Most helpful critical review
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
inconsistent reporting makes values hard to compare
on April 15, 2004
I have Carpender's 500 Low Carb Recipes, and 15 minute Low Carb recipes, like those books a lot and use them often. Finding those books to be an inspiration to my own low carb creativity, I bought this book to help me determine the carb values of my own recipes, in which I use a lot of the same ingredients Carpender uses but in varying mixtures. I particularly thought that the entries in her own carb counter book would harmonize well with the types of ingredients she often uses, such as varieties of nuts substituted for flour. I also hoped to find extensive information on vegetables, since they are the key variable factors in low carb counting.
This book doesn't well match some of the key ingredients in her own recipes, however. 1 oz., 1/2 cup, 1 small, medium, raw, roasted/salted, cooked, whole, ground, --- the entries are not wide enough to match up to many of the common forms of ingredients used in low carb home cooking. Just when I wanted to know the carb count of some raw veggie, all that could be found was some amount or form that didn't at all match with what I had available. (One of the funniest entries is for potatoes, which I rarely use whole, using mostly only the skins--not listed--but notice: there is info for a whole pound, for hash browns, for homemade potato salad [what recipe was that anyway?], but no value for a 3 oz. plain whole potato.)
I don't need to know the info for prepackaged items, since in the United States, that is readily and more easily found on the package. And I don't eat often in restaurants.
I am still looking for a good carb counter for home cooking. So far I find the Eades (Protein Power authors), The Protein Power Lifeplan Gram Counter to be superior to this book. In addition to carb counts the Eads book lists Omega 6 & 3 values, and has special, easily found, pages on particularly desirable foods (such as high vitamin C, magnesium, E, and biggest bang for the buck foods), whereas Carpender either doesn't mention things like vitamins, and disperses the lowest carb foods throughout the whole book, burying them in each entry. This is a matter of preference, but I find Carpender's information just to hard to find, especially in the moment when I am standing in the kitchen wondering about a particular substitute for a recipe I am poised to make right then.
Carpender seems like a nice gal, and certainly has lots of spunk, but I feel that this book may have been written too hastily at best. I'm sorry I bought it, though it is pretty funny in places, but not where I think it is supposed to entertain.