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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What can I subtitute for the tree nuts I am allergic to?

I am allergic to nuts. I can eat peanuts but all others cause canker sores, hives etc. Any suggestions for a substitution?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a single pumpkin

Having a tree nut allergy can be a challenge. While peanuts are legumes, like beans and peas, there is often cross-reaction and people with nut allergies can also have peanut and soy allergy. The problem is that this can be so specific to an individual that it's impossible to give someone with allergies guidelines without allergy testing.

There are seeds that you might be able to tolerate, such as pumpkin seeds.

The best way for you to keep from getting into trouble is to consult with a board certified allergist. Here's a link to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology web site. You can find an allergist close to you who can test you for specific allergies - you'll be safest with their guidance.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet