FAQ6 With a Vegan Chef: Can you be vegan with a nut and soy allergy?

In today’s FAQ With A Vegan Chef, Keri tells me that she is thinking of going vegan but she has a soy and nut allergy. She wants to know is it possible for her to be vegan and get all the protein she needs. Also she’d like to know what kind of substitutions she can make for those things in recipes.

It is totally possible to be vegan and have these allergies AND get all the protein you need for a healthy diet. Watch today’s video for substitutions that can be made for soy and nuts and check out the great sources of protein below.

To check out last weeks FAQ about how to eat healthy when eating out click here.

(please click through to see the video if viewing in email)

Great Sources of Protein

Legumes/Beans – Go wild with legumes (except soybeans and peanuts of course). They are cholesterol free, full of good fiber, low in fat and high in absorbable protein. There are thousands of varieties of legumes, which encompass pulses, beans, and lentils. They all have different flavors and textures, so take this opportunity to explore new ones each week!

*Anasazi, Azuki, Black Turtle, Black-eyed, Cannellini, Fava, Garbanzo, Great Northern, Green Peas, Kidney, Lentils (Green, Red, Brown, Le Puy, Black), Lima, Mung, Navy, Pinto, Split peas*

If you have trouble digesting beans I highly recommend getting a pressure cooker and cooking them yourself from scratch. Soak them 6-8 hours (not lentils or split-peas), drain off that water, and cook with fresh water and 1 inch piece of kombu. See this post for more info on cooking beans. When I eat beans at restaurants or out of a can I sometimes get gas. This never ever happens with beans I make at home.

Seeds – Most people with allergies to nuts can still eat seeds. Technically legumes and grains are seeds but we’ll put these known seeds in their own category.

*Chia, Flax, Hemp, Lotus, Pumpkin, Sesame, Sunflower*

Grains – Whole grains have a great amount of protein, quinoa ranking highest (which is actually a seed but we put it in the grain category because of it’s texture and need for cooking/sprouting).

Seitan – If you do not have a gluten allergy you can enjoy seitan, or wheat meat, which has tons of protein. I would eat this in moderation though, as it can be hard on the digestive system.

Spirulina/Wheatgrass/Green Foods – Greens and superfoods like spirulina have a good amount of protein. I drink a protein shake every day that includes a scoop of greens powder from Amazing Grass. You might want to incorporate a greens protein shake into your day.

Substitutions for Soy in Recipes

Miso – South River Miso Company has a chickpea miso that is soy-free

Vegan Butter – Earth Balance makes a soy-free non-dairy butter spread

Soy sauce/Tamari – Coconut Secret has a soy-free substitute called Coconut Aminos

Tofu – In baking, use bananas, pumpkin, flax eggs, egg replacer

Tempeh – Use seitan instead

Do you have anything to add? Any advice on how to be vegan with soy and nut allergies? What are some of your favorite resources for soy-free, nut-free vegan recipes?

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