Kick Off Summer with Allergy-Friendly Recipes

Kick Off Summer with Allergy-Friendly Recipes

Memorial Day is set aside as an opportunity to remember members of the military lost in the service of our country. Falling on the final Monday of May, the long weekend connected to it has come to mark the official “unofficial” start of summer. There are trips to the shore and barbeque dinners on the agenda. 

As with most things that involve food, that means there’s a certain challenge for food allergic families that are looking to engage with the usual trappings of the long weekend. With a few recipe tweaks and considerations, however, you can fire up the grill and enjoy an allergy-friendly meal fit for an early summer evening.

Be Potluck Prepared

If your plans include a potluck celebration with friends and family, identify a few guests that are allergy aware and trustworthy. Ask them what they’re bringing and determine whether it’ll be safe for your family's allergy needs. If you’re comfortable with their ability to avoid cross-contamination, their contributions may be something you can add to your list of options in addition to the safe dish you’re bringing. 

Talk to the host about letting your allergic family members grab their plates first before serving spoons mingle with unsafe dishes and traces of this and that get splattered here and there. Also consider bringing a stash of safe alternatives from home for your allergic family members to supplement their meal with. If there aren't a lot of safe alternatives on the table, they can enjoy the company of the other guests while eating their “brought from home” foods. If you’re hosting, let your allergic guests pick their plates first. 

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Depending on your allergens, homemade BBQ sauce recipes may offer a safe, sweet, and zesty option to jazz up grilled entrees. Combine ⅔ cup of ketchup, ½ cup of cider vinegar, and ¼ brown sugar with paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Feel free to experiment with spices to create your own signature zing. 

Dairy-Free Cheesy Sauce 

From dips to dunk your nachos and pretzels in, to melty, gooey toppings for burgers of all sorts, cheese is a popular component of many summer festivities. That of course poses a challenge for milk allergic individuals. Unless, of course, you can use a recipe like this one from Meatified that uses sweet potato, coconut milk, chicken broth, yeast flakes, avocado oil, and seasonings to make a cheese sauce alternative without the dairy. (You’ll find a coconut-free version of the recipe here: Take 2).

Veggies Sans Butter

Grilled, broiled, or boiled, corn on the cob and other veggies are quintessential summer fare. They often come laden with butter, another challenge for milk allergic folk. Alternatives like this recipe for Roasted Mexican Corn from Easy Peasy Foodie offer a flavorful twist that works for your ears of corn or any other veggie dish. Another alternative would be these scrumptious grilled veggie skewers from Love and Lemons.

Mayo-less Potato Salad and Coleslaw

Potato salad (and a host of other salad-like side dishes) are staples at the summer barbeque table. They also often come with a heavy dose of mayonnaise and that can present an issue for egg allergic individuals. 

The good news is great potato salad doesn’t need mayo anymore than great coleslaw does. At least not with recipes like this Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette recipe from Forks over Knives and this Easy No Mayo Coleslaw recipe from Family Food on the Table.

Grilled Watermelon

Is it a summer barbeque if the watermelon slices don’t make an appearance? It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s pure summer. You can kick up your culinary fare a notch by adding this grilled watermelon recipe from Two Peans and Their Pod to your dessert list. Skip the feta cheese topping if you’re avoiding dairy. 

Banana Boats Over an Open Fire

S’mores over the backyard firepit are a favorite for a reason. For some avoiding wheat and other allergens, they can be a challenge, though. Sure, you could substitute specific ingredients to make sure the chocolate is safe for your food allergic friends and that there is a wheat-free option to swap out for the graham cracker. (You may even tackle a wheat free homemade graham cracker recipe if you’re up for it!) You could also swap out the s’more for another campfire favorite – the Banana Boat. 

Grab your favorite dairy-free, nut-free chocolate chips, mini marshmallows (make sure they are egg-free), a few bananas, and a box of aluminum foil. Peel back one flap of the banana skin but don’t remove it. Using a spoon, scoop out a well in the center of your banana. Fill the opening of your banana boat with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pull the peel flap back over the opening and wrap the banana in foil. Place the wrapped fruit directly onto your fire pit and remove after a few minutes. Open carefully and enjoy the ooey-gooey mess inside!

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