Summertime is the quintessential season for backyard BBQs with family, friends and neighbors. Whether you are hosting an elegant summer soiree or attending a casual cookout, whip up a delicious dish to share with others. Nowadays, as many children and families are going nut-free, pick a recipe that is nut-free so all guests can enjoy it no matter what their dietary preference. When cooking or baking a nut-free dish, keep these seven nut-free substitutions in mind.


During the summer, our bodies naturally crave raw foods to help keep our systems cool, so if you decide to whip up a summer salad, skip the nuts and use a batch of roasted beans instead. Roasted beans, such as chickpeas, peas and soybeans, are the perfect protein-filled addition to any nut-free recipe. You can even bake up a batch of seasoned roasted nuts for a great nut bowl side dish.

Try This Recipe: Sweet or spicy chickpeas. Why choose just one when you can have both!

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit such as dried cranberries and raisins are the perfect substitute in baking recipes. They give recipes an extra touch of texture and flavor. Dried fruit is best used in salads, cookies, cakes and muffins.

Try This Recipe: Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Apricots *Be sure to omit the almond slivers and swap them out for extra apricots!

Nut-Free Spreads

Just because you are whipping up a nut-free dish doesn’t mean you have to leave out the nut spread. Instead, use a nut-free spread like sunflower butter, coconut butter, or our personal favorite, Chixi Chickpea Butter. Made from real, whole food ingredients like chickpeas, coconut oil, safflower oil and sea salt, Chixi is a great substitute for any traditional nut butter.

*All of our ingredients are non-GMO, Organic and made in a Kosher facility.

Try This Recipe: Fun and Fancy Bourbon Bites or Chocolate Avocado Cake.


Oatmeal or rolled oats give dishes great texture and taste. Add a roasted essence to your dish by gently browning oats with a little bit of butter, ghee or coconut oil. If you don’t have any oats on hand, you can always resort to a crispy rice cereal, but be sure to use a small amount as cereal tends to have smaller kernels. You don’t want your dish too crunchy!

Try This Recipe: Steel Cut Oat Pudding with Summertime Strawberries


It may sound surprising, but pretzels can be used in place of nuts in recipes like pie crusts, breadings (think pretzel coated chicken) and even on top of desserts and ice creams. A word of caution: Since most pretzels contain wheat and/or sesame, shop for gluten-free brands and look for a brand that is made in a nut-free facility.

Try This Recipe: Gluten-Free Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders (Bonus, it’s dairy-free too).


Seeds are a great nut-free substitution that give your dish an added crunch. Some of our favorites include:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
  • Sunflower Seeds

Seeds are a great nut replacement in baked breads, a top fresh salads and in homemade granola mixes.

Try This Recipe: Lemon-Chia Vinaigrette Dressing

Something Sweet

When in doubt, add chocolate chips. (Well, unless you are making a salad!) If you want to add extra flavor and texture, opt for white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips as white chocolate chips don’t melt as easily as regular chocolate chips.

Try This Recipe: Blueberry and White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies

Looking for some more nut-free recipes, tree three of our favorites: Vanilla Cake, Banana Loaf/Muffins and a Fresh Fruit Crumble.

Nut-Free Recipes

Vanilla Cake (No dairy, eggs or wheat. Just fluffy goodness!)

Here’s the thing with cakes, they don’t need to be over mixed in order to be light and fluffy. Unfortunately, light and fluffy baking without any gluten, can cause your cake to crumble and fall apart. To ensure your gluten-free baking dish stays together, try using a blender. Plus, this means using fewer mixing bowls which also means fewer dishes. (Bonus!)


  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut milk from Califia (Avoid using canned coconut milk, it’s too thick. You can also use another milk of your choice or water).
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Chixi
  • 1/2 cup rice flour (You can also use another flour of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract pure
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar



1.) Place all ingredients into a blender except for the baking powder. Blend ingredients together until thoroughly mixed then once all of the ingredients are blended together, add in the baking powder.

Tip: If you think your baking powder has lost its activation, swap your one cup of milk for a half cup of milk and a half cup of sparkling water to jump start the activation power of your baking powder.

2.) Line a baking dish with coconut oil then pour in the batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the center of the cake bounces back when lightly pressed.

Tip: Remember, the cake will continue to bake after you remove it from the oven due to the heat retention, so bake the cake for no more than 20 minutes knowing it will continue to bake even as it cools on the countertop. Plus, who doesn’t like their cake to be a little warm and gooey. Yes please!

The Easiest Banana Muffin Recipe…Ever!

A rules to live by for banana bread is to always put your ripe bananas in the freezer before use and take out a few hours before baking to ensure they are fully thawed. This breaks down the starches and releases the sugars to have the perfect bananas for baking.



  • 5 bananas (This will yield either one loaf of banana bread or one dozen muffins)
  • 1 jar Vanilla Chixi
  • 1 cup of liquid of your choice (i.e. water, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk)
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt



1.) Place all ingredients into a blender except for the baking powder. Blend ingredients together until thoroughly mixed then once all of the ingredients are blended together, add in the baking powder.

2.) If baking muffins, coat the muffin pan with coconut oil, but if you decide to make a banana loaf, line the loaf pan with parchment paper. It’s way easier to just pull the whole loaf out perfectly. Plus, it makes it so much easier for slicing and serving.

Fruit Crumbles

Desserts aren’t typically a big deal for us, except for a good fruit crumble. We think the crunchy crumble topping is more important than the inside of the crumble, because let’s be real, if the fruit gets over cooked the topping can be salvaged and served with ice cream or our personal favorite, a drizzle of warm coconut milk. Yum!

When baking a fruit crumble, use a typical crumble topping blend: Rolled oats, flour, sugar, salt, butter and maybe some spices like cinnamon or vanilla bean.

Elevate your crumble even more by ditching the flour for Chixi. If you enjoy a really crunchy crumble, add an extra dollop of Chixi and pack it down on top of the fruit, almost like if you were making a crust. Keep the oats, sugar, salt and spices the same amount; especially if using the Lightly Sweetened Chixi or Vanilla Chixi, both of which are really nice as a crumble topper with fruit. You can also add a hint of fresh vanilla bean, which adds the perfect accent to the fruit crumble.

Remember, preparing a nut-free dish doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these seven substitutes when baking or cooking a nut-free dish and remember to get your kids involved. Ask them to help and make it a family affair. Have a happy summer everyone!