Friday, May 6

Cook Book Review: Green Market Baking Book and Recipe for Gluten-Free Energy Bars

Laura C. Martin wants you to have your cake and eat it, too. That is, only if it's baked with all-natural, preferably locally sourced ingredients. Think it can't be done? Martin proves it can in her new book, Green Market Baking Book: 100 Delicious Recipes for Naturally Sweet and Savory Treats

The recipes, some created by Martin and others by influential chefs and food writers including Alice Waters and Dan Barber, are made with all-natural, organic, sustainable ingredients. Refined sugar is out. Brown rice syrup, agave nectar, and barley malt syrup are in. White flour is used, but many recipes suggest substituting at least part of the flour with whole-grain alternatives such as rye or spelt.

This is the type of the cookbook that you really must peruse first before delving right into a recipe. Otherwise, you'll likely find that you don't have many of the listed ingredients in your pantry. Here's where Martin helps: In the book's opening, she explains unfamiliar ingredients, suggests sugar substitutions, provides guidelines for using oils and dairy in baked goods and even tells you how to stock your pantry.

energy bars

Once you've prepped, you'll be ready to bake. Recipes include beloved classics such as Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Pie as well as fresh faces including Fig and Blueberry Scones and Peach and Nectarine Upside-Down Cake. Among the book's many tarts, pies, cookies, cakes, puddings and breads, you'll discover several dairy and gluten-free as well as vegan and low-fat options.

Readers will be glad to know that the recipes are clearly written and divided according to season. However, visual readers will be disappointed that there are no photos. Instead, Martin's lovely watercolors grace many of the book's pages.

So whether you're trying to "green" your kitchen, make a smaller carbon footprint or simply try some new recipes, The Green Market Baking Book, is definitely a worthy purchase.

Give-away time! Tell me why you'd like to win this book, and I'll announce a winner (chosen randomly) on Monday, May 9th. Good luck! 

Gluten-Free Energy Bars by Rebecca Wood
Makes 8 bars 
These gluten-free energy bars are the perfect post-exercise snack -- they're chock-full of "good" carbs and lean protein and taste great. Feel free to adapt ingredients to suit your personal preferences. For one batch, I used oats and red flame raisins then tried oats, dried cherries and pistachios in another. Both were delicious.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup apple juice, milk, or water (I used water)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups oat, rye, or quinoa flakes (I used rolled oats)
1 cup chopped nuts (I used half almonds and half walnuts)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/3 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Light butter an 8X8-inch-pan, or line it with parchment paper. 

2. Place the raisins in a small bowl and stir in the apple juice (or other liquid) and vanilla extract. Set the bowl aside for 20 minutes to allow the raisins to plump.

3. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the flakes and nuts and sauté, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the nuts are aromatic and a shade darker. Stir in the cinnamon and salt and saute for an additional minute. Pour the contents into a large bowl.

4. Stir the eggs and honey into the raisin mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until uniformly blended.

5. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and pulling away for the edge of the pan. Invert onto a rack to cool. Cut into bars. The energy bars will keep for 1 week. 

Note: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes but was not paid. 


art and lemons said...

because this is my kind of baking...

Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood said...

This just looks so much healthier than the bars you buy at the store. This, and granola (cereal, not bars) are next on my list to try and make.


April said...

I'm a sucker for a cookbook. They are like novels to me!

Catie said...

I'd love this - it sounds like a fantastic tool to bring healthier snacks into our lives!

Staci said...

I'd love to use the cookbook for more inspiration on baking with fresh, local ingredients! I'm always looking for new ideas.

Joanne said...

Whoa! Sounds like an awesome cookbook! I really want to get into baking with more natural sugars and such and this sounds like it would be perfect to get me started!

Debbie said...

What a great cookbook! I have been trying to eat clean for awhile now. It would be great to have a resource for healthy treats too!

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) said...

I saw another review that featured the book's fig bars. I would like to make my own fig bars, hence I would like the book. I'm a simple girl.

Jen said...

I would like to win this book because I've been making a conscious effort lately to cook as natural as possible--but I'd love more ideas from a pro! Thanks for offering this!

Food Glorious Food! said...

Wow the baking book is perfect! Wish I could get hold of one too :) Btw, love your energy bar recipe.. I can start making it myself rather than eating out of a box! Thanks!

decadentinbcn said...

I would most definitely like to receive the book - I have been looking for books and information on this type of baking. I believe it is the future and it is taking more and more importance within the baking world. I have friends that will really look forward to tasting the end of result of the recipes and I want to make every single one of them :)

Kristi said...

I would like to win this book because I'm always looking for recipes that I can make using items I buy at the local farmer's market. I try to buy in season, and I think it would be great to have some recipes with real ingredients.

Domestic Diva said...

I'm always looking for new gluten-free ideas for our kitchen. Thanks for the chance.

lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

Teri said...

Thanks for posting -- trying to eat healthier and have been looking for a cookbook like this.

Champa said...

Sounds like an interesting book to have.

mc said...

Easy access to ingredients & simple steps to follow which I really like that with healthier version of recipes, so I won't intimidate friends and family to have a better option for their diet.

Quintessential_Laura said...

I love new ideas that incorporate local and fresh ingredients!

Alaina said...

It looks fantastic!!

Sarah said...

Is it too late to enter?!?! I LOVE cookbooks without photographs. It makes me feel a little bit hardcore and a lot less pressured to make my food look the same as it does in the book.

Jennifer Gray said...

I would LOVE to have this cookbook! I want my family to eat healthier and make better choices and if I had a good cookbook resource...I could have healthy treats in the house and ready to be munched!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Looks like a fun cookbook with my kind of recipes! This granola bar sounds tasty too. BTW - oats aren't gluten-free, unless they're specifically labeled as certified gluten-free. Rye isn't gluten-free - ever. Just FYI, so hopefully those who must follow a gluten-free diet don't get sick! :) I think I need to whip up a batch of these.

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

Looks great. I love cookbooks, especially healthy ones! Would love to win this and add it to my collection.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Lovely bars! It sounds like a handy cookbook.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Everybody!

Thanks for all of your fun comments. The randomly chosen winner is Kristi from EatDrinkLoveandExercise. Congratulations! I've got many more cookbook give-aways coming up, so you'll still many chances to win!



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