The Sugar Free Family Cook Book
This book by Sarah Flower is a great resource for those wanting to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diet. The author really understands what a low sugar diet is and has produced a interesting range of recipes. Every recipe comes with nutritional information about the Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate and Fibre content per portion. Where appropriate there are also suggestions to make the recipe low carb or grain free.
The first few chapters explain why it is a good idea to follow a sugar free life style. She advises us to read labels carefully so that we can avoid the trap of ingredients which are treated by our body as sugar even though they have more charming names. There are hints on simple changes that can be made to a family routine that make it easier to adapt to the new lifestyle. All the recipes are really clearly written with hints for variations and alternative ingredients.
A section that some readers, particularly parents, will find helpful is that on sweets and baking. It is possibly the most difficult part of a meal to accommodate with sugar free items. Many people hate to forgo a delicious sweet treat. Unlike many other sugar free cook books it does not suggest substituting for honey for sugar. Instead, where extra sweetness is needed, it suggests natural alternative sweeteners such as Xylitol and Erythritol. It also gives useful information about the characteristics of these sweeteners which are are not metabolised in the same way as sugar or honey.
But this book is more than a collection of nice desserts. It covers all aspects of our normal meals and is divided into sensible recipe categories. I would highlight the breakfast suggestions. So many commercial breakfast cereals that are aimed at the family are high in sugar and it is good to see sensible sugar free alternatives.
The range of recipes makes it easy to plan an interesting no added sugar diet and includes fast food ideas. There is a welcome section on main dishes, perhaps unexpected in a sugar free recipe book, but it is amazing how often recipes for savoury dishes or barbecue sauces contain sugar. I was most impressed that she had a recipe for baked beans that was sugar free.
In summary, if you want or need to reduce sugar or are aiming for a sugar free life style this is a really good, no nonsense way to start. In fact many of the recipes look so appealing you would want to try them, sugarfree or not!
If you want to try a Sugar free cook book I really recommend this one, available from