Published August 19th, 2009
Summer Fruit Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
By Susie Iventosch
Lauren Hoover Photo provided

Have you ever tried a wheat-free, dairy-free recipe only to discover it tastes like a cardboard copy of real food, lacking the key attributes of flavor and texture? If so, Lauren Hoover has just the cookbook for you. No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem is a revolutionary cookbook filled with 150 tested recipes, which, in addition to being wheat and dairy-free, use only unrefined sugars, so diabetics can enjoy them too.
"No Wheat No Dairy No Problem aims to help everyone with food sensitivities or allergies, diabetes and autism," Hoover pointed out. "However, it is for anyone who desires to eat and cook healthy. It is also great for people who need to eat heart healthy diets, since the main flour used is oat flour."
Hoover, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and St. Mary's College of Moraga, wrote this book so people with limited diets and food issues won't unnecessarily be deprived of the recipes and foods they've grown to love ... like ice cream!
"I suffered stomach aches and congestion my whole life, until I was finally diagnosed with a dairy allergy at the age of 35," she said. "As a pastry chef, I was overexposed to wheat, which resulted in wheat allergy, too."
Prior to her diagnosis, Hoover had grown weary of her daily discomfort and thought "it can't be normal to feel like this all the time." So she made a concerted effort to find out what was wrong with her. Her research pointed to a possible wheat allergy, and as a result she omitted wheat from her diet, which made her feel better, but still not great. Then she met with an internist who ordered blood work that revealed a dairy allergy. Within six weeks of cutting out dairy and wheat, Hoover had a new lease on life.
"The stomach aches and congestion went away and I had more energy than ever before," she explained. "But the foods I was able to eat on my new regime often tasted like cardboard. So I started converting old favorites into new edibles for me."
Hoover also says that many children who actually have wheat allergies have been misdiagnosed with autism.
"The autism community is making great strides with this kind of diet," she said. "There have been cases where autism symptoms have vanished after being on a wheat-free, dairy-free diet."
With a new-found mission to help as many people in the world as possible, this classically-trained chef who honed her culinary skills in many famous kitchens (La Folie, Hyatt and Marriot resorts, Fairmont Hotel, Bally's Hotel and Casino and Wente Brothers Winery, to name a few) decided to write a cookbook at the urging of her good friends.
For the past seven years, that is exactly what she set out to do, working weekends and nights on the book, which was just published in July.
"Through this cookbook, people on limited diets due to allergies can now enjoy many of the foods they know and love," she said. "Actually, anyone can try these recipes and appreciate that eating and cooking healthy can be delicious!"
Alisa Fleming of GoDairyFree.org said, "Lauren Hoover applied her expertise and own experience to create this cookbook filled with tantalizing recipes. Her use of natural ingredients and [her] unwillingness to sacrifice an ounce of flavor has resulted in this delicious compilation of Southern comfort food, elegant entertaining and seductive desserts that will make you forget what isn't inside!"
In the book, Hoover offers tips for what to look for on labels to determine dairy and wheat content, helpful hints about safety and sanitation, and resources for where to find more information about food allergies and how to combat them. No Wheat No Dairy No Problem offers suggestions of how to eat healthier in general and the recipes call for commonly found ingredients.
"It was very important to me to use healthy, familiar and readily available ingredients in my recipes for No Wheat No Dairy No Problem" Hoover said "In realizing that not everyone has a health food store or specialty shop near their home, I added recipes for the main ingredients including: almond milk and oat flour in case people cannot find the ingredients they can make them."
This recipe for Summer Fruit Crisp is timely with all of the beautiful ripe stone fruits at the farmers' markets. We made this dish last weekend with peaches, plums and nectarines and it turned out beautifully!
To learn more about food allergies, or to purchase a copy of No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, please visit www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com

Agave nectar, a natural extract from the cactus plant with minimal processing, has a low glycemic index (eliminated the highs and lows associated with refined sugar) and tolerated by most diabetics.

There has been a lot of confusion about oats not being gluten-free. The oats are actually gluten free, but most are contaminated with gluten in the manufacturing process. Now there are companies such as Bob's Red Mill, (www.glutenfree.org) that have gluten free oats available.

Lauren's peachy-pear crisp Photo Susie Iventosch
Summer Fruit Crisp
I look forward to summer fruits all year long. Who doesn’t like
warm fruit with a crumbly topping with vanilla ice “cream”?
Yields: 1 (9x12) pan or 2 quart round soufflé dish-serves
6-10 people

3 pounds of stone fruit
(nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums), 1 inch slices
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon tapioca starch or 2 tablespoons oat
or barley flour
1 cup oat or barley flour, sifted
½ cup date sugar or maple sugar or sucanat
(I substituted organic turbinado raw cane sugar)
1 stick vegan Earth Balance, cold or frozen and diced
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder, optional
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash lemons and fruit with vegetable wash. Do you know how many people have handled that fruit? Trust me, you don’t want to know…just wash it and rinse well with cold water! Slice fruit and put in a large bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients to the fruit, stir well. Place fruit mixture into a 9x12 glass baking dish or a 2-quart round soufflé dish or something equivalent-it can be a different shape, but the same size. Set fruit aside.
For the topping, place all ingredients into a food processor with the “S” blade (Sabatier chopping blade) and pulse until it is crumbly and the size of cherries. This can also be done with a pastry cutter in a bowl. Pour evenly over fruit and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Cool for one hour.
*Can prepare crisp ahead of time and freeze to bake at a later time. If frozen, increase baking time to approximately 1 hour.
Susie Iventosch suziven@gmail.com
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