Starting a gluten-free diet can be totally overwhelming because you completely change the way you eat. And if you don’t already cook, that’s even more daunting because most of us don’t want to get stuck eating salad all day. Fortunately, many gluten free recipe books are available to help make this transition smoother. Add to that the continuous rise in awareness of celiac disease, and you have lots of experts writing books that give you many options for approaching this lifestyle.
So what makes for a good gluten free recipe book? For me, I prefer something that explains the basics and doesn’t assume I’m already an expert chef. I also want information that offers alternative options for all commonly gluten-filled meals, as well as explains gluten-free cooking techniques. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of my five top books that meet the criteria and help you get off to a great start.
This is a terrific book that contains 150 recipes of varying degrees of simplicity. The recipes cover all the bases in terms of meals for the day and focuses on these categories: Breakfasts, Salads and Salad Dressing, Side Dishes, Soups, Appetizers, Main Dishes, Stews, Sandwiches, Sauces and Baking. The menus are easy to follow and the meals are nicely illustrated. This is a valuable resource that provides a good baseline from which to start working. For some people, it’s possibly the only book they’ll ever need.
Tammy Credicott’s book features an impressive 200 recipes, and I like that Tammy also places emphasis on other aspects of gluten-free eating based on her personal experience with her family. The information is written by someone who has first-hand experience of celiac disease, and her personal knowledge translates through the book. In addition to recipes, Tammy also describes how to overcome initial hurdles and live on a strict gluten free diet. The author confesses the book is a platform from which the reader can build on and, in my opinion, it’s an excellent platform.
With over 175 recipes, Beth Hillson has managed to create a book that many other books just don’t do and that is to provide recipes that are pleasantly different. Many books include the usual range of salads or stew based meals, which is fine if that’s what you want, but if you want something different, look here. Beth offers meals that are adventurous such as her Baked Brie with Fig Spread en Croûte, Charred Vietnamese Chicken with Lemon Sauce and Zucchini Quinoa Cake. She also includes detailed sections that offer gluten-free replacements including flour blends for all types of uses.
This book features 120 recipes that center on delicious evening meals and desserts. The range of meals is extensive and organized into categories such as Breakfast for Dinner, One-Pot Wonders, Stir Fries and Breaking Down a Chicken. I really like that the authors focuses a lot on vegetables in season to keep the meals healthy and tasty. The recipes are not especially complicated, and you learn how to make different preparations the night before you cook so you can save time. Also included is information about keeping a few key spices on hand as well as great tips for stocking your pantry.
Carrie Forbes provides an amazing 300 recipes for any occasion. As the title suggests, the food is made in a slow cooker, which to a lot of people, is a huge timesaver. You can find recipes such as Breakfast Risotto, Spicy Vegetarian Chili, Curried Coconut Chicken and Barbecue Western Ribs. Carrie also describes how to make meals work in the slow cooker so sauces thicken properly even without gluten-containing ingredients. And for those new to slow cooker cooking, you’ll get lots of information on selecting a model for your own kitchen.
Picking Your Gluten Free Recipe Book
Hopefully, this list helps you find your ideal gluten free cookbook. If you’re still unsure, it helps to think of how you want to use the book. Do you wants recipes for both meals and baking? If so, Shauna Ahern’s Gluten-Free Girl Every Day works well. Do you prefer menus that include lots of ethnic diversity? If yes, try Beth Hillson’s Gluten-Free Makeovers. Or, are you just looking for great starter cookbooks? All books work well, but I’d particularly recommend Tammy Credicott’s The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.
So there you have it. These are my five favorite cookbooks that have personally helped me be successful in my gluten-free lifestyle. Hopefully, you’ll find a gluten free recipe book in the list that speaks to you and helps you live a healthier, happier life. Most of all, I hope these books show you that you can still have truly pleasurable foods without the gluten.