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on June 14, 2010
First of all, let me say the recipes in this book are wonderful, from traditional to unique, often integrating healthy ingredients I never would have thought to use. Typically, I would call this a good thing. However, sometimes the ingredients are difficult to come by (hemp seeds, carob, and quinoi flour-- for instance-- I would have to mail order), and no substitutions are given. The sweeteners, in particular, are unnecessarily varied and complicated. Most recipes call for 2-3 different types of sweetener-- agave, coconut (palm) sugar, liquid stevia, stevia plus (YUM), truvia (YUK-- why would they even mention this), erythritol, and yacon syrup-- and they are worded in such a way that makes substitution difficult. For instance, I actually bought the book because a previous review mentioned it relied heavily on the sweeter stevia, which it DOES. However, almost all recipes call for (expensive) flavored liquid stevia and it took quite a bit of math to figure out how many packets of stevia plus equate to the liquid form (a dropperful is what the recipes call for, which essentially forces you to use the ONE brand that has one-- coincidence)? The fact that substitutions/equivilents aren't given in the recipes, or even (without a lot of math and research) in the book, seems odd to me. Finally, most of the recipes combine stevia with another REAL sugar. If you're like me and wanting to REALLY avoid sugar, you'll know that palm sugar and agave are STILL SUGAR, and high caloric, albeit a tad bit kinder to blood sugar levels (which, incidentally, is still under debate). So, I would recommend this book for experienced cooks who don't mind going out on a limb with substitutions or for cooks willing to stock their kitchen with hard-to-find and expensive ingredients. Novice cooks or busy folks might want to find a cookbook with less varied ingredients. You can always substitute in the healthy or exotic ingredients whenever they make their way into your pantry.
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on September 19, 2009
I own several Gluten Free, Sugar Free cookbooks and many more medical science books to explain the "WHY"- and there are so many. This book is an excellent cookbook with detailed information for what to substitute where and when. So many Gluten-Free cookbooks never consider the SUGAR factor, which in my opinion, is very mis-leading and for so many Gluten-sensitive people an incredible waste of time, energy, and frustration.
Likewise I have several sugar-free recipe books, where the most common sugar substitutions are still, biochemically sugar. For instance, brown rice syrup-still sugar, your body doesn't know the difference on a chemical level. Glycemic Index wise it's only slightly lower than brown sugar, not enough that one should become too comfortable using as a constant substitution. I don't know what research Kelly relied on, maybe trial-and-error, whatever her method her product is sound and it shows in her consistency and the results the sugar-sensitive consumer experiences. ALSO, importantly, if you're cooking for a skeptical audience, or difficult-to-please children, the food is absolutely delightful.

-LP
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on November 2, 2009
Kelly has thought of absolutely everything!!! It's all spelled out in the "If you crave that, eat this section." I have had medical issues, a compromised immune system, etc. and Kelly's recipes have been a lifesaver... literally! Sugar in particular causes me awful heartburn, exhaustion, bone and joint aches, etc. Now that I have the opportunity to eat so many outrageously delicious foods I NEVER feel deprived. I get so much enjoyment from many of Kelly's recipes.
My sister suffers from allergies and had to totally remove gluten and sugar from her diet. Since changing her eating habits to gluten free/sugar free she has gone from a size 8 to a size 2 in a matter of 3 months. She looks and feels like a new woman. My kids eat all the recipes and beg for more of the mock mashed potatoes, smart cookies, and hemp brownies. These were kids who only ate kid friendly foods, and now have learned the difference and know how unfriendly they really were.
As with anything new it takes a bit of time and planning, but what a worthwhile difference. I have staples on hand, like Kelly's Mermaid Salad and Blueberry Breakfast Bread at all times and never tire of them.
Trying is Buying Into an amazing concept and lifestyle! The perfect balance that is not too extreme.
Kelly has even answered phone calls during the recipe making process to offer additional expertise. Unheard of right???
Thank you Kelly for being a pioneer and helping so many in need!
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on December 2, 2010
First off I laughed at the begining of the book where she says sugar free-gluten free "You will look and feel more beautiful, weigh less, and feel happier." She prefaces this comment by talking about the inflammatory properties of white sugar and flour....flash forward to her recipes where she calls for white rice flour. That's just as bad as white flour for those that don't have to be gluten free. Very misleading for those that are following her advice because they would like to be more beautiful. Everyone is looking for the fountain of youth and she's using that allure to sell her questionably healthy book.
Secondly Agave is used all over this book. I'll probably get flamed for this but this sweetner is crap. It has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup...is still highly processed no matter what letter the company puts out saying it's not. It's anywhere from 55%-90% fructose. Worse than HFCS.
With that said I don't know how I'll loose weight AND get more beautiful eating white rice flour, agave nectar and loads of vegetable shortening in my sweets. I will make her break the fast muffins, blueberry corn bread muffins, and the cinnamon bagels as these are truly sugar free and use some fantastic flours! Guess that will make up for the fact I had to rate this with at least one star.
I'll stick with other recipes that use nutritional powerhouse flours, no oil, no butter, and no sugar. Because a sugar by any other name is still a sugar.
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on October 17, 2013
I bought this because it advertised itself as "Sugar free/gluten free" - but it is in no way, shape or form about true gluten free and sugar free baking. As another reviewer noted: rice flour, buckwheat flour and quinoa flour are just as bad as wheat flours. Not only do most of them contain forms of gluten, they are highly processed, high carbohydrate, and loaded with lectins. Corn flours are just as bad.

Again, as a previous reviewer noted, agave syrup is a high carb sweetener that has been shown to be, in many respects, worse than sugar or HFCS.

The author advertises her cooking/dietary advice as "rejuvenating" and that is just completely false. There IS one diet that is provably rejuvenating: a protein restricted, high fat, ketogenic diet coupled with resistance training which activates wild mtDNA and has been shown in laboratory experiments to lengthen telomeres, protect and restore neuronal function, heal or control many conditions including auto-immune disorders.

Another deadly item in this book is "all-natural shortening sticks" or "vegetable butter". Every cell in your body is made of fat and the kind of fat you eat determines how well your cells communicate with one another. The optimal fat for the human being is animal fat. Check The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series) for details. You'll be glad you did and you will find the real beef that the present book in question does NOT deliver.

Being on a Paleo diet, alternating at times with a ketogenic diet, I AM concerned to be able to produce some nice treats for my family now and then, so I was hoping that this book would contribute to my own inventions, but sadly, it is very misleading and misguided. I'll stick with butter-chocolate, chocolate mousse without dairy (another item that many people cannot tolerate and has been shown to cause colon issues including cancer), and using nut flours for baking.

One final irritation: the overt religious tone to the book - just annoying.

I'll be sending my copy back for a refund.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2009
I am very pleased with this book, and thank the other reviewers, since they're reviews are what prompted me to order this book. The chapter of substitions for things is fantastic; very helpful. Also, the list of If you crave this, then eat this, is also very helpful.

I really need the substitions, since I am now eating vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free. It's very hard to find recipes which incorporate all these, so the substitutions are great! And is great to have a recipe for a type of pancake and fudge that I can eat, since I never thought I would be able to eat them again!

One caveat I found! She does recommend soy milk in many recipes. I would use substitutes for that. The controversy over soy includes soy milk as dangerous. I have recently read two great articles on the controversy, as I don't want to lose soy entirely, but I wanted to know good soy from bad. There is a great article on soy on the Weston A. Price Foundation's website, as well as Dr. Mercola's website. They go into what's good and what isn't. (I was VERY disappointed to lose tofu, as I love it!) The bad types of soy are not good for people who have cancer or could be developing it. (The articles mentioned that if a baby is using soy milk, that it is the equivalent of giving 5 birthcontrol pills daily to the baby, as far as estrogens go! That one REALLY made me sit up and take notice.)

I highly recommend this book for people that are trying to do really healthy baking. I have felt SO much better since cutting so many foods (most of them foods I LOVE and CRAVE) out of my life. Books like this make the diet so much more pleasant! Thanks to the author!
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on December 10, 2009
I am so glad I found Kelly Keough's book!
I am not gluten senstive but have looked for an alternative to baking w/ refined sugars/flours. I have always LOVED to bake but have had a history w/ slow metabolism & therefore easy weight gain. My husband has a history w/ hives which they say are "idiomatic" & he's been tested for food allergies - nothing comes up. I absolutely refuse to consume any processed sugar - we all know how terrible it is for you; I believe it only plays havoc w/ our bodies. This book will seriously save your life b/c as Kelly shows you, there are a number of alternatives to processed sugar. Her book opened my eyes to ZSweet & Swerve. I used to think baking certain sweets wouldn't be possible b/c agave couldn't handle it due to it's makeup. Sure some of these ingredients can be somewhat pricey but think about it in these terms: #1 - Pay for your health while you are in control of it now or um, later. #2 - You'll find you take a little more time (I find baking this way very therupeutic) b/c these recipes are good for you & your body & you want to "treat" yourself right. #3 - You savor each bit and piece. You won't slam down a sheet of cookies. You took time baking them so you'll take your time eating them. Also, a little taste goes a long way. These recipes are so full of flavor and those w/ chocolately goodness are incredibly decadent (Hemp Truffle Balls, Fudge It, any number of brownies: I'm looking at you!!!) Anything made with quinoa? You've got to try it. It has the most unbelievable, unique & pleasant flavors!

This book allows you to have fun & gives you hope.
Thank the world for Kelly. Her hard work and dedication is clear.
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on February 15, 2010
the back section of this book details what flours to substitue for what kind of food you're making- which makes soo much sense, but I've never seen detailed anywhere else. Of course you need flours to react differently when you're making cookies, pancakes, or yeast breads etc. She teaches you how to make various kinds of flour combinations and when to use them- and as for other reviews complaints about expensive ingreadients- yes- agave is more than sugar- and gf flours are more than wheat- but its sooo worth the price to creat foods that taste good AND make you feel good. no sugar crash after cookies? SOOO worth the price of agave! no stomach pains after anything with flour AND eating something that tastes normal and not gritty, chalky, or dry? SOOOO worth buying nad mixing the right blend of flours...plus its not THAT expensive, and remember that sugar substitutes (splenda, stevia, agave etc...) are interchangable too- read the book and she details that for you too... if you can't afford stevia, use splenda etc... you can find something thats pretty comperable to what you'd pay for the bad stuff...
the recipes are right on point (i get rave reviews everytime i make soemthing from this book- even from non gf eaters!) but the information on substitutions makes this book invaluable! i use it every time i bake!
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on March 27, 2010
I was looking for a low sugar, gluten free, egg free book. This is not an egg free book. Most of the recipes call for eggs, so I'm unable to use most. The ones I have tried, were good.
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on December 2, 2009
This cookbook is great! This year I took the Mermaid Salad and Peanut Butter Cups to our Thanksgiving gathering. I made the Mermaid Salad especially for my nephew who is vegan, and everyone enjoyed the salad. The Peanut Butter Cups (p. 164) were the best--dark chocolate, small, bite-size, with the peanut butter filling and a Z-Sweet crunch that just melts in your mouth. Several people wanted to know how these dishes were made, and I think we may have started a new tradition.

I must add that it has been fun to attend several cooking classes offered by the author, Kelly Keough. Kelly is so enthusiastic about sharing her ideas about healthy cooking. She continues to create new recipes and share her successes.
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