Patients are often excited and nervous to get their food allergy tests back as they take the first steps to getting their health back. When the results come in, the foods that cause an immune reaction are in red and the ones that don’t are in blue. Sometimes those in red can cause a lot of emotions including at times anger, frustration, and annoyance. There are often foods on there that have been regularly enjoyed and eaten for years. For some a tomato allergy can be especially hard to see.
I get it. Tomatoes are in everything. Salsa, chili, soups, sauces, and don’t forget about ketchup. If you have an allergy to tomatoes, then you have already run through the list of foods you can’t have. Don’t get overwhelmed. You aren’t alone and each of us who has taken an allergy test has had the frustration of giving up a favorite food. Those of us who have been there know that it’s worth it to give up foods that might be healthy for others but are harmful for us.
So, remember you aren’t alone in this journey to restore your health. Let’s use some of that experience to share some ideas for a tomato allergy and making it more manageable.
6 Ideas for a Tomato Allergy
1) Hit Pause
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the foods you can’t have when you get the results of your allergy test. Take a breath and hit the pause button for a moment. Now look at the list of all the foods you can still have and the many more that aren’t on the list. Don’t get frustrated by the small list when there is so much opportunity in the long list. You will try new foods and new ways of cooking recipes you love. It takes time because your allergy list is unique to you but in the process, you will learn a healthier way of cooking and eating.
2) Enjoy Cooking at Home
If you are just starting cooking at home, it’s a good idea to keep it simple. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Cooking at home is the best way to avoid allergies and ensure ingredients are whole, organic foods that are healthy. In packaged foods and conventional restaurant foods there is often a lot of unhealthy ingredients and added sugars. Did you ever look at the ingredients in a bottle of ketchup? There is so much sugar in ketchup and high fructose corn syrup is a common way to add sugar to this popular condiment. It’s a good idea to replace your standard ketchup even without an allergy.
3) Just Leave Tomatoes Out Sometimes
There are times when you won’t even notice the tomatoes are gone. Just leave them out of recipes like soups and salads. Add more vegetables that you aren’t allergic to. You won’t notice if you leave them off tacos. Speaking of tacos, let’s talk about salsas.
4) Find New Salsas and Dips
Everybody loves a good salsa. You don’t have to give them up. You just have to find a healthier option for you. Try a fruit salsa. Pomegranate, pineapple, strawberry, or mango are good options for a fruit salsa. Avocado, or cucumber are good options too. You can even make cowboy caviar and leave the tomatoes out. Roasted chilis make a great dip or condiment too. Guacamole is another option for tacos or dips. All the healthy fats and nutrients from avocados will be something your body craves (as long as you aren’t allergic).
5) What About My Burger? How do I Replace Ketchup?
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments and it’s hard to imagine replacing it, but it can be done. It recently was replaced by mayo as the top selling condiment. Switch up what you top your burger with. Try a mustard, mayo, guacamole, or a healthy relish. Our dairy-free ranch is also a great option. We also have a tomato-free ketchup recipe that is a healthier option and a great base for other condiments too.
6) Flip the Script on Chili and Sauces
If tomato-free ketchup is a possibility, so are chili and sauces! You can use other vegetables as a base for your favorite chilis and sauces. Some favorites are sweet potatoes, pumpkin, red pepper, or butternut squash. You can find a lot more tomato-free options in canned sauces through online grocers to fit many allergies. Experiment with new vegetables or try new ways. A healthy oil, like avocado, with garlic makes a great sauce on gluten-free pizza or on gluten-free noodles. Try this Shrimp Scampi recipe.
Living with a Tomato Allergy
A tomato allergy can seem hard but it’s doable. Making changes to your diet is an opportunity for better health. Having a great mindset, support, and access to great healthy recipes will make it so much easier. Getting your allergies tested and working with a Wellness Way Clinic can help support your body through the process.
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn