Recipes satisfy even finicky stomachs

Bev Smit understands just how difficult it can be to eat.

Bev Smit understands just how difficult it can be to eat.Smit, who suffers from Celiac disease, along with hypersensitivity to toxins, dairy, sugar and yeast, could not tolerate many foods and became frustrated by the lack of basic information available.”I found it really hard to find products,” she explained, as she quickly discovered a gluten-free item may not be dairy-free, or vice-versa.Smit said she began researching a variety of specialty cookbooks, yet began to discover much of the information to be clinical and contained ingredients she could not tolerate. “I began to gather information from talking to people and looking at different companies and what products they did and didn’t carry,” she noted. “Being diagnosed (with Celiac disease) was just a starting point.”Smit began writing a book about 10 years ago with the intention of providing a basic, complete survival guide for people with restricted diets. She said her goal was to provide a book with basic information along with recipes focused not just on one ingredient or diet.”I’ve been using the recipes for years and have been perfecting them over time. They work really well and taste good,” she said.The difference, added Smit, is that the recipes included in her book are very flexible and can easily work with substitutes, including different types of dairy, flour and more.”You don’t have to go out and buy 18 different types of specialty ingredients. You can substitute and the recipes work,” she explained. Smit’s first attempt at publishing a book was a success when she created a small book filled with recipes. Her second book, A New Kind of Normal, provides background and acts as a basic starting point for those on restricted diets, she said.”The big book has information on where and how to start, talks about ingredients and provides some recipes. The little book provides some information and a whole lot of recipes,” Smit added.In addition to book launches at bookstores and grocery stores across Vancouver Island, Smit is also busy creating another small book to be published in the spring containing more recipes, but specifically focused upon using a five-cup blend — a combination of starches and flours that can be used in other recipes. Smith will sign books Dec. 8 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Laughing Oyster Bookstore, and Dec. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m at Blue Heron Bookstore. The book is available at the store, or online at