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Review of 'Cooking Without' by Barbara Cousins.
on 3 October 2003
The book promotes itself as a source of gluten free recipes, free from added sugar, dairy products, yeast, salt and added fat. It also claims to be suitable for Candida, M.E. and allergy sufferers.
I found this book rather disappointing. I bought it with the expectation of finding some recipes to suit my needs (I am allergic/intolerant to sugar, wheat and dairy food; my son has Candida and ME and is allergic to eggs).
The book, in general, is not one for the allergy sufferer. Many people are allergic to eggs and nuts and the recipes are full of them. The recipes are not always suitable for those people sensitive to sugar, as for example, dates, dried fruit and orange juice are used and they are usually too sweet. There was only a mention of the use of alternative flours and this could not have been researched. These flours, e.g. soya, are far too strong tasting to be palatable on their own, as suggested.
Candida sufferers are catered for but not well enough. Sufferers of Candida can only eat fresh nuts and freshly made fruit juice, but I found no mention of this. (Ideally the nuts should also be roasted too) It would be far too tedious to make many of the recipes if shelling nuts were added to the method. Candida sufferers are advised not to eat spicy food and many of the recipes have several spices included. If as a Candida sufferer you are intolerant of eggs then, together with these other problems, there are few recipes indeed for you.
There are no medically agreed dietary needs for those who have M.E. apart from a generally "healthy" diet.
I think that it is not possible to meet all the different requirements listed on the front cover of "Cooking Without" with one set of recipes such as these.
I think the book should really be promoted as a book of healthy, gluten free recipes, which it is.