I ordered this cookbook quite some time ago with the intention of trying out some new recipes. It only took about a year later and one “snowpocalypse” to attempt my first recipe from it. The result? Deliciousness! … But I’ve saved the details for a separate post 🙂
I discovered this cookbook, along with several others that I have yet to try out, from the Living Without Website. A list of all their cookbooks that are available for sale are found here: http://www.livingwithout.com/products/ … The magazine is a US publication and there is usually a link for Canadian purchases, which can mean higher prices but most always means higher shipping costs. I’d recommend checking out Chapters.ca or Amazon.ca to see if you can find a better deal, as you can combine with other products and receive free shipping if you cart total is usually above $25 (or some other determined amount).
What I like about this cookbook is that it is broken into two parts:
Part I: Essentials for Gluten-Free Baking
Part II: The Recipes
The majority of Part I is dedicated to ingredients and substitutions. Jules starts out by giving an overview of the items that one might find in their pantry which are basic/naturally gluten-free. She then gives a list of safe, gluten-free ingredients (such as grains, pseudocereals, beans, etc.) and then follows up with a list of evil non-gluten-free grains and other ingredients to avoid.
One of the most useful parts of the book is the Handy Substitution Guide. The guide starts out talking about Flour and how Jules devised her Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Blend. It then discusses other premixed blends, as well as making your own gluten-free blend.
She then lists other gluten-free ingredients that you should keep on hand, such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, sugar and sweeteners, gluten-free oats/cereals/chips, as well as flax seeds. She gives an overview of each one, lists several brands that she has used, and also makes some references to use in recipes found throughout the book.
Egg substitutes are the next topic and one that I thought was presented very well. She briefly discusses store-bought egg replacers but goes into great detail about homemade egg replacers. She gives a recipe for 12 different egg replacer recipes and groups them according to what they are best suited for:
- Yeast breads
- Savory Dishes
- Replacing Egg Yolks
- Frying foods or browning crusts
Dairy and soy substitutes are also presented. Substitutes for milk, buttermilk, Half-and-Half/heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, yogurt/sour cream, butter/shortening, cheese/cream cheese, ice-cream/whipped cream are explained with recipes for non-dairy evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk given.
Nut substitutes are explained and are broken out according to whether you are looking for the nutty texture, or the nutty taste.
Jules then discusses alcohols in baking. She notes that although distilled alcohols are gluten-free, you need to be weary of added flavourings. She also discusses use of gluten-free beers in her recipes, as well as flavour extracts.
My favourite part of the book is that there are food restriction icons for each recipe which include: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free or Vegetarian. Many of the recipes are possible this way because Jules highlights the option for substitution. For example, for many of the egg replacements she suggests which Egg Replacer recipe to use which will save you time when executing the recipe! 🙂
Part I is then capped off with some baking notes … which I thought came in handy. For example, I had no idea that kneading gluten-free doughs actually do more harm than good (…. Good tip, Jules! Thanks)
Once you’ve digested (figuratively, of course) all of this info, it’s time to jump into the next stage of actual digestion – the recipe execution!! Part II is broken out into:
- Breakfast Foods
- Appetizers & Side Dishes
- Breads & Rolls
- Main Events; and last but not least
- Desserts (the largest section! Jules, you know the way to a girl’s heart!)
This cookbook looks fantastic and should give those with food allergies and food intolerances the ability to enjoy fantastic meals and treats without having to worry about their safety or digestion woes!!
As I try out recipes from this cookbook, I’ll update with links below!
If you are currently using this cookbook, please share what your favourite recipes are!
Happy Baking/Cooking & Eating!!