This low carb cookbook and food allergy cookbook is my family cookbook. These are the foods I have developed over the years to feed myself and my family. They are the recipes that have stood the test of time and that have passed what I like to call the "teenage boy test". It is all about taste. I love food and have been cooking all kinds of diets and cuisine for many years.
This is also my best effort at working within some definite limits such as food allergies to gluten containing grains such as wheat,spelt, kamut, rye, barley and oats, dairy intolerance, fast oxidation rates, glucose intolerance and hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinism and the related weight gain, candidiasis and a degree of chemical sensitivity have all set the boundaries within which these low carb recipes have had to work. That is why this is both a low carb cookbook and a food allergy cookbook.
Most low carb recipes contain common food allergens such as gluten flour, wheat bran and soy flour or powder. I developed these recipes while working to lose weight and recover from chronic fatigue. Because of this, I have received many requests over the years for my recipes from friends, family and patients who are struggling with similar issues.
One of the main issues for many people in low carb recipes and cooking is the use of various sweeteners. Luckily there are many choices now. My experience in ten years of low carb cooking is that there is no one sweetener that can give the clear sweet taste of refined sugar that we have become accustomed to. If the sugar in any recipe is replaced with only one type of sweetener such as xylitol, Splenda or stevia, the taste will be slightly off one way or another. That is why I always use at least two sweeteners and more often three.
I have found that combining them diminishes any one flavor while combining their sweetness to get the clean sweet flavor we are used to in desserts. In addition, using three sweeteners minimizes any of the concerns regarding them such as the laxative effect of sugar alcohols like xylitol, or any concerns over toxicity as in Splenda or Sweet and Low, or aftertastes as in stevia. The amount of any one sweetener in the recipe and especially per serving is very small.
Actually, xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol. No, it won't make you drunk, it's not that kind of alcohol and has no inebriating potential, but it will help with your blood sugar balance, your insulin production and with your over-all health. Xylitol is "wood sugar" found naturally in fibrous vegetables, fruit, and in various hardwood trees. In fact, the human body produces up to half an ounce of xylitol every day as a product of normal metabolism. Unlike sugar or other sugar substitutes like sorbitol, bacteria are unable to utilize xylitol for growth. As a result, while other sugars promote cavities, xylitol has actually been proven to prevent cavities. Xylitol is completely safe for humans. It has been extensively researched in more than a thousand published studies. Xylitol has been used as a sweetening agent in human food for over forty years and is approved for use in foods and oral health products in countries all around the world.
Xylitol is very useful for dental care. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the use of xylitol results in dramatic reductions in new tooth decay. There is strong evidence that xylitol arrests tooth decay, and even some reversal of existing dental cavities. These benefits appear to be very long lasting. Xylitol inhibits plaque and dental cavities by 80%. Xylitol retards de-mineralization, and promotes re-mineralization of tooth enamel. Xylitol protects salivary proteins and has a protein-stabilizing effect. As a result, xylitol improves mouth breath. In addition, xylitol reduces infections in the mouth and nasal cavities. Xylitol increases saliva production and relieves dry mouth.
Ron Teeguarden's Dragon Time, Volume 6
My experience with Splenda is that it is very well tolerated even by very chemically sensitive patients and that using it now and then for treats or even daily in tea or other drinks has not impeded the improvement in health that eliminating sugar from the diet will give you. I use a pure liquid form of Splenda called EZ-Sweetz. Highly concentrated, two or three drops per recipe is all it takes. It is available from Netrition.com.
The granulated Splenda in larger amounts disagrees with me because of the maltodextrin in it. This may be an issue for others as well. If Splenda seems to be a problem for you, it could be due to the maltodextrin. Products made with Splenda are made with the pure sucralose and that is how I learned that the maltodextrin was the problem. Products made with Splenda never bothered me but things I made with it did.
However, for those who do not wish to use Splenda in any form, feel free to substitute any other sweetener such as Dixie Diner Sugar Not Spoonful, or Sweet Perfection, by Low Carb Specialties. These are chickory root/FOS sweeteners made of a sweet tasting fiber that is excellent for the gut flora (available at Netrition.com). Lo Han Sweet by Jarrow Formulas or erythritol are other possible substitutes for Splenda in the recipes.
Erythritol is an excellent sugar alcohol that has no laxative side effects and no glycemic effect at all on the blood sugar. However, all sugar alcohols have a kind of cooling effect on the taste buds and erythritol has that effect more than xylitol or malitol. It is also the weakest in sweetening power. Used half and half with xylitol gives some of its benefits without the disadvantages in taste. In certain instances, xylitol must be used in the recipe because it will caramelize the way that sugar does whereas other sweeteners do not.
Splenda, xylitol, erythritol, and Sweet Perfection are all measured
exactly like sugar in a recipe and can be substituted for each other
very easily. One cup of each of them equals one cup of sugar in
sweetness. EZ-Sweetz, Lo Han Sweet and Stevia powder are used in much
smaller amounts to get a similar sweetening effect. The recipes will
give you an idea of the proportions to use as each sweetener called
for is equal to one third of the sugar that would normally be required
in the recipe. Knowing this will allow you to convert your own
favorites to sugar-free. And you should always sweeten to your own taste for the best results.
All of the recipes can be modified to suit your taste or ingredient availability. The breads rely heavily on almond meal but any other nut meal can be substituted for it in any recipe if you are allergic to almonds. The Pamela's Wheat Free Baking Mix is rice and almond based so if that is a problem, find a wheat free baking mix without almonds. I use small amounts of the baking mix to improve the cakey quality in certain desserts.
I use rice protein powder in certain recipes but if you are not sensitive to cow's milk, feel free to use whey protein. Once you have made a few of these recipes, you will understand how to convert your own favorites to low carb, wheat free, etc. Many of these recipes are converted favorites of mine.
These are low carb, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and sugar free recipes. They range from moderate to high fat. Hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinism, and fast oxidation all benefit from a low carbohydrate and higher fat diet.
Fat is the only major dietary component that does not raise the blood sugar and it will buffer the effects of carbohydrate and protein. Also fat is not a common food allergen for most people. These recipes would also be helpful for diabetics though they would have to be further restricted in some cases.
The combination of a low carb cookbook and food allergy cookbook is extremely rare. In fact, I have personally never found one which is why I developed my own by working with a wide range of recipes and converting them to ones I could eat. I recommend the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks and recipes on-line as a great source of lower carb and low carb convertible recipes that are just excellent when it comes to flavor.
Atkins.com also has a huge selection of great recipes but they often contain food allergens that may need to be substituted for. However, many of their recipes do not have to be modified. Lowcarbfriends.com is an excellent low carb diet forum where I learned many of the finer points of low carb diet and they also have a huge recipe forum but watch out for the wheat and soy that are so common in low carb recipes.