Classic Gluten Free Cookbooks

With so many gluten free cookbooks available, how do you know which to buy? Which ones will serve you well for years to come?

Here, I will recommend books that have proved useful in my own kitchen.

Having been on the diet for almost 50 years I have amassed quite a library, some of which are used again and again, and others which sit on the shelf gathering dust.

There are a number of authors who will become very familiar if you need to cook for someone on a special diet. Perhaps the most well known are...

Bette Hagman

Bette Hagman's gluten free cookbooks  include her classic The Gluten Free Gourmet which was first published in 1990 and revised in 2000.

Since she first wrote the book which she called a "primer, helping those overcome by the restrictions of the diet to discover how to make enough basic foods that they wouldn't feel deprived." there have been advances in the number of gluten free flours available. Does this mean the book is outdated and of no use to us nowadays? No, it is definitely still worth while having a copy of the revised book in your kitchen.

Bette introduces two gluten free flour blends in the book, what she calls her Gluten-Free Mix and her Four Flour Bean Mix.

Bette includes a number of gluten free bread recipes in this book but if you want even more variety you should look at The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread.

Sadly, Bette is no longer with us, but she will always be known as a pioneer in the field of gluten free cooking.

Carol Fenster

If you are cooking for someone that has additional food sensitivities then take a look at Carol Fenster's gluten free cookbooks.

You will never run out of recipes if your collection contains her 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes. My own personal favorite is the book shown, left, Special Diet Solutions

The appendices at the back of this book cover cooking with alternative ingredients, explaining what to use and when to use it. For example do you know which gluten free flours work well in place of wheat to thicken soups and stews? Or what egg substitute to use as a binder in baked goods? This book will tell you!

Carol Fenster had to give up wheat due to sinusitis, and says the book is suitable for those of us suffering from Celiac disease, autism, wheat allergies and people who need to avoid dairy, eggs, yeast and refined sugar for whatever reason. One of my favorite recipes from the book is her Corn Bread made without yeast or eggs.

Lisa Lewis

If your child is on the autistic spectrum then following the gfcf (gluten free casein free) diet may help.

Lisa Lewis is the author of Special Diets for Special Kids which was originally two books and has now been combined into one. 

Considered a must if you are thinking about implementing changes in your child's diet due to autism and also useful for parents of celiac children. I don't have a copy myself but a friend, with two children on the spectrum, swears by them.

It is maybe worth seeing if your local library carries the book(s), and borrowing first, to see if they would prove useful to your family situation.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Well known to US TV viewers, Hasselbeck first discovered she had celiac in 2002, after taking part in the show Survivor. Her health improved while in the Australian Outback, where her normal food choices were not available.

Her book is called The G-Free Diet and she uses the term G-full for foods that contain gluten. In the book she covers cooking in a kitchen that is shared by both celiacs and non-celiacs. She also covers eating out in restaurants with tips for picking safe meals.

Perhaps I shouldn't have included this book on a page devoted to gluten free cookbooks, as it has a distinct lack of recipes, but it does contain information of interest to anyone following the diet.

However, it has caused some controversy due to a chapter that appears to suggest using the gluten free diet to lose weight. (As anyone with celiac will know, this diet is not a weight loss diet, but the only treatment for celiac disease. In fact many people who start the diet, tend to put on weight!). In actual fact the chapter refers to how you can make healthier food choices, and be more aware of your nutritional needs when you are forced to read labels.

More reviews of gluten free cookbooks

Of course there are many more gluten free cookbooks on the market. I have reviewed some of the newer ones in depth on the site...


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