Gluten-free Makeovers, written by Beth Hillson, is the next cookbook that I will be reviewing. This cookbook has over 175 recipes that are made over to be gluten-free. This cookbook includes family favorites such as Oven-Fried Chicken Nuggest to Mexican Pizza. But it also includes yummy baked good like Auntie’s Apple Cake and Banana Chip Muffins.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and there is one colour section with some great looking pictures. I wish there were more, but I understand that this is done to keep the cost of the book down (which they succeeded at, the book is selling for only $11.49 on Amazon).
Many of the recipes state if they are also free of other allergens, like dairy or eggs. There are also many Tips and Variations along-side the recipes, to help you get the best results.
One thing that I found to be a bit of a drawback with this book is that there are 5 different flour blends. Two of them are designed to be used as bread flours, one as a self-rising flour, one a cake and pastry flour, and the last a basic blend. The blends include flours like white rice flour, sweet white sorghum flour, amaranth flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, and tapioca starch. Since I didn’t care to have leftover blended flour in my kitchen, I chose to test recipes using the “basic flour blend”, that very closely resembles the ‘all-purpose gluten-free flour blend’ that I use.
First, I tried the Granola Breakfast Bars (page 90). These bars use granola as the base (I used a homemade granola that I had on hand), and add other protein high flours, some natural sweeteners and peanut butter (among other things) to bind the granola together. I thought the bars were OK, but a little dry. Not bad if you’re in a bind for a quick breakfast on the go though, I suppose.
Next, I tried the Flaxseed Bread (page 43). This bread was really quite delicious. It held up well, was moist and had a minimal number of ingredients. We really enjoyed this one.
- 1 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 3 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk or water (105 degrees to 110 degrees F)
- 4 1/2 tsp instant active or active dry yeast
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- Lightly oil a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Combine the rice flour, tapioca starch/flour, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum, sugar and salt in a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the oil, milk, and yeast. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on low speed for 1 minute, or until blended. Add the vinegar and beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared pan. Coat a rubber spatula or a sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable spray and smooth the top. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free area to rise to the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake 60-70 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center reads 190 degrees F to 200 degrees F. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and freeze any portion not used within three days.