Get rid of your allergy blues

NO-GO ZONE: Dairy allergies can be quite limiting to youngsters with a food intolerance
NO-GO ZONE: Dairy allergies can be quite limiting to youngsters with a food intolerance

AN estimated three million people suffer from food allergies in South Africa, and most of us will experience an allergy or food intolerance at some point in our lives.

To mark this week, May 11 to 17 – international Food Allergy Awareness Week – South African food consultant Heleen Meyer has teamed up with an allergy pharmaceutical company to create nut, dairy and gluten-free recipes.

Pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics spokeswoman Mariska van Aswegen says people can be allergic to many different types of food, but the most common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, soya and shellfish.

“Allergic reactions can range from a mild response to anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction,” said Van Aswegen. “Through research and education, we seek to improve the lives of people affected by allergies, to create awareness of allergy symptoms and ultimately how to manage them.

“Having a food allergy can make cooking and eating a bit of a challenge, which is why we have come up with our first batch of allergy-free recipes, which have been added to– a practical online resource.

Meyer also wrote Cooking from the Heart – a heart-friendly recipe book to inspire South Africans to make healthy cooking and eating a way of life, says her team has made sure none of the allergen-free recipes compromise on flavour whatsoever. “The recipes are delicious ideas for the whole family and can be used in lunch boxes for children and adults alike.

“The recipes focus on reducing and omitting ingredients that have been known to cause allergies, such as nuts, dairy, egg and gluten, and each recipe is indicated according to these allergens.

“Try our roasted chickpea hummus without tahini, a sesame seed paste, which could be problematic for those with nut allergies or our nut-, egg-, gluten and dairy-free crispy chicken strips. Our chocolate and date truffles and apple and carrot muffins also caters for those with a sweeter tooth,” says Meyer.

  • For more information on allergies and allergen-free combo recipes, go to


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