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on 16 February 2008
This book is an invaluable resource for those with food allergies. The layout of the recipes gives you guidance to adapt each one to a range or combination of allergies and there are tips on how to get good results with the variations in ingredients. There is also a wealth of useful advice covering a range of areas such as eating away from home and alternative sources of nutrients and vitamins.

The recipes are a wonderful mix of contemporary style dishes and traditional staples and baking. For those like myself with a wheat allergy, the recipes for scones and pastry and other off-limits foods will be the first things tested from the book and to taste foods which do not require the normal compromises on flavour and texture is absolutely wonderful.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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on 27 January 2008
At last, after all my tears and frustrations trying to make a gluten, dairy and nut-free bread, I have found a recipe that not only works but tastes delicious. The gluten-free white bread is a big hit with our four year old daughter and has made a huge difference to our lives as she can now have toast, sandwiches and rolls.

I feel like a proper mummy baking delicious cakes for the children which we can now all enjoy. I have also had great fun adapting various family recipes using Lucinda's techniques. Her book is a must for all people coping with the challenges of living with food allergies.
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on 8 February 2010
I have amassed quite a collection of allergy friendly cookbooks in my mission to whip up tasty food for our son who has multiple allergies. Nearly all of them have been a complete disappointment and waste of money. This one is definitely not. There is practicle advice on how to replace eggs in recipes. Things I'd never heard about before. Apple puree in cakes to bind them? Genius! There are several versions of recipes in here, and the recipes have alternative ingredients. For example, there are four different pastry recipes, so one way or another, you'll find some pastry you can eat.

The substitution of ingredients is where I normally find frustration with these sort of books. You know, where you can't use wheat flour, the recipe tells you to use your wheat-free/gluten-free flour in its place, and the finished dish never works, but you don't know why. This book gives you practicle help. The author gives you detailed information as to what the ingredients are doing in a recipe and how you can substitute them. Better still, the substitions actually work. For example:

Rich Fruit Cake. This recipe calls for almonds. You can't eat almonds? No problem, use the same amount of plain flour and add an extra teaspoon of butter. There's also 4 eggs needed. Can't eat eggs? Use apple or apricot puree to bind the mix instead.

I've lost count of the number of unsuccessful breads I've made and thrown in the bin. First try with a dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, nut-free white loaf from this book and I had it cracked. My son ate bread for the first time in his life. And you know what, you'd be hard pressed to tell it apart from a 'normal' freshly baked loaf.

This really is the best allergy friendly cookbook I've come across. Save yourself the grief and invest in this one above all others!
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on 5 November 2007
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne is a professional chef (and co-author of the award winning Leith's Techniques Bible) and the mother of 3 children (2 of whom have food allergies) - so she is more than qualified to help the thousands of people who suffer from food allergy problems.

'How to Cook for Food Allergies' has been well researched and provides an invaluable guide to the common danger foods, giving ideas for different ingredients that can used as substitutes. It also has very some useful tips on adapting menus and provides some really delicious and easy recipies for all the family to enjoy.

The book is clear and concise and is by far the best of it's kind. If you or a member of your family suffers from a food allergy, then this is the MOST ESSENTIAL book for your kitchen.
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on 19 November 2007
At last, a recipe book for people with food allergies (and as the book includes gluten it can also be used by people with coeliac disease) that can be trusted. Until now people with true food allergies have had to make do with recipes written, not with allergies in mind, but rather for fad diets, for intolerances and often using obscure ingredients.
The book provides you with a scientific understanding of how and why your particular allergen is required in cooking. Then through an inspired labelling system you are guided on how to substitute the relevant allergen to create beautiful 'danger-free' meals.
As a doctor and mother of children with proven food allergies to a variety of foodstuffs I am thrilled to have this book on my kitchen shelf. Since buying How to Cook for Food Allergies we have had several family baking sessions with wonderful results.
This is a great reference text as well as a lovely recipe book. Educational and empowering.
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on 26 June 2010
My son has a dairy and soya allergy, so i was very excited when i found this book on amazon, especially with all excellent reviews, however, when i opened the book and started reading i was really disappointed.
First i will start with the positive comments. I like the fact that the author tells you what ingredients do in the recipe, so that it is easier to substitute for an alternative, these are usually in the form of little boxes called "notes for food allergy sufferers".
The first chapter - living with food allergies is quite useful and includes sections on travelling and eating out, which i was interested in as a recent trip abroad was particularly stressful! some of this section is common sense, but there are some good points which you might not think of.
Each recipe clearly shows which allergens are included and if there is an alternative ingredient.
There is also cooking advice such as making sauces, cooking meat and making stock, which would be good for anyone who hasn't done much cooking before.

The downsides for me are as follows:
There are tables of substitutes for each allergen i.e. in the soya substitute table it has soya yogurt, soya cream, soya beans etc, which is a good idea, however in the soya section virtually every ingredient says to substitute with dairy and in the dairy section virtually every ingredient says to substitute with soya ingredients - which is obviously no good for my son and the approximately 30% of dairy allergy sufferers that also are allergic to soya!
My other gripe is that the recipes are not very child friendly. My son is 18 months old and i also have a daughter that is 3 years old and they are a bit fussy (though i think this is normal as most of the kids i know at these ages are a bit fussy!) and as a consequence i don't think they would eat provencal fish stew with fennel, herbs and potatoes ( it contains mussels!) or duck breast with braised lentils! There are also quite a few prawn recipes, which might not be suitable for some children, though mine both like prawns. There is a section on baby food, though these are recipes that are similar to any baby food book. There is a page which shows at a glance which recipes can be adapted to make smaller portions for childrens party ideas.

Overall I'm glad i bought this book, however it was not the 'Holy Grail' i was looking for - hence it lost a star in my review, the other star was lost as there was not a good enough range of recipes for my children and also because there was a recipe for mashed potatoes! ( seriously - did she think we were so stupid as to not work that one out?!)The recipes would be better suited to an adult and i wish i had had this book when i had to give up dairy and soya when breast-feeding! but maybe there just isn't a very good dairy and soya free book out there, if there is, i have yet to find it!
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on 28 May 2008
Over the years, I've tried lots of different allergy-free cookbooks. This one puts them all to shame. There's no "for egg-free cake, use egg replacer" in here. Proper recipes with proper ingredients. A must have. The best, by a long, long way!
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on 1 June 2009
I am a Coeliac and since being diagnosed last year I have been searching for a cookery book that would help me `adapt' my favorite recipes to Gluten & Wheat free.

This is really a great book, it has a section on `living with allergies' a section that helps you understand what `function' various ingredients have and a section that explains how to adapt recipes and cook great GF food. The book also contains information on Egg, Soya, nut and dairy allergies. Each recipe has substitutes for all the `allergen' ingredients for all the above allergies in a very simple and easy to understand way.

After spending a lot of the weekend reading it today I made, yes you guessed it, a white `yeast' loaf!

It was really easy to make as there is a simple 3 stage method.
A. mix the dry ingredients together
B. mix the wet ingredients together
C. combine both mixtures and spoon into a 2lb tin and bake immediately!

The loaf has a lovely golden crust is soft, moist, tasty and is not at all dry and crumbly. It took all my will power just to wait until it was really cold before slicing it and then not eating it all at one sitting! There is also a brown bread recipe and several recipes for different types of pastry. There are 155 pages of recipes in all including some for baby food.

I thoroughly recommend this cookery book to anyone that has to cook for a Coeliac.

Roger George
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on 15 May 2009
This is a very good book, giving recipes that use normal ingredients to adapt recipes to a variety of allergies. It is an English book (doesn't use American cups for measuring), and doesn't assume that flour is gluten-free. It also explains the function of food in a recipe (e.g. egg can bind, set, make rise, glaze), and shows how recipes can be adapted accordingly. If a recipe can't be adapted for a particular set of allergies (e.g. chocolate brownies), she gives an alternative.

There is good advice on eating out, packed lunches, weaning babies, hygiene, holidays. ... Most of it is what you would work out for yourself, but seeing it in print can be comforting - if you are coping with allergies, you are not alone in making these modifications to your life!

My son is allergic to milk and egg, and this is the first time he had a chocolate chip cookie - delicious!

Two small quibbles: there are not that many recipes; and there is no information on brands and suppliers.
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on 6 March 2008
I highly recommend this one... easily the best food allergy cookbook around - easy to use and it demonstrates that allergy free cooking does not have to taste grim!
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