Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook
The newly released “Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook” by Cybele Pascal provides 100 recipes for cake, cookies, biscuit and cobblers that offers substitutes for common food allergies, including cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans and wheat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies are on the rise. Currently about 4 to 8 percent of kids and 2 percent of adults suffer. Peanut allergies, an especially life-threatening condition, have doubled in the last five years. Baking is particularly hard for people with food allergies, because milk and eggs provide moisture, texture, structure, and leavening. Wheat flour substitutions can sometimes become gummy if not balanced properly with the other ingredients.
According to Pascal, many of the ingredients used in the book are easy to find, such as applesauce as a substitution for eggs, rice milk for cow’s milk, and canola oil for butter. Other ingredients are a bit more challenging, such as vegan yogurt, soy-free vegetable shortening, and agave nectar, which can be purchased at some larger grocery stores, health food stores, or online. The book not only offers recipes and pantry stocking tips, but also provides suggestions for modifying other favorite recipes with non-allergenic ingredients.
In addition to those with food allergies, the book is useful for vegetarians and vegans who wish to eliminate cow’s milk and/or eggs from their diet, but may have a difficult time with baked foods that often contain these ingredient. Because the recipes do not contain hydrogenated fats or cholesterol, they are also good for people with cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol. Several of the recipes are also low sugar, which is good for diabetics.
For a sample recipe, Amazon.com is offering a printable recipe page from Pascal’s book for Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix and Blueberry Coffee Cake.