participating member
  • 15 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:07 PM

Here's another one: www.sunbutter.com
One caveat - seed allergies are also on the rise. Hope you find what you are looking for. :smile:

#4 Saara

Saara
  • participating member
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Concrete & Birch Bay, WA

Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:58 PM

Hemp seed butter is another option. A fairly expensive one, I admit. Try your local health food/co-op/natural grocery. I haven't had the butter, but the seeds are very good.

--
Saara
Kitchen Manager/Baker/Dish Pit

The C Shop

 


#5 thegreatdane

thegreatdane
  • participating member
  • 158 posts

Posted 26 May 2006 - 07:43 AM

Thanks, all. After posting, I called the local Whole Foods and asked. They pointed me towards Tahini (sesame) butter, and soy butter. I'm hoping to make a product that won't bother allergy sufferers but it's true that soy presents some problems for some people, and possibly sesame, too. It seems food allergies are on the rise. Or, our awareness of them. Now, I think I'll just make the best product I can and appeal to the most I can. Can't please all the people all the time. Too bad, because a friend's son is allergic to nuts and that's what got me on this in the first place. I may try the sun butter, too. I love sunflower seeds.

#6 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:07 AM

Hemp seed butter is another option. A fairly expensive one, I admit. Try your local health food/co-op/natural grocery. I haven't had the butter, but the seeds are very good.

View Post


Hmm, I didn't realize there were people who actually enjoy eating hemp seeds!
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#7 Sebastian

Sebastian
  • participating member
  • 356 posts

Posted 26 May 2006 - 12:36 PM

they're medicinal, right?

8-)

#8 thegreatdane

thegreatdane
  • participating member
  • 158 posts

Posted 26 May 2006 - 03:07 PM

they're medicinal, right?

8-)

View Post



I thought they were outlawed here...

Drove the 'birds' crazy.

#9 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 26 May 2006 - 04:04 PM

they're medicinal, right?

8-)

View Post


Unfortunately, all the good stuff in hemp is in the trichomes of the plant. The medicinally good stuff, anyway.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#10 Sebastian

Sebastian
  • participating member
  • 356 posts

Posted 27 May 2006 - 04:38 AM

i know, just playing to popular belief. Chocolate's anandamide actually stimulates the same THC receptors, although you'd have to consume roughly 27 lbs of it at one sitting to get the same effect, at which point you've probabaly got larger issues 8-)

#11 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 27 May 2006 - 08:03 AM

i know, just playing to popular belief.  Chocolate's anandamide actually stimulates the same THC receptors, although you'd have to consume roughly 27 lbs of it at one sitting to get the same effect, at which point you've probabaly got larger issues 8-)

View Post


That's interesting, Sebastian -- I never knew that chocolate contained anandamide!
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#12 Sebastian

Sebastian
  • participating member
  • 356 posts

Posted 27 May 2006 - 12:48 PM

Chocolate inherantly has quite literally thousands and thousands of compounds..i keep a pretty good list of it at work, and there's many things in there where i've said 'who'da thunk it?' myself. Most of them, like the anandamide or phenylethylamine, while present, are there in such small amounts (caffeine is this way too - many folks believe chocolate's loaded with the stuff, when in fact it's just in there at pretty small lvls).

#13 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 27 May 2006 - 01:18 PM

Chocolate inherantly has quite literally thousands and thousands of compounds..i keep a pretty good list of it at work, and there's many things in there where i've said 'who'da thunk it?' myself.  Most of them, like the anandamide or phenylethylamine, while present, are there in such small amounts (caffeine is this way too - many folks believe chocolate's loaded with the stuff, when in fact it's just in there at pretty small lvls).

View Post


I realize that the levels of anandamide in chocolate are, for all practical purposes, physiologically insignificant. What makes it presence suprising is that anandamide and the cannabinoid system is found only animals, and not in any plant. Plants don't have the cannabinoid receptors that anandamide acts upon in animals, so it seems out of place.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#14 thegreatdane

thegreatdane
  • participating member
  • 158 posts

Posted 28 May 2006 - 12:20 PM

Chocolate inherantly has quite literally thousands and thousands of compounds..i keep a pretty good list of it at work, and there's many things in there where i've said 'who'da thunk it?' myself.  Most of them, like the anandamide or phenylethylamine, while present, are there in such small amounts (caffeine is this way too - many folks believe chocolate's loaded with the stuff, when in fact it's just in there at pretty small lvls).

View Post


I realize that the levels of anandamide in chocolate are, for all practical purposes, physiologically insignificant. What makes it presence suprising is that anandamide and the cannabinoid system is found only animals, and not in any plant. Plants don't have the cannabinoid receptors that anandamide acts upon in animals, so it seems out of place.

View Post



I seems out of place until we think of who cultivates, transports, and propagates seeds; animals. Plants make themselves attractive, or we select those that are, to continue their propagation. I think there's a book out with that theme, The Botany of Desire?

#15 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 28 May 2006 - 12:51 PM

Chocolate inherantly has quite literally thousands and thousands of compounds..i keep a pretty good list of it at work, and there's many things in there where i've said 'who'da thunk it?' myself.  Most of them, like the anandamide or phenylethylamine, while present, are there in such small amounts (caffeine is this way too - many folks believe chocolate's loaded with the stuff, when in fact it's just in there at pretty small lvls).

View Post


I realize that the levels of anandamide in chocolate are, for all practical purposes, physiologically insignificant. What makes it presence suprising is that anandamide and the cannabinoid system is found only animals, and not in any plant. Plants don't have the cannabinoid receptors that anandamide acts upon in animals, so it seems out of place.

View Post


I seems out of place until we think of who cultivates, transports, and propagates seeds; animals. Plants make themselves attractive, or we select those that are, to continue their propagation. I think there's a book out with that theme, The Botany of Desire?

View Post


Sure, but that still leaves the question: why would Theobroma cacao, apparently uniquely among the plant kingdom, produce anandamide? Even Cannabis sativa itself, which produces dozens of different cannabinoids, does not produce anandamide. And aside from that, my understanding is that the concentration of anandamide is, for all practical purposes, too low to be physiologically significant. If that is truly the case, then the function of anandamide can not be to make the plant appealing to animals. OTOH, I suppose its possible that the anandamide concentration, while too low to affect humans or most other animals, is sufficient to affect some anandamide super-sensitive species involved in scattering/distributing/propagating Theobroma cacao.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#16 onetoughcookie

onetoughcookie
  • participating member
  • 125 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 08 June 2007 - 05:41 AM

A potential client is asking me about peanut free cakes. Now, I know the basics
about cross-contamination, and checking the labels on ingredients. Is there anything else I need
to know? Can anyone recommend a good resource for info

I've always said no in the past to people who have peanut allergy concerns, but this person
was recommended to me by a good client. I hate to say no, but don't want to send the kiddies
into anaphylactic shock.
www.onetoughcookienyc.com

#17 K8memphis

K8memphis
  • participating member
  • 2,464 posts
  • Location:memphis tn

Posted 08 June 2007 - 05:45 AM

I would not take the risk myself. How can you be sure your area is peanut free from previous usage?

#18 onetoughcookie

onetoughcookie
  • participating member
  • 125 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 08 June 2007 - 05:52 AM

I would not take the risk myself. How can you be sure your area is peanut free from previous usage?

View Post


I haven't used peanut butter in anything for quite some time now....purely by coincidence, too.
That said, I've been reading my ingredient labels and the only iffy ingredient I have on hand would
be cocoa and chocolate. Now, I'd probably suggest to the client we stay away from those
flavors, make sure all utensils, pans, and equipment is scrubbed down.

The National Restaurant Association has a pamplet on this subject, and I've requested a copy.
www.onetoughcookienyc.com

#19 fionab

fionab
  • participating member
  • 11 posts

Posted 08 June 2007 - 06:07 AM

Hi, I'm 47, and I've been deathly allergic to peanuts since I was an infant. I started out baking cookies when I was seven or eight and have since progressed to scratch puff-pastry, baklava, and other wonderful things:).

I use King Arthur flour, Callebaut bulk chocolate, organic bulk cocoa, grocery store butter, grocery store sugar, and just about anything else -- as long as you cleaned between whatever it is you last made and the peanut allergy person's baked goods, I don't see the problem.

I use walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts all the time -- it's the peanuts that make my throat itch from 10 feet away -- and even if someone ate it the night before, I can still smell it on their breath at lunchtime the day after.

But honestly, your normal thorough washdown should be good:).

#20 K8memphis

K8memphis
  • participating member
  • 2,464 posts
  • Location:memphis tn

Posted 08 June 2007 - 06:26 AM

But honestly, your normal thorough washdown should be good:).

View Post


'Should be' is good enough if it is for yourself. 'Should be' is not good enough for my retail establishment.

#21 fionab

fionab
  • participating member
  • 11 posts

Posted 08 June 2007 - 06:36 AM

But honestly, your normal thorough washdown should be good:).

View Post


'Should be' is good enough if it is for yourself. 'Should be' is not good enough for my retail establishment.

View Post



I'm sorry I offended you. If she cleans after the last time she uses nuts, there will not be a problem. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, leavening, and cow-dairy products do not contain peanut or other nut products.

I have never found there to be a problem with Callebaut -- but of course since it is her business she should read the labels. I was giving her a starting point to investigate.

#22 EllenC

EllenC
  • participating member
  • 296 posts

Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:03 AM

I think the best place to start is with the potential client. I have several friends with peanut allergies. None of them are suseptable to reactions in an enviroment like the one describe for your shop. Most of them can eat foods that say they are manufactured in facilities that also handle peanuts. If they are comfortable with your precautions, you can always have them sign a waiver.

#23 JeanneCake

JeanneCake
  • participating member
  • 1,330 posts
  • Location:greater boston area

Posted 08 June 2007 - 05:57 PM

For this situation, I've used the rice krispie cake from Colette's birthday book. I've made race cars, mostly, and a few castles. They're different from a typical layered cake, and sometimes that's ok; sometimes not. It depends on the child, whether they are always having something "different" and they want what everyone else has on their birthday.

#24 onetoughcookie

onetoughcookie
  • participating member
  • 125 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:51 PM

In the past, I've run the other way from clients who have peanut allergies, much
like K8! But, in reading all I have about peanut allergies, Fiona seems to echo whaI've found out.
Stay away from the obvious, and a good cleaning (I'm a maniac about that on an everyday
basis) will suffice.

I will actually have a phone conversation this weekend with the client (we've only emailed up to this point). Not only does she need cake for her child's party, but for other parties that her child
will be attending! She even offered to invest in a different set of pans to be used only for
these purposes, but I wouldn't take her up on that offer.

The bottom line is, I like to sleep through the night too much to take a major risk, such as this
might be.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to read and weigh in.
www.onetoughcookienyc.com

#25 K8memphis

K8memphis
  • participating member
  • 2,464 posts
  • Location:memphis tn

Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:12 PM

But honestly, your normal thorough washdown should be good:).

View Post


'Should be' is good enough if it is for yourself. 'Should be' is not good enough for my retail establishment.

View Post



I'm sorry I offended you. If she cleans after the last time she uses nuts, there will not be a problem. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, leavening, and cow-dairy products do not contain peanut or other nut products.

I have never found there to be a problem with Callebaut -- but of course since it is her business she should read the labels. I was giving her a starting point to investigate.

View Post


Oh no no no, I'm not offended at all. No worries. I didn't mean to come off that way at all. I just can't/don't cater to life threateneing allergies for people--that's just me--that's what I meant. I agree too. It should be good enough for an individual but it's too big a liability for moi or for any shop I think. I don't want the pressure y'know?

I mean sometimes you sit around and wonder how a cake or cookie was received by the people at the party. In this case I'd be sitting around praying to God nobody got sick. Yeah, no not for me.

See, she wants to give you a set of pans. I can't operate that way. Other people with their particular issues will follow. Remember that poor girl who died from a kiss from her boyfriend from a peanut allergy?

Not trying to be a downer, it's just hard enough to be in business as it is. I mean sugar free or egg free is kinda different or vegan, nobody's gonna die if something got cross contaminated. Peanuts and celiacs and folks with the bad allergies, the possible consequences are too great.

#26 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:25 PM

But honestly, your normal thorough washdown should be good:).

View Post


'Should be' is good enough if it is for yourself. 'Should be' is not good enough for my retail establishment.

View Post


Use a clean scrubber and soap to clean your equipment and it should be fine. My mother-in-law uses peanuts and nuts a lot when she bakes, and she uses the same equipment after thorough cleaning for my peanut and tree nut allergic son. It's never been a problem.

Check over at peanutallergy.com, on the discussion boards... they have product recommendations out the wazoo. People with food allergies are a very underserved segment of the market, and we're generally thrilled with an establishment goes out of their way to try to help us rather than telling us no just to avoid the hassle.
Cheryl

#27 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 08 June 2007 - 11:57 PM

I think the most pressing issue for you is a legal one, should you decide to take on this client. Even if you clean well, there's always a risk, so she should have to sign some legal document stating that she waives you of all responsibility, assuming you have followed certain guidelines for making peanut-free items (using clean equipment and ingredients not in contact with peanuts, etc.).

Also, for your working surfaces, I wonder if it might be helpful to invest in equipment specifically for peanut-free cakes--an extra set of pans, spatula, measuring cups and spoons, bowl and beaters for the mixer, etc. Those things would only be used for any peanut-free items. Also, cover your working surface with plastic before starting on any peanut-free items (Pam R does that at her shop for making Kosher foods, so I was thinking if there were any traces of peanuts on your working surface, the plastic wrap would work as a barrier).

#28 Sebastian

Sebastian
  • participating member
  • 356 posts

Posted 09 June 2007 - 03:30 AM

If you're using tree nuts currently, or even storing them in the same location as you work in, I don't think you're going to be able to clean sufficiently to guarantee the absence of peanut proteins. If you're sharing equipment to make both nut containing and nut free products, I'll guarantee you're not going to be able to clean them to the point of being completely nut free unless you're able to autoclave *everything* (and i mean everything...).

I've done quite a bit of research on this prior to last years FDA legislation (FALCPA - Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act - it deals specifically with this topic), and even prior to being legally required to address it, we came to the conclusion that one simply can't create a 'clean zone' unless the product in question simply isn't even there to begin with. At the end of the day, I made our factories get rid of peanuts entirely, and put a touch of milk into every single product (whether or not it needed it), because it wasn't feasible for us to stop using milk, and because of our prior attempts to clean it out, we know that no matter what we did there was always going to be *some* trace level of milk in everything - i wanted it on all labels to further minimize the chance that someone would unknowingly consume it who would be allergic to milk and die...this was, at least milk was explicitly stated on the label..

Simply covering things up won't be sufficient (aerosolized nut particles can hang in the air for days before settling out)...

#29 onetoughcookie

onetoughcookie
  • participating member
  • 125 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:21 AM

I'm going to speak with the client, go to Peanut Allergy.com, and look on the government's
website(s) for more info.

Something tells me that the sheer anxiety will never be compensated by any amount of money.

And I went into a custom cake & cookie business because it is a 'happy' business!
YIKES!

:wacko:
www.onetoughcookienyc.com

#30 K8memphis

K8memphis
  • participating member
  • 2,464 posts
  • Location:memphis tn

Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:49 AM

If you're using tree nuts currently, or even storing them in the same location as you work in, I don't think you're going to be able to clean sufficiently to guarantee the absence of peanut proteins.  If you're sharing equipment to make both nut containing and nut free products, I'll guarantee you're not going to be able to clean them to the point of being completely nut free unless you're able to autoclave *everything* (and i mean everything...).

I've done quite a bit of research on this prior to last years FDA legislation (FALCPA - Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act - it deals specifically with this topic), and even prior to being legally required to address it, we came to the conclusion that one simply can't create a 'clean zone' unless the product in question simply isn't even there to begin with.  At the end of the day, I made our factories get rid of peanuts entirely, and put a touch of milk into every single product (whether or not it needed it), because it wasn't feasible for us to stop using milk, and because of our prior attempts to clean it out, we know that no matter what we did there was always going to be *some* trace level of milk in everything - i wanted it on all labels to further minimize the chance that someone would  unknowingly consume it who would be allergic to milk and die...this was, at least milk was explicitly stated on the label..

Simply covering things up won't be sufficient (aerosolized nut particles can hang in the air for days before settling out)...

View Post



^^^ Yeah, what he said ^^^
Because for 'at home' is so vastly different than for production. And 'at home' baking and use of peanuts addresses the allergic propensity of one person generally. To do this successfully for the peanut allergic populus is a monumental thing as Sebastian very aptly explained.

Because if something wasn't Kosher the consequence is not possible death. I mean equating Kosher preparation of food to life threatening allergies is beyond apples and oranges, it's life and death. And I agree cookies and cakes are for fun and celebration. The further problem is that unless one has unlimited space and resources, the different allergies each would have to have it's own complete atmospherically controlled kitchen. Once you did for peanut free, the wheat free would want you. You'd have to have a kitchen for each allergy/malady.

Who wouldn't want to be a blessing to all these folks? It's just beyond most of our grasp to comply with all the restrictions and still maintain a viable business.

Edited by K8memphis, 09 June 2007 - 05:57 AM.