221 of 237 people found the following review helpful
Very disappointed... I can't understand how there are so many positive reviews.,
This review is from: The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (Paperback)
I haven't left many reviews but I was so disappointed in this book that I felt obligated to set the record straight.
I've recently had to go on a low-sugar, gluten-free diet and was upset that I was going to miss out on all the Christmas baking this year. However, a friend of mine made me a delicious gluten-free cake and I realized that I could make delicious desserts that everyone would like if I did some research.
And so, last Christmas was full of cakes and cookies all gluten-free, made from "regular" recipes I modified through a lot of research and a lot of trial and error. Success! But I don't always have time to hunt down new recipes so I figured I'd buy a cookbook to help me out. The reviews on this cookbook seemed very positive so I purchased it.
Well, what a disappointment! Many of the recipes are oily and bland tasting. The author uses Agave as a sweetener in most recipes and despite what the book says, this ingredient is NOT good for diabetics (you'd be better off using a sugar alcohol like xylitol). Sure, the author would probably say that Agave is "natural" unlike sugar alcohols (which are known for being more processed) however, Agave isn't 'natural' like maple syrup, it' is also highly processed sweetener that has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.
I also assume she is trying to be "healthy" by staying away from milk, butter, and eggs in her recipes. Unfortunately, this ends up doing the recipes a lot of disservice. The use of grapeseed oil (light and relatively flavorless oil) makes her desserts taste heavy and (for lack of a better word) oily. The chocolate chip cookies I made came out as flat as a pancake... if she used ingredients like eggs it would help bind her recipes together better. Another alternative to help the texture (which I tried) is to add coconut flour which gives the dough more shape (but I understand that this is an almond flour cookbook so why bother adding in ANOTHER expensive flour to the shopping list).
I just feel like the author's quest to be 'healthy' and 'natural' most of the recipes flat and tasteless. What's even worse is that her approach isn't necessarily healthier. Many people can eat dairy and ordinary sweeteners (although we should all try to keep sugar to a minimum). A better approach would have been to give us some alternatives in these recipes and let the reader decide. For instance saying "3/4 Cup Agave nectar OR 1/2 Cup Sugar + 1/3 Cup Water" (or whatever liquid was needed to make up for the missing moisture when omitting the Agave). I'm sure some of these recipes would be better substituting in butter or another type of sweetener, but if I'm going to go through the trouble of doing that then I'd rather do it from a 'normal' recipe that I already know tastes good. Out of 7 dessert recipes I tried in this book, I didn't like any of them.
The bottom line is that the desserts contained in this book fall short and some are inedible which is really disappointing when you're spending a lot of time (and ingredients) making them.
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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 17, 2012 6:24:56 PM PST
Another Tigger says:
Thank you for leaving the best comment of all. People need to find out that agave is twice as concentrated as high fructose corn syrup and that is not good! If only they knew that it blocks Leptin production too...Leptin being the hormone that makes you feel full and want to quit eating. I very nearly bought this cookbook, based solely on a couple of the author's free online recipes (which I'm now not as trusting about and on the cover's photo. As you pointed out, the ingredients are not cheap, and it is a huge disappointment when a recipe is inedible. Thanks so much for shedding the light of truth on this cookbook!
Posted on Mar 1, 2012 2:09:21 PM PST
J. Wincovitch says:
Thanks for the review. Is there another dessert cookbook you would recommend? Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2012 7:05:49 AM PST
I don't have another cookbook I can recommend but I do adapt a lot of recipes from Recipe Girl online and she has a Gluten-Free section: http://www.recipegirl.com/category/recipe
I notice though that some of her recipes look very similar to ones in the Almond Flour cookbook which is unfortunate. I mostly make cakes (chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, etc) and have 1 recipe that I adapt which I would highly recommend. Look for recipes that have BEANS as an ingredient. Yes, I'm serious, beans. Such as: http://www.healthyindulgences.net/2009/05
I've made these cakes for friends numerous times and they cannot tell the difference. The texture is exactly the same as making it with flour so you don't end up with a heavy/dense cake like you do using almond or coconut flour. I usually make cupcakes and noticed sometimes they droop a bit in the middle, to fix this I usually add a tablespoon or 2 of coconut flour before baking or just put icing on the cupcakes. Not sure if this would be worse if baked this recipe as a cake. It's delicious, you should try it. Just don't tell them what it's made out of until after they bite in and say YUM!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2012 7:06:31 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 6, 2012 7:07:11 AM PST]
Posted on Jul 16, 2012 9:16:00 AM PDT
Tracey Dooling says:
You sound as though you know your baked goods. While I crave this type of food often, I know I shouldn't eat it so have been searching somewhat for alternatives. Since you have done so much research and experimenting, maybe you should put up a blog... I would definitely like to try your recipes.
Thanks for all the interesting information!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2012 6:51:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2012 6:54:21 PM PDT
Ditto Tracey Dooling.
Nova19, you should start a blog or perhaps even compile your recipes into a book proposal and submit it to a few of the publishers that successfully market this type of book (be sure to check their websites for submission procedures and to make sure you can submit to multiple publishers at the same time--otherwise you will have to wait until one publisher declines before you can send to the next). With a decent royalty advance you could spend a month focusing solely on recipe development.
And if you do end up starting that blog, please post the website address here. I will be waiting!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 11:55:31 AM PDT
D. Cusick says:
Just seconding the suggestion for the chocolate cake made with beans from healthy indulgences. This is one of the most awesome recipes I've even had. I've made this cake fairly often and everyone loves it.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 3:43:26 PM PST
Why not use stevia?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 4:16:35 PM PST
You could use Stevia too... I personally think it has a 'chemical' taste to it but to be honest I haven't played around with it too much. I'm living abroad at the moment so it didn't become available here until just recently. You will need to modify some of the liquids in a recipe if you choose to use stevia though as you are using a lot less of it than you would sugar, agave, or anything else.
Posted on Mar 22, 2013 3:29:18 PM PDT
Thanks for the succinct review. I had no idea by the "look inside" that she doesn't use any eggs or dairy. Another Tigger, you are absolutely correct about agave nectar/syrup (glucose + fructose) affecting Leptin production.