Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gluten Free in Five Minutes Cook Book Review

Gluten-Free in Five Minutes: 123 Rapid Recipes for Breads, Rolls, Cakes, Muffins, and More
Gluten-Free in Five Minutes: 123 Rapid Recipes for Breads, Rolls, Cakes, Muffins, and More

     When I read the title of this cookbook it made me wonder what hole I had been living in.  I spend hours everyday cooking gluten free meals for my family and countless hours looking ahead and planning what I will be cooking tomorrow.
     So a book that promises that you can cook gluten free food in five minutes caught my attention.   Of course the first question that came to mind was, "Okay, what can you cook in five minutes that is actually going to taste like something?"
     Now mind you, this isn't a five minute gluten free cookbook where they are serving steamed vegetables.  No, right on the cover of the cookbook it says, "123 Rapid Recipes for Breads, Rolls, Cakes, Muffins, and More!"
     Bread in five minutes.  It takes mine hours, even if I throw it in my bread machine!  My apron was on now.  I dared for this cookbook to impress my taste buds in five minutes and be gluten free.
      In the forward of the book it states, "Convenience has become a way of life.  We want food fast, we want it now, and we don't always want to have to work to get it."  I am nodding my head fervently in agreement.  It is the way we live today.... wanting convenience at our fingertips.
     Apron strings tied, I started the timer and was cooking!
     Here are my pictures of my fancy five minute baking (you can whip up a lot of things if each recipe takes just five minutes!)
Coffee Cake

This was my favorite recipe hands down.  This cake was delicious.   I had my two bites from the cake, as you can see from the above picture, and my son ate the rest of the cake.  When asked, "Did you eat the whole thing?  I wanted your grandmother to taste it."  He replied, "Yeah!  It was so good!  Sorry grandma! "

Left:Cinnamon Raisin Bread   Right: Sandwich bread

I would have liked my cinnamon bread sweeter, but it was good.  My same son who ate all my coffee cake ate all my bread.  Don't worry, he ate so many things that he soon petered out on the end.  He enjoyed himself too much with all this taste testing.  The sandwich bread was neutral tasting but good.  It would make a good peanuet butter and jelly sandwich.

Top:Bagel out of the microwave
Bottom: Bagel after being toasted

This bagel was okay to me, but my son gobbled it up!  He made sure to tell me to he liked it and to make it again.  I prefer mine made the old fashion, long way.  

English Muffin

I know it isn't round.  I couldn't find the right shaped dish.  The shape aside, I really enjoyed the taste of this bread.  And this time grandma got to taste this one.  We both agreed it was really good bread, but never would have guessed it was an english muffin.  It tasted more like a corn bread.  I didn't make the corn version of the english muffin, I made the brown rice version.  I would definitely make this one again.  There was something about it I really liked.  If you are looking for the traditional nooks and crannies kind of english muffin, this isn't it, but don't let it stop you from making it.  It really is delicious.

Flour tortilla
This is actually a good quick tortilla if you are filling it for a quesadilla or a soft taco!

Clockwise from the top:
Brownies, Lemon Cake, Red Velvet Cake

The above cakes frosted and ready to serve: brownies, red velvet cake, lemon cake

All of these desserts were very tasty!  And as with all tasty things in my house... it did a quick vanishing act... Puff! Gone!  All the kids mumbled how good it was, between mouthfuls of cakes and brownies.

 The Verdict:

  • I actually timed myself and made each recipe in five minutes.  Meaning I could put all the ingredients together and into the microwave within five.
  • The food tastes good!
  • Takes very few ingredients to get a delicious product.
  • No need for flour mixes or xanthan gums.
  • Easy enough for kids to make or college students to make after school or in their dorms. 
  • The recipes have several versions, accommodating for different types of flours. 
  • Microwave baking helpful hints.  I had to cook mine a little longer because my microwave is 700w and the recipes were tried on a 1000w microwave.  
  • Good if you are single or have a small family.  It makes just the right amount.
  • No need to heat up the house by turning on the oven, during hot blistering summer months.
  • If you are allergic to eggs, you really can't use this book.  Over 90% of the recipes call for an egg or egg white.  But if you can have eggs then you are in business.
  • Texture.  I don't know if this is a draw back or not, but the egg in the recipe gives lift to the foods being cooked in the microwave.  Therefore,  all of the foods have a spongy texture.  You can notice the air pockets in all the foods that I made.  If you don't mind spongy then you are good to go. 
  • Like I said there are different versions of the same recipe using different flours.  For example, the english muffin recipe, there are two recipes, but it uses different flours.  There are several recipes like this.  So you are getting fewer different recipes than you might have expected in the 125 recipes.  

    Personal Note: 

     I am glad to have this cook book on my shelf, especially for teaching my younger kids to cook.  

     I am happy that I now have recipes to make breads and other goodies in short order.  The book is chock full of substantial foods ----bagels, english muffins, rolls, flatbreads, tortillas, all the basic cakes (even a pineapple upside down cake!) that you would find on the supermarket shelf, as well as muffins and snack cakes.   

You can really make them in five minutes and they are tasty.   
     Now having said that, if you are looking for your hours that you spend making bagels with the water bath etc to be had in the microwave  and done in five minutes you will be disappointed.  As with tv dinners, they never quite taste like the homemade version that take hours to make.  Yet, we still like them, or at least I do.  

There are days where I want that crunchy outside of the bagel with its chewy center, and I will dedicate the time to it.  There are also those day, where convenience wins out and these recipe are a welcomed addition to helping me serve tasty food without the time commitment. 

     Overall,  I really enjoyed the book and how many recipes I cooked up in an hour.  Imagine, all those recipes above in an hour and I still feed the baby, lectured on scientific classification at the kitchen table, and washed crayons off the walls .  

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