Discover These 5 Allergy-Friendly Pantry Essentials

by Debbie Adler (Bio below)

 1)   Nutritional Yeast – this may sound like something you need to get your RDA of rising dough, but it’s actually a yellow flakey powder that is rich with B vitamins and protein that can be used as a cheese substitute. I use it on top of popcorn, in salad dressing, on top of gluten-free pasta and in soups. It is free from sugar, dairy and gluten so it is a perfect allergy-friendly, healthful shelf-stable ingredient to keep in your cupboards.

Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats

2)   Culinary Coconut Milk – this is a new product on the market that is made by So Delicious Dairy Free. When you refrigerate it, it becomes the consistency of whipped cream. It comes in shelf stable carton boxes so you can stock up. All you have to do when you’re ready to top your pumpkin pie or smoothie or whatever, is squeeeeeeze the carton and you’re whipped!

3)   Teff – this is a not so well-known little gluten-free grain. And when I say ‘little’ I mean teensy-weensy. Teff is packed with protein and is high in calcium, thiamin and iron. It comes in various shades of autumnal colors and I choose the ivory teff as I find its mild flavor to be a welcome addition to my gluten-free flour mix.

4)   Hemp Seed – technically hemp seeds are not really seeds at all, but fruit. This is great news for us moms who have children who are frightfully allergic to seeds. Hemp seeds are an amazing source of easily digested proteins, phytonutrients and antioxidants and they contain all 10 essential amino acids. You can put hemp seeds onto salads, in energy bars, on cereal and in soups. You can even make them into milk or add them to your smoothie for a rich creaminess.

5 Allergy-free Must Haves You Never Heard of But Need @eczemacompany #allergyfree #vegan

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5)   Coconut Nectar – this is like manna from heaven. It is the sap from the coconut tree that is sweet like maple syrup but is not high glycemic. Coconut nectar is minimally processed so it is mineral-rich and contains 17 amino acids. I use it in all my Sweet Debbie’s recipes to make sweet-as-sugar brownies, cupcakes, muffins and cookies.


Bio: Debbie Adler is the owner of the nationally renown bakery Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes located in Los Angeles.  It is the first bakery in the United States to make allergy-free baked goods that contain certified organic ingredients and are sweetened only with stevia and coconut nectar.

 In addition to owning her bakery, Debbie is also the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery. It was named a “Best Gluten-Free Cookbook of 2013” by Delicious Living Magazine. 

You can find Debbie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or her website



  1. Kerrie Lorenzo on October 15, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Debbie, your ideas are great. I love Teff and Hemp milk. I’m not so sure about your definition of allergy free though—Top 8 Allergy Free maybe, but not allergy free for everyone. I can’t tolerate Nutritional Yeast and we don’t use So Delicious products because of their use of nuts on many of their factory lines.

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Kerrie – Thanks for your comment. You are right – there really is no such thing as allergy free since anyone can be allergic to anything essentially. Allergy Friendly is a better term. I’m go change the title of this post. Thanks for pointing that out! Jennifer

  2. Jennifer Roberge on October 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Amy same here. I love coconut milk in baking and meals. I’m intolerant and so is my son, so we must stay away from it too.

  3. Zahra on October 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    We love hemp seeds, nutritional yeast (especially on popcorn) and coconut products! I have not tried teff yet but will surely look into trying it!

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Teff is really yummy! Bob’s Red Mill has the most delicious teff and nut butter cookie recipe on the back of his teff flour. It’s one of our family’s favorite cookie recipes. Jennifer

  4. Julie on January 9, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Hi Debbie and Jennifer! What a lovely and informative post. I wanted to point out that I was initially over the moon when I read about the hemp seed information above. I love using hemp seeds in my own recipes and would have loved to add it to my son’s diet (he is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, most seeds, dairy, egg). However, after researching a little further, it is considered an “Achene,” which, though described as the “fruit” of the plant, is still a seed. Sunflower seeds are achenes, and with the rising rates of seed allergies and previously reported anaphylaxis to hemp seeds in the medical literature, I’d probably advise caution regarding hemp seeds for those who may have a history of seed allergies.

    Thank you, though, for all of the ingredients that are allergy friendly!

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