Against the Grain by Nancy Cain

Book description:

Nancy Cain came to gluten-free cooking simply enough: Her teenage son was diagnosed with celiac disease. After trying ready-made baking mixes and finding the results rubbery and tasteless, she pioneered gluten-free foods made entirely from natural ingredients–no xanthan or guar gums or other mystery chemical additives allowed. That led her to adapt many of her family’s favorite recipes, including their beloved pizzas, pastas, and more, to this real food technique. In Against the Grain, Nancy finally shares 200 groundbreaking recipes for achieving airy, crisp breads, delicious baked goods, and gluten-free main dishes.
For any of these cookies, cakes, pies, sandwiches, and casseroles, you use only natural ingredients such as buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and ripe fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re making Potato Rosemary Bread, iced Red Velvet Cupcakes, Lemon-Thyme-Summer Squash Ravioli, or Rainbow Chard and Kalamata Olive Pizza, you’ll be able to use ingredients already in your pantry or easily found at your local supermarket.
With ample information for gluten-free beginners and 100 colorful photographs, this book is a game changer for gluten-free households everywhere.

My review:

I couldn’t wait to read this book!  We recently became a gluten-free family by necessity, much like the authors family.  Gluten-free cooking and baking is a lifestyle change.  Fortunately, there are a variety of gluten-free commercial products available.  Unfortunately, they are usually twice the price of their counterparts.  My husband and I realized very early that it would be much more economical to prepare as much as we could from scratch.

This book delivers everything that it promises, excellent gluten-free recipes made from real ingredients.  The best part is that the recipes call for ingredients that are readily available at the neighborhood health food store!  The recipes are a breeze to follow and the sidebars contain a lot of information, too.

Far and away the section I liked the best was the beginning.  Cain spends the first 50 pages discussing the ins-and-outs of gluten-free baking.  I learned a lot about the role of gluten in baking and why different techniques and textures are necessary.  I also learned about different kinds of flour that I had never heard of before and certainly had never cooked with before!

I think it would be great if all doctors’ offices had a copy of this book to hand out to their patients when they deliver the news that gluten can no longer be a part of their diets.  It is difficult to leave the doctor’s office and understand that you need to make a change, but have no idea where to start.  This book provides a solid foundation for making those changes.

This is one cookbook that won’t leave my kitchen shelves any time soon!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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