Reviews: Allergy-Friendly Cookbooks
Published in 2012
Learning to Bake Allergen-Free
By Colette Martin
The Experiment Publishing, $19.95
Allergy-free baking expert Colette Martin subtitles her book: “A crash course for busy parents on baking without wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy or nuts”.
How apt, since you will learn a mountain from Martin’s lessons and recipes, whether you’re a novice or more experienced baker. She gives great guidance on egg replacers, explains mysteries such as why more baking powder is used when there are no wheat or eggs, and even helps you figure out when your gluten-free baking is done.
Martin starts off with the simplest – blueberry muffins and banana bread, and moves you along through cookies and on to doughs and pies and ultimately, chocolate treats. There are more than 70 allergy-friendly recipes and page after page of invaluable baking advice. This book is a must-have. – Gwen Smith
The Gluten-Free Cookbook
By Fiona Hunter
DK Publishing, $25
This 352-page hardcover features gorgeous photography, 230 recipes from breakfast to dinner and dessert as well as excellent nutritional information. (Author Fiona Hunter is a nutritionist.)
Among the many gluten-free (not dairy-free) recipes is an impressive selection of pasta and mains, almost all of which can be made in 30 minutes, and a tempting array of savory pies and breads.
My one concern is that the author uses the term “gluten-free all-purpose flour” but doesn’t include her own recipe or say which of the blends on the market are her go-tos. That would have been helpful. – Gwen Smith
The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook
By Elizabeth Gordon
Lyons Press, $24.95
As a big fan of Elizabeth Gordon’s Allergy-Free Desserts, I confess to waiting eagerly, but with a little trepidation, for her second book. Why the wariness? It wasn’t doubt about her skills; before she developed food allergies as an adult, Gordon was a pastry chef who trained at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City.
My question was: could she really dial it down to comfort food? The answer is, she sure can.
All the good stuff your family and mine have been hankering for (since much of it is off-limits for allergies) is in this book: nachos, Buffalo wings, potato salad, corned beef and cabbage, chicken pot pie, even corn dogs. And all without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts or eggs. – Gwen Smith
The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen
By Denise Jardine
Ten Speed Press, $19.99
Popular author Denise Jardine is back with an updated version of her well-known Dairy-Free Living. It features 50 new recipes, reduced sugar and fat content, and an expanded Basics section.
Jardine has a gift for flavorful approaches to healthy fare, with recipes like Carrot and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Mushroom Kale Lasagna, Curried Stuffed Zucchini and a variety of pleasing fish and chicken dishes.
While aimed primarily at those living dairy-free and gluten-free, the text flags when other top allergens are also avoided. The rustic gluten-free pizza on the cover draws the reader’s eye, but it is the variety on the inside that most impresses. – Gwen Smith
The Gluten-Free Baking Book
By Donna Washburn & Heather Butt
Robert Rose Inc., $27.95
If you live by the bread maker, you have to know the work of Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. And now they’re back with a marvelous idea: a gluten-free baking book aimed directly at couples and singles.
No more watching as that half cake or loaf goes stale. There are 12- to 15-slice breads; two-serving pizzas and mini cakes; small muffin, cupcake and cookie yields; not to mention calorie counts, nutrient info and helpful GF baking guidance.
To make their desserts more nutritious, the pair has upped the fibre and calcium and decreased the sugar, fat and salt. Almost-guilt-free New York-style Cheesecake, anyone? – Gwen Smith
By Kim Lutz
Sterling Publishing, $17.95
The subtitle on Kim Lutz’s book is “200 delicious allergen & gluten-free vegan recipes”. That’s a hard-to-find combination, but this book shows that life with food restrictions is only limited by imagination.
Lutz shows plenty of the latter with her easy-to-make, kid-friendly recipes. Among those that must be tried: Black Bean or Lentil Burgers, Kitchen Sink Soup or Mexican Lasagna. – Gwen Smith
Next: Cookbook Reviews 2011