America's Test Kitchen did a beautiful job in their efforts to create a cookbook filled with mostly baked goods that actually taste good. While they seem to grasp the need for many of us to be on a gluten free diet, we didn't get the impression that they fully understood the severity of the health risks involved for some individuals. They had one goal - make gluten free treats that are as close to gluten based treats as possible.
They have a flour blend that they came up with. They recommend it over any other flour blend. This is all well & good if you can tolerate the flours they chose in their blend. Unfortunately a lot of people cannot have oats as well as wheat. Oats have a protein structure that closely resembles wheat & many cannot digest oats even gluten free oats. ATK's flower blend uses white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch & nonfat milk. If you are sensitive to dairy this is another problem. This is your "all purpose flour" for lack of a better term. From there the recipes will call for additional ingredients that may once again be an issue for some: Pysillium, Xathan Gum, Eggs, & Corn.
Our family has very sensitive digestive systems & must use extreme caution. Therefore we cannot use their flour blend. We did make their pumpkin pie using our own coconut flour recipe as the crust. The pie filling was okay. Nothing to get excited about. We am rather surprised because we have another of ATK's cookbooks & every recipe we tried came out amazing. The pie coconut flour crust was pretty awful & we don't recommend it. We usually make the crust using a recipe from Breaking the Vicious Cycle that uses nuts. Everyone loves it! We also made the flourless chocolate cake. This was amazing! No added sugar either. Too sum it up, it's a lot of eggs, bittersweet chocolate & butter. You do bake it & have to let it chill for a long time. The flavor is intensely rich. You don't want to eat too much of it. It is very satisfying. When all our hens are in full lay & we're overloaded with eggs, we plan on utilizing the recipe for family, neighbors & friends.
ATK breaks down a lot of gluten free products available. We really enjoyed this part of the book. Granted they didn't cover 90% of the options, but they did cover the most popular or easiest to find in stores. We have tried Bob's Red Mill. ATK is dead on regarding the overly beany flavor of Bob's GF flour. Besides GF flours they also discuss in detail various GF pastas, breads, grains, etc. They explain the purpose for particular ingredients & also compare the results. Example Xathan Gum vs. Guar Gum.
ATK gives you the option of using their flour blend, Bob's Red Mill or King Author GF for most of their recipes. They explain why the other flours may or may not work as well as their blend.
The main reason we selected this book was that we wanted to make our own GF English Muffins. Sadly it's a no go for our situation. We find that we can consume certain GF products in moderation if they are FODMAP safe.
Overall it is a fabulous in depth book for the gluten free baker but how much use you can get out of it depends upon each individuals health situation.
Links to the books we've read & reviewed for your convenience!
- Complete Wellness Enjoy Long-Lasting Health and Well-Being
- The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy: A Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond
- The Complete Guide To Adaptogens From Ashwagandaha to Rhodiola, Medicinal Herbs That Transform and Heal
- Beginning Beekeeping
- Before The Evolution and Future of Processed Food
- The Psychobiotic Revolution
- Simple & Natural Soapmaking: Create 100% Pure and Beautiful Soaps with The Nerdy Farm Wife’s Easy Recipes and Techniques
- The Flower Book
- The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide: Over 250 Recipes for Natural Wholesome Aromatherapy
- The Gut Makeover: 4 Weeks to Nourish Your Gut, Revolutionize Your Health, and Lose Weight
- The Field Guide To Pregnancy
- 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife's All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants
- The Chicken Health Handbook
- Chickens In Your Backyard: A Beginners Guide
- The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health: More Than 200 New Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for Delicious and Nutrient-Rich Dishes
- The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves: 200 Classic and Contemporary Recipes Showcasing the Fabulous Flavors of Fresh Fruits
- The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle over Food Rights
- The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market
- Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty
- The Gort Cloud: The Invisible Force Powering Today's Most Visible Green Brands
- Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles
- Sleeping Naked Is Green
- Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting
- Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything
- Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World
- Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and More
- Healing Herbs: A Beginner's Guide To Identifying, Foraging, and Using Medicinal Plants
- The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook
- The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast
- Flip Dolls & Other Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & Go
- Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well Without Prescriptions
- Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
- Integrative Wellness Rules: A Simple Guide to Healthy Living
- Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
- How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen
- The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days
- The Easy Organizer: 365 Tips for Conquering Clutter
- The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food
- Probiotics For Dummies
- Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter
- Small Business For Dummies
- Starting An Etsy Business For Dummies
- Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids
- The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You've Always Wanted
- A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health
- Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind
- Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It
- Terra Madre: Forging a New Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities
- The Hundred Year Diet: America's Voracious Appetite For Losing Weight
- Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream
- Felties: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends from Felt
- Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
- Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences