Sunday, May 24, 2009

Resources: Gluten-Free Books

I love cookbooks. I inevitably gravitate towards them in any new or used bookstore. Flipping through dogeared pages with stains and crumbs accompanying well-used recipes makes me smile - notes in the margin are even better. (Yes, I wash my hands afterward. Crumbs are sneaky devils.)

I grew up with the large, red 3-ring bound Better Crocker, a hardcover Joy of Cooking and a paperback version of The Frugal Gourmet, that would always open to the hummus recipe.
My culinary tomes expanded when I took a cooking class, and later one on cake decorating, in high school. We worked nearly exclusively out of a plaid-bound Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Even though most of my recipes now come from new books, or blogs, I find myself looking for old copies of these four books. There is something about wanting to (re)create the dishes of childhood that is more than enticing, its compelling. I have tracked down 2 of the four, but am still on the look out for Betty and Mr. Smith.

When it comes to gluten free, here are my top go-to grabs:

Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic

Dr. Peter Green
This is a good book that talks about science but without scientific terms. No recipes, but interesting information to help get ones head around what celiac is, isn't and how to talk to doctors and other people about it. (I now do a little puppet show with my fingers as small intestinal villi. I am a hoot at parties.)

The Gluten-Free Gourmet
Bette Hagman
This was one of, if not the first, gluten free cookbooks. Its been republished a bunch and you will notice that almost all gf recipes start with her flour mix or an adaptation thereof. She tends to use a lot of powdered milk in her breads, which I am not a huge fan of, but its a good starting point.

Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back... & How You Can Too
Shauna James Ahern
All of the recipes in the book are on her blog:
The book is written like a memoir/novel with recipes thrown in here and there.
I do not like her writing style and she often uses expensive, obscure ingredients and her book isn't indexed well, so its a pain. Just search her sight if you are looking for something.
She does have a lot of recipes, so its worth looking at.

Gluten-Free Baking
Rebecca Reilly
I like this book a lot and have found myself going to it first for recipe ideas and basic cake structures.

Healthy Gluten-Free Cooking
Darina Allen
This is written by a woman who studied in Ireland but has a lot of Australian/New Zealand recipes or influences. Because it is not US-based, they have both the weight and volume of measurements.
There are some odd recipes, but even though I don't cook from them regularly, they do inspire me. All of my pancake attempts have been based off this book and they have a fantastic breakfast bar recipe that freezes well. (I make these when I am traveling and unsure about early morning food options.)


  1. Hi Katrina

    Found this gem of a book at a local "QBD Bookstore" here in Australia and it is full of marvelous recipes for people with all type of food allergies:

    Lola Workman

    Multi-Allergy Cookbook

    ISBN-10: 1-74110-950-7
    ISBN-13: 978-1-74110-950-4

    This book is endorsed by the Coeliac Society of Australia, it contians recipes free of:

    - Gluten
    - Corn
    - Soy
    - Dairy

    It also has many Low sugar, Sugar free and alternative Sweetners eg XYLITOL which is better for you apparently as it is the Alkaline twin of Acid laden regular sugar, imagine to say it is not a cheap alternative.

    This book has easy to follow instruction with "Nice illistrations", I only go far as to say "Nice" as the pretty pictures only cover the final product and lack important step-by-steps that some recipes at times need.

    That said, it is kinda like my food bible as it covers everything wrong with my wife Chrissie.

    Favorite items are:

    - Sauce Blocks
    - Dairy Free Cream
    - Dairy free Custard.

    A must have book for anyone who has a loved one with allergies.


  2. I am going to have to keep any eye out for it!

    Thanks for sharing your find - its hard to locate solid gf cookbooks.