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The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook Paperback – July 28, 2009
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“Outstanding gluten-free goodies... this lovely cookbook, full of enticing photos, has my mouth watering.”
—DeliciousLiving Magazine: Blog
“The need is huge for cookbooks for celiacs on limited diets. They will welcome The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook when it arrives.”
“Flour Girl: Gluten-Free Almond Joy”
“Amsterdam’s recipes will carry you through the day, with pancakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and quiche for dinner. She takes classic recipes...and adapts them to almond flour, creating plenty of meal options.”
"We all need to pay attention to the food we eat, all of the time. For people with celiac disease, this is normally an even greater challenge--but not for Elana! Her healthful and flavorful recipes taste as good as they are good for you. Made with almond flour and high in protein and fiber, these dishes are sure to even please the gluten eaters in your family!"
—Alice Bast, President and Founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)
“For many people, normal food becomes off-limits when they find they have an allergy or condition, such as celiac disease. To wrestle new limitations into foods that are every bit as delicious and appealing (if not more so) is a coup to be celebrated. Having tried the chocolate chip cookies, I speak from experience when I say there is nothing lacking in these recipes. They are truly wholesome and delicious!”
—DEBORAH MADISON, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
“Elana has a tremendous gift for creating classic recipes using healthy ingredients. Her high-protein, gluten-free treats are incredibly tasty! I highly recommend this book if you are looking for good food that is also good for you.”
—DR. ROBERT ROUNTREE, Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child
“Local hero Elana Amsterdam (straight out of Boulder) offers dozens of wheatless recipes from chicken parmesan to chocolate cake, all of which call for gluten-free almond flour. Enough of the recipes will appeal to gluten-eaters to make this collection a great go-to resource for blended families and/or hosts cooking for gluten-intolerant guests. Readers with a sweet tooth are especially well-served here, but savory recipes like salmon burgers round out the roster.”
—The Denver Post, “Causing a STIR: Best Cookbooks of 2009”
“In her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, the ingenious celiac Elana Amsterdam offers another possible approach, a sandwich bread made from finely milled almond flour (do not use Bob's Red Mill brand) and almond butter that is nutty and versatile. Amsterdam's recipes are refreshingly simple, as the almond flour reduces the need for the expensive and obscure mix of flours other gluten-free recipes require.... But the ground nut has other virtues, including high amounts of protein and vitamins and low glycemic impact. Amsterdam employs it in a range of dishes, from shortbread cookies and carrot cake to a savory tart with kale. Her snappy herbed crackers, which are a welcome change from commercial nut-thins and dry rice crisps, are equally easy to make and delicious.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Gluten-Free But Still Tasty”
From the Publisher
* A full-color collection of 99 no-gluten, lightly sweetened, quick-and-healthy recipes made with almond flour.
* Almonds are today's superfood: high-protein, low-glycemic, low-cholesterol, and full of fiber and antioxidants.
* Author's website on gluten-free cooking receives 50,000 hits per month.
Top customer reviews
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Potential buyers should know that this book is not only geared towards grain-avoiding and celiac diets, but also aims for a 'healthy' approach to baking, in the name of which it largely avoids butter and refined sugars. In addition to the titular substitution of almond flour for wheat flour, there is a relatively single-minded substitution of grapeseed oil for butter/shortening and agave nectar for white sugar. While I don't have any general problems with agave or grapeseed oil, unlike some readers, I'm not satisfied with these ingredients in all cases. In particular, I generally prefer the flavor and mouthfeel of butter over grapeseed oil, and I find agave nectar imparts an unwelcome sticky, flaccid texture to baked goods like cookies and biscuits, especially over time (I like it just fine in cakes and muffins). Still, I've had fantastic luck substituting 'back' butter and sugar where i want them, although when agave is removed, one sometimes needs to add more recipe- appropriate liquid (e.g., milk or egg) to compensate. These recipes are highly adaptable, which makes the book that much more user-friendly.
I'd say that this is also a baking book aimed more towards cooks than bakers. The recipes are pretty quick and dirty- dump and stir affairs. There aren't a lot of fiddly steps, using 7 different bowls to mix subrecipes, or explanations of techniques and experimentation a la cooks illustrated. I'm sure that aspect wins the book lots of fans among busy parents and those who don't enjoy the craft of cooking, but as someone more in the love-to-bake camp, I would have appreciated more attention to detail, use of various baking techniques that lead to a better texture in final products and experimentation with the kinds of fillips that separate the pedestrian recipe from the sublime. For example, in some of the cake and muffin recipes, I find the recipes substantially improve if one takes the time to beat sugar (or agave) and eggs to a ribbon, or beat egg whites separately and fold them in. I also wish the ingredients were given in weight (at least somewhere in the beginning)-- I had a number of failures until I realized the author packs her almond flour. Some of the baking times and such have also been off-- these kinds of details really matter for baking, and hard core bakers will be frustrated at the lack of precision.
As I've said, even though this isn't the perfect cookbook for my particular needs, it is a wonderful starting place for my gluten free and grain free baking experiments. (There is also a savory chapter, but I haven't really used it.) Some particular favorites are the crackers (all fantastic), chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cherry cookies, and pecan shortbreads (all of which I strongly prefer with creamed butter and sugar, though.) Although the cookbook is pretty small, I've still only cooked a small portion of the recipes (the author's website provides a lot of additional inspiration as well). I'm looking forward to baking through more of the recipes, adapting and changing as I wish.
I have a few things, but it's just me, so I did not want to dock any stars.
I do feel the recipes are TOO sweet! easily fixed by reducing by as much as half or more! and I do not feel Agave is a healthy sweetener. so I used maple syrup, honey or organic evap. cane juice crystals
I also feel good quality organic grass fed butter is healthier and much better tasting than grapeseed oil for many recipes. But like I said, this is all just me, so I still give the book 5 stars because the substitutions are easily made with great results.
I realize many Americans still have a "taste" for the very sweet (and probably why we have such an epidemic of diabetes) I married a European who has taught me to make cakes etc. that are not nearly so sweet and now I have lost my taste for it (it's rather amazing how that worked). European cakes are just not as sweet as American cakes & desserts, for the most part. So I think either Elana has a sweet tooth, or she is appealing to the American market! but like I said, it was an easy fix to make the desserts more palatable for my family.
Butter can also easily be substituted for the grapeseed oil in the recipes, I even added a bit of butter to the chocolate cake recipe, to give moisture when I used evap. cane crystals. to sweeten (only 1/2 C. was plenty sweet for us!) - and my family LOVES this cake, which could not be easier to make - for the marshmallow frosting, I used maple syrup and reduced it by 2/3 - it maybe did not hold it's shape quite as well, but I'm not complaining since it was my adjustment and no one complained at my house!
little hint: I used cocoa to "dust" the baking pan for the choc. cake - almond flour would be great, but it's so PRICEY - so I was trying to conserve
So I give the book 5 stars in spite of all this, because I think it's not intended be a low sugar cook book, it is called "Gluten-Free" - and I feel it really helped me get over my fears of how to use almond flour - I have cooked so many years with wheat flour, I had no idea how this was all going to work with almond flour? but it's been a fun & delicious adventure! so I feel this book is an excellent starting place. The recipes are simple and pretty forgiving, so I think even beginners can easily follow them and if you are more experienced and want to make a few adjustments for preferences/tastes like I did - you can still have great results!
Want to impress the ladies at a Sunday brunch? Whip up the savory tart crust in under 15 minutes and throw together their vegetable quiche to die for.
Aren't much of a breakfast eater but know you have to eat a little something to keep your metabolism going? Slice a thin piece of the nut/seed museli bread recipe packed full of protein and you'll be satisfied til lunch time. I make a double batch and freeze the bread for months worth of breakfasts at a time. Winning!
Almost all the recipes are built off the same building blocks so you aren't going to be hunting down esoteric ingredients once you get a basic pantry set for her style of cooking. Grapeseed oil, Almond flour, arrow root powder (all easily found these days at the grocery store or here on amazon)...that will get you started.
I've now bought 5 copies and gifted them to friends and family after knocking their socks off with my potluck dishes. Do the same. Get this book. You will not regret it.