Monday, January 25, 2010

The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook – Book Review

Can you tell that the pages of this book are dog-eared? There’s a reason for that. Of all the food allergy cookbooks I own, The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook is the one I turn to most often. Authored by Cybele Pascal, The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family
is indeed the Cadillac of food allergy cookbooks – therefore it’s fitting that it be the first I review for this site.

The two hundred recipes in this book are organized by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweet things, and snacks) and cover just about every type of food you might look for. The recipes are all free of the top eight food allergens (milk, wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish). Some of my favorites are the banana bread, the creamy avocado chicken salad (creamy without milk or eggs? yup!), and the turkey meatballs (which incidentally work just as well with beef).

The only criticism I have of this book (and it’s a very small one really) is that some of the recipes use spelt flour. For those with wheat allergies, the spelt flour will not be an option. Spelt is actually in the triticum family of grains – the same grain family that includes wheat. This also means that spelt contains gluten. But Pascal does a great job of providing alternatives, and any wheat-free or gluten-free (depending on whether you need to avoid just wheat or all glutens) can be substituted.

All in all this is a totally awesome cookbook, and highly recommended by this food allergy mom. Families who are learning to eat allergy-free will definitely want to add it to their bookshelf!

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