Foreword by Dr. Peter Bauth
Introduction by Rebecca Peabody Estepp (TACA Now)
Autism and Diet
Guide to Reading Food Labels
Using This Book
Soups, Sides, and Salads
Toppings, Glazes, and Sauces
Healing Arts for Children with Autism
Autism Resource Listing
Glossary and Information
Thank you Chris Delaine for your amazing mind, patience, strength, peace, will, order, wisdom, and understanding at all times. You are my pillar of strength. Justin and Ryan Delaine, thank you for the honor of being your mom. Parents, families, advocates for children with autism, thank you for writing this book. Children with autism, thank you for teaching the world about unconditional love.
Thank you Hester “Nena” Bell for your encouragement and friendship through the seasons. Thank you for the hard work and personal time you sacrificed to help me with this book.
Thank you Kareem Murphy and DeWayne Davis for your wisdom: unconditional love must prevail over tolerance. Your friendship divinely prepared me for the greatest challenge to love, years before its imminent arrival.
Thank you Delaine family, Kelley Family, Debra Nettles Woodard, Annabel Thomas, Ms. Rose, Jessica Schneider, Chris Snell (Fayette County Library), Dr. Peter Bauth, Connie Taylor (Meditating Mantis).
To all who have contributed to the greater good and who have helped spread awareness of this work, thank you!
The title of this book expresses the purpose for which it is written. My intention is for you to experience joy and ease in your gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) journey with your loved one. I have come to find that the key to great GFCF cooking lies in relaxing and enjoying the experience. Don’t worry—everything else will flow.
Chances are, you have found this book because someone you love has autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or a similar developmental challenge. You are interested in a biomedical approach to helping the person gain wellness in his or her body as a way to gain improvements in behavior, focus, attention, and physical comfort. You realize that removing offensive foods is one major part of the wellness approach for all people.
Our son was diagnosed with food allergies in 2001 (nine months old) and then diagnosed with autism in 2004 (age three). Within three weeks of changing his diet we began to see improvements in sleep, mood, and language. At that time, I wrote my first two gluten-free, casein-free, allergy-free cookbooks, Balancing the Bowl 1 & 2. Because of enormous demand for autism resources, my book has blossomed into The Autism Cookbook. We are convinced that a GFCF diet for children like our son is more of a health necessity than a choice.
How is this so? Many children with autism cannot digest gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and contaminated in most oats) and casein (a protein found in cow’s milk). This condition is called food intolerance or food sensitivity. Undigested food builds up in the digestive tract and becomes spoiled and toxic. This wreaks havoc on all body systems, including the brain. Thus, food affects behavior.
Visit the recommended websites listed on page 218 to further your understanding of cooking GFCF. If you choose to pursue it, you will find plenty of support from grocers, health professionals, educators, family members, and friends who will support you in your GFCF journey. While I have an enormous amount of confidence in your ability to make sound decisions for your child, I am legally obligated to advise you to consult with a medical professional prior to making a dietary change.
I hope you will enjoy these rich, international recipes, especially the Korean dishes, straight from my mother’s kitchen. Most importantly, remember your true purpose for seeking a GFCF diet and worry less about making perfectly round pancakes. If your first batch is misshapen, then cut it up, dip it in maple syrup, and share it with someone you love!
Health and wellness is all about addressing and correcting the cause; headaches do not result from a lack of aspirin. Indigestion is not a result from a lack of Pepcid. Depression is not a result of a lack of Wellbutrin, and autism is certainly not a condition resulting from a lack of medication. Autism has, as its origins, an imbalance of normal physiology. Addressing this aberrant physiology should be every parent’s first impulse.
There are many ways to do this. However, with closer consideration, only a few approaches address the primary and the determining causes; the determining being chemical toxicity, physical traumatism, and emotional tendencies or stressors that lead to these aberrant functions; and the primary being the actual manifestation of these stressors, brain hemispheric deficiency, nutritional deficiency subluxation complex, and heavy metal toxicity.
For years now, clinicians and researchers have noticed positive changes in the physical and emotional health of children under chiropractic care, for example. Among the observed benefits are improvements in children with hyperactivity, autism, anxiety, low mental stamina, lack of concentration, asthma, and discipline problems. Improvement in grades and IQ have also been recorded.
Combine this now with the overwhelming body of evidence that shows direct connections between specific nutritional deficiencies and cognitive health and development issues, and one begins to see a positive paradigm shift emerging in healthcare and the standard treatment of these childhood conditions, such as autism—treatments that have, until recently, been largely ineffective.
In my practice and in the practice of many colleagues, care is given based on this different paradigm of health, and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. Give the information in this book a diligent try—you have nothing to lose and so very, very much to gain.
—Dr. Peter Bauth, D.C. LCP
January 1, 2001 was “D-Day” for my family. No, we did not storm the beaches of Normandy, although at times I felt so challenged that it did seem like a war. In reality, our D-Day was different. The “D” stood for diet. It was on that day that my husband and I started our almost three-year-old son, Eric, on the gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet.
Eric was diagnosed with autism in November of 2000. We were given a grim prognosis by our pediatrician. I also remember having an overwhelming feeling that this trusted pediatrician knew nothing about autism and knew nothing about my son or my family.
Luckily, I found a great network of parents on the internet that were treating their children’s symptoms through diet and supplements following the Defeat Autism Now (DAN) protocol. The GFCF diet was central to this treatment. Due to my son’s bowel problems (alternating constipation and diarrhea) a diet made perfect sense to me.
My trusted group of veteran internet parents, who would later be the individuals to start Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), gave me guidance through the early days of GFCF. There was not much available to purchase at my local grocery store, so I took many trips to health food stores. I bought some items online and learned to cook like my Scottish grandmother—meat and potatoes for almost every dinner.
A short time later, Eric started to respond to the diet. The first improvement was the cessation of his night screaming. After that, Eric’s mysterious fevers disappeared. And then a miracle happened—Eric started to behave much better than before the diet. I have to believe that it was simply because he felt better. Let’s face it: all of us do better when we feel well.
My son is now thriving. He will be twelve in a few short weeks. I still classify him as a child with autism, although we have a few opinions from teachers and therapists that he doesn’t meet the qualification for autism any longer, which shows fantastic progress. I know that the GFCF diet was the foundation for his improved state and could not have been attained unless we went through our diet “D-Day” so long ago.
—Rebecca Peabody Estepp, National Manager, TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)
Autism and Diet
Autism currently affects 1 in 110 children. Some signs of autism may appear during infancy. Other children develop normally and regress sharply between the ages of eighteen months to two years. The set of symptoms in autism will differ from person to person. Because symptoms range from very minor to very severe, autism is considered to be a “spectrum” disorder.
Research has shown that many autistic children have damaged intestinal tracts resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria. Some children are born with this condition. Other children are born with healthy digestive tracts and experience damage when exposed to environmental poisons, medications, processed and contaminated foods, and other toxins in our world. This damage can result in “food sensitivity” or “food intolerance,” a condition in which the intestines cannot fully digest certain foods. Three common food sensitivity culprits are gluten (from wheat, barley, rye, and oat), casein (from cow’s milk and goat’s milk), and soy. Particles of foods left undigested in the intestine leak into the blood stream and have an adverse effect on the brain. This effect, similar to that of opiate drugs, can cause impairments in speech, motor skills, mood, focus, and learning and can worsen existing challenges. A diet free from gluten, casein, and soy (GFCFSF) can alleviate the discomfort a child is experiencing.
Like my son, Justin, many autistic children also have food allergies. A food allergy is a condition of the immune system in which the body “fights” against foods it believes to be harmful. This cookbook is exclusive of common food sensitivity culprits (gluten, casein, and soy) as well as some of the most common food allergens (wheat, rice, egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish).
The gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free diet is the most common type of autism diet and is the focus of this book. However, there are other specific diets that can be used to meet the child’s needs. It is helpful to work with a supportive healthcare professional who will provide testing, over time, to determine if your child’s diet approach is working. Other diets include:
GFCF: Gluten Free, Casein Free
Specific Carbohydrate: A diet free from gluten, all starches (potato, corn, rice, all grains), and sugars. The diet allows specially cultured dairy products to be consumed. The goal of this diet is to stop the growth of microbes by eliminating foods that feed them.
Feingold Diet: Pinpoint and completely eliminate sensitivity culprits, allergens, chemicals, additives, and salicylates. These offending items are eliminated from both the diet and the environment (e.g., lotions, soaps, toothpaste, medicines, household products).
Elimination Diet: This diet is based on eliminating all major food allergens and sensitivity culprits, as well as eating free-range meats, specific fruits and vegetables, and rice-based milk and pastas. Its purpose is to identify and eliminate food culprits and reintroduce them gradually over a specified schedule. Elimination diets require close record-keeping of foods in correlation to behaviors.
Diet alone does not cure autism but removing offensive foods is one major portion of the healing process. To maximize the benefits of a GFCFSF diet, one should also take steps to heal the intestinal tract, support the immune system, and nurture the whole child through healing arts.
Throughout this book you will find numerous raw recipes. Foods are considered to be “raw” if they have not been cooked above 118ºF. A diet high in unprocessed, raw foods is a vital part of proper digestion and good health, and this is true for everyone. Raw foods contain their own enzymes to help us digest them with ease, without over-taxing the body. Because raw foods are so easy to digest, they are detoxifying, highly nutritious, and give a boost to the immune system. These are added benefits for everyone, especially for those with autism or allergies.
I do not recommend consuming raw eggs, meat, or fish. Rather, in this book you will find several raw recipes using fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs, and cold-pressed oils. Raw foods can be eaten in their natural state or they can be prepared into recipes to satisfy your texture and flavor preferences. In my family’s experience, adding one raw item to each meal every day (either a prepared raw dish or a side of raw fruits, vegetables, or seeds) had a great cumulative effect!
For those who have temperature preferences, raw foods can be heated up to 118ºF and chilled while keeping their enzymes and nutrients intact. Our son, Justin, finds it easier to chew certain textures of foods that are at room temperature or warmed slightly. Use a food thermometer to heat raw foods safely.
Organic fruits, vegetables, and other crops have been grown without the use of artificial pesticides, fertilizers, or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Organic animals have been raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones and have been fed an organic crop diet. In most cases, organic animals being raised for food are uncaged and allowed to roam freely. Therefore, they are leaner, stronger, and naturally disease-free. Because organic foods contain minimal additives, they maintain a natural state and are much easier to digest than non-organic foods.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established standards for allowing foods to be labeled as “USDA Organic.” Individual organic farmers who wish to use the USDA Organic labels must meet these standards and undergo yearly inspections to assure compliance. There are three types of USDA Organic products:
100% Organic (the food label is allowed to display the “USDA Organic” symbol)
Organic (at least 95 percent of the ingredients are organic)
Made with Organic Ingredients (70 percent of the ingredients are organic; 30 percent contain no GMOs).
USE… INSTEAD OF… FOR…
Whole grain baking
Leavening in baking
Breading/frying and thickening
Milks (cow’s, rice, and soy)
Moisture in baking
(cold-pressed oils are best)
“Vegetable” oil (usually another name for soybean oil)
Frying and sautéing
Pumpkin and Sunflower seed
Alternative to nut butters
Alternative to nuts
Ginger, sesame, and garlic combined
Flavor in Asian dishes
Evaporated cane juice
White granulated sugar
Guide to Reading Food Labels
Always check ingredient labels every time you buy a packaged product. Manufacturers will frequently change the recipe, the manufacturing process, or the vendors who supply ingredients. Sometimes an allergen may be introduced with each subsequent change. If you are unsure of the product’s “safeness,” contact the manufacturer to ask.
The Food Allergy Labeling Consumer Protection Act of 2006 requires food manufacturers to clearly indicate the presence of the top eight allergens on food labels: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
Words Indicating Gluten Foods Containing Gluten
Barley Barley pearls Muffins
Caramel color Beers (barley) Oatmeal
Flour Breads and breading Oat flour
Protein (HVP) Cake Pasta
Malt Cold cereals Pretzels
Modified food starch Cookies Sausages
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Custard Soft tortillas
Oat Crackers Soy sauce
Rye Cream of wheat Soups
Spelt Crusts Starchy foods listed as
Stabilizers Deli meat
Starch Distilled vinegar
Sweetener Granola bars
Wheat Hot dogs
Words Indicating Casein
(Milk) Foods Containing Casein
Caramel coloring Butter Ice cream
Cream Cheeses Imitation cheeses
Dairy (Milk) Chocolate “Non-dairy” creamer
Lactalbumin Cow’s milk Puddings
Lactoglobulin Custard Salad dressings
“Lactose-free” Deli meat Sauces
Maltodextrin Goat’s milk (its protein is similar to cow’s milk) Sausages
Hot dogs Yogurt
Words Indicating Egg Foods Containing Egg
Albumin Baked goods (breads, cakes, cookies, crusts, etc.)
Emulsifier Egg substitute
Livetin Powdered eggs
Words Indicating Soy Foods Containing Soy
Caramel color Chocolate candy
Emulsifier Hot dogs
Protein Salad dressings
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) Smooth beverages
Vegetable protein Soy milk
Words Indicating Peanut Foods Containing Peanut
(direct relative of peanut) Nuts (high chance for cross-contamination during processing)
Roasted seeds (high chance for cross-contamination during processing)
Words Indicating Tree Nuts Foods Containing Tree Nuts
(Often cross-contaminated with peanut products and seeds) Candy bars
Almonds Flavored coffees
Brazil nuts Nut butters
Chestnuts Thai dishes
Hazelnuts Trail mixes
Words Indicating Rice Foods Containing Rice
Maltodextrin Brown rice
Starch Corn cakes (some brands)
Starchy foods listed as “gluten-free” or “wheat-free”
Words Indicating Fish/Shellfish Foods Containing Fish/Shellfish
Anchovy Asian dishes, sauces
Caviar Cajun dishes
Crab Imitation crabmeat
Fish Pizza topping
Lobster Seafood salad
Mussels Surf and turf menus
Using This Book
Brand names and procedures recommended for these recipes:
Bouchard Family Farms “Acadian” Light Buckwheat Flour: Guaranteed to be free from gluten contamination. Go to www.ployes.com or call 1-800-239-3237 or (207) 834-3237 to order or for a list of retailers.
Birkett Mills Pocono Light/Dark Buckwheat Flour Mix: Best efforts made to avoid cross contamination from other products. Go to www.thebirkettmills.com or call 315-536-9296 to order or for retail information.
Dark Buckwheat Flour:
Arrowhead Mills Organic Buck-wheat Flour, found in most grocery stores and health food stores.
Ancient Harvest (www.quinoa.net), found in most health food stores, grocers or order online.
Amaranth Flour, Potato Flour, Tapioca Flour, and Flaxseed Meal:
Bob’s Red Mill, found in health food stores, most grocers or order at www.bobsredmill.com.
Arrowhead Mills, found in health food stores and most grocers.
Hodgson Mill Yellow Cornmeal found in most grocery stores and Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Cornmeal, found in most health food stores and some grocers.
Ancient Harvest Quinoa-Corn Blend (www.quinoa.net), found in health food stores or most grocers.
Ancient Harvest (www.quinoa.net) and NOW (www.nowfoods.com), both available in health food stores.
Buckwheat “Seeds” or Granules: Wolff’s Kasha (www.wolffskasha.com), available in most grocery and health food stores.
Ancient Harvest (www.quinoa.net), see health food stores or most grocers.
GF Vanilla Extract:
McCormick, found in most grocery stores.
Aluminum-Free Baking Powders: Rumford Aluminum-Free Baking Powder, found in most grocery stores (red packaging) and Everyday 365 found in Whole Foods.
Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: Braggs and Spectrum, found in most health food stores and grocery stores.
Palm Oil Shortening:
Spectrum, found in most health food stores and grocery stores.
Raw Seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower):
NOW (www.nowfoods.com), found in most health food stores.
GFCF Chocolate Chips:
Enjoy Life, found in most grocery stores and health food stores.
Hershey’s (available in dark cocoa and regular cocoa), found in most grocery stores.
Turkey Kielbasa Sausage: Wellshire Farms (www.wellshirefarms.com), found at Whole Foods and some grocery stores.
O.N.E. and VitaCoco, found in health food stores and some grocery stores.
Recipes requiring ground turkey were prepared using 93% lean turkey.
Steamed quinoa is used in lieu of rice in this book because of my son’s rare allergy to rice. If desired and if tolerable, use steamed rice as a side dish in place of steamed quinoa.
Some flours are more readily available than others. For your convenience, most baked recipes offer one or more flour options.
All baked goods should be used, frozen, or discarded within 24 hours. Preservatives and additives are minimal (especially when using organic products), so shelf life is very short.
All stovetop and baked recipes were prepared using a conventional, electric stove and oven. Recipes prepared using a gas stove or oven will require less cooking time (10-15 mins less, on average).
Refrigerate leftovers from all cooked dishes after cooled. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours. Use, freeze, or discard leftovers after 48 hours.
Refrigerate leftovers from raw dishes. Keep for up to 48 hours after preparation. Discard leftovers after 48 hours.
“If you will allow even the slightest opening, if you can have just a bit of curiosity and hope about what might be possible, then I promise that miracles are just around the corner.”
—Suzy Miller, Awesomism
Apple Chicken Sausage
Chicken and Dumplings
Easy Chicken Quinoa Casserole
Chunky Red Bean Chili
Chunky Vegetable Chili (Raw)
Cuban Black Beans
Curried Chicken or Beef
Grilled Chicken Skewers
Maple-Glazed Chicken Legs
Meatballs with Sweet Glaze
Orange Chicken Wings
Thin Pizza Crust
Pumpkin Seed & Apple Stuffed Chicken
Seed-Crusted Chicken Breast
Thai Noodles with Sesame Butter Sauce
Thai Basil Chicken
Turkey Vegetable Toss
Kabobs with Raw Red Curry Sauce
Apple Chicken Sausage
1 LB GROUND CHICKEN
1 MEDIUM APPLE (ANY VARIETY), PEELED AND FINELY CHOPPED
1 TABLESPOON GROUND SAGE
1 TEASPOON SALT
1 TABLESPOON MOLASSES
2 TEASPOONS GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 3 hours (best results if marinated overnight).
2. Use hands to form small sausage patties. Heat a frying pan to medium and cook 3-4 patties until done on each side.
½ LB GROUND BEEF OR TURKEY
1 SMALL ONION, CHOPPED
1 TEASPOON EACH OF SALT, BLACK PEPPER, AND GARLIC POWDER
½ TEASPOON CRUSHED THYME
½ CUP EACH OF FROZEN CORN AND SLICED CARROTS
¼ CUP TOMATO SAUCE
¼ CUP WATER
½ BATCH OF CORNBREAD BATTER (RECIPE FROM PAGE 117)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine meat and onion in a large pan. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned. Drain the fat.
3. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and vegetables. Stir until blended and vegetables are thawed.
4. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Pour all ingredients into a 9-inch round pie pan. Pour cornbread batter over top of the meat. If needed, use a rubber spatula to spread the batter.
5. Bake for 25-30 mins until cornbread appears light brown and crusty.
Chicken and Dumplings
2 BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS
1 SMALL ONION, PEELED AND CUT INTO FOURTHS
1 STALK CELERY, CHOPPED
2 CUPS PEELED AND SLICED CARROTS
3 WHOLE BAY LEAVES
½ TEASPOON CRUSHED OR GROUND THYME
½ TEASPOON GROUND BLACK PEPPER
SALT TO TASTE (UP TO 1 TEASPOON)
5 CUPS WATER
½ CUP LIGHT BUCKWHEAT FLOUR
2 TABLESPOONS TAPIOCA FLOUR
½ TEASPOON SALT
1 TABLESPOON PALM OIL SHORTENING
1 TABLESPOON WATER
1. In a 3 quart pot, combine chicken, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, salt, and water. Stir to combine ingredients.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to low. Cover and simmer on low 40-50 mins or until chicken is very tender. Stir occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, prepare dumplings. Stir together flours and salt in a small bowl. Add shortening and water. Stir until a sticky dough forms. Set aside until chicken has finished cooking.
4. Open the lid and skim off bay leaves. Shred the chicken with a large metal spoon or fork.
5. While the broth is still simmering, scoop 1 tablespoon of dumpling dough and use floured hands (buckwheat) to flatten to ¼ inch thickness. Drop the dough into the pot and repeat until all of the dough is used. Remove from heat immediately—dumplings should cook for no more than 2 mins.
6. Stir and serve warm. Chicken and dumplings may be served with or without the broth.
CORN OR SAFFLOWER OIL FOR FRYING
1 CUP CORNMEAL OR LIGHT BUCKWHEAT FLOUR
½ TEASPOON SALT
1 TEASPOON GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 LARGE BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST, CUT INTO 6-8 SMALL SLICES
1. Preheat oil in a deep fryer.
2. Line a plate with two layers of paper towels. Set aside.
3. Combine cornmeal or flour, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
4. Wash chicken and cut into 6 to 8 slices.
5. Place chicken slices in the bowl with the corn meal or flour. Cover chicken thoroughly.
6. Deep-fry approximately 2 mins or until chicken appears light brown. Stir frequently to prevent chicken from sticking together.
7. Remove from oil. Place on the lined plate to drain excess oil.
8. Cool before serving.
Easy Chicken Quinoa Casserole
1 LARGE CHICKEN BREAST
1 CUP UNCOOKED QUINOA SEEDS
2 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH
2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
1 SMALL ONION, MINCED
1 CELERY STALK, CHOPPED
1 RED BELL PEPPER, SLICED INTO CIRCLES
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Slice chicken breast along the middle to make two thin cutlets. Place in a bowl and season as desired. If your chicken broth contains salt, you may want to omit salt from the seasoning. Set aside.
3. Pour quinoa seeds into a 9-inch baking dish. Add broth, oil, onion, and celery and stir until quinoa is submerged.
4. Top with chicken breasts and bell peppers.
5. Cover tightly and bake 30-40 mins until all broth is absorbed into the quinoa seeds.