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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegan Books

Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans:
All the Fab Food You Thought
You Couldn't Eat

By Jo Stepaniak

Book Publishing Company, 2016
Paperback, $12.95

Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks

Vegans with celiac sensitivity or celiac disease face a double challenge: avoiding animal ingredients in their diets as well as foods that contain gluten. After penning over two-dozen books on vegan cooking and health issues, author Jo Stepaniak comes to the rescue with Gluten-Free Tricks for Vegans.

Stepaniak has visited the gluten-free issue before as the author of Gluten-Free Success Strategies and the co-author of The Food Allergy Survival Guide.

In her opening to this book she states that for many people gluten-free is a choice not a necessity. It has become a diet craze. Actually, one in 133 Americans suffers from celiac disease. Eighteen million are estimated to have gluten sensitivity while three million cope with celiac disease. The frightening fact is 95% of the people who have celiac disease don't know they have it.

For those new to the gluten-free lifestyle/diet, the author supplies lists of Gluten-Containing Grains and Related Foods, Other Foods to Avoid, and Miscellaneous Sources of Gluten.

Stepaniak stresses the importance of reading labels. "Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without warning, so reading labels each time you shop will help ensure that you're buying products that are safe for you," she writes.

In Watch Out for Cross-Contamination, Stepaniak details the strategies for avoiding pitfalls. She covers buying, storing, and preparing food and issues warnings about double dipping and staying clear of bulk bins and wooden equipment as well giving advice on Dining Out Safely.

This author is quite at home in the kitchen, as evidenced by her many cookbooks that offer delicious recipes as well as cooking advice. Her chapter on Gluten-Free Cooking Basics provides details on how to prepare these special grains and includes a chart with their cooking times

Gluten-Free Baking Basics offers invaluable tips for perfect baked goods. This section covers ingredients that are unique to baking without gluten-containing flours, preparation, and equipment, as well as baking, cooling, and storing. A chart describes gluten-free flours and essential baking ingredients. She even offers advice on grinding your own flours, gluten-free, of course.

Jo Stepaniak Fundamentals begins the heart of the book, more than 100 pages of recipes that can be created and enjoyed by anyone following this lifestyle. Starting with a recipe for a GF All-Purpose Flour Mix, Stepaniak shows how to make pizza and pie crust. She then instructs the reader in making spice blends like Garam Masala, Five-Alarm Chili Powder, and Ethiopian Spice Mix.

In Bread Basket she takes on one of the most challenging issues for the gluten sensitive. This chapter includes recipes for muffins, scones, chapatis, pancakes and crepes. Chickpea Crepes, for example, has five ingredients including optional garlic powder and can be prepared in minutes. Magical One-Bowl Muffins include 11 variations that are both sweet and savory.

Breakfast Bowl details seven recipes to start the day, while the Salad Bar shows how gluten-free grains can enhance a salad course.

The Main Event features 16 pages of entrees that prove gluten-free advocates do not suffer the pangs of denial. Moroccan Millet, Creamy Quiche, and Spinach and Herb Fritters, and Pad Thai Mashup are a few of the recipes that grace these pages.

But Dessert Table is king. This chapter encompasses 21 mouth-watering recipes, especially baked treats that appear on 25 pages, almost 1/4 of the recipes in the book. Included here are cakes, pies, squares, cookies, macaroons, wafers, and balls, many of which gluten-free advocates would never expect to eat.

Chocolate Snack Cake, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie, Divine Macaroons, and Flourless Chocolate Shortbread Cookies prove Stepaniak's adage, "It's become surprisingly easy to have your gluten-free cake and eat it too."

The book concludes with Suppliers, a listing of online sources for gluten-free products and ingredients and organizations with websites that can provide further information.

Once again Jo Stepaniak has delivered another valuable book for vegans. Whether they want to be gluten-free for themselves or for entertaining friends or family, they have Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks to guide them. This gluten-free handbook excels in simplicity with easy-to-follow information and recipes. And the price is right.

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