Picture of 2 pumpkin pies

Beyond Cooking From Scratch: A Glimpse of Special Diets Cooking

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If you or your child is on a special diet that needs a lot of cooking, it can be hard to explain how much work it is. This pumpkin pie example from my own experience cooking for my daughter is my attempt to explain what it’s like. There is a big difference between what most people think of when they hear “cooking from scratch” and what I do.

In most cases when someone wants to make a pumpkin pie, they start with a family recipe, or maybe one recommended by a friend or cooking show. Then they go to a grocery store, where each ingredient has a selection of brands to pick from based on price, quality, or taste preference. The ingredients look something like this:
Canned pumpkin
Evaporated milk
All purpose flour
Pumpkin pie spice

When I make my daughter a pumpkin pie, I started with research. The first task was to learn about the flavor of different pumpkin and winter squash varieties, to pick one that would have a good flavor. Without spices, the flavor of the squash needed to make a good pie on its own. Then I researched many filling and crust recipes, so I could pick the ones that were the closest to matching the ingredients I could work with. Then it’s time to go shopping. Instead of getting everything from one store, multiple stores and online orders are required. This is our ingredients list:
One Red Kuri squash, only available a few weeks a year at health type grocery stores, then baked and puréed
Coconut cream from Amazon
Duck eggs from a local farm
Sprouted oats from an online specialty site, for grinding to make flour
Coconut flour from a different specialty site
Beef tallow from Amazon
Honey from a local beekeeper
Organic ginger root from the grocery store, peeled and grated

So just from this simple example, you can see that buying and cooking food for my daughter takes a lot more work than typical cooking from scratch.

Picture of 2 pumpkin pies
Two of the homemade pies I have made

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3 thoughts on “Beyond Cooking From Scratch: A Glimpse of Special Diets Cooking

  1. Our life, too, though the restrictions are more for me than for my daughter. I’ve been following AIP since 2014 and my hope is that she will be healthier than I am as a result of my efforts!

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