Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Surprise! It's Gluten Free!

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Surprise! It's Gluten Free! is a tutorial guide and cookbook for gluten-free foods which don't taste gluten-free by Jennifer Fisher. Due out 20th July 2021 from Penguin Random House on their DK Alpha imprint, it's 192 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is a well presented cookbook with recipes which are very close approximations of classic breads, desserts, and other comfort foods which people who are gluten intolerant can eat without problems. The book has an easy to follow layout with easy to read text and clear graphics. The introductory chapter and how-to's  cover the basic hows and whys of ingredient choices, as well as a guide to different gluten-free flour blends. The following chapters contain the recipes grouped thematically:breakfast, fish & poultry, beef & pork, sides & soups, pizza & bread, sweet loaves muffins & scones, pies & fruity desserts, cakes & cupcakes, and brownies & cookies.

Each of the recipes includes an introductory description, ingredients listed in a bullet point sidebar (US measurements only), step by step instructions, along with some serving suggestions and alternative presentations. There is no nutritional information included.  I would estimate roughly 20% of the recipes are accompanied by photographs. The photos provided are high quality and clear and serving suggestions are attractive and appropriate.

The recipe ingredients themselves are mostly easily sourced and will be available at well stocked grocery stores. There are a few ingredients which might be a little more difficult to source or require an international foods grocery (xanthan gum for example), but definitely nothing that is 'way out there'.

All in all a very well written, beautifully presented collection made from (mostly) unprocessed real ingredients which are easily sourced and taste good. We tried some of the quickbread loaves and they do give a good approximation of the starch filled traditional banana nut and cranberry loaves. They even held together well enough to tolerate a slathering of (soft) butter.

Five stars, I'll be revisiting this cookbook often.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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