By Florencia Tagliavini, The NutraMilk Nutritionist
Tree Nuts - One of the Top 8 Allergens
Tree nuts are one of the eight major allergens. They are the second most common allergy in infants and young children. Approximately 0.4- 0.5% of American children have a tree nut allergy. It may not be the highest percentage but for those who have a nut allergy, even very small amounts of a tree nut can cause a serious reaction that can be life-threatening. A tree nut allergy is usually life-long once acquired. Approximately 9% of children allergic to tree nuts may outgrow their allergy.
Children and adults that have a nut allergy must avoid the particular tree nut or nuts they are allergic to. All products containing that type of tree nut which could possibly include walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, and Brazil nuts among others must be avoided as well. These are not the same as peanuts, which are legumes, or seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. However, individuals may also be advised to avoid peanuts or most nuts because of the higher likelihood of cross-contact with tree nuts during manufacturing and processing. It is also common that if one type of tree nut allergy exists, the chance being of allergic to other types of nuts is higher.
Tree nut proteins can be found in surprising places - such as cereals, crackers, cookies, chocolates, energy bars, flavored coffee, frozen desserts, marinades, barbecue sauces. Also some lotions, hair care products and soaps could have tree nut proteins, so be sure to read labels.
Seeds are an option, which can actually be more nutrient-dense than nuts and can serve as a great alternative.
Nut Allergy Friendly Alternatives
- Instead of a nut butter try any of the delicious seed butters: Sunflower butter, pumpkin butter, tahini or hemp butter. With the NutraMilk you can try any combination you like such as a chocolate hemp butter.
- Spreads are another alternative to nut butter: Try various types of hummus (roasted carrot hummus, roasted bell pepper hummus, beet hummus) or check out our recipe for miso sesame spread.
- Instead of nut milk try any of the other plant- based milks: Hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk, pumpkin seed milk, sunflower milk, soy or coconut milk. Have you tried milk made out of one of the many legumes? Try our recipe for Adzuki bean milk! What about Tiger nut milk (it's not a nut but really a tuber)?
If you have a nut allergy, there are many ways to replace the healthy nutrients that nuts offer as well as many culinary alternatives for nut butters & milks. With the NutraMilk, you can make plant-based butter and milk from various plant sources, and the best thing is that you get to combine ingredients and customize to your liking! Start exploring!