Cookbooks

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New Cookbooks

I am so happy to report that two of my favorite authors/resources have new cookbooks available.  Check out Quick and Easy Meals from Mark Sisson (the Primal Blueprint guru) and you can pre-order Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam (the almond flour expert).  New recipes – I can’t wait!

Elana’s Pantry

Finding other people who think like you do, or have conquered challenges similar to yours is, in my opinion, finding the holy grail. That’s how I felt when I found www.elanaspantry.com.  This is a really great blogsite written by Elana Amsterdam and is full of helpful information and fabulous recipes using mainly almond flour in place of grains.  These are great options for gluten-free eating, grain-free eating, low-carb eating, Primal and Paleo diets, even Passover celebrations.

Elana has become the “go to” person for cooking and baking with almond flour and she has recently published her first cookbook, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. Anyone living a healthy lifestyle should really think about adding this cookbook to their collection.  Almond flour is delicious, full of protein (low in carbs!), nutrient dense, versatile, full of fiber and Elana has come up with some great ways to use it.  I have only had mine for several weeks and it is already “well loved” and everything I have tried has been a delicious success.

GF Substitutions For Wheat Flour

When cooking and baking gluten-free, you will find a lot of different variations of GF mixes, but the most important thing to remember is that substituting just one flour for wheat flour isn’t going to give you a decent product.  But not to worry, you just have to try a few combinations and see what works best for what your are creating.  I always keep a general GF mix in my refrigerator to use for most uses (baking and cooking) but you might find different combinations work better for specific recipes.  Be sure to check your recipes – there are tons of great GF cookbooks out now, and each author will tell you which combination works the best for their specific recipes. This is especially true for any bread recipes.  Bread making typically uses a different combination, so just check your recipes before you go grocery shopping.

  • My “go to” GF Mix is the one I’ve used for years, originally from the great GF cookbooks by Bette Hagman (click here for her books): 2 parts white rice flour | 2/3 part potato starch | 1/3 part tapioca flour (be careful – potato starch is totally different than potato flour!)
  • Annalise G. Roberts has a book called Gluten-Free Baking Classics which is absolutely chock full of great information and wonderful recipes for baked goods, sweets, desserts, muffins, etc.  The GF Mix that she uses for many things is similar to the one above : 2 parts brown rice flour (extra finely ground) | 2/3 part potato starch | 1/3 tapioca flour (again, be sure it is potato starch, not potato flour).  She also has combinations that she uses for bread and pizza, and really good sections about the science of GF baking and really understanding the complexities of GF baking.  Her book is definitely worth a look.  Click here to find it.

Great Gluten Free Cookbooks

When I first started eating a gluten-free diet, there were very few cookbooks available.  Bette Hagman’s books were the first I ever found and hers are still the “go-to” books for many GF folks.  Luckily, the bookstores and online booksellers now have a large selection of GF authors to choose from, and the number grows every day.  In my experience, all the books that I have seen or bought for my own collection have their own perspective, or own focus, so I would recommend you do some homework before you start buying all the cookbooks you see that have yummy things on their covers.

Some books are just recipes with a bit of information in the beginning, some are more about the GF lifestyle, how to maneuver through the grocery aisles, etc.  Even the cookbooks vary in the type of substitute flours they use.  Some lean towards a more typical flour blend such as rice flour/tapioca flour/potato starch, some are geared towards using bean flours, sorghum, soy, and others.  And yes, some books use several different blends, so there is a wide variety of choices as to the type of books that are available.  Many of these authors also include a chapter, or sometimes several chapters, on making GF bread with bread machines.

Below are some of the titles that I have and use frequently.

Bette Hagman – The Gluten-Free Gourmet, More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy, and The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert. These books are dog-earred, yellow-paged, and covered with spills for a reason.  They are a great resource for basic recipes that I have used for years, such as Cornbread, Popovers (yum!), Drop Scones (fabulous thick pancakes) and many more.

Donna Washburn and Heather Butt – 123 Best Gluten-Free Recipes and The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook. These authors are the ones to thank for my favorite pie crust recipe.  It’s great for sweet treats, but it is also wonderful for Chicken Pot Pie.

Rebecca Reilly – Gluten-Free Baking. Fabulous recipes for cookies, quick breads, and other treats.  Rebecca is a wonderful baker and a frequent contributor to Living Without Magazine.  This book also includes lots of information about GF baking and resources for tools and supplies.

Richard J. Coppedge Jr., C.M.B. – Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America. This is the real deal.  The C.M.B. stands for Certified Master Baker so if you want top notch information and recipes, take a look at this book.  He uses a number of different flour blends so it’s a bit more complex, but I don’t think you’ll find any author who is more of an expert on this subject.

Phyllis Potts – Still Going Against The Grain. Many of these recipes are also dairy free.

Jax Peters Lowell – Against The Grain. Do yourself a favor and pick up any of this author’s books.  Anyone having to deal with a special diet is really helped by having a sense of humor, and Jax includes a wonderful sense of humor in every book.  Although this book includes a few recipes, it is really a great primer on eating GF.  My favorite chapter is on attitude – it truly is everything!  The chapters include learning how to traveling, eating in restaurants, the marketing of food, really figuring out what companies have some integrity in their nutritional information, and tons of resources.