Charoset, an essential dish at all Seders has nuts as a main ingredient. Also, there are the traditional hard boiled eggs. The Pesach menu typically includes matzoh balls, kugels, and desserts which are full of eggs.
Many ingredients, even certified Kitniyot-free may contain traces of sesame and even peanuts. Even chefs and kashrut Rabbis are surprised to see these “surprises” in products that are kosher for Passover. Additionally, desserts often contain nuts, as eggs and nuts are good substitutes for Chametz ingredients. Therefore these two common allergens are predominant in Pesach recipes. For a person with anaphylactic allergies to eggs and/or nuts, sitting at a table with these two time-honored foods can be unnerving, and even dangerous.
While Pesach food poses a significant challenge for those with allergies, with some planning and creativity it can be overcome. There are alternative ingredients that can be used as good egg/nut substitutes. For example, instead of ground nuts, ground coconut, tapioca flour, or potato starch can be used. Applesauce, banana, oil, and honey can sometimes be substituted for eggs.
Use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some sources say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
Use 1/4 cup of mashed banana (from about half a banana) instead of one egg when baking. Note that this may impart a mild banana flavor to whatever you are baking.
Typically 1/4 cup of vegetable oil can be substituted for one egg when baking. If you are short more than one egg, you will want to try another method, as any more vegetable oil may make the recipe too oily or greasy.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Use this in place of one egg. When used in cookies and other baked goods, it works so well no one would ever know.
There is an abundance of allergy-friendly recipes to be found online. The following is a delicious recipe for nut-free Charoset that you can enjoy at your Seder.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Keep in mind that “kernel paste” is another way to say “ground nuts”. Most Passover certified bakeries use kernel paste as a base for their products. Most of the cakes and cookies certified Kosher for Passover contain nuts in some form or another. A person allergic to nuts should avoid commercially baked products. Even if a bakery produces cakes and cookies without nuts, as long as nuts are used in the facility it may be dangerous for an allergic person to eat them.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA