Read an Excerpt
Introduction by Jeanne Marie Martin
Recipes for people with allergies are plentiful, but they are not always palatable. Dozens of books are available, full of recipes for foods that are acceptable, but far from flavourful. This need not be the case.
I believe there are no bad-tasting foods, only bad recipes. If proper ingredients are blended together in the right proportions, there is no reason why each and every recipe should not be a taste sensation as well as a healthful change from ordinary fare.
A wholesome variety of foods is the basis of a healthful diet. Sometimes a limited, uncreative diet can contribute to a food allergy, because healthful foods are ignored until the body is in trouble. People with food allergies have the opportunity to explore and enjoy a wide assortment of new foods. When health problems arise, it is the time to experiment with more natural recipes, using vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds.
The most common foods people are allergic to are wheat, corn, glutten (found in wheat, barley, oats and rye), soy, citrus fruits, milk or other dairy products, chocolate, caffeine, sugar, meats, yeast and food additives like flavourings, colourings and preservatives. Recipes for foods without these ingredients are hard to find, especially good breads, cakes, and dairy-free deserts.
If gluten is a problem in your diet, delicious breads and cakes can be made with millet, rice, corn, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, quinoa, tapioca, carob, nut, soy, chick pea, potato, cassava and arrowroot flours. Some people can tolerate gluten in a more digestible form such as kamut or spelt. Millet and rice flour tend to add a slightly bitter taste to foods unless one adds nut milk, fruit juice or spices such as cinnamon, allspice or cardamom. Tapioca, carob or nut flours will also help offset this bitterness.
For those allergic to all grains, amaranth, teff, tapioca, carob, nut, soy, chick pea, cassava, potato and arrowroot flours may be used successfully to make anything, even pancakes, breads and brownies.
Getting gluten-free bread or cake to hold together and rise properly is often a problem, even for the most gifted cook. Eggs or egg substitutes, guar gum, xanthan gum and liquid lecithin can help alleviate these problems.
Those with dairy allergies will find nut, seed, coconut and soy milk wonderful substitutes in recipes for baked goods. They work well in beverages, too. Add a bit of vanilla flavouring and oil, or carob syrup. Fruit juices can also be used quite successfully in place of milk in many recipes.
Tofu works well as a substitute for meat, cheese or cream, and tends to absorb the flavours of whatever it is mixed with . Nutritional yeast may also be used to help create a cheesy flavour in some recipes.
If you are part of the growing number of North Americans with food allergies or temporary food intolerances, search no further. Here are the recipes you have been hungering for, along with kitchen and baking tips, food glossary, storage charts and a product buying guide. The All Natural Allergy Cookbook contains recipes for beverages, snacks, soups, main dishes, salads and dressings, cereals, breads and desserts, including substitutes for gluten, grains, eggs, milk and sugar. There is also a suggested book list.
If you have allergies, you have probably had the experience of finding a great recipe that you would love to try, but then finding it is dairy-free but not gluten-free, or vice versa. You will be glad to know that almost every recipe in this book is completely dairy-free and gluten-free, and all of them are 100% sugar-free and meat-free.
There are many opinions among health professionals and people with allergies about the causes and treatments of allergies. This book is not intended as a medical guide, but as a guide to preparing, serving and cooking delicious, nutritious, easy-to-make foods for people with allergies and food sensitivities.
Most important, you don't have to have an allergy to enjoy cooking and eating the foods in this book. In fact, when you start preparing and serving the wholesome dishes in these pages, you may find your non-allergic friends asking for seconds and wanting the recipes!
Sample Recipe for Whole Grain-Almond Pilaf
3/4 - 1 cup whole dry grain (rice, millet, quinoa, kasha,
or other grain
1 Tbs. light, cold-pressed oil, preferably toasted sesame oil
1 onion, chopped
8-12 mushrooms, sliced thin (shitake or oyster mushrooms can also be used)
1/2 cup almonds or other nuts, roasted and sliced
2 Tbs. dried parsley or cilantro
2-3 Tbs. tamari soy sauce (wheat-free)
Cook the grain. You should have two cups when it is cooked. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is hot. Add the onions and saute until nearly tender. Add the mushrooms, onions and parsley and saute 2-3 minutes longer until the onions are clear. Mix the sauteed mixture with the hot cooked whole grain and tamari. Serve hot and enjoy. This is a great side dish or main dish. Makes 2-4 servings.