The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook: Over 325 Natural Food Recipes, Free of All Common Food Allergens. .

The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook: Over 325 Natural Food Recipes, Free of All Common Food Allergens. . – book review

Virginia Delaney

by Marjorie Hurt Jones

(Rodale Press, Rev. Ed. 2001), 432 pages, $16.95

This book needs to be in your kitchen if any of the following apply to you:

* You are vegan.

* Someone in your family has food allergies.

* You are vegetarian and want to include more vegan recipes in your diet.

* You enjoy baking but cringe at the amount of butter and sugar in most recipes.

Author Jones was diagnosed with food allergies in 1976. She defines a food “allergy” as the following experience: “eating a food causes you distress, or if you discover any clear cause-and-effect symptoms that are relieved by avoidance of specific foods’

Her completely updated and revised cookbook includes over 350 recipes. Each is free of all common food allergens. No more getting halfway through a recipe only to realize that it would have been gluten-free if only you had used the other flour option. There are also chapters on ingredients that may be new to you, rotary diversified diets, keeping your home allergy-free, eating out, and helping children with allergies.

Note that this is not a vegetarian cookbook. However, the majority of the recipes are vegan. There are 17 vegetarian main dishes, and several of these have become instant hits at my house. The Better Burgers are the greatest. For Thanksgiving, I served the Zesty Loaf for the first time and an hour later, the loaf was gone and my sisters-in-law were begging for the recipe.

We have also grown quite fond of the Fresh Apple Muffins. They will be going with us to our La Leche League meeting this month, and I’m willing to bet that none of them will be making the return trip home.

The only recipe that hasn’t turned out well was the Date Pecan Pie. Too much blackstrap molasses makes things taste like cough syrup.

My only complaint with the book is that quite a few of the baked goods call for white buckwheat flour or a combination of flours. While the author explains how to grind whole buckwheat groats in the blender, I find that to be too time-consuming. With a preschooler and baby around, I don’t have time to grind my own flour. I have the same issue with the combination of flours used in some recipes. It takes extra time to get out and measure three different flours.

However, as one who eats a vegan diet in the comfort of my own home, I have to say that I love allergy-free cookbooks: no dairy, no eggs, and all-natural sugars. As a fine example of a cookbook that fits this bill, The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook will always have a place in my kitchen.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Vegetarian Baby and Child

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group