Paul and I have been talking about ways to be healthier and most of our ideas come to the conclusion that we need to go back to natural ingredients for the things that we use and eat. For instance, we use essential oils almost exclusively for our health and wellness, and cleaning. Likewise, we’ve decided to give gluten-free a try.
Our decision to eat a little more gluten-free is not based on “fad” or trending habits with people around us. It is instead based on some digestive issues that I’ve been having over the past few months, the results of a scope and biopsy I had done, and simply the desire to have more energy and be healthier.
With that in mind, I was eager to receive and review Against the Grain by Nancy Cain.
Beginners to the whole gluten-free cooking and baking thing will really enjoy this book because it doesn’t use tons of outlandish ingredients that you’ve never hear of (guar gum, anyone?). Instead, it uses all-natural, simple replacements for delicious recipes.
For instance, the Berry Muffins use normal ingredients but instead of all-purpose flour, you substitute buckwheat flour and tapioca starch. These two ingredients are in so many recipes within this book that I felt like buying them would be beneficial as we continued making recipes from the book. It wasn’t a massive waste of money and space that you’d normally get from buying a special ingredient that you use only once.
The pictures included are gorgeous and of course nothing like what happens when a normal (not chef) person cooks. It’s inspiring really.
The author provides extensive information about for beginners to learn the fundamentals of gluten-free cooking, in five parts. The sections included are:
- Traditional Breads & Flatbreads
- Quick Breads, Breakfast Foods & Muffins
- Cookies & Bars
- Pies & Desserts
- Recipes featuring pre-made breads
I thought the “Savories” section would provide some main dish ideas but it seems to be mostly appetizers and scones. However, there are a few that I am very eager to make in the near future – namely the two types of ravioli, one with creamy roasted garlic filling and the other is Lemon Thyme-Summer Squash. Each of these two recipes only make 8-10 ravioli, which is hardly the amount needed to feed a family of 4.
That is the only thing I had hoped was different. It would’ve been nice to see more substantial food for a full meal. I really like this cookbook, it is becoming a favorite and helps me use my desire to try new things. The information gathered here is extensive and helps me understand the healthiness of eating gluten-free.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion & review. I am not obligated to provide a perspective other than my own.