Being a nut free vegan means adding in new dietary restrictions. If you’re already forced to cut out nuts due to an allergy, more dietary restrictions can feel intimidating. There are many reasons why one would consider veganism, whether it’s for health concerns, animal activism, or to reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re interested in learning more, read on. We’re hoping we can help make your transition to being a nut free vegan a little easier.
If you’re considering being a nut free vegan, here are five simple tips.
1. Get Familiar with Nut Free Milks
Being a nut free vegan means going dairy free. In addition to excluding nuts from your diet, going vegan will entail excluding cheese, yogurt, and cow milk. Luckily, there are all kinds of different milk options available as an alternative to dairy milk. Unfortunately, popular alternatives rely on nuts or nut based foods. Products like almond milk, cashew milk, macadamia milk, and cashew cheese will be completely off limits.
As you get deeper into the vegan community, you’ll realize a lot of vegans turn to some sort of nut product when replacing dairy. It’s something to be aware of, but not something that should turn you away from veganism if it’s a lifestyle you want to pursue. Nut milks are just one of the many options available for a vegan diet. It’s common to develop a lactose sensitivity by adulthood, so alternative milks have been gaining traction.
Food companies have been responding. Options to consumers have been expanding. Here are some other alternatives to dairy milk that you can find at your local grocery store: oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, pea milk, flax milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and milk blends of all the former. See? Being a nut free vegan is becoming easier and easier.
My go-to substitute for dairy milk is oat milk. It’s thick, creamy, gentle on my body, feels better for my digestive system, and it tastes great in lattes! By the way, I love lattes. If making lattes at home is something that interests you, the Oatly Oat Milk Barista Edition (Amazon) is a fantastic choice for frothing. You can use a handheld frother (here’s an excellent one sold on Amazon), or you can use a convenient electric milk steamer (Amazon).
If you’re looking for a thick milk, Califia Farms (Amazon) makes a great oat milk that I pour into my cold brew. Oat milk formatted for coffee is rather thick. I love it! But, if you’re looking for a more multi-purpose milk, take a look at this brand of oat milk by Pacific Foods (Amazon).
Like I said, I love oat milk. But sometimes you just crave variety, especially when making the switch to a nut free vegan diet. I find that different types of alternative milks excel at different things. For example, rice milk is another favorite of mine but it offers a completely different texture than oat milk. Rice milk’s consistency is thinner and sweeter. My favorite brand of rice milk is Rice Dream (Amazon). I will reach for the Rice Dream milk when I desire a little more sugar in my cup. Rice milk is also a great option to try for drinking milk straight out of a cup.
If you’re interested in trying hemp milk, Pacific Foods (Amazon) is the brand I buy and recommend. I like hemp milk because it provides a more neutral, earthy flavor.
By the way, one of my favorite things about drinking alternative milks is that you can buy your milk in bulk. All of the items linked above don’t need to be refrigerated until after they’ve been opened! How cool is that?
2. Learn How To Read Food Labels for Animal Products
If you’re already nut free, you’re no doubt familiar with reading labels for allergens. Becoming a nut free vegan means learning how to check packaging labels for a few more ingredients. When reading labels for nut allergens, the ideal goal is in finding food labels that read, “Made in a dedicated facility free of peanuts and tree nuts”. If you can’t find that phrase, then you know you need to look for the advisory “Manufactured in a facility that also processes — fill in the blank allergen.”
The cleanest nut free labels have a big red circle over a picture of a peanut, or use an X sign. The more visible those labels are, the more grateful we are. When you become a nut free vegan, you’ll notice similar icons over pictures of milk cartons and eggs. Or, there might be an icon with a big V inside a black circle to indicate vegan. Milk and eggs may also show up inside the “Manufactured in a facility that also processes” allergen areas.
Depending on your personal reasons for being a nut free vegan, you can decide if you are willing to eat foods that have a risk of cross contamination when it comes to dairy products. If you have a milk allergy, that won’t be the case. If you’re just becoming aware of a milk allergy, you should be aware of how milk is labeled using differing verbiage. You should also know that some food that is labeled non-dairy could still contain milk protein. According to Kids With Food Allergies, labeling for milk may show up in a variety of ways:
- “Natural flavoring (contains caseinate, a milk protein)”
- “Sodium caseinate (a milk derivative)”
- “Contains: Milk”
3. Buy School Safe
This brings us to tip number three for being a nut free vegan: buy school safe products! When a product is school safe, it’s free from the eight most common allergens, which includes nuts, as well as dairy and eggs. To see a list of the school safe products we’ve reviewed and taste tested on this site, see our School Safe page.
4. Start a Multivitamin
If you’re new to veganism, I suggest looking into different multivitamins to make sure your nutritional needs are being met as you replace old food groups with new food groups, especially if you’re under the age of eighteen. When your body is still growing, keeping up with your daily nutrient requirements is particularly important. After you’ve been a nut free vegan for a while and your routine becomes more consistent, you’ll be able to create nutrition plans for yourself that center around healthy substitutes for your vitamin intakes, like with calcium and leafy greens.
Orange juice is another great place to pick up your daily requirement for calcium, especially as you make the transition to being a nut free vegan. But if you’re just starting out, it’s not a bad idea to begin a multivitamin for insurance! I’m of the opinion that it’s nice to keep a multivitamin around the house anyway. Read your body, as you travel along your nut free vegan journey.
Personally, I like using the mykind brand of multivitamins (see their variety on Amazon). They are a subsidiary of Garden Of Life and offer a chewy multivitamin for kids. The chewy gummies are labeled nut free, are USDA Organic, and are made with Non-GMO Project Verified fruit. Everything in the mykind product line is vegan so you won’t have to worry about checking the labels for that. The Nutramin Vitamin Gummies (Amazon) are another great choice for adults.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with swallowing huge multivitamins. Having to fight through that every day can get exhausting. I’ve found multivitamin gummies to be a way more satisfying option. One more tool in the toolkit for the nut free vegan lifestyle.
5. Learn about Egg Substitutes
You might wonder how being a nut free vegan will affect the way you cook and bake. When it comes to baking, many recipes call for a binder, like an egg. Binders are required in baking, but eggs are not! There are actually a lot of great substitutes. To replace one egg, please reference the following substitution chart:
One egg =
One tablespoon of ground flaxseed blended with three tablespoons of water. Let it sit for ten minutes before using it in baking.
One tablespoon of chia seed blended with three tablespoons of water. Let it sit for ten minutes before using it in baking.
1/4 cup Applesauce
1 mashed banana – mash one banana until it forms a paste
1/4 cup puréed tofu
1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar -mix together until it forms a paste
The egg substitute I use will change depending on what I’m baking. I tend to favor fruit purees like applesauce and banana. However, if I don’t want to taste fruit in whatever it is that I’m baking, I’ll opt for a flaxseed egg, a tofu egg, or use a commercial egg replacer like the Ener-G EGG Replacer. There are also liquid egg substitutes available in grocery stores. The best thing about using egg replacers is finally being able to eat that raw cookie dough. 🙂
Summary for Being a Nut Free Vegan
As you start exploring these products while becoming a nut free vegan, you’ll find even more nut free dairy free alternatives at your local grocery store. The market is constantly, adapting, and adding in the snacks and foods that best serve demand. Don’t forget that as a consumer, you have buying power! If there’s something you wish to see, send an email to your favorite product line and let them know! If you’re unsure of whether or not a current product meets your food restrictions, give them a call and ask. Good luck on your journey to becoming a nut free vegan!