New Cookbook Features Recipes That Are Gluten-Free and Allergy Friendlyby Larry Cox on Nov. 18, 2010, under Uncategorized
Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy by Jules E. Dowler Shepard (Da Capo, $18.95)
More than twelve million Americans suffer from some kind of food allergy and cooking with that in mind can be tricky. Jules E. Dowler Shepard, who teaches gluten-free cooking and is a frequent contributor to such publications as Living Without magazine, serves up 150 tasty, easy-to-prepare recipes that eliminate some or all of the eight ingredients that account for all food-allergic reactions in America, namely milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soybeans, fish, and shellfish.
This collection is divided into six main sections: Breakfast Foods; Appetizers and Side Dishes; Breads and Rolls; Soups; Main Events; and Desserts. The secret, according to the author, is substitution, for example, finding a replacement for eggs, using gluten-free flours, and creating meals with dairy and soy-like alternatives.
The proof is, of course, in the dairy-free pudding. Buttermilk biscuits, cheesecake, pumpkin pancakes, and coffee cake are all possible by using substitutions and a little imagination.
Two recipes were tested from “Free for All Cooking.” The Mexican Stew was a sweet potato-based soup which was a perfect choice for an autumn supper. I shared this dish with a friend who claimed that he hated sweet potatoes but had seconds and asked for the recipe. Since apples are plentiful at our neighborhood grocery stores this month, my second recipe was for a Carrot-Apple Cider Cake which was moist and good even without frosting.
This is an excellent cookbook, even if you don’t have an allergy sufferer in the family.
Carrot-Apple Cider Cake
¼ c sweet (not tart) peeled and chopped apples (I used a combination of Jonathan and Fuji)
1 ¼ c peeled and chopped carrots
11/2 c raisins or cranberries (I chose cranberries)
½ c unsweetened coconut, grated
8 Tbs butter or nondairy alternative
1/3 c granulated cane sugar
3 large eggs or egg substitute of choice
2/3 c apple cider, carbonated and gluten-free
2 ½ c Jules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder, gluten free
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350F.
Oil a bundt pan or 8×13-inch baking pan
In a large food processor, chop the apples and carrots. Mix together in a bowl with the raisins or cranberries and coconut and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and blend until incorporated. Stir in the carrot and raisin/cranberry mixture. Pour in the apple cider and mix. Gradually stir in the gluten-free flour together with the remaining dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, just until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
When cooled, frost with sour cream frosting.
Sour Cream Frosting
Makes 5 cups
3 c confectioners’ sugar
4 Tbs butter or nondairy alternative
½ c sour cream (dairy or nondairy) I used coconut yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract, gluten-free
½ tsp lemon juice (optional)
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp lemon zest (optional)
¼ tsp cream of tartar (if using nondairy sour cream or yogurt)
In a medium bowl, sift the confectioners’ sugar. With an electric mixer, beat the other ingredients, to incorporate, then slowly stir in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin.