New book on baking recipes for people with food allergies

More than 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, or one in 25. According to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, one in 17 children age three and under have a food allergy, and these numbers are rising rapidly. The rate of peanut allergy alone has doubled over the last ten years.

As a result, many puzzled cooks and anxious parents are eager to find recipes for "normal" baked goods that are both safe and delicious. Best-selling author Cybele Pascal's second cookbook, "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" (Celestial Arts, Division of Random House, January 2010, ISBN: 978-1-58761-348-7, $25 US) features 100 tried-and-true recipes that are completely free of all ingredients responsible for 90 percent of food allergies: gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame.

"I consider this to be the best collection of baking recipes for people with food allergies -- and my patients and colleagues all seem to agree," says Robert Eitches, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and head of the Allergy Foundation Medical Group. "It is user-friendly with real-life stories and best of all, the food tastes great."

Pascal believes that instead of focusing on what they can't eat, it's more fun for people with food allergies to look at all the things they can eat. When her young son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, food writer Pascal worked to create "safe" recipes for her family's favorite treats and she shares them in the book, sparing bakers the all-too-common frustration of having to make unsatisfactory substitutions or re-work recipes entirely. Pascal also demystifies alternative foodstuffs and offers an insider's guide to stocking your pantry with non-allergenic ingredients and the sources for buying them.

"The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" has beautiful photographs of Pascal's baked goods and features recipes for a delightfully familiar array of sweets and savory goodies that are no longer off-limits, from Glazed Vanilla Scones, Cinnamon Rolls, and Lemon-Lime Squares to Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Red Velvet Cake, Homemade Bread, and every kid's favorite: Pizza.

In addition to being a lifeline for people with food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances, these entirely vegan recipes are ideal for anyone looking to avoid artificial and refined ingredients, and those interested in baking with healthful new gluten-free flours such as quinoa, sorghum, and amaranth.

"This cookbook is for anyone who wants to bake healthy treats," says Pascal. "I love baking for people who aren't on restricted diets and watching their faces light up with delighted wonder that a vegan, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free dessert could taste so sublime that it's often yummier than its traditional counterpart."

Sloane Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources, had this to say about the book: "Few allergen-free cookbooks address the reader with the same grace, compassion, humor, and understanding of their core audience that Cybele Pascal's does. With smart, easy-to-make, and beautifully pictured recipes, Cybele makes 'luscious,' 'delectable,' and 'mouthwatering' the new allergen-free baking buzzwords. Keep 'The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook' in your kitchen for constant reference, and get your crumble on!"

SOURCE: Author Cybele Pascal


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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