Low Nickel Sweet Treat Options

When you crave something sweet sometimes it can be a sign of stress, dehydration, tiredness, or just being human. We all have a sweet tooth from time to time. I believe the point of the low nickel diet is to reduce your nickel intake to relieve symptoms, but not to deprive yourself! The best desserts are those you make yourself where you know all the ingredients involved. Plus homemade sweets taste better than processed.

Here’s a list of desserts you can cook. Though I haven’t written recipes for each, I list of the common ingredients I use. Ingredients higher in nickel commonly used in dessert recipes I avoid or substitute include seeds, nuts, oats, pineapple, raspberries, soy, whole wheat, peanut butter and of course chocolate.

As a disclaimer, I personally eat white flour and cornstarch. I also bake with both baking soda and baking powder, as most recipes don’t require more than 1-2 teaspoons. Some experts argue both baking soda and baking powder contain higher amounts of nickel, yet I haven’t found ingesting the minimal amounts of either to cause me a serious reaction.

Pies – I suggest making your own pie crust using cold water, flour and palm oil shortening or butter instead of a soy-based shortening. I enjoy cherry, strawberry, blueberry & peach, apple, and pear & cranberry fruit pies. I also make pumpkin pie and one day hope to make a sweet potato pie. My absolute favorite pie, is lemon meringue.  You can make your own lemon pudding filling using milk, flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, egg yolk and butter. If you’re into cheesecake and want to make a graham cracker crust, I am not aware of any processed graham crackers without oats, whole wheat or seed based oils.

Lemon bars are one of my favorite citrus treats. They are made with eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour, water and butter.

Breads – Banana bread and zucchini bread have always been my preferred foods. They are both easy to make without making a mess of the kitchen. The ingredients usually include overripe bananas or zucchinis, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and baking soda.

Baking with stainless steel cookie sheets, I use parchment paper to create a barrier.
Baking with stainless steel cookie sheets, I use parchment paper to create a barrier.

Cookies – Sugar, ginger snap, and forgotten cookies all typically include sugar, flour, milk, egg, perhaps vanilla (which can be problematic, if it includes true vanilla nut extract.) Here’s a great post about nut free vanilla extract options.

Smoothies – When you want to make a quick treat, why not make yourself a smoothie? I purchase frozen fruit packs that don’t include either raspberries or pineapple. I blend my smoothies with water, frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, milk, plain yogurt and sometimes orange juice.

Fresh fruit with homemade whipping cream. In the summer I devour sliced peaches or nectarines with or without homemade whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, I make my homemade whipping cream by beating heavy whipping cream with sugar. Fruit salads with apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries also provide a healthy alternative. In the fall I enjoy cooking homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, orange juice and sugar on the stove. Also check out my strawberry soup recipe.

In 5 minutes I make my own whipping cream beating the heavy cream with sugar.
In 5 minutes I make my own whipping cream beating the heavy cream with sugar.

Cakes & Cupcakes – I make my own white flour cakes or cupcakes. Many recipes only require white sugar, white flour, almond extract, butter and baking powder. My partner also made me divine butterfly cupcakes that involved placing lemon pudding inside the cupcake. When I’m celebrating in a fancy restaurant, I also like to enjoy Tres Leche cake!

Caramel Popcorn – Popcorn cooked in a saucepan on the stove is always an easy and high fiber treat. If you want something a little more sweet than salty, check out my nickel free caramel popcorn recipe using honey.

Ice cream – I admit, I don’t make my own ice cream or popsicles. From time to time I do savor Haggen-Dazs vanilla, strawberry, coffee, lemon sorbet or mango sorbet ice cream. Their simple ingredients make the choice an easy one when I want to treat myself without dirtying a single dish.

I’d love to hear what sweet treats you’ve enjoyed while eating the low nickel diet.

    1. M. Miles,
      Thanks for your comment and referring back to my previous post about substitutions (I’ll edit it now). I used to be able to find soy-free graham crackers, that were also free of other high nickel ingredients. Now that’s not really the case.
      From time to time, I will eat Annie’s Honey Grahams, which unfortunately do have whole wheat, sunflower oil, & baking soda. When I do eat them though, they do cause my eczema to flare up!
      I did submit a comment on their website asking them if they’d ever considered making a seed-free, soy-free, whole wheat free honey graham. Hopefully they or another brand will take the opportunity! Until then, let me know if you find anything!
      Yes, thank goodness lemon bars are safe!

      1. Thanks, Christy! Is brown rice syrup okay, in your estimation, or do you think it’s just not a big deal in these Graham Sticks because of how far down the list it is, thus not a high percentage overall?

  1. I love Turkey Hill’s all natural vanilla ice cream and haven’t had any issues with it. Only ingredients are milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.
    Before I learned of my nickel allergy, I had been gluten free. I now suspect that my health improvements sans gluten may have actually been because I wasn’t eating as much soy. Anyway, all that to say that there are gluten free graham crackers. I haven’t checked them out in awhile, but they might be low nickel? Can’t remember the brand. I think I’ve seen them at places like Walmart now (at first, I could only find them at Braum’s, a Midwest chain of dairy, groceries, and burgers and such).

    1. Hi Jamie,
      Thanks for your comment. I love eating Haagen-Dazs vanilla or coffee ice cream. I’ll have to try Turkey Hill’s ice cream. Finding processed foods that use simple ingredients, you can read, are the best!
      I’ve heard from others that originally were diagnosed with gluten issues to later find out they have a systemic nickel allergy instead.
      Your comment inspired me to try to find a gluten free graham cracker that’s low in nickel. Unfortunately I wasn’t successful, as those I did find include soy, pea protein or other ingredients higher in nickel. If you do find one, you’ll have to let me know.
      Warm regards,

  2. Thank you for your blog. I was recently diagnosed with a nickel allergy and am trying to wrap my mind around baking and cooking. You mentioned white flour as your preference. Is that the same as enriched, bleached all purpose flour?

  3. One of my favorites too are lemon bars, I’ve been consuming a lot of lemon lately as it aids my stomach ulcer. Aside from lemon bars, I also like smoothies for breakfast.

    1. Hi Kit,
      Thanks for your comment. I love, love lemon bars and really should put up my own/Mother’s recipe. I’ve had my fair share of pie for breakfast, but never a lemon bar! I sure like smoothies too. Sometimes I will blend water, yogurt and fruit and then freeze it for a pseudo homemade ice cream treat to have later! Some fruits like melons and apples are lower in nickel and less acidic and just as delicious in a smoothie.
      Warm regards,

  4. You can have a lot of things that are on the no list for me. Almond flour, pumpkin, salmon, and more. Still, the stuff in your recipes and can have lists are much easier to sort through than trying to find just one thing to eat when visiting friends/family! 😀

    I just found out that fritos brand corn chips only have corn, corn oil, and salt. Short ingredients lists are the best! It’s a bit terrible, but I keep a bunch of dried and low nickel foods by my bed for the days when my help can’t come by and I can’t get out of bed. I used to have some baked crackers too, but then they added the dreaded “or” to the oil lists and I couldn’t use them anymore. I really hate that they’re allowed to do that. There’s a few things on this list that I wasn’t aware of, I’m definitely going to check them out!

    Found out by accident that lemon juice helps a ton when I’m having an allergic reaction. Once I noticed, I looked back and realized that every time I was reacting, I craved lemon flavored things. My body seems to know a thing or two!

    1. Hi Lanae,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve glad you’re finding my website and low nickel recipes useful. I can’t eat almond flour or really anything derived from nuts. I too love lemon in sweet treats! It’s not only lemon, but anything high in vitamin C reduces our body’s absorption of nickel. I too really love finding foods with limited ingredients that you can enjoy without having to worry about having a reaction afterwards!
      Warm regards,

  5. Do you eat avocados? I’ve heard they are very high in nickel. Also what kinds of fish are actually off limits? Thankyou so much

    1. Hi Cassandra,
      Yes I do eat avocados from time to time, and they can cause me to react. Avocados can be higher to a medium amount of nickel, they’re mostly grown in volcanic soil. Generally as a rule the more volcanic the soil the higher concentration of nickel. I eat all kinds of fresh and flash frozen fish, including salmon, tuna, pollock, cod, mahi-mahi, rainbow trout.
      Warm regards,

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