I had the pleasure of reviewing “The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free” the new book put out by blogger Jeanine Friesen (The Baking Beauties). I have to say I was expecting a cook book with a few tips about cross contamination and eating out. Boy, was I surprised! This book is a treasure. Almost half is dedicated to the intricacies associated with true gluten free living. While Jeanine points out that there is a fad component to going GF, she focuses her attention on the true need of gluten intolerant folks to be completely gluten-free.
There are lists and tips as well as detailed and current research on celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. How to stock your kitchen and keep your GF stuff safe if you have a shared space. Help for eating out, traveling, dealing with kids of all ages.
A very comprehensive book indeed. And we haven’t gotten to the recipes yet. The Baking Beauties blog has been a resource of mine since my own diagnosis so I was eager to see if my favorites made the cut. Sure enough the crustless pumpkin pie was included – a fave for all pumpkin fans.
One of the key features I appreciate about Jeanine’s recipes is that she does not use an all purpose GF flour blend. Each recipe lists the individual flours and amounts required for that recipe. This is important because I find each all purpose blend tends to be a bit different and each baker thinks theirs is the best. The GF kitchen already has enough new stuff in without then needing space for 6 different blends. Jeanine doesn’t bother with this and let us simply dip into our flour bins and blend as needed. A huge plus in my opinion.
The recipes are simple and varied. If you are missing something and what to replace it, chances are Jeanine has thought of this. I like the basic nature of her cooking and baking. There is a place for fancy food but when you are first starting out on a gluten-free lifestyle, you struggle with figuring out how to substitute all your foods for dishes that won’t make you sick. This book gives you an excellent foundation in this regard.
A great overall book for the gluten-free beginner.