Four big food problems

Most countries have a list of 10 to 14 possible allergens in food for labelling purposes but of these there are four major allergens (the "Big Four") that cause huge problems for sufferers and for anyone who cooks for them; these are gluten (found in some grains), dairy, egg, and nuts. Research shows that most people with problems are actually allergic to only one or two foods, so it made sense to develop alternative versions to cater for each major food allergen for each of the recipes in the book. The premise, and indeed the promise, of this book is that every recipe has individually a gluten-free, a dairy-free, an egg-free, and a nut-free version, which means some recipes may have up to three versions, though some need only one. Think of it as getting three or four cookbooks for the price of one!

Obviously avoid fish or seafood recipes if that's your issue but I didn't want to leave them out of the book as they are delicious, nutritious, and add variety. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on a few dishes but easy to omit or replace. Soya appears only as a dairy substitute or as soy sauce. If soya is your allergy, you'll know that the problem is not the loss of a major nutrient or cooking ingredient, which soya isn't, but the way that it has crept into so many processed foods as an unlikely and quite often unnecessary component.

People with multiple allergies find life especially difficult and although this book cannot cater comprehensively for them, there are recipes

1 o that they will find immediately usable and others that can be adapted easily. Over a quarter of the recipes are free of all of the "Big Four"; three-quarters are egg and nut free; and a fair proportion of these are also dairy or gluten free, too. "Watch out for" appears on some recipes to flag up other potential allergens, such as pine nuts, that may need to be omitted or an alternative used. These alerts also highlight hidden pitfalls for people who may not be attuned to the fine details of food sensitivity but want to cook for friends and family who have an allergy or intolerance. They should be encouraged!

to forbidden foods. Some were general - toppings to use instead of nuts and which dairy-free milks taste best in which dishes - but some had to be precise, especially for baking: an egg substitute has to replace the same amount of liquid as one egg, and have a similar binding or raising power, too.

If the versions look different from each other or need a slightly different treatment, I've made a point of telling you. Where something is nonintuitive, like a cake batter that seems too liquid but works triumphantly when cooked, or gluten-free pastry that has a dryish feel that might tempt you to add more water (don't!), I've flagged it up.

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Allergic To Everything

Allergic To Everything

The human body And Todays chemical infested world. Here is a news flash You are not allergic to pollen, pet dander, or whatever it is that makes your body revolt Rather, your body just can not handle that one thing, what ever it is, anymore, due to the massive barrage of toxic chemicals you and everyone else are ingesting every single day.

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