Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery (Anglais) Broché – 29 octobre 2013
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In general: five stars! Add it to your list of worthwhile starting places, whether or not you have allergies to consider. We could all do with a break from wheat, a step away from sugar and a permanent vacation from animal products.
I'm still leaving the stevia out of these recipes due to personal preference, but rest assured they can be sweet enough without it, especially for those who are already developing a taste for things not overly sweetened! A couple tablespoons of coconut sugar, or one tablespoon of brown rice syrup, if needed, should substitute well for the usual 3/8 Tbsp stevia without affecting the texture much. I haven't yet tried Debbie's recommendation for the brand of stevia with the best flavor.
I buy millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, quinoa, and amaranth in whole grain form, blending them into flour with a Vitamix, and then, as Debbie suggests, make my own gluten free baking mix as described in the book. Control freaks and bulk purchasers will appreciate this approach to stocking only the whole grains and then having grains, flours and mixes available as you need them.
If you don't use a microwave, then you probably already know you can just use a small saucepan over low heat instead of the microwave directions, and it will take a few minutes longer to mix the thick ingredients like coconut nectar.
Substituting applesauce or another fruit puree for all or most of the oil should work well in the baked part of most of these recipes, and will result in a slightly less dense, cakier texture. In the icings, oil substitution will be a little trickier; I can make suggestions on a per-recipe basis.
The first thing I made from the book was the Apple Fritter Donut Holes. YES, buckwheat with apple-cinnamon! YUM! The erythritol in the glaze didn't stay smooth for me, but became grainy when it cooled. It was my first time using erythritol, though, and I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon. These were delicious and actually competed well with the pies at Thanksgiving.
Next, I made Sunflower Butter, the Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (but in thumbprint form with chocolate on top, instead of chips inside), and the Oatmeal Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies (without the chocolate chips).
I LOVE the Sunflower Butter and cookies. Amaranth is the PERFECT grain flavor with sunflower butter.
If anyone has been to Back to Eden Bakery in Portland, Oregon (another fantastic gluten free and vegan establishment) and had the peanut butter amaranth bar, you will know what we're getting at here. YUM. Brilliant.
My substitutions removed too much of the sweetness, for the majority of palates, in the Oatmeal Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies. Most people will want to leave the recipe alone. However, even without stevia and without the chocolate chips, these cookies were completely lovely with my coffee the next morning. You could make them in biscotti shape!
I very much look forward to making more recipes from the book, and wish I'd allocated time for freezing lots of holiday gifts. Please learn from my mistake and at least grab a few copies of this book to share with any health-conscious or allergen-affected home bakers you know. You won't regret it!
Thanks, Debbie, for my new go-to resource for allergic folks needing treats!
Since vegan recipes exclude animal products, vegan baked goods are a logical go-to for folks who are allergic to eggs and/or have a dairy intolerance. Of course, vegan recipes often rely on wheat flour since gluten can pinch-hit for the binding power of eggs. Debbie Alder goes a step further, though, by using only gluten-free flours in her recipes. And she features an impressive array of them: sorghum, millet, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, and amaranth all play starring roles. How refreshing to see gluten-free baked goods that aren’t dependent on white rice flour and potato starch! Even more refreshing, Debbie uses tantalizing ingredients like chia and hemp seeds in her recipes, too, not to mention coming up with innovative ways to use spices as natural dyes. (Turmeric for yellow; paprika for pink.) And seeing as sugar is on her list of no-go ingredients, she relies on natural sweeteners like coconut nectar and dates, even including a few raw recipes made with dried figs.
If you’re facing multiple pantry restrictions — or maybe you just enjoy discovering new ingredients and new ways to bake everything from brownies to doughnut holes — Debbie’s book is one of the best I’ve ever come across. She uses far more varied ingredients than most “[insert gluten, dairy, egg, etc.]-free” cookbooks I’ve seen, plus her recipes range the gamut from sweet to savory to raw treats.
Parsnips in lemon cake? Interesting idea. I’ll have to try her Lemon Parsnippanies to taste for myself! Although the Mocha Italian Espresso Cupcakes look so tempting that I might have to try them first…
Those of us with food restrictions no longer have to sacrifice our favorite treats (such as my favorite donut holes) thanks to all the gifted bakers and chefs like Debbie Addler, owner of Sweet Debbie's Organic Cupcakes in Los Angeles, who are bringing forth splendid recipe books that reinvent all those once forbidden treats minus the gluten, eggs, dairy products, soy, sugar and nuts.
SWEET DEBBIE'S is an elegant and relevant allergy-free cookbook featuring recipes free of refined white sugar and all the other foods responsible for the great majority of food-allergic reactions. These least-tolerated foods are predominantly milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat and gluten. It is a formidable task to eliminate these ingredients from our favorite baked goods but Debbie has pulled it off. How fortunate we all are that she has shared her brilliant recipes with us.
I purchased this stunning book as soon as it came out and now that I have tried so many of the extraordinary recipes and can proclaim without hesitation that every recipe was a vibrant success, I am thrilled to give this wonderful, wonderful allergy-friendly, gluten-free vegan dessert book my enthusiastic 5 star rating. If I could I would give it 10 stars!
I think every kitchen, allergen-free, diabetic, vegan or not, would benefit from having this inspiring baking book on the cookbook shelf. I can assure you that every recipe will be a great success and you will impress everyone who samples your baked goods. In fact they'll never even know that what they are enjoying is more healthy; they'll never know that you have prepared your splendid treats without wheat and other gluten containing flours, eggs, milk, butter, or even refined sugar!
I have been a vegetarian since the 70s, a vegan since the 90s, and a gluten-free vegan for the past ten years or so. I've also worked in professional food service for many, many of those years so specialty baking is not new to me, nor is it a challenge, but I think this book is as wonderful for the inexperienced baker as it is for the accomplished one.
The recipes have been well tested and are written clearly and precisely so that even the inexperienced baker will not be daunted by any of them. There is a wealth of information in this book and it is all well organized and easy to cross reference. The Index is very good and comprehensive. Best of all, the photography is gorgeous, the nutrition is sound, the recipes are practical, and the results are extraordinary.
Kudos to Debbie Addler for sharing her recipes so that we too can pull it off as well as she does and serve ourselves and our loved ones those healthy, sweet, guilt-free treats without ever compromising taste.
The first thing I noticed upon receiving Debbie's cookbook was the generous amount of recipes included, which brought a huge smile to my face. Why? Because during our hunt for gluten-free cookbooks, one prominent thing I noticed is that they were most often filled with medical fluff instead of actual recipes. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm interested in the research and statistics related to food allergies just as much as the next person, but when I'm looking to purchase a cookbook, I want the RECIPES more than anything else. Another thing I've noticed about most allergy-free and specialty diet cookbooks is that they include a lot of ingredients that aren't readily available in small towns, like the one I live in, but I've made five recipes from Debbie's cookbook so far, and that hasn't been a problem. One visit to my local Kroger, and I'm able to stock up on every item needed. This is another big plus for me, because I don't have the time (or patience) when it comes to hours of searching for ingredients. I want them all at my fingertips in one convenient location.
The first recipe I made was the Cosmic Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 58). These cookies are DELICIOUS! The first time I made them was for testing purposes only, and I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor. Many vegan recipes I've tried in the past have always left a bad aftertaste in my mouth, but these didn't. I was so impressed with this recipe that I made two batches to take to one of my son's graduation parties this past May. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that our guests were not only eating a dessert that was good for them, but it was an even greater reassurance knowing that I didn't have to worry over it elevating my son's blood sugar. The other recipes I've prepared are: Blondies With Roots (page 46), Caramel Glazed Fakin' Bacon Brownies (page 50), Oatmeal Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 57), and Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes (page 104). All of them passed my tastebuds with flying colors. My husband and kids enjoyed them too, and that's a huge compliment because they are extremely picky eaters.
I'm looking forward to trying out more of Debbie's recipes during this upcoming holiday season, because we have some extended family members who are diabetics, like my son, and others who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. It seems we're always exchanging healthy/gluten-free/sugar-free recipes anytime there's a family get-together, and I have no doubt Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats will be a huge hit. Thank you, Debbie!
For me, what sets Debbie’s cookbook apart is her candidness and dedication about her baking journey. She was simply a woman who ate “frozen yogurt for lunch and cookie dough ice cream” for after dinner before deciding enough was enough. Debbie began experimenting with baking and after a lot of self-professed trial and error opened her own Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes bakery.
Several years later, her son was diagnosed with “life-threatening allergies to almost every food in the USDA pyramid, except salt,” and Debbie went back to the drawing board to remake all of her bakery treats free of dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, gluten, nuts, and sugar.
That last little paragraph just wraps it up all nice and neat with a little bow, doesn’t it? Sounds so simple to do…just remake every recipe you’ve ever created to be allergy friendly. Now come clean…how many of you know the allergy-free baking process to be that simple? What? No takers? Glad I’m not the only one.
Allergy friendly and vegan baking isn’t a success story that comes easy when you are tinkering in your own kitchen. Luckily, Debbie’s hours and hours in the kitchen of doing exactly that make the road ahead downright smooth for the rest of us! For that alone, I am extremely grateful!
Coming from a non-vegan background, I love the way Debbie uses the chapter one to educate her reader about the origin and purpose of each of her go-to ingredients. In addition to creating a detailed tool kit listing for her recipes, chapter two lays out frosting, mixing, wrapping, and sweetening techniques.
Because of Debbie’s dedication to the vegan lifestyle, I’ll admit to not having some of these ingredients in my pantry or even know exactly where to find them when shopping. With that said, Debbie's cookbook has me convinced a trip to the grocery store might be in order.
Bottom Line: I think Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes is a fabulous resource for allergy-free and vegan bakers. As a fellow food allergy mom, Debbie’s story fills me with hope and confidence that decadent allergy friendly and healthy baked treats exist and can find their beginnings in each one of us.