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[Buy the Book] Fast and Simple Gluten Free by Gretchen Brown, RD

Posted by ReganJonesRD
August 05, 2013
Featured in: Buy the Book
[Buy the Book] Fast and Simple Gluten Free by Gretchen Brown, RD

In case you haven't heard, big news arrived to the gluten free community last week.

From the FDA:

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule that defines what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it "gluten- free." The rule also holds foods labeled "without gluten," "free of gluten," and "no gluten" to the same standard." 

This is welcome news to the 3 million Americans who have Celiac Disease and the many more who may have gluten sensitivity. Setting labeling standards like these helps to ensure that food manufacturers are giving consumers the information they want and need to make informed purchases. But reading a label is only a small piece of the puzzle. We have - in this country for sure - become awfully reliant on pre-prepped, manufactured food... much of which contains gluten. Learning to cook gluten-free is a crucial part of sucessfully adhering to this way of life.

And with that thought, I'd like to officially launch the newest Feature column to the Healthy Aperture Blog - Buy the Book.

In this column we'll explore book recommendations for healthy living. Some will be cookbooks, others may be more "nutrition handbook". But all will be the types of references worthy of adding to your own bookshelf.

Up first, Fast and Simple Gluten-Free by registered dietitian, Gretchen Brown (disclaimer: Gretchen is also the Features Editor here for the Gluten Free Kitchen, the blogger behind Kumquat and a personal friend.)



Title: Fast & Simple Gluten-Free

Author: Gretchen Brown, RD

Focus: 30 minutes or less, gluten-free recipes, family-friendly meals

Why to buy: The photography in this book is (as Gretchen's photography always is) inspirational and empowering. Being diagnosed with Celiac Disease can feel - as I understand it from friends - like a prison sentence because the perception is that food will never taste good again, will be complicated and will be boring. Thumbing through Gretchen's book is appetizing to the point where you can't wait to get in the kitchen to cook.

Added bonus: The recipes in the book are well-rounded, meaning that you could cook from this book no matter what the dietary needs are of your family or dinner guests. While Gretchen offers new ways to make traditional gluten-filled favorites (think pizza and muffins), she also focuses on recipes that naturally lend themselves to being gluten-free (think chicken enchiladas made with corn tortillas)

How did the book cook? I never like to recommend a book of recipes without testing at least one. I actually served as a tester when the book was being written, so I'd already tested the Pina Colada Cupcakes (page 159). They were delicious. Using coconut flour and a gf all-purpose blend that Gretchen recommends, they were a little denser than traditional "boxed mix" American cupcakes. But they were actually more tender and over the top yummy in flavor, a trade off that's completely worth it in my opinion. I thought it best that I test out another recipe post-publication though before recommending it here on the blog. I made the Cinnamon-Almond Cookies (page 125). Another success! [My husband ate like 5 when he got home from work]. I'm running a variation on Gretchen's recipe below with a few tweaks I made (note: Gretchen's version uses regular sugar and egg, rather than the combo of flax and coconut sugar/Swerve and makes 1 dozen larger cookies, rather than my 24 smaller ones). Suffice to say these cookies - courtsey of the husband review - are a tasty choice for any family member or guest, gluten-free or not.

Where to buy*$13.29 - Paperback at Amazon or $9.99 Kindle edition  | $13.29 - Paperback at Barnes and Noble or $11.49 Nook edition


(*prices subject to change and may contain affliate links)





[Buy the Book] Fast and Simple Gluten Free by Gretchen Brown, RD


Soft and Chewy Cinnamon-Almond Cookies

Ingredients (24 cookies)

  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 4 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1 cup (140 g) almond meal
  • 6 tablespoons (75 g) coconut sugar or sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (75 g) Swerve sweetener (erythritol) or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Combine flax meal and 3 tablespoons water; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine almond meal, sugar, Swerve and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir in remaining water and flax slurry until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop dough by scant tablespoons onto paper; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness (spray hands or bottom of a cup with cooking spray to avoid sticking). Bake for 15 minutes in batches. Cool on a wire rack.

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Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:
Calories 43
Carbs 8g
Fat 3g
Protein 1g 
Sodium 7mg
Sugar 2g


Regan Jones is the Founding Editor and Sponsorship Director of HealthyAperture and is the author of the QUICK FIX KITCHEN Feature - a collection of recipes that focuses on shortcut cooking without shortcut taste. Her recipes largely focus on baked goods and desserts ranging from gluten free to sugar free to slightly indulgent eats for the entire family, but also include easy everyday recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jones is a registered dietitian and owner the web's most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned websites, including,, and She is also the host of the podcast, This Unmillennial Life, which was recently named New & Noteworthy on iTunes.
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