For my birthday, my sister gave me a copy of Sophie-Safe Cooking by Emily Hendrix. It is full of recipes free of all of the eight major allergens: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Needless to say, this book is one of the best additions to my kitchen in the past year.
Unlike most books that cater to the allergy-friendly community, this one uses common household ingredients to make a wide range of baked goods, breakfast foods, dinners, and delicious desserts! (Can you tell which section I've been playing with?!) Each recipe is also easily customizable for a particular set of eating restrictions. For example, if dairy is not an issue, you can use milk and butter. If wheat is not an issue, you can use wheat flour. And so on.
The primary ingredients in a lot of the recipes are oat flour and Spectrum shortening. For some reason, these were major eye-openers to me.
For one thing, oat flour doesn't require xanthan or guar gum to yield respectable looking baked goods. For another, it is easy enough to grind your own in a food processor or blender from oats. Instead of paying $2.39/lb of brown rice flour, I can now pay $0.88/lb for organic oats. It sounded like it might be a lot of work to grind the oats, but it took me less than 15 minutes to grind 10 lbs yesterday.
And the shortening? Amazing! Spectrum uses cold-pressed palm oil for their shortening, so it is dairy, soy, and trans-fat free! Hooray! I now have a way to make pastries, cookies, and frostings that actually taste delicious.
There are many other nuggets of information in the book, and on her website www.sophiesafecooking.com All of the recipes are cheap, easy, and, most importantly, delicious!