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Great Recipes but Expensive Ingredients and SUGAR!
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.