Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook
By Cybele Pascal
(Celestial Arts, Paperback, 9781587613487, 200pp.)
Publication Date: December 22, 2009
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Free to Eat Sweets!
The number of people with food allergies is skyrocketing, leaving puzzled cooks and anxious parents eager to find recipes for “normal” foods that are both safe and delicious. The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook features 100 tried-and-true recipes that are completely free of all ingredients responsible for 90 percent of food allergies, sparing bakers the all-too-common frustration of having to make unsatisfactory substitutions or rework recipes entirely. To make things even easier, energized and empathetic mom Cybele Pascal demystifies alternative foodstuffs and offers an insider’s advice about choosing safe products and sources for buying them.
As the head baker for a food-allergic family, food writer Pascal shares her most in-demand treats and how to make them work without allergenic ingredients. Her collection includes 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, 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 perfect 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. Best of all, Pascal has fine-tuned each recipe to please the palates of the most exacting critics: her young sons. Lennon and Monte like these tasty treats even better than their traditional counterparts, and you will too!
Cybele Pascal is a food writer and the author of the bestselling Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook. She has been a guest on The Martha Stewart Show, the Food Network, the Today show, ABC News, and NPR. She is a regular contributor to Living Without, the magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities, and her recipes have appeared in many national publications, including Good Housekeeping, Allergic Living, and NY Parent. In addition to her culinary work, she is also an award-winning playwright. Pascal is the proud mother of two sons, Lennon and Montgomery. She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies).
“Somehow, without using wheat flour, dairy, soy, eggs, or nuts, Pascal finds that baking ‘possibilities are endless’ and with recipes for Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bars, Classic Yellow Cake, or Brandied Peach Tart, she is very convincing.” “the kind of advice that can make you an intuitive, allergen-free baker.”
“The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook is...a triumph for the food-allergic community. ...This book is a goldmine for special-diet bakers—particularly for parents of newly diagnosed kids who don’t know where to begin.”
“If food allergies post [sic: pose] a…concern…, Cybele Pascal’s remarkable allergen-free creations are the solution. ...Pascal’s patience, time, and tinkering has produced 100 mouthwatering recipes, and she proved their photogenic perfection with 20 full-color photos. ...her recipes are specially formulated and rigorously tested, so follow them closely for outstanding results.”
“a beautiful book, with lavish photography and accessible recipes. I like this book so much that I was thrilled to be asked for a blurb for the back. You’ll love it too. These are the most luscious gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-and-tree-nut- and sesame-free treats you are likely to ever see.”
—Shauna James Ahern, glutenfreegirl.com
“helpful hints that will help make your kitchen comfortable despite whatever no-no’s you have to deal with.”
“The recipes in this book look delish even if you don’t suffer from allergies. ...this sweet cookbook looks like it covers all the bases.”
“more than 100 baked treats that do not compromise on taste. ...The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook offers new allergy-free ways to enjoy some of the most well-known and loved baked goods.”
“For those of us who are blissfully free of food allergies, this book may seem unnecessary. But if you have a nephew with a peanut allergy, a neighbor child who is lactose intolerant or a friend with celiac disease, you can now serve them luscious baked goods that they can eat without fear. You can make them feel NORMAL.”
—United Media Syndicate’s “Eat In and Save” Column, Marialisa Calta
"Using her Gluten-Free Flour Mix—a combination of Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour (worth its weight in gold), potato starch and tapioca flour—author Pascal (The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook) offers baked treats for the 25 million Americans suffering from food allergies. With a well-stocked pantry, readers will be able once again to enjoy favorites like gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, pizza, and brownies without fear of a reaction. Those without allergies can also benefit from Pascal’s collection—100 dishes, in fact, are suitable for vegans. Though recipes call for more ingredients than bakers are probably used to—dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening, agave nectar, and xanthan gum make frequent appearances—Pascal’s sage advice on substitutions (applesauce in lieu of eggs, canola oil for butter, rice milk for cow’s, etc.) should relieve some of the sticker shock. For sensitive diners and those who cook for them, Pascal’s winning collection deserves a look." (Jan.)
–Publishers Weekly, Web-Exclusive Review, 11/23/09
Well-known chef Pascal (The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook) is also the mother of a boy with severe food allergies. Her cookbook features recipes for baked goods, both sweet and savory, that omit the eight foods responsible for most allergies (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shelfish, soy, and wheat). This requires stocking your pantry differently; for example, to make Fudge Brownies, you'll need dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening, prune purée, Pascal's flour mix, xanthan gum, and dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips. With an extensive list of product resources and support groups, this is an excellent title for both allergen-conscious bakers and vegan cooks.
–Library Journal, Starred Review, 11/15/09
“The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook will be a boon to many. Instead of a drab existence, those living with food allergies will eat freely and well with its reliable recipes: Chocolate Chip Cupcakes; Raspberry Galette with Cornmeal Crust; and Cinnamon Rolls for Sunday mornings. I’ll be baking out of this book for years, and I’m sure you will be too.”
–Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-Free Girl
“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!”
–Sloane Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources
“Children and adults living with food allergies should not be deprived of homemade treats, so I am eager to recommend The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook to my clients. The recipes have the extra advantage of using nutrient-dense, minimally processed ingredients such as whole grains, seeds, and fruits. Finally, all of your favorite treats and allergen-free and gluten-free recipes are in one book!”
–Wendy Elverson, RD, LDN, pediatric nutritionist in Clinical Nutrition Service at Children’s Hospital Boston and consultant with the Child Development Network