I recently was sent a copy of “Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: a crash course for busy parents on baking without wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, or nuts” from the author, Colette Martin. I LOVE this cookbook! It really is a tutorial~ teaching you not only about the alternatives you can use in baking, but how and why they work! This is EXACTLY the type of book I WISH I had when my boys were first diagnosed! Colette does a great job explaining what products you can use, even offering alternatives if you need to further adapt your diet from ‘normal’ substitutions, like avoiding xanthan gum, [corn allergy] or flax seed. It is like having someone hold your hand and show you what you need to do to make this new allergen-free lifestyle work for you! Remember your old college or high school textbooks, with the window boxes of important facts, information, and chapter summaries? They’re in here too, and great for refreshing your knowledge, or fact-finding when newly diagnosed! Her baking tips are useful whether you’ve baked for years, or you’re a man! 😉 Seriously though, this is a very well explained, practical, well laid out handbook to guide you!
I love that she experimented with a lot of the readily available shelf mixes for breads, cakes, cookies etc. Colette explains the differences between the brands, and which taste and work better. She also includes recipes using them with yummy alterations to enhance them! There are so many wonderful little tidbits of information here! Truly, whether you have been at this for a while, or have just been diagnosed, I highly recommend this cookbook!~ In a perfect world, when the allergist gives you a diagnosis of food allergies, he should be handing you this book too!
Now, I haven’t had the chance to make up everything in here, [trust me, my waistline is thankful for THAT!]; but I have made a few of her treats today, and my boys and I are all enjoying the results! I made the zucchini bread, which tasted wonderful!~ after I figured out to not shred my zucchini so finely [Thanks for the tip Colette!] and in spite of the fact that I FORGOT to add the egg-replacer to the batch I made! [I confess, I am a fairly decent cook- but zucchini bread has always been vexing to me!] The Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake was awesome! Caleb had 2 pieces with So Delicious Coconut vanilla ice-cream for dessert! We love the Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls too! But by far our most favorite are the Chocolate Cranberry Rice Cookies!~ These are, according to Jacob, my 2 1/2 year old~ “Wicked Yummy!” I can tell you these will be my new addiction! I LOVE these! Super easy, and So good!! Each of these recipes are safe for him with his 20 + allergies! There are a few we won’t be able to use, but most we can, or we can adapt them to fit our needs!~ I hope you find this book as wonderful as I do! ~ You can be sure to Like Colette at Allergen Free Baker on Facebook, and on Twitter @colettemartin. A very special Thank You to Colette for this wonderful addition to my kitchen!