One of my favorite people has a new cookbook coming out early next month and I was able to snag an advance copy! That means the page number references are missing and certain aspects may change by the time the book goes to print but even in that form I can tell you “The Allergy-Free Pantry” by Colette Martin (amazon affiliate link), to-be-released September 9, 2014, is everything the tagline promises:
Make your own staples, snacks, and more without wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, or nuts.
I’ve baked from Colette’s prior book, “Learning to Bake Allergen-Free,” (amazon affiliate link) so I was excited to choose a recipe out of this book that leaned to the “staple” side of things. My kids would have rather I made the toaster pastries (I may yet still!) and I eyed the potato puffs with interest but our decision was made by recently listening to the audiobook of “Little House in the Big Woods.” (amazon affiliate link)
My daughter was fascinated by the stories of pioneer life, especially the detailed descriptions of chores like churning butter. We’ve even watched some videos online of old fashioned butter making so Colette’s “Homemade Buttery Spread” was just the ticket. This is dairy free and even corn free. I remember when my daughter still would react to corn (she’s grown out of that allergy) it was hard to find corn free options of staples. This includes as ingredients: coconut oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, flax, water, lemon juice, and salt. Oh, and in honor of Colette doing all her own photos, I tried to use some manual settings for these pictures!
Colette explains everything – she even discusses at length on the subject of “flax eggs” how you can replace the flax for those that are allergic (chia seeds may be an option). Her tips on creating a permanent emulsion were especially helpful for this recipe and are applicable to dressings and her homemade mayo recipe as well. Thank you to my mother in law for slowly drizzling the oil in while I tried to get a good shot.
I used our Vitamix to blend this up but a food processor or immersion blender are listed as possibilities as well.
Just like Ma in “Little House in the Big Woods” (amazon affiliate link), we used molds for our buttery spread. (Milk is now safe for us but my daughter prefers vegetable spreads for toast since she is used to them.)
I love the little flecks of flax and the coconut oil smells wonderful. My mother in law remarked, “It’s perfect! Not that I doubted it for a minute anyway.” My daughter loved the finished spread, as did I. My son was not in a taste testing mood. The flavor does come through strongly but you can always substitute other oils as discussed in the book. I won’t share the recipe here but I hope you’ll check out the book! Amy Tracy at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie does have her own review as well as Colette’s homemade mayo recipe on her blog if you’d like to check it out.
Colette advises that you may be able to substitute this for shortening when chilled for pie crusts or cookies but doesn’t recommend using it for frosting or syrups. The book is filled with tips and many were new to me even though I have been baking and cooking allergy friendly for over 4 years now. At one point she mentions, for example:
I don’t recommend paper liners when baking with gluten-free grains, as they have a tendency to hold in moisture. Instead, bake directly in the muffin pan and add the paper cups, if desired, after cooling.
Giveaway! I am not only, courtesy of Colette’s publisher, giving away 1 copy of “The Allergy-Free Pantry” but I will also include, purchased from the affiliate link proceeds of this blog (see my disclosures), one USD $20 Amazon.com gift card to spend as you like! I hope you’ll take Colette’s suggestion in the book to buy a scale to weigh out your flours but then I thought readers might already have one. How to Enter: Leave a comment letting me know something you make from scratch in your home – open to entries until August 13, 2014 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll assign numbers to each comment to represent their order and use a random number generator to pick the winner. This giveaway is void where prohibited and open to residents of the United States and Canada. I’ll need you to include your e-mail address (it will not be shared or used for any other purpose) so I can reach you if you win. Any winner that doesn’t respond within 24 hours of contact forfeits the prize and I’ll choose another winner. Thank you and good luck!
Elsewhere: If you follow my vegetarian and vegan friendly reviews at vegbooks.org, I have a few new ones to check out! Julia’s House for Lost Creatures (I adored this one), Sleep Tight, Anna Banana, I Love You Just Enough, The Zoo Box, The Girl and the Bicycle, and Peep and the Big Wide World.
UPDATE 8/14/14 – Our winner is comment 11 from Mary! Thank you all for your comments – Mary, your book and gift card will be on their way soon!