Blog Tour Review: Sugar-Free Mom by Brenda Bennett

SugarFreeMom_blogTour2

Sugar-Free Mom: Naturally Sweet and Sugar-Free Recipes for the Whole FamilySugar-Free Mom
by Brenda Bennett
Cookbook
Paperback224 Pages
December 9th 2014 by Cedar Fort

Summary

Sugar-free no longer equals taste-free! Popular food blogger Brenda Bennett uses natural sweeteners like honey and coconut sugar to create delicious and wholesome recipes that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, such as French Toast Sticks, Crock Pot Pulled Pork, and Chocolate Fudge Tart. You and your family will finally enjoy all the foods you love- without the guilt.
   

My Review

When I first decided to review Sugar-Free Mom I thought that the recipes would mainly be desserts. I guess I wasn't too thorough in reading the summary. I was then pleasantly surprised that the recipes are much more varied, with sections focusing on breakfast foods (a veritable sugar pit with my sweet tooth), salads and sides (salad dressings can definitely get you here), main dishes, condiments (another place where sugar can be very high), beverages, and treats. My biggest issue with the book was that the recipes that included flour were all gluten-free. This was something I wasn't expecting and didn't really realize until later on. I'll talk more about this below. There were some recipes that immediately peaked my interest, such as the Blueberry Lemon Scones, Mayo-Free Creamy Coleslaw (we have a son who is allergic to eggs and thus can't have mayonnaise), Crock Pot Pulled Pork (sometimes there is sugar in this dish), and then a slue of the desserts, like the Super Food Chocolate Bar, Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Brownies, and Chocolate-Coated Salted Chickpeas to name a few. They sound interesting, right?

Here are some pictures from her website:
SFM cookbook breakfasts (1 of 1)
SFM cookbook desserts (1 of 1)

I liked what Bennett said in her introduction:
Taking these traditional and beloved recipes of my family and creating a healthier version is a challenge, but one I've grown to love. I am a foodie and I don't deny that. I'm also a health conscious momma who had to give up sugar, but who still wants chocolate...
I engulfed myself in learning everything I could about making recipes without sugar and refined flours. This became my new obsession, writing recipes, teaching classes at my church, and finding such joy in helping my friends by sharing my recipes. The passion for cooking I’d had as a child was always there, and now it was being transformed into a new exciting challenge to remake healthier recipes of what I loved...
That's me too. I want chocolate, yummy tasting recipes and dessert without the sugar and that are healthier. It has become more difficult as I age to lose weight or maintain my weight. We have a son who struggles with ADD and I'm trying to limit more and more our sugar consumption because his diet definitely effects how well he manages his behavior. I liked that the recipes focus on lowering processed sugars. It's not a weigh-loss cookbook. Just a book with low-sugar recipes (it does use alternative sweeteners) with the goal of eating healthier. With this in mind, there was a section on using alternative sweeteners, specifically stevia being the main one she uses, and other supplies and pantry staples. I liked that the cookbook introduced me to different types of sugar alternatives, such as coconut sugar, which I'd never heard about. She also talks about sugar cravings and how to lower those. 

I'm planning on using stevia a lot more in the future along with other alternatives. This cookbook showed you can and still have great tasting food. I loved that each recipe included a picture, which is a big deal to me. I like seeing what the recipe is supposed to look like.

What I would have liked to have seen was maybe a few more oriental recipes that normally have a lot of sugar, such as Teriyaki Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, or Sweet and Sour Chicken. I wouldn't mind seeing what she would come up with to make these taste great without the sugar, especially since they're staples in my house. I also didn't realize that there would also be an emphasis on gluten-free. I think I would have rather had a recipe that used regular four and then a tip at the bottom with how to make it gluten-free. I kind of wish that there was note of this on the cover because I think that's something that most cooks would want to know. Most of us don't have gluten-free fours in our pantries.

Here are some recipes that worked for me and that we liked: Personalized Puff Pancakes (individual beauties with a yummy fruit, chocolate, or coconut inside - cream cheese was yummy too), Personal-Sized Baked Oatmeal Cups (easy and filling), Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (kids loved these - without nuts and seeds of course), Mayo-Free Chicken Salad Lettuce WrapsThere are a bunch of recipes I still want to try, like the Chocolate Mousse that has avocado in it, but I pretty much liked everything we made. 

I would recommend Sugar-Free Mom to those that want healthier, sugar and gluten-free recipes.

Source: I would like to thank the publisher, Cedar Fort, for my complimentary review copy, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author


Brenda-SugarFreeMom-5Brenda Bennett’s passion for cooking began at the age of 5 kneeling on a chair by her grandmother’s side helping roll homemade gnocchi’s on a flour covered butcher block table. Her love affair with cooking was a mere hobby while teaching as a special educator and earning a Masters Degree in Education. After the birth of her second child, she had to give up sugar. With sear determination and a deep desire to still enjoy chocolate, her love affair with food embarked on a new journey learning to develop recipes free of refined sugars and flours. After discovering peanut ,tree nut and soy allergies in 2 of her 3 children making homemade healthier versions of the treats they loved became a necessity. She transitioned to the position of homeschooling mom of 3, recipe developer, food writer, photographer and blogger. She focuses on wholesome delicious food free of processed flours and sugars to feed her family and share with friends and fans on www.sugarfreemom.com. She lives in RI with her husband, 3 children and their dog, Ruby. When she isn’t cooking, blogging or writing she can be found at spin class, camping, volunteering in cub scouts, or in the position of transportation engineer shuttling her children to karate, dance, boy scouts, soccer or softball.

4 comments

  1. Thanks for the shoutout!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cali Willette12/22/14, 5:46 PM

    The food looks really good for sugar free. ;)

    ReplyDelete
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