Reviewed by Julie :: a slightly unhinged fabric junkie! She is stitching and crafting obsessed as well as being addicted to tea and cake. She is a work at home Mumma to three energetic little girls and blogs at procrasticraft.
Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts is written by Collette Martin, a self-described “food allergy mom”. She has experience and understanding of the complexities that are multiple food allergies and has overcome the challenges of feeding a family where those allergies are a constant threat to health and wellbeing. Published by The Experiment (June 19, 2012).
For as long as I can remember, food has been one of my passions. As a small child, I remember learning to make scones with my great-grandmother and I now enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my three girls. Our youngest daughter has allergies to both eggs and dairy and since her diagnosis a year ago, I have struggled to find recipes that are suitable for her to not only eat, but where she can participate in the preparation. What child doesn’t love to lick the beaters? Food in our home has never been something we just buy with little regard, we have always been careful about our choices and we read the ingredients on the packets. Now though, with the severe allergies we are faced with, we can take nothing for granted.
It is in this context that I can say that this book has been a life-saver for me! The pages provide many recipes for baked goods (and they are seriously good, try the Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping, the Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake and the Blueberry Scones, just for starters), though what I have found most helpful are the twelve baking lessons (each its own chapter) including “No Butter, No Problem”, “Baking Without Eggs”, “The Allergen Free Pantry” and “Replacing Wheat”. The author not only provides recipes with replacements, but she has taken the time and effort to explain how and why each replacement works which means that I have been able to transfer the knowledge and develop or adapt my own recipes. For that, this is worth every penny.
If you are struggling with food allergies or intolerances in your home, I highly recommend you pick up a copy, the explanations have been life changing for us, our daughter can fully participate in family meals and celebrations and the rest of us don’t feel like we are “missing out” either – we can still have the most amazing and delicious cakes and baked goods, and I think they taste even better as they are safe for us all so we can relax while eating.