The biggest problem with this book is author Brenda Bennett’s mis-representation and use of the word “natural” for many processed ingredients that are included in her recipes. An apple, for example, is an unaltered and natural food. Coconut sugar is not. Erythritol is not. Xanthan gum is not. Brown rice syrup is not. Even powdered stevia is not natural. Natural foods can be seen and eaten as they actually exist in nature, whereas the substances used and recommended by Bennett have either been treated, reduced or created by humans. It follows that Bennett’s introductory comments about sugars, other caloric sweeteners, sugar alcohols and flours are incomplete and create confusion. It’s better to skim through her food addiction story and the rest of her commentary, and go straight to the cookbook.
This is where Bennett shines. The book is smartly organized, beautifully photographed and has 194 yummy-looking recipes. Many are familiar comfort food recipes that a whole family can enjoy. Some are completely sugar-free and some have the processed substances listed above. She’s very keen on erythritol and stevia as the preferred sweetening agent. Other fave ingredients include potatoes, gluten-free flour, legumes and all things coconut (the new darling ingredient of Paleo people). If Bennett had titled her book as a low-sugar option for families, I would have felt less mislead. Purists who are looking for recipes without any caloric sweeteners, powdery flours and/or foods that have a naturally high sugar content should pass on this book.