Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cookbook Review: The Allergy-Free Cookbook by Eileen Yoder

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     Eileen Yoder has serious experience dealing with food allergies. She states in the preface to her second edition of *The Allergy-Free Cookbook*, her family has five generations of known food allergies. Some allergies are the same for one or two people and other allergens vary. As you can imagine, this cookbook came about out of sheer necessity.

     Yoder's cookbook is laid out so that information you might be searching for is easy to locate. There are two parts to the book. Part one is planning. Here, a section on replacements for the common allergens such as eggs, milk, and soy can all be found in one place, a section for dealing with children and food allergies has its own chapter, and easy ways to start and maintain an allergy-free diet can be found in another place. Part two is the recipes and begins with menus and lots of tips with shortcuts and time savers. Part two ends with listings of foods and their families, a very handy chart for those who are allergic to whole families of foods such as nightshades or

     The only unexpected thing I noticed in *The Allergy-Free Cookbook* is that while the front cover states “How to avoid the 8 major food allergens and eat happily ever after”, some of the recipes include these very ingredients. I had assumed when I got the cookbook (which I got here, by the way) that all of the recipes would be free of these allergens.

     Its not a big deal at all, and the cookbook is still an invaluable resource that can save your sanity if you are trying to meal plan and avoid more than one or two food allergens.

     While not all of the recipes are gluten free, many are gluten free naturally or can be easily adapted. There does seem to be quite a few recipes that call for wheat, rye, oats or oat flour, and barley. While these grains are usually easy to substitute out with other grains or a gluten free oat in most of the recipes, there are a few recipes that might prove more challenging to convert than others.

Happy cooking!

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