We recently found a connection between gluten and my teenage daughter's cystic acne. During Lent, she gave up gluten and her complexion has so incredibly cleared, that there is no denying it. What we have found, though, is a challenge finding quality gluten-free recipes that taste good that have real food ingredients. To me, xanthum gum is not a real food ingredient.
Thanks to Blogging for Books, I had an opportunity to review "Against the Grain", a gluten-free cookbook written by Nancy Cain who is the owner of a gluten-free bakery. I was excited to receive the book because I knew that there would be great recipes in it... after all, the author bakes gluten-free foods for a living, right? But what I was concerned about was how many of the ingredients were specialty ingredients that I wouldn't ever consider to use or could easily substitute with ingredients acceptable to me?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ms. Cain uses primarily light buckwheat flour and tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch) in her recipes... both of which I have no "philosophical" problem with. She gives some great instruction on the fundamentals of gluten-free baking, and introduces us to concepts like sourdough starter made with buckwheat or quinoa flours which I find to be absolute genius. And there are recipes for everything from breads and muffins, to cookies, cakes, and pies.
I am thrilled to have this cookbook in my collection and now have a way to make foods my daughter loves that literally won't scar her for life. Thank you, Ms. Cain!