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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you suffer from food allergies (gluten, casein, sugar) this book is for you. Kelly Brozyna's recipes are unique and original and are so delicious they make you forget what you had to give up because of allergies. The photographs look great and the recipe instructions are easy to follow. Ms. Brozyna kept in mind that most people don't have a lot of time and her recipes are not time consuming or complicated. There is also an informative section in the beginning that deals with food storage, sugar avoidance, natural sweeteners, autism, and all around healthy living. I highly recommend the almond muffins, custard pie and broccoli quiche. I look forward to making and eating a better variety of "safe" foods with The Spunky Coconut Cookbook!
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have over 100 cookbooks..most are "regular" cookbooks, but also began hoarding GFCF cookbooks two years ago when I put my child on the GFCF diet. After you buy so many, they kind of blend in together and become kinda similar. I thought this book was a bit pricey, but went ahead and ordered it. This book appears to be very unique. I am a HUGE coconut lover and think it is a wonderful sub for products he can no longer have. I love that she uses coconut milk, oil, etc. I made the banana bread last night and it tasted just like "regular" banana bread! I sliced it and served it to my son for breakfast this morning with turkey bacon and he loved it! I individually froze thick slices of this for future use :) I can't wait to try the quiche recipe and many others. They only drawback is the specialty stevia which is not as accessible in stores. For the bread, I just used stevia extract (2 drops) and it turned out fine. Also, the cookies are made out of left over soaked nuts from making nut milk, and we buy Rice Milk in a box, so we would have to soak our own nuts, which can be rather expensive. Other than this, this is a VERY unique cookbook. I can't wait to try more!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Raw Key Lime Pie is amazingly delicious. The Flourless Brownies are heavenly - my kids love them. The Freezer Fudge is yummmmmy. I'm really looking forward to trying the rest of Kelly's recipes.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The Cherry Banana Muffins were wonderful. I used a large muffin pan for one batch and a mini one for another and both were a hit. The Blondies were also very good (but double the recipe). I always substitute Bob's Red Mill GF All-purpose flour for rice flour as I don't like the graininess of rice flour. Looking forward to trying more recipes!

NOTES AS TO WHY I GAVE IT ONLY THREE STARS:
1.) Liquid Stevia: The author suggests using flavored liquid Stevia (English Toffee, Vanilla Creme, Chocolate Raspberry, etc) which are very expensive and hard to find and she doesn't offer any alternatives. So, if the recipe calls for 10 drops of liquid vanilla creme Stevia, and I don't have that and/or won't pay for it, what else can I use? I would have appreciated a note here about substitutes. I ended up using a pack of powdered Stevia and a tsp of vanilla and it tasted great. The ingredients for GF, CF recipes are more expensive to begin with, so why add unnecessarily to the cost?

2.) Eggs. Some of the recipes are really heavy on the eggs. For the Chocolate Raspberry cake, the author writes how surprising it is that this recipe has so little flour...DUH, it has 6 eggs! It sounds basically like a chocolate omelet with agave syrup and 3/4 cups of various flours. (I'm sure it is yummy, but come on!) This is not the only one with 6 eggs. Odd, though, that the quiche and souffle recipes only call for 3 eggs. I'm sure it is all delicious, but we have some egg issues here so I wish it would have been mentioned somewhere or offered a substitute.

3.) Price: This cookbook is very expensive compared to the other GF, CF, Low Sugar cookbooks out there.

4.) Ghee: Although, there is no claim on the cover of being dairy free, thankfully, most of the recipes are dairy free with the exception of a few that call for Ghee, which is a clarified butter, apparently casein free, but not diary free.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The recipes are simple, clean, and healthy.
Does she use a lot of eggs? Yes, she does. I had no problem with that.
Are there some recipes that are unnecessary (aka almond butter w/apples)? Yes, there are. It didn't take away from the great ones.
Does she use coconut in every single recipe? No, she doesn't. She still uses it quite a bit though
Are most ingredients not typical in the American household? Yes, as with most allergy-free cooking.
Do you need to buy liquid stevia and new appliances? No. I have never bought the liquid stevia's and i just have a blender and a hand mixer.

I love her use of coconut milk. I love her creativity and I do not feel deprived or that I do not know as much about how to use coconut milk in my daily cooking.
I did not buy this cookbook expecting to learn everything about cooking healthy all at once, and I also did not buy it expecting it to reveal the secret of allergy-free cooking to me. However, after doing a lot of research on my own time as well as investing in cookbooks such as this one (and others) I have been able to get a grasp into alternative cooking types and for that I am forever grateful.

2 more things:
1. I now incorporate coconut milk into a vast majority of my cooking and love it.
2. this book is an excellent starting point for anyone new in trying to eat well while protecting their families.

all in all, i very much appreciate the delicious recipes in this book and think that even if i don't like a couple and/or they are "irrelevant" that should not take away from the creativity and the innovation of Ms. Kelly's cooking.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Kelly's recipes are absolutely amazing - almost as amazing as the woman herself. What most people don't know is that the secret ingredient in each of Kelly's recipes is ... love. As cliche as that sounds, these recipes seriously were lovingly developed in Kelly's own kitchen to help her own family deal with severe allergy issues, and to help one of her children heal from a devastating illness from which many said she would never recover (and with Kelly's unflagging optimism, support, and allergan-free recipes, she *is* recovering!)

But even if you have no allergy issues at all, I highly recommend this cookbook! Kelly's recipes are so delicious, so healthful (never a single artifical ingredient - only the best natural ingredients), and so easy to follow!

"The Spunky Coconut Cookbook" is that rare gem - the perfect cookbook gift for anyone on your list - including yourself!
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I ordered "The Spunky Coconut Cookbook" as part of an effort to reduce the carbohydrates in my diet, the idea being that, if I could substitute for flour and/or sugar, I would be able to use fewer carbs and still have my husband like what I cook. I have never been able to lose weight without skipping as many carbohydrates as possible.

The book did not fulfill its purpose for three reasons. First, there was no nutrition information with the recipes. Second, all of the recipes called for ingredients not in ordinary household pantries or even in local stores. And third, some of the recipes call for equipment many kitchens, including mine, don't have.

This is not the fault of the book, but rather of my expectations. The author cooks for her family that has huge allergy and digestion problems. She is managing to keep her family healthy without their feeling deprived. The recipes sound absolutely yummy. The book has gorgeous tempting photographs. If the book goes into a second printing, I would hope it would include nutrition information with every recipe - and also, if possible, glycemic index information. I heartily recommend the book for families dealing with such things as celiac disease, autism, "leaky gut," and hard to manage undiagnosed disorders. Just be warned that you will have to redo your whole pantry. If the book had nutrition information, I would have given it five stars despite not being able to use it myself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I picked up this cookbook because I wanted my family to be able to cook more at home and avoid many of the nasty little ingredients that seem to find their way into our food supply these days like high fructose corn syrup and other additives, without giving up foods we like. While we have some mild food sensitivities occasionally, we aren't so sensitive that the merest hint of dairy or flour can make our family members ill, so we didn't start eating cleaner because we really had to.

I was therefore, very pleasantly surprised by just how easy the recipes are, and how delicious they turn out. For example, the ice cream recipes in here are just out of this world! I can't think of any reason to buy ice cream in the store again, given how easy they are to make and how great they turn out. If anything, the ice cream that came out of the ice cream maker tonight was the best I've ever had! And there was not a drop of milk in it. I plan to cook from this little book a lot in the future. Great job Kelly!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Kelly has produced a fabulous recipe book for the gluten/dairy/sugar-free community. It is chock-full of recipes you can't find anywhere else. Yes there are nut milk and smoothie recipes but what I love are the step-by step photos for making the nut milks! This is so helpful for people who have never made them before.

Particularly useful to most people will be the detailed step-by-step instructions and photos on how to bake and use a pumpkin - this can be so daunting if you have never done it before.

Dozens of creative baked goods using stevia and/or honey/agave to sweeten are offered here. Healthy flours like almond meal, brown rice flour, and coconut flour are used in her recipes. Nutritious fats like coconut oil and coconut milk are used in most of the recipes (hence the title of the book). :)

Recipes on my list to try: the Lasagna using a secret ingredient for the cream filling - (I would have never thought of that) and the photo is very appealing! This fall I would like to try the butternut soufflé - sounds so simple! I am going to make the roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato dip next week and serve it with sliced cucumbers. I laughed when I came to her recipe for waffles: she has a photo of her hand-written recipe and all of the cross-outs and changes she made to get to the delectable-looking one in the photo. I do the same thing! There are dozens more recipes I could get into here, but you will just need to buy the book and find out for yourself! :)
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51 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I ordered the Spunky Coconut Cookbook because I was looking for low-carbohydrate recipes utilizing nut flours and free of sugar, grains and starches. First of all, I think it's important to state that if you are in search of the same thing, this book is not for you. Due to the title and the Amazon description, ("115 recipes free of gluten, dairy, sugar, peanut, corn and soy. 30+ raw inspired recipes. 65 color photographs. Natural alternatives like honey, stevia and xylitol") I expected to find recipes focusing on coconut flour and coconut ingredients. I was drastically mistaken. Other than a few desert recipes, there is very little coconut flour used in the book, and I would estimate that less than half of the recipes have any coconut ingredients at all (except perhaps coconut oil). In addition, nearly all of the recipes contain rice, tapioca, quinoa, and other grains/starches.

It is also important to note that, if one does wish to use the recipes in the book, one must first sift through the seemingly never-ending plethora of the author's political sermon. The entire introduction and many of her recipe descriptions are saturated with politically-oriented bloviation on the topics of global warming, vaccinations, 'big articifial sweetener', the importance of the EPA, and the like. She even goes so far as to suggest which political party to vote for. As a reader simply searching for healthful recipes, I was offended that the author used her cookbook as a depository for her political beliefs, and views her readers as a sort of class to whom she feels free to pontificate. Why must we bring politics into the kitchen?

Had I known the true nature of this "cookbook", I would not have purchased it. But the fact is that I didn't know, and I did purchase it, on the basis of mistaken notions due to both insuffient information on Amazon's part, and false advertising on the part of the author (via the title). I, personally, cannot eat the recipes in the book, but even if I were seeking a cookbook that uses hot cereal as a filling for lasagna, and cashews instead of tuna, I should wish the author would have been so humble as to realize that I am paying for her recipes, not her political ideology.

I'm sure many will disagree with this reviewer's opinion. However, it is also this reviewer's opinion that it is a sad day when we are willing to corrupt such a rich and communal concept as food and cooking for the sake of political advocacy.
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