Do you or someone you know have special dietary needs? You can modify most baking recipes to accommodate an allergy or special dietary needs. If you are making treats for a potluck or a bake sale, you may want to consider modifying your home baking recipes to be on the safe side so everyone can enjoy them.
A lot of people have nut allergies. You should always think about who will be eating your brownies from your chocolate brownie recipe before you decide on whether to add walnuts or pecans. If you are sharing them with a group of people whom you aren't familiar with, you should probably opt for no nuts. Another option would be to make two batches-one with nuts and one without nuts.
It is hard to believe that anyone would opt to not eat chocolate. But there are a few people who simply can't eat chocolate because of an allergy. There are so many other ways to flavor treats besides using chocolate. If they are allergic to chocolate, their allergy could be triggered by cocoa, milk, nuts, or soy lecithin. You could always ask the person with the allergy what their favorite treat is.
There are a lot of people who have health problems when they consume dairy products. Before you bake something for someone, ask what kinds of things bother them the most. Realize that common items they may have concerns with could be cream cheese, milk, eggs, and butter. When everything is mixed together and baked, it may not be a huge problem for them if they don't consume a lot. It's best to ask the person what they can tolerate.
A lot of people have diabetes and should not consume foods with very much, if any, sugar. There are a lot of cookbooks now with great recipes for diabetics. You can substitute purred fruit and other items for the sugar in some recipes. You can also use sugar substitute products, like Splenda, as a replacement for the sugar in, for example, an apple pie recipe. The one thing to keep in mind is that if you use Splenda, the texture and taste of the baked treat will be altered.
If a person has a gluten allergy, all baking recipes will have to be modified. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. Substitutes for wheat might include corn, potato, barley, oat, soy, and rice flours. You should always ask someone with this allergy what they can and can't tolerate. Because this is diagnosed more often today, there are a lot of recipes for baking that have been modified specifically for gluten allergies. There are entire cookbooks now devoted to these specific recipe needs.
There are a lot of people who like to eat home baked goodies, but have restrictions due to allergies to some ingredients or due to the need to have a low or no sugar diet. Keep these things in mind when you choose a cookie recipe or a banana bread recipe to bake for others. You can add different ingredients or leave out the chocolate or nuts to your baking recipes. After all, you want everyone to enjoy what you bake.
Orla Hayman is an enthusiastic and passionate home baker who loves nothing more than helping other people develop their expertise in the kitchen, in particular teaching people her own distinctive banana bread recipe and real Irish soda bread recipe.