Pastry Chef Marisa Lown on Eating Well: "It's Not a One Size Fits All for Everyone"

Categories: Chef and Tell

One thing you want people to understand about allergy-friendly cooking and baking: It's not rocket science. There is some science involved but I believe there is a pretty easy formula to follow: use high quality ingredients sourced from trusted purveyors, start with the basics, and keep it simple. Allergy-friendly cuisine shouldn't be daunting but a fun culinary adventure with an improved quality of life as the destination.

Evie Carpenter
Lown's finished banana bread
Why did you decide to go grain-free? After being diagnosed with a wheat allergy last year, I initially went gluten free for 6 months and then completely grain free several months ago. Despite eliminating gluten, I continued to experience symptoms that my physician indicated could be a result of consuming grains that can simulate digestive issues similar to those from gluten. I've experienced great results from going grain free, despite the challenges of completely eliminating grains from my diet. Nutritional regimes are extremely personal and I recommend anyone who is considering making considerable dietary changes should consult with a nutrition or medical professional for appropriate guidance.

The most common mistake people make when baking is: Being fearful of a seemingly difficult recipe or of baking all together. Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Mistakes can teach you what not to repeat again, so keep a notebook and write down the results from your culinary experiments. That is how I learned to create some of the best allergy-friendly recipes in my arsenal. Since the ingredients for allergy-friendly recipes tend to be more costly, I recommend making a half or quarter batch of a new recipe to start. That way if the results aren't as delicious as you would like them to be, you haven't wasted your month's baking budget on one experiment.

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