Disclaimer: I was compensated for this review with a free copy of the cookbook. Everything said is my own opinion.
My family is not a gluten free family. We have not had to go through the trial of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. I am very thankful for that. However, I know many people who have had to deal with cutting gluten out of their diets. I worked for awhile with a boy who had severe autism and was on a gluten free diet. I was in charge of baking bread for him. That job was awful. I made the bread from a mix, which was easy enough, but the issue was what happened after the bread went into the oven. Instead of the sweet smell of homemade bread, the room was full of an awful stench. When the bread came out of then oven, it didn’t get better. The texture was bad, I never actually tasted it, but I’m sure it wasn’t too great.
Because of this experience I had with gluten free cooking, I was a little nervous to review this cookbook. I was worried that my family wouldn’t eat the food I cooked, and that my house would fill with that awful smell again. I’m happy the report that this was not the case.
The first thing I did when I receive this cookbook was started reading it. I quickly realized that it’s much more than a cookbook. It’s a guidebook. It’s lists and tips and suggestions to help make the transition to a gluten free life as easy as possible. The book is written by Carlyn Berghoff, chef at a famous Chicago restaurant. She talks about her families journey towards being 100 percent gluten free when she found out that her daughter had Celiac disease. There are two chapters written by Sarah, Carlyn’s daughter, from her perspective as a gluten free teeanger. There is also a chapter written by Sarah’s daughter, Dr. Suzanne P. Nelson.
There is a whole section in the book about dealing with different situations like school lunches and other places where a child with a gluten free diet would have a hard time. It talks about more than just managing the diet, the book gives tips to help teenagers learn how to fit in and be as normal as possible. The book is about more than cooking food, it’s about adapting to a completely different lifestyle. I highly recommend it to anyone going to a gluten free diet, teenage or not.
I made two different recipes from this book, the chocolate chip cookies and the pizza (I will be sharing the pizza recipe at a later date). I know that these are two things that I know many kids on a gluten free diet have to miss out on. I have to say that they were both delicious. They weren’t difficult to make at all. I don’t even have a hand mixer, so I had to do all the stirring by hand, and both recipes turned out wonderfully. It was really hard to tell that they were gluten free, except for a slight spongy texture, but it was hardly noticeable.
One thing I really like about this cookbook is that there are a lot of recipes that are just naturally gluten free. I think one hard thing about going gluten free would be knowing what you can and can’t eat. This book offers recipes of every day food items that require no special ingredients, but that are gluten free. The cook book is super detailed and helps you along every step. I’m pretty sure that most teenagers with no cooking experience would be able to prepare their own food by following the instructions in this book. It also would be an awesome book for gluten free kids going off to college and having to prepare all their own meals.
Click here to purchase a copy of this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone on a gluten free diet, or anyone who has to cook for someone on a gluten free diet.
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