Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Allergy-Free Pantry: make your own staples, snacks, and more without wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy or nuts, by Colette Martin

Navigating food restrictions can be tricky. Sometimes it’s by choice and sometimes one’s body decided for them. As food allergies rise, more people keep turning away from trigger foods such as nuts, shellfish, and gluten. For those whose bodies cannot process the food without serious repercussions, it can be an isolating and annoying experience when one cannot eat or has to double-check the ingredients lists. Hopefully those are available. Thankfully, Colette Martin has come through with a gorgeous book to assist those in need.

Colette Martin has an impressive resume on allergen-free foods. She has served as the vice-chair of the board for Kids with Food Allergies Foundation for 4 years, and still serves as an advisory board member. After her own child was diagnosed with sensitivities to wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts, she cleaned out her cupboards and began educating herself on what foods were yet available. The Allergy-Free Pantry is her second book.

This book is perfect if one has multiple allergies, or plenty of free time. Martin believes in recreating the offending foods with non-allergen ingredients, generally from scratch. However, this philosophy can involve a multitude of seemingly “exotic” ingredients and/or food equipment. Oddly enough, food scales, seed grinders, and food processors are all equipment most helpful in creating an Allergy-Free Pantry, yet Martin did not list them with other kitchen equipment in her “Getting Started” chapter.

Looking for more ways insight? Check out Martin’s previous book, The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook : how to bake without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame. You can also look into The Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood, or Allergy-free cooking : how to avoid the eight major food allergens and eat happily ever after, by Eileen Yoder. As always, read all recipes carefully to ensure that your chosen allergen(s) are not present. And good luck!

Review by Nicole

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