Cookbook Review: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick and Easy

Nicole Hunn is fast becoming my gluten-free hero. I’ve referred to both her first book — Gluten Free on a Shoestring — and her website as references for incorporating more gluten-free options into my diet. It’s no small commitment, for sure. The ‘easy way’ of moving toward gluten free, e.g. just go buy it, is not necessarily the best way. Commercial gluten-free products are frequently fat and/or sugar rich. No wheat/gluten on the label does not necessarily imply more healthy.

The solution, of course, is DIY. As one reads Nicole’s frequently humorous voyage to developing tasty and quick gluten-free recipes, you’ll see why many forgo that option. This book could be a mind changer for many of us reticent gluten-free home bakers, because Hunn has done the legwork for us!  And time investment on any of these recipes rarely goes over an hour and 10 minutes; a wonderful thing for a contemporary, frequently busy lifestyle.

There is a smart collection of recipes in this book. There are vegan and vegetarian recipes; recipes for meat eaters; recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; dessert recipes; and recipes for have-on-hand mixes. As I was reading, I found a recipe that used ingredients I already have in my cupboards — Baked Oatmeal. I’m an oatmeal fan anyway, but oatmeal with a crust was irresistible to me.  I tried it; I liked it a lot. This recipe has made its way into the Sunday Morning Breakfast rotation.

Another aspect of this cookbook and its predecessor is that Hunn often includes the cost savings per serving on making gluten-free at home vs. purchasing ready made. The differences are frequently substantial. The biggest investments I see in gluten-free home baking, for example, are Xantham Gum and Gluten Free Flour.  Find a good source for those, and the rest is academic!

In sum, if your diet is gluten free and you are still purchasing ready-made — baked goods especially — instead of making your own, do consider adding this book to your kitchen tools. It is easier than you might think to cook and bake gluten free.

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