Photo: Jennifer Causey

Don't let food allergies and restrictions stop you from serving up crunchy breaded dishes.

August 15, 2017

Sometimes a little breading is all you need to amp up a dish, by adding a dash of crispy texture to your next entrée or side. But what happens when you're allergic to foods traditionally used in breading? Whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or have an allergy to dairy and eggs, it can sometimes be hard to navigate breaded foods when you have these restrictions.

Find out below how to make easy allergen-free breading to use in your next crunchy dish:

Dairy-Free

A very easy ingredient to exchange, dairy is traditionally used in recipes to help breadcrumbs or flour stick to a food. Replace traditional dairy milk with options like unsweetened soy milk or almond milk. If you're looking to avoid buttermilk, but still need a thick replacer, mix a teaspoon of lemon juice into your non-dairy milk and let it sit for a few minutes. The acid in the lemon juice will 'curdle' the non-dairy milk, making it thick like buttermilk.

Egg-Free

Whisked eggs are often used to coat foods and make it easier for breadcrumbs and flour to stick. A little bit trickier to replace than dairy, the best egg-free breading options really depend on what you're cooking. If you're looking for a product that isn't going to add flavor, a good option is aquafaba (the cooking liquid from beans) due to its viscous nature. Or, for those who don't mind adding a little dairy, heavy cream is also a simple swap that won't change the dish's flavor profile too much. If you are looking to kick up the flavor a little bit, mustard keeps breading on well while adding some tang. 

Gluten-Free

While gluten-free breading may seem like the most intimating swap on this list, there are actually a plethora of options. To replace the wheat flour component, options like rice flour and potato flour make for crispy coatings. Breadcrumbs can easily be substituted by using a food processor to pulse plain rice cakes, unfrosted cornflakes, or gluten-free pretzels into small crumbs. Now you can easily just use any of these gluten-free flour or breadcrumb options as you normally would in the breading process.