Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Join eNewsletter


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):



Join eNewsletter

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GlutenFreeManna

The Autism Cookbook--Help--Has Anybody Used This Book?

Recommended Posts

So I picked up this book at the library: the Autism Cookbook: 101 Gluten Free and Dairy free recipes by Susan K. Delaine. I was really excited looking through the book as she had some great meal ideas and she also uses flours I have been able to get fairly easily like buckwheat flour. I also noticed the baked goods didn't have xanthan gum or guar gum--things I have not yet found easily in my area. So anyway, I decide to try a recipe for "Beef Turnovers". I checked and I had all the ingredients for the crust on hand: buckwheat flour, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and water. I had some leftover beef and veggies I was going to use as filling rather than following her filling recipe. I should have read the whole recipe before starting, but I was so excited to try this I just went to my kitchen and started following the instructions. I measured the amounts out into a bowl, stirred and did not get anything near a dough. It was like cornmeal and didn't even stay together when pressed. So I added a little more water, in fact i almost had to double the amount of water to get anything like a dough. Then I dump it out onto a floured board and proceed to "knead" the dough as the recipe indicates. All the time I'm thinking, "why am I kneading a dough that doesn't have gluten or yeast in it?" The recipe actually said to knead the dough for 5 minutes. After about a minute it was smooth, but the more I kneaded it to more it got sticky and took up over double the amount of flour just to keep smooth. I gave up the kneading after about 3 minutes. Then I looked at and smelled what I had. The dough feels like playdough and smells worse. There's no way this is going to turn out flaky and lighty browned like the photo in the book. Then I started to think about all the pie crusts I've ever made and I realized they usually have large amounts of butter. I'm wondering if this will even be edible as it is. Finally, I checked the recipe to see what to heat the oven to and there is no temperature anywhere in the recipe. It just says bake for 20-30 minutes. Help! Should I make these pasties or just chuck it and eat my leftovers as they are? Should I add some butter or some almond milk and try to make something else? I really don't want to waste the buckwheat flour I have just poured into making this "dough" but I also don't think it will taste very good as it is.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):


When this happens to me -something not working out the way I thought it would- I stick it in a bowl in the fridge and think about it for a day or two. It will keep fine and you can spend time researching recipes that have those ingredients. As far as I know, buckwheat flour + water + vinegar + oil does not a recipe make. Honestly, I would be careful with any other recipes in that book. It didn't even give you a temperature?


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When this happens to me -something not working out the way I thought it would- I stick it in a bowl in the fridge and think about it for a day or two. It will keep fine and you can spend time researching recipes that have those ingredients. As far as I know, buckwheat flour + water + vinegar + oil does not a recipe make. Honestly, I would be careful with any other recipes in that book. It didn't even give you a temperature?

Thanks, I covered the mixing bow with plastic wrap and I'll keep it in the fridge for a day or two to see if I could come up with something else. No, the recipe doesn't give a temperature at all. I should have known that those simple ingredients wouldn't make a dough. I used to make pie crusts and pasties and things from scratch all the time pre-gluten free. Gluten-free baking is a whole new world to me, though and I was just too hopeful.

Now that I've had a chance to look through the book I've noticed other recipes that don't seem like they would work. Like there's one for "sorbet" that has you just blending fruit and honey (or agave nectar) in a blender and putting it in a freezer container and placing it in the freezer. It doesn't mention anything about using an ice cream maker or stiring it every few hours. I'm pretty sure if I did that the fruit would just freeze solid as a rock with little ice crystals on it, it wouldn't be sorbet textured at all. There's also a very misleading picture next to a recipe for "chicken pot pie". The picture shows what looks like a flaky crust under chicken and veggies in gravy. The recipe, however doesn't even involve a crust. Instead it has a "crumb topping" made of oil, salt, buckwheat flour (or quinoa flour) and water. Strangely this "crumb topping" has the same proportions of flour and water (2 cups flour + 1/2 water) as the crust mixture for the "beef turnover" recipe.

Now I'm starting to wonder if this book is just a bunch of made up recipes that haven't ever been tested. The author claims to have an autistic child and to have developed these recipes over years of learning how to cook gluten-free and casein free. I can't find any reviews for the book online by people that have actually made the recipes. The reviews I did find talk about how great the photos look (and they are nice photos) and what a great resource this will be for parents of autistic children--but it's useless if the recipes are not real. I'm glad I didn't buy this and just got it from the library. I feel so bad for parents of autistic kids buying this book to try to help them.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few regular "specialty" cookbooks with really messed up recipes, too.

If the first time, if it looks like it might function, I will do the recipe "as is." If it doesn't work, if it is salvageable, I'll try it a second time, otherwise, I don't bother.

Some of the recipes for gluten free that I have seen online, :blink::huh:

You'd be better off with the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook out of the 1960' s and just adapting the recipes to gluten free by substituting a good gluten free flour mixture you've made yourself and using a few conversion tricks.

Another thing is when a recipe calls for "milk" you can often just use water in it and it comes out, you don't even have to use soy, rice, almond, or nut milk. Olive oil/coconut milk can sub for butter or shortening.

I would go look at some of the other gluten-free blogs where the cook is gluten free and dairy free. Watch out because some of these recipes will call for ingredients that turn out to have soy.

With meals, it's easier to just eat the meat/vegetable and have the baked gluten-free bread product on the side, or have it be rice, rice pasta, or potato or something.

Here is a hilarious write up of a gluten free person determined to make Ethiopian Injera gluten free with teff flour and a sort of sourdough type starter that took 5 days but finally worked:

http://chefinyou.com/2010/02/ethiopian-injera-recipe/

Teff bread with no dairy

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/03/dark-teff-sandwich-bread.html flax could be left out and egg used. If avoiding yeast, use apple cider vinegar and baking soda for the leavening instead and it would not then be left to rise but baked soon after mixing. She has the yeast free version using baking powder in the comments

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few regular "specialty" cookbooks with really messed up recipes, too.

If the first time, if it looks like it might function, I will do the recipe "as is." If it doesn't work, if it is salvageable, I'll try it a second time, otherwise, I don't bother.

Some of the recipes for gluten free that I have seen online, :blink::huh:

You'd be better off with the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook out of the 1960' s and just adapting the recipes to gluten free by substituting a good gluten free flour mixture you've made yourself and using a few conversion tricks.

Another thing is when a recipe calls for "milk" you can often just use water in it and it comes out, you don't even have to use soy, rice, almond, or nut milk. Olive oil/coconut milk can sub for butter or shortening.

I would go look at some of the other gluten-free blogs where the cook is gluten free and dairy free. Watch out because some of these recipes will call for ingredients that turn out to have soy.

With meals, it's easier to just eat the meat/vegetable and have the baked gluten-free bread product on the side, or have it be rice, rice pasta, or potato or something.

Here is a hilarious write up of a gluten free person determined to make Ethiopian Injera gluten free with teff flour and a sort of sourdough type starter that took 5 days but finally worked:

http://chefinyou.com/2010/02/ethiopian-injera-recipe/

Teff bread with no dairy

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/03/dark-teff-sandwich-bread.html flax could be left out and egg used. If avoiding yeast, use apple cider vinegar and baking soda for the leavening instead and it would not then be left to rise but baked soon after mixing. She has the yeast free version using baking powder in the comments

Thanks for the links and ideas! I wish I could find teff flour around here. The main flours I have to work with are buckwheat, potato flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot and cornstarch. I have also seen flax seed but haven't bought any yet. I haven't found many recipes using these flours together, but I have been playing with them as substitutions anyway. So far I've had more failures than successes. I do need yeast-free recipes so that makes it harder. I'm sure I will have to break down and order some special flours and xanthan gum online eventually. For now, I'm determined to make something from this buckwheat dough today. Will report back if anything tasty comes of it.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That happened to me last year with a different ADHD and autism cookbook. It was $25, and huge, so I thought it was a real find.

Many of the muffin and bread recipes didn't work, and made me wonder if any of the recipes were ever tested. It's so infuriating when a gluten free cookbook is a dud, b/c not only have you wasted money on the book itself, but you waste so much money on expensive gluten free ingredients that don't work.

Our library is finally starting to carry more gluten free cookbooks. Getting them is hard, they are always checked out. Also, thanks to all the gluten free bloggers out there now, my food disasters are few and far between!


Tamara, mom to 4 gluten & casein free kiddos!

Age 11 - Psoriasis

Age 8- dx'd Celiac March 2005

Age 6- gluten-free/cf, allergy related seizures

Age 4 - reflux, resolved with gluten-free/cf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the dough you have may be ok for pie crust. It depends on the amount of oil, though it isn't exactly what I'd do. If the oil is about one Tbsp per cup of flour, then pie crust should be possible, and can be pretty good too. I don't generally make pie crust using only buckwheat flour, but I have in the past, and it does work. And no, you don't want any xanthan in it.

Check this thread for how I make pie crust.


A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could get a decent crust out of buckwheat flour, chilled lard, a pinch of salt and some water. You can't just substitute plant fats for an animal fat if you want a fluffy product. Go bold, go lard! Personally though I wouldn't use 100% buckwheat flour, try watering it down some with milder rice flour.


Receiving a qualified diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is as useful as a Psychiatrist giving you a diagnosis of "Doesn't Think Right".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks every one for the suggestions. I forgot about this thread temporarily. I ended up rolling the dough out really thin on parchment paper and making buckwheat crackers out of it. I brushed them with garlic-infused olive oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds, then cut with a pizza cutter. They came out okay, but didn't get completely crispy on the inside (probably due to the temp of the oven and the thickness of the dough). They sort of reminded me of Ruby Tuesday's pumpernikel croutons (Which I loved and really miss).


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got this book as a review copy and honestly there isn't a whole lot of good I can say about it - for one, no yields. for another, half the temps are missing, and some of the recipe directions call for ingredients not listed. The scone recipe calls for almost as much liquid as dry, no binders, and only a single flour. I had to totally re-make the whole thing, completely differently, before it even resembled a "scone". It says there's 20 raw recipes on the dust jacket, 23 in the intro, 10 in the index and 14 in the actual pages. Something tells me there was not a lot of planning, testing, proofing or editing along the way to publishing this.

The other thing - none of the photos accurately represent the recipes. Most of them are definitely of gluten-containing foods (chicken nuggets is the main case in point - it's actually an istock photo from a web search!) so I'm a little dismayed that it's being sold as a good resource for those of us with allergies, celiac or a condition like ASD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using The Allergen-Free Baker's handbook, by Cybele Pascal. LOVE IT!

(How to bake without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame)

Buying the allergen free ingredients is always a concern in availability and cost, but I have located ingredients easily.

I bake the treats and they are GONE! :rolleyes: Gluten eaters have complemented the vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipes as better than the average gluten cake.


Michigan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got this book as a review copy and honestly there isn't a whole lot of good I can say about it - for one, no yields. for another, half the temps are missing, and some of the recipe directions call for ingredients not listed. The scone recipe calls for almost as much liquid as dry, no binders, and only a single flour. I had to totally re-make the whole thing, completely differently, before it even resembled a "scone". It says there's 20 raw recipes on the dust jacket, 23 in the intro, 10 in the index and 14 in the actual pages. Something tells me there was not a lot of planning, testing, proofing or editing along the way to publishing this.

The other thing - none of the photos accurately represent the recipes. Most of them are definitely of gluten-containing foods (chicken nuggets is the main case in point - it's actually an istock photo from a web search!) so I'm a little dismayed that it's being sold as a good resource for those of us with allergies, celiac or a condition like ASD.

Thanks for posting your experiences. I'm so glad to see I wasn't the only one that had problems with the recipes. I think I will go review it on that giant site selling books that cannot be named here to warn people not to bother buying it.


A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites