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The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts

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Make your own affordable, delicious, and allergy-free staples, snacks, and meals! After the cupboards are cleared of problem foods, most people coping with new food allergies (their own or their kids’) are missing staples they have relied on for years. And even though stores are stocking more allergen-free brands, shoppers with severe or multiple allergies can read every label and still strike out—especially if they’re after a particular craving or on a budget. The good news for the 15 million Americans with food allergies is that classic treats and pantry staples can be made easily and affordably at home. From Colette Martin, the author of Learning to Bake Allergen-Free , comes The Allergy-Free Pantry — with over 100 recipes free of gluten and the top eight allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish), Full-color photographs of every recipe and simple instructions (no advanced kitchen skills required!) make this a must-have guide to allergy-free home cooking. Refill your cupboards, and reclaim peace of mind!

328 pages, Paperback

First published September 9, 2014

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About the author

Colette Martin

6 books10 followers
Colette Martin is a cookbook author, food photographer, food allergy advocate and an expert on how to bake allergen-free. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts and The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts. When her son was diagnosed with allergies to wheat, milk, eggs, soy and peanuts in 2001, she had to reinvent how her family ate. Having first learned to bake in her grandmother’s kitchen with wheat, butter, milk, and eggs, Colette understands first-hand what it means to transform her kitchen to accommodate multiple food allergies. Colette is a member of the Kids with Food Allergies advisory board. She believes that everyone should be able to eat birthday cake, and that breakfast is better if it includes chocolate!

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Alaine.
381 reviews
May 4, 2017
Rating based on personal gain rather than as a critique of the book.

I have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). Your body confuses proteins in common produce for proteins in pollens you're allergic to. For example, I'm allergic to ragweed. I tested negative for banana allergy, but when I eat a raw banana (or as most people think of it, a banana), I feel throat-punched and my airways are raw. I can eat cooked bananas. Cooking alters the protein.

You may have OAS if you have pollen allergies. I have a lot of pollen and plant allergies. Among them the entire asteraceae family -- daisies, dandelions, ragweed, arnica, echinacea, lettuce, chamomile, chicory, sunflowers, and a ton of other plants. This is one of the biggest plant families. Because I am actually allergic to sunflowers, I react to sunflower seed butter no matter how well processed and cooked it is. I am not outright allergic to nuts, but I sometimes react to almonds and peanuts even if they're processed. My reaction might vary depending on the food, the amount of food, and the time of year.

I react to soy. Whether that's from OAS or an outright allergy, I don't know. I don't want to get off allergy meds and go back for testing when a negative means OAS; I have to avoid it anyway. I definitely react to soybean oil and soy lecithin. Those are the two hardest things to avoid because soy is in dang near every prepared food these days. Throw in safflower (asteraceae) and sunflower, and finding simple stuff like a jar of mayo that isn't trying to kill me is a near impossible task. I get tired of trying to handle all this myself, so I got this book from the library.

I have no doubt it's really helpful to other people. But when the author is like "Yeah, I have a soy allergy...but I'm cool with lecithin and soybean oil," that doesn't help me. When sunflower seeds are being subbed for nuts, that doesn't help me. I do not have allergies to eggs, dairy, or shellfish.
It's pretty much the plants trying to take me out. Unsurprisingly, this book doesn't cater to OAS. Nothing I've seen so far does. (There is one extremely dubious option at Amazon but it doesn't look worth flipping through.)

TL;DR: I can modify recipes in books I already have. I wouldn't buy this.
Profile Image for Jill.
738 reviews134 followers
August 5, 2014
I requested and received this book from Netgalley for my honest review.

wow,what an amazingly well though out and organised book.
I am a person who has lived with a gluten intolerance for over 10 years and this book had some things in it that I wish I had known before now. Very informative.
The layout is absolutely stunning, just the way a recipe book should be. I always want to be wowed by the pages and with this I certainly was. I will be telling all my friends with allergies about this book. My one issue is purely the eBook format, I would want this books in my hands!!!
I believe it will be a helpful hit for all those who have allergies and those who are just wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.
March 22, 2020
Wonderful and well-written to explain how to substitute foods and add more to my diet. As someone who is diagnosed with EoE, my doctor has prescribed a Four Food Elimination Diet. This book greatly helps me avoid allergens and eat healthier. So great to have this on my bookshelf.
Profile Image for Punk.
1,510 reviews253 followers
February 15, 2018
Requires four separate custom flour blends—though it does recommend some commercial blends you can use instead—but it also has a lot of information about substitutions for wheat flour, dairy products, and eggs.

The book covers pantry staples like mayo and non-dairy milks, as well as breakfast, breads, pasta, sides, snacks, crackers, cookies, candies, and meals for the freezer. It's comfort food and standards like marinara sauce, pizza, fajitas, chicken tenders, pancakes. Nothing fancy and nothing too far away from what you might find at Denny's. Almost everything in here would normally contain at least one allergen, like onion rings or potato salad, so it's stuff you might need help converting, not, say, chicken soup.

Every recipe has a color photo and head notes, most have storage advice, and many have further substitution options, like if you can't tolerate flax, use this much chia seed instead. Measurements are in U.S. volume and metric (grams and mL).

If you're dealing with multiple food allergies and don't mind being lashed to four custom flour blends, this could be a good place to start.
Profile Image for Rochie.
5 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2020
I like that it contains recipes for common condiments or pantry items. The recipes for condiments and sauces are easy to follow and works well. For baked goods though, I never had any success. Yes, it tastes okay but the texture is off and never looked as good as the ones pictured.
Profile Image for Theresa M.
26 reviews
November 11, 2022
HIGHLY recommend for allergy families, especially if allergy is new to you. This is the book I WISH I had bought first. As it was, found it 5 years in...still helpful.
Profile Image for Lili.
332 reviews15 followers
July 20, 2014
**I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Years ago (a little more than a decade ago, actually) I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, this was right at the cusp of it (and other food allergies) becoming what seems like an epidemic. At this time trying to find food I could eat was a nightmare, the selection at most stores was overpriced, small, and usually pretty nasty tasting. My various attempts at cooking were also usually disastrous because finding a reliable cookbook was also a nightmare. Several years later I found out it was a misdiagnosis, it made sense, on the gluten free diet my health never improved and sometimes seemed to get worse. Some of my doctors still think that I either have celiac or other food intolerance, so in case that turns out to be the case I like to keep my eye on what food and cookbooks are available for those with food allergies.

This might be one of the best I have seen, let's just say I was sold on the introductory section on substitution, especially the flour section. Learning how to make your own flour substitution that actually works is key when baking for people that are gluten free, because sometimes you cannot find a store that sells a substitute...or their's is just awful. I was especially intrigued by the buckwheat flour, that sounds delicious! This book even has an explanation on how to properly grind your own flower and how to measure it. Always measure by weight, this is the key to making sure that your gluten free flour is a correct substitute for regular flour.

The next section, after flour, was one I was really excited about, milk substitutes! I might not have celiac, but I certainly do have lactose intolerance! Sometimes just taking lactaid is not enough. I have tried every milk substitute on the market, and only like one of them. However this book introduces hemp milk and oat milk, along with how to make your own rice milk. I think my life just got a bit easier.

I think my favorite thing about this book is it makes eating and cooking on a restricted diet actually look feasible and tasty. So often (at least with me) it seemed like an impossible task that required way more cooking skills than I possessed, mountains of money which I did not possess, and a complete lack of taste buds or the ability to eat any weird texture. All the recipes and instructions are clear and concise, usually with helpful photos, which is always a plus.

If it turns out that I actually do have food allergies, this book will be the first one I buy as I make the transition. I might just buy it anyway to have around, because these foods look tasty! I could totally see myself happily eating a pile of polenta bites, digging into a pile of apple oatmeal scones with my tea, or downing a whole plate of potato puffs.
Profile Image for Selena Bluntzer.
2 reviews30 followers
August 1, 2014
Not everyone can understand what it's like to have to cook and bake with a long list of restrictions. Colette Martin, however, is someone who can understand what it's like to lose a whole series of staple foods, snacks, and treats, and in her books, she helps reader find their "new normal". I love that she provides substitutions for those who cannot use flax as an egg substitute, because that is a particularly tough allergen to avoid, when also avoiding so many other allergens. One can feel so lost when first dealing with multiple food restrictions and allergies. This book is also good for those who've been at it for a while, but are still looking for ways to expand their menu offerings. I definitely recommend it!

Disclosure: I received an advance copy for my impartial review. I always provide my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Julie  Webb.
105 reviews18 followers
January 7, 2018
Perfect for the parent who has limited cooking skills and looking to avoid a specific allergen like gluten. If you know how to cook already or are doing something more strict like AIP or GAPS I'd skip this. Nothing too fancy here. I'd like to think they were going for kid friendly fare?

I almost gave it 3 stars because many of the recipes are almost to simple to need a book (but we all need to start somewhere, so I'm going to cut some slack here), white sugar is in a lot of recipes, but my biggest peeve was this didn't give you information on how to alter recipes if you have other allergies.

Corn is used significantly in this book ever though it is a top allergen. Other starches would work in many of these. A few used masa, and there is a recipe for polenta.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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