Friday, January 8, 2010

Book Review: Food Allergy Survival Guide

Whenever a friend finds out that they have food allergies the first thing they ask me for is resources. Depending on their situation, I try to recommend books and websites that may help them find some answers. They also ask me for cookbook recommendations. Recently, I found a book that is a great source for anyone with food allergies to keep on their shelf. It is called “Food Allergy Survival Guide” by Vesanto Melina, Jo Stepaniak and Dina Aronson. The book combines scientific data with tips on how to manage and live with allergies, as well as some delicious recipes. The authors are authorities on nutrition and dietetics, as well as vegetarian cooking. It is a straight-forward guide to understanding what might be causing food allergies and sensitivity and provides valuable information on how to avoid the things that can trigger a reaction. One of the sections that I found particularly useful is where they reveal hidden culprits in common foods. For instance, did you know that often, instant cocoa contains wheat ingredients that may not be listed on a product’s label? Vanilla extract sometimes contains corn or is made with alcohols that are derived from corn sources. And if you are allergic to peanuts, you should also use caution when consuming “vegetable” oil. Guess what? That oil might actually contain peanut oil. Pretty scary! If you or a loved one has food allergies it is important to be as informed as you can. This book presents all data in a very easy to read format.

The other thing that makes this book special is its recipe section. There are over 100 recipes to help those who are living without dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, wheat, yeast and more. One of the recipes that I love, in particular, is for Apricot Slaw. It would be a perfect side dish for a variety of meals or as a snack. I used both red and green cabbages when I made my slaw and the colors were beautiful! The book's publisher has granted me the right to share the recipe with you. Give it a try!

Apricot Slaw

1 (6 cups) medium cabbage, shredded

2 large carrots, grated

½ cup finely chopped dried apricots

1/3 cup organic canola or safflower oil

1 T pure maple syrup

3 T white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1/8-1/4 t freshly ground nutmeg

½-1 t celery seeds (optional)


Combine the cabbage, carrots and apricots in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, vinegar and nutmeg until emulsified. Pour over the cabbage and toss to mix. Sprinkle with the optional celery seeds and season with salt to taste. Toss again until evenly combined.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This book looks good. I like the fact that it includes recipes. I just ordered. Another good book on allergies in general that I have read is:

Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies
by Scott H. Sicherer

Thanks for the book suggestion,