Book Review: Sophie-Safe Cooking

When my Certain Little Someone was first diagnosed with allergies, I immediately went to the library and scooped up every allergen-free cookbook available, took them home, and spent hours scouring them for tips and ideas. By and large, I was greatly disappointed. Even if the cookbook was advertised as “allergen-free”, only some of the recipes were actually free of all top 8 allergens. Most recipes would be free of wheat, but not eggs; or they would be free of nuts, but full of wheat, eggs and milk. I even ordered a cookbook from the FAAN, thinking surely it would have the recipes I needed. But, no, the majority of the recipes still had wheat flour.

To my knowledge, Sophie-Safe Cooking is the first cookbook I’ve come across where every recipe is indeed free of the top 8 allergens. It was self-published by the author, Emily Hendrix, and is now becoming widely available through Amazon.com, and is also sold in a few localized bookstores.

Sophie-Safe Cooking was written by a mom whose daughter was diagnosed with multiple allergies at 3 months of age. She and her family determined that their dinners would all be “Sophie-Safe” so she set out to find easy to make recipes the whole family would enjoy. This cookbook is the result of her efforts.

What I LIKED:

*The recipes are indeed simple, for the most part based on ingredients easily found in anyone’s pantry.

*The recipes are also for common foods that everyone enjoys. I have another allergen-free cookbook in my stack that is full of gourmet recipes with expensive, hard-to-find ingredients… and sound disgusting! Sophie-Safe Cooking recipes are approachable and sound delicious.

*Tips are scattered throughout the book with ideas for changing up the recipes, or altering them to fit your own dietary needs.

*The thing I love the most is that ALL of the top 8 allergens are consistently avoided in every single recipe. If you don’t have to avoid all 8, there are suggestions for accommodating your particular needs.

What I DISLIKE:

*There is a heavy dependency on oat flour; in fact, it is the only flour used in the cookbook, and there are no adjustments to allow for it. That would be great if it actually worked, but I admit I’m skeptical. Oat flour doesn’t contain the proteins found in wheat flour, so they must be replaced by something, either another protein-rich flour, or some other additive to the recipe.

*Especially in the main meals section, there are quite a few recipes which you could find in any basic cookbook that are allergen-free anyway. When I pick up an allergy-free cookbook, I want to find recipes that either show me how to make a typically allergen-laden food into allergen-free, or unique and little-known recipes that are allergy-free to begin with.

*Along the same lines, there are other recipes in the book that seemed like “fillers”, mostly because they’re so simple most people don’t even need a recipe for it. (Fruit salad?)

All in all, I highly recommend this book for anyone with multiple food allergies. The recipes are safe, simple and easy to follow. I look forward to trying out quite a few of the recipes I found in this book.

You can find this book at Amazon.com or you can purchase it directly from the author at her website:Sophie-Safe Cooking. You can also visit her blog at Emily’s Ramblings.

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2 Comments on “Book Review: Sophie-Safe Cooking”

  1. Emily says:

    Thanks for your review of my book. I hope you will find oat flour to exceed your expectations–it has proven to be more versatile than I first expected as well. I have found that the oat flour can be substituted with a Gluten Free Flour Blend such as Bob’s Mill’s GF Flour with good results as well. Please email me through my website if you’d like to be on my email list as well–I rarely send out information, but when I do it’s usually pretty valuable (such as a recipe correction). Thanks again!

    • Hi! I am definitely going to try the muffin recipes and also some of the other baked goods… those are the hardest to make allergen-free (as you well know!). As I was thinking about it, I realized that the rice muffins I make use only rice flour and no xanthan gum or anything and they turn out very well, so I’m more than willing to give the oat flour a try. If nothing else, it’s cheap, which is more than one can say for the other flour substitutes out there!!! I checked your book out of the library, but I’m definitely going to purchase it for my own cookbook library. Cannot have too many allergen-free resources, and I LOVE that all your recipes are top-8-allergen-free.

      Also, I saw on your website that you, too, use coconut oil. That stuff rocks! I also use it all the time. My son can also handle SmartBalance margarine (which has trace amounts of milk, and also soy, but doesn’t seem to bother him, so I use that as well. Coconut oil is my favorite, though (as you can see if you browse through the few recipes I have up here:)

      Thanks again for printing your book – I hope it is very successful! I will recommend it to everyone I know who is dealing with allergies.


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