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Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature's Ultimate Sweetener Paperback – March 1, 2008


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Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature's Ultimate Sweetener + The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587613212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587613210
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boasting a low glycemic index and fewer calories per serving than refined sugar, agave nectar has been embraced by the health-conscious for years, and is becoming increasingly easier to source. Catalano, owner of Gourmet Whole Foods Catering and Cooking School in Milford, Conn., gives readers 80 ways to use the versatile sweetener in this impressive collection. Agave-sweetened versions of favorites like sticky buns, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, lemon bars and creamy cheesecakes should be a boon for those previously unable to enjoy their sweets. As a bonus, a handful of recipes are vegan and gluten-free as well. Novices may be intimidated by the labor-intensive sticky buns and the prospect of making pie crust from scratch, but Catalano does her best to keep the recipes as simple as possible. As in many books of this type, ingredients like sprouted spelt flour, unsweetened soymilk powder and quinoa flour can be difficult to source, but Catalano helpfully provides a comprehensive guide to ordering them.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Exploring the delicious range of agave nectars has changed the way I think about sweeteners. Ania's book is a great place to find inspiration and get to know the nuances of this unique, all-natural sweetener."  --Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Cooking "We all need better quality desserts, and cooking with agave nectar--a clean, natural sugar--is a step in the right direction. Enjoy these wholesome treats."  --Elson M. Haas, MD, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition

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Customer Reviews

Agave is the nectar of the gods!
Tiffany Mccauley
This is a great cookbook with a wide variety of recipes that are tasty and easy to execute.
Arthea D. Strongin
Recipes require too many exotic ingredients.
Lulu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Sharee Hebert on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really excited when I found out this book was being published, because I've only been using Agave Nectar for a few months and have had a hard time finding/adapting recipes. I preordered it months ago. My first time reading through the book had me considering sending it back. What I was hoping for was a collection of recipes that had been adapted to use Agave Nectar, but had familiar ingredients. The recipes call for things that are hard to find at a regular grocery store (at least in the area where I live). Barley flour, quinoa flour, and silken tofu are not items normally stocked in my kitchen.

So far, I've baked 3 different things from the cookbook. I've found that the cooking times given are too long, especially for the lemon bars. The flourless chocolate cake recipe also has errors, as it leaves out a step in combining ingredients. I'll keep trying different recipes, but I don't have high hopes that this is a cookbook I'll use every time I bake, and when I do use it, I'll make sure to set my timer for a lot shorter time than the recipes call for.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By a reader on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited to hear about this book... I have PCOS and need to lay off the high-glycemic food. Another cookbook that I love--King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking--has whole-wheat recipes, but they also use tons of sugar, so it kind of negates the whole idea of low-glycemic baking (if that's what you're after). I thought this book would be the opposite--that it would use white flour even though it doesn't use refined sugar. To my delight, I was wrong. The recipes use whole grains only.

I was so excited to try the recipes... the book itself is beautiful, with gorgeous photographs and yummy-sounding recipes. And it was recommended by a cooking blog that I trust.

So today I tried the following recipes: Ultimate Fudgy Brownies and Raspberry Linzer Torte Cookies. Both were really easy to make, and used Spelt Flour (which, by the way is very expensive at $11 for 5 lbs, but for a cook book that uses an ingredient like Agave Nectar, expensive ingredients are to be expected).

The Brownies turned out very chocolatey, but the texture was.... off. I did whatever I could to keep from over-mixing and over-baking. I pulled it out of the oven 5 minutes before the recommended 30 minutes and found it to have this feel.. not quite rubbery, but like it was made with egg whites or something (in fact, it uses 4 whole eggs). And it looks like some of the agave nectar leached out of the batter and coated the bottom of the pan while it was cooking. Very strange.

The Linzer cookies were better, I think. The texture was great and I liked the combination of spelt flour, oats and almonds in the cookie portion.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Health nut on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was extremely excited to find this book. I use agave nectar in my coffee, in dressings and in sauces and I was thrilled at the possibility of being able to bake with it. I ordered the book and read it from cover to cover. I then set to spend over $150 on ingredients listed in the book. I ordered the sprouted flours from one store, the oat and barley flours and other items from an amazon seller, the essences and dried fruits from another store and I patiently waited for everything to arrive, giddy at the thought that I will bake these wonderful bars, cookies and cakes.

Well, I first tried the zucchini drops. Inedible. My four year old spit it out, my 10 year old said there were awful and my husband put it down after one bite. In retrospect I think it was the sprouted flour, which gives an unbearable vegetable taste to everything you put it in. It's the first desert that I had to throw away in 20 years of baking. I thought it was just bad luck and the next day I tried the coconut bars. How can something which includes coconut, chocolate and walnuts not turn out good? I'll spare you the details but this was the second desert of my life who ended up in the trash can. I didn't even dare to try it on my family anymore. Using the 9x13 pan that the author suggested the crust ended up being a 1mm deep crumbly, vegetable-tasting mess and the filling didn't taste any better.

In my house, we eat healthy and we love agave nectar. But something is seriously wrong with these recipes. I should have paid more attention to the fact that some of the 5 star reviewers did not yet try the book but some of the lower rating reviewers had experiences similar with mine. Oh well, I'm now turning to the other book I bought along with this one, "Sugar-free and fruit sweet" by Janice Feuer and hope to have better luck with it.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Baking with Agave Nectar Ania Catalano presents over 100 recipes for using this intense sweetener, many of which are designed to be healthy in other ways, too. These recipes use whole grains, for example---pie crusts often involve oat flour, barley flour, whole wheat pastry flour, etc. Fruit substitutes for butter in some recipes, providing moisture and structure to cupcakes and the like. While some recipes use dairy (such as a banana cream pie that has whipped cream folded into a custard), others are vegan, such as a coconut custard pie made with tofu, of all things.

Ms. Catalano makes the assumption that if you're switching to agave, you're doing it because you want to be healthier in general. What amazes me, however, is the fact that she manages to do this without compromising the deliciousness of her recipes. In fact, these recipes are so utterly amazing that I wouldn't hesitate to make something from this book instead of a similar recipe from a non-healthy book, even if I weren't trying to be healthy in my eating.

The directions in this book are easy to follow, and the recipes are clear and easy to read. he only problem I encountered at all is one that's tough to avoid when dealing with whole grains: some baked goods lack a certain amount of structural integrity. One pie crust we made tended to fall apart pretty easily. Similarly, the chocolate chip cookies we made from this book tended to fall apart. However, I can virtually guarantee that once you taste a bite of either, you simply won't care about structure!

The coconut custard pie was the dish that most amazed me. The idea of a coconut custard pie based on tofu instead of dairy seemed dubious at best. Yet it was SO delicious that I could hardly stop eating it.
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