Can’t eat nightshades? Following the AIP diet and wondering how to substitute potatoes or tomatoes in your favorite dishes like fries or lasagna? No problem! These 17 paleo recipes are so delicious and full of flavor, you won’t miss the nightshades!
Best Nightshade-free Recipes
But first, you might be wondering…
What are nightshades?
Nightshades are members of the Solanaceae botanical family which includes a wide range of flowering plants. There are thousands of edible and inedible plant species in the nightshade family. You may be familiar with some inedible varieties like belladonna or “deadly nightshade” and tobacco.
Nightshades Vegetables List
Common edible nightshade vegetables and fruits include:
- Bell Peppers/Sweet Peppers
- Cape Gooseberries/Ground Cherries (but not regular cherries)
- Garden Huckleberries (these are not the same as regular huckleberries)
- Goji Berries/Wolf Berries
- Hot Peppers & Red Spices (like chili peppers and chili based spices, habañeros, jalapeños, red pepper, cayenne, and paprika)
- Pepinos/Melon Pear
- Potatoes (all varieties including red and white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are NOT nightshades).
Some people may need to avoid nightshades due to a sensitivity, allergy or an autoimmune disease. While nightshades can be healthful for many people, they can aggravate chronic illness and inflammation for others. Elimination protocols like the AIP diet can help determine whether or not you may have a nightshade intolerance.
If you are avoiding these foods, remember to also avoid all by-products and derivatives that may contain these ingredients. For example, many curry powders contain nightshade spices; marinara and ketchup are tomato based, and potato starch can often be found as a thickener in many soups.
Although it may seem daunting, there are some easy ways to replace nightshades in your diet.
- Potatoes – Root, tuber and starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, beets and squashes are all excellent swaps for the hundreds of potato varieties. They can be prepared in much the same way as you would potatoes, like in a mash, roasted or baked, etc.
- Eggplant – Beets, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower and butternut squash are all great substitutes for eggplant.
- Bell peppers & Tomatoes – Zucchini and other squashes are also great subs for these fruits.
- Ketchup – Try some homemade AIP-compliant condiments like this tamarind sauce or this sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Whether you’re following the AIP diet or you have a nightshade intolerance, you may need to avoid nightshades. But you don’t need to miss out on any of the flavor of your favorite foods like spaghetti and meatsauce or tacos! These 17 nightshade-free recipes are easy and delicious options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.