click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




Allergy-Friendly Recipes for the New Year

Allergy-Friendly Recipes for the New Year

With creativity and persistence, allergy-free food can be oh so sweet.

by

My first experience with food allergies was when my oldest son was 15 months old. After eating scrambled eggs, he began rubbing his eyes and breaking out in hives on his face. My first impulse was to bathe him (thinking he had rubbed food into his eyes). When I realized the rash was spreading quickly, I called his pediatrician who advised: "Give him Benadryl and go to the nearest ER if he shows any signs of difficulty breathing." DIFFICULTY BREATHING?!

Over the next few months, his food-allergy list grew to include tree nuts, peanuts, melon, pineapple, and kiwi. Thankfully, my oldest son outgrew most of his food allergies by the age of three. Little did I know that a few years later with the birth of his twin brothers, our prior experience with food allergies made this look like a stroll in the park.

Yup, identical twins with identical, multiple, severe food allergies. They were miserable from the get go even when they were exclusively breastfed (reacting to the allergens in my diet – unbeknownst to me). Their "no list" included eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, dairy, and all grains – wheat, oats, spelts, etc. Reactions were frequent, even when the ingredients weren't problematic. Cross-contamination and even skin contact would elicit reactions. Thank God the ER was close by. At first, finding a "yes list" for them was overwhelming.

Overwhelming, but not impossible. I did manage to find things that were not only edible but enjoyable. They were my inspiration for my Rosh Hashana cookbook, A Taste of Sweetness. All of the recipes are dairy and nut-free. Most are also egg-free, fish-free and gluten-free. Through the crucible of allergic emergencies, I have found that living with allergies – while challenging – can be very sweet.

Egg-less Round Challah

  • Egg-less Round Challah5 Tbsp dry active yeast (like Fleishman's – not rapid rise)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 1/2 cups very warm water
  • (mix all ingredients till foamy)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 5 lbs bread flour (in the U.S., I prefer Gold Medal Better for Bread in orange bag)

Place sugar, yeast and hot water in a very large bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add oil, vanilla, salt and a few cups of flour. Stir until consistent. Keep adding flour until the dough becomes very stiff and then knead by hand. Gradually add all of the flour.

Knead in a large bowl till dough is consistent and smooth and not too sticky.

Shape and place in round pans. Don't brush with egg wash if you're preparing an egg-free challah.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Yield: about 5 round challahs


Symbolic Foods

During the High Holidays, many people avoid nuts because the gematria (numeric value of Hebrew word) of “nut” and “sin” are the same.

Beyond this, Rosh Hashanah is the perfect holiday for the food-sensitive/allergic, because all the Rosh Hashanah symbolic foods (simanim) – with the exception of fish – are allergy-friendly. Pomegranate, dates, apples, squash, beets, leeks, carrots and cabbage are safely tolerated by most food allergy sufferers. Have you ever tried Pomegranate Mousse Pie, Pumpkin Muffins, or Mushroom Leek Souffle? Allergy-friendly recipes can be (should be!) delicious, exciting and festive. Even if you’re avoiding several food groups, don’t fall into the rut of boring meals.

Carrot, Apple and Raisin Salad

Carrot, Apple and Raisin SaladThis recipe incorporates two symbolic foods (simanim) -carrots and apples.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 carrots, grated
  • 4 granny smith apples, chopped
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Combine dressing ingredients. Toss with salad ingredients. Enjoy!

Yields: 8 servings

 

Honey Mustard Turkey Pastry

Honey Mustard Turkey PastryThis recipe incorporates honey, a traditional Rosh Hashanah condiment.

  • 2 packages Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets (like Pepperidge Farms)
  • 2 packages oven-prepared turkey deli slices (or other type of deli meat)
  • 4 T honey
  • 2 T mustard

Thaw puff pastry sheets and open. Combine honey and mustard. Place deli meat in each puff pastry sheet and spread honey mustard mixture over them. Close each pastry and tuck ends under to seal each . Bake at 450 for 25 minutes until puffed and flakey.

 

Egg-free Pumpkin Muffins

  • Egg-free Pumpkin Muffins1 box of Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix (spice and orange cake work, too)
  • Oil and water (according to package directions)
  • 1 small can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 T nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 T cinnamon (optional)
  • Raw sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350.
Follow directions on box, leaving out the eggs.
Combine ingredients.
Spray mini-muffin tins with baking spray.
Fill mini-muffin tins almost until the top (mixture won’t rise that much with eggs omitted).
Sprinkle with cinnamon and raw sugar crystals.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Mini-muffins bake quickly, so keep an eye on them!

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the New Year and the start of a beautiful string of fall celebrations. May preparing allergy-friendly holiday meals help us enjoy a happy and healthy Shana Tova U’metuka – a sweet new year.

Published: September 8, 2012


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.

Visitor Comments: 5

(4) Meredith, December 14, 2012 9:43 PM

Thank you for this article!

Looking forward to using these in my last two nights of Hannukah. We also noted some other great allergy-friendly Hannukah recipes here if anyone is interested: http://bit.ly/Vq9Zcp

(3) sharon, October 21, 2012 11:07 PM

another warning about msg...

it is also a gluten!

(2) Katriel, September 14, 2012 8:47 PM

Gluten Free?

Do you have any gluten free recipes? My diet consists of Kosher Organic and gluten free. About Deli Meats - I am also asthmatic and can not handle preservatives, or MSG (why certain kosher brands use MSG is beyond me) Health food markets carry deli meats that are free of Sodium bisulphates and sodium nitrates.

(1) malka, September 14, 2012 5:50 AM

allergies?

I'M ALLERGIC TO BAKERS YEAST, APPLES, POTATOES AND A FEW OTHER THINGS, I HAVE ASTHMA MEANING MOST DELI MEATS ARE OFF THE AGENDA BECAUSE OF SODIUM BISULPHATES IN A LOT OF DELI ITEMS, JUST AS WELL THAT I HAVE A SOURDOUGH BREW THAT I KEEP FEEDING DAILY SO THAT I CAN MAKE MY BREADS, BUT I DO WONDER WHY PEOPLE THINK THAT THERE'S NO ONE OUT THERE ALLERGIC TO BAKERS YEAST? AND POTATOES.

Katriel, September 14, 2012 8:49 PM

Love the Carrot Apple salad recipe

This recipe sounds wonderfully simple and delicious. So glad to find an easy holiday salad! Thanks!

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub
Sign up today!