If you’re new to the world of Allergy Free or Processed Free foods or even if you’re not, you may find it really overwhelming to find good recipes. I’ll let you in on a few of the weapons in my cookbook arsenal.
I have a lot of cookbooks, many of which are from our days before allergies and are useless to us now for the most part. But I do have a couple of allergy free cookbooks which I like primarily for special occasion cooking and baking because I don’t consider them to be healthy enough for daily use. The two I use are both from Cybele Pascal and man, does she have some GREAT dessert recipes and all free of the top 8 allergens. Everything we’ve tried has been great. I am in love with her Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook and it’s what I used for years before we eventually moved to more healthy extremes. The only drawback is it requires you to make your own gluten-free flour mix to keep on hand for use in all her baking recipes. It’s a very easy recipe, but still, another step if you don’t have it prepared in advance. Last year for Tristan’s fifth birthday, I used her recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and just the cookie recipe from her Chocolate Sandwich Cookies for the dirt in some Angry Bird cupcakes. They were amazing and even the gluten-free phobics in the crowd adored them. The kids were absolutely silent while desert was being devoured and that’s saying something for a birthday part full of five year old boys!
The other book of Cybele’s I have is Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking. It contains a lot of fun recipe that are great for entertaining, but what I don’t like is that quite a few recipes call for cheese substitutes like Daiya, which is great for those that are newly dairy-free and still adapting, but it’s really not healthy and there is absolutely no nutritional gain. Cheese subs are really just to take the place of cheese for texture and appearance, not for nutrition and certainly not for taste. If you overlook the cheese recipes, there are some great finds in here. Or if you are newly dairy-free, you may find her Mac-n-Cheese a life saver when those dairy cravings hit.
Now, my two go-to cookbooks for every day meal preparations are not actually made for allergy free kitchens, but are more focused on whole foods and clean eating. The author believes in gluten-free, dairy-free cooking for general health reasons however, so you if you’re avoiding these foods, you’ll be very pleased with what you find within the pages of these books. She also does a lot of grain free baking as well, so there are plenty of GAPS and Paleo recipes as well. There are a lot of recipes containing nuts and beans, so just just take note if you’re avoiding those two food families.
I’m talking about Nourishing Meals, a recipe blog from Ali and Tom of Whole Life Nutrition. Many recipes from this blog were used to create two fantastic cookbooks that I consider to be a staple for any household with clean eating or gluten-free/dairy-free menus in mind. The two books I use and love are: Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family and the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. There are some recipes that do appear in both cookbooks, so if you were just to buy one, I’d advise the Nourishing Meals version.
I made some amazing Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate Granache from Nourishing Meals for a birthday party my son was invited to. He needed a healthy, dairy-free cupcake, so I whipped these up in 10 minutes. While he can tolerate gluten now, we try to avoid it on most occasions, so the coconut flour in these was a welcome substitution for wheat. But honestly, I use these two cookbooks several times a week for snacks, salads, main meals and desserts. They are amazing.
What are your favorite allergy friendly or healthy living cookbooks?