The ads on this page help pay for tea, coffee, and the odd fancy ingredient

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GF, Vegan Sweet Pea Spread and Dip + Avocado Allergies

Free of gluten, soy, dairy, nuts, eggs, soy

Ok, I realize this is going to sound crazy, but this pea and spinach spread is really, really good. And versatile.

As is, it's kind of like a low-fat, avocado-free guacamole (for those of you with avocado allergies, read on!). A cheaper version of guacamole. Substituting the cilantro with basil makes it like a mock pesto, a peasto if you will (yeah, go ahead and groan, I couldn't resist). A nut-free vegan pesto of sorts. A much, much cheaper version of pesto.

See? So versatile that it can be both guacamole AND pesto.

Next week I'll be posting a recipe  Here's a recipe for farinata, a.k.a. socca, which is an Italian chickpea bread. I smothered it with this pea spread and it was awesome. I've also used this pea spread as a dip and it's kind of addictive because the peas give it a just a touch of sweetness that balances with the tartness of garlic and lemon juice.

If you sub the cilantro with basil and add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour to make the pesto version it would also serve nicely on pasta.

Avocado Allergies

 So a quick note here on avocado allergies, since I mentioned this recipe is a nice sub for avocado-based guacamole.

For many, avocado allergies are actually based on a latex allergy, which is what's known as latex-fruit  syndrome, which is related to Oral Allergy Syndrome. Essentially, those who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to certain fruits and vegetables that are related to latex (that is, foods that are in the same pollen family as latex rubber), of which avocado is one. Latex-fruit syndrome is only a recent medical discovery (some reports suggest the earliest reported cases were only in the early 1990's) [1]

It has been estimated that as many as 30-50% of people with latex allergies are also sensitive to latex-related foods [2] That number comes from a study that's over 12 years old, however, and given the rising awareness of pollen related allergies, it's possible these numbers are even higher. 

However, some have what is known as "true" allergy to avocados, which is independent of any latex allergy, although this seems to be even rarer than latex related avocado allergies. [3]

If however, your allergies are related to latex, it might help to know what other foods are also implicated in latex-fruit syndrome.

Foods Associated with Latex Allergies

For those with latex-fruit syndrome (or OAS) there are other foods associated with the allergy. That isn't to say that you will react to every food, only that the foods are related to latex and may cause reactions.

Bell pepper
Passion Fruit

Symptoms of Avocado Allergies

 These will vary for each person, but symptoms include a variety of things such as itchiness or swelling in the mouth or throat, itchy ears, hives or rash, stomach upset, vomiting, and in worst case scenarios, anaphylactic shock.

If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor and consider getting tested for allergies.

You might also want to check out my book Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome: A Gluten and Meat-Free Cookbook for Wheat, Soy, Nut, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Allergies available through Amazon and most major bookstores.

Of course, if you have other types of pollen allergies, you'll want to be sure that you're not allergic to any of the other ingredients in this recipe! As some people with Oral Allergy Syndrome are allergic to peas, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, and more. 

However, if you are ok with cooked fruits and veg, you might be alright with most of the ingredients here, since the peas and spinach are cooked, and cooking can help reduce the allergen proteins in some foods. 

Now, on to that avocado-free recipe! 

Pea Spread on Farinata / Socca / Chickpea Flour Bread

Ingredients for Spinach and Pea Spread and Dip (makes approx 1 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 1/2 - 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach (or other greens like kale or arugula)
handful of fresh cilantro (or basil, for pesto version)
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
Optional: 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (for a vegan, cheesy flavour for pesto)


1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. Add peas and boil until bright green and floating, about 5 minutes. Turn heat off and add spinach. Cook until bright green and wilted (about one minute). Drain and cool.

2. In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Smear on all kinds of things, or dip veggies and organic corn tortillas into that green goodness :)


[1] Blanco, Carlos. "Latex-fruit syndrome." Current allergy and asthma reports 3, no. 1 (2003): 47-53.

[2] Wagner, S., and H. Breiteneder. "The latex-fruit syndrome." Biochemical Society Transactions 30, no. 6 (2002): 935-940.

[3] Abrams, Elissa M., Allan B. Becker, and Thomas V. Gerstner. "Anaphylaxis related to avocado ingestion: a case and review." Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 7, no. 1 (2011): 12.

If you found the information on avocado allergies useful, you might want to check out my book, Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome

 Get it in print from:

or ask at your local bookstore to order it for you!

This post was shared on the following great link parties:  


  1. What an interesting pesto recipe. I have allergies to nuts and oils, so it's great to see a recipe for just vegetables, I would have to sub for the olive oil, maybe butter?

    1. Hmm, that's a really good question. Butter would definitely change the flavour, and I probably wouldn't go that route. If you can do any other oils, I would try grapeseed or coconut, or you could try adding water instead of oil, just to help smooth the texture. If you try it without the oil, please let me know how it goes!

  2. Looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning.

  3. Hi Danielle,
    This spread will be such a hit at parties and gatherings! Thank you for sharing this healthy and delicious Sweet Pea Spread and Dip with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I’m pinning and sharing!

  4. This sounds so delicious. I love pesto sauce. I've made spinach pesto, but peas would add a great sweetness.


I'd love to hear from you so go ahead, leave a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...