Cooking Light Way to Bake: The Complete Visual Guide to Healthy Baking - delicious recipes, fresh healthy ingredients, smart tools & techniques Hardcover – Oct 4 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1. Photos - This book is filled with photos. I love that - food is so visual. Most recipes have a photo of the finished dish plus special "Kitchen How-To" photos which demonstrate techniques such as the step-by-step process of making monkey bread muffins.
2. Ease of Recipe - The recipes in this book are easy to make. The instructions are clear and the steps are straightforward. Most recipes have only 3-5 steps; these are not fussy or time-consuming baked goods to make. The addition of the step-by-step technique photos for most recipes makes cooking fun and stress-free. No need to guess whether you are shaping and filling your chocolate-hazelnut thumbprint cookies properly, just follow the photos!
3. Nutritional Information - Maybe not important to everyone, but I look for this. Each recipe contains detailed nutritional information such as calories, total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol, iron, sodium and calcium.
4. Food that Tastes Great - Of course the recipes have to work and these deliver. The recipes I've tried produce wonderful, moist baked goods. This book has a great variety to choose from - muffins & quick breads, biscuits & scones, waffles & pancakes, cookies & biscotti, bars & squares, cakes & cupcakes, pies & other pastries, souffles, and yeast breads.
A couple of areas to improve:
- I'd prefer if the binding wasn't hardcover but was spiral bound or a binder (like The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook - another favorite) so it would lie open on my counter.
- I'd also like to see more recipes that include some whole wheat flour.
A heads-up to any avid Cooking Light recipe collectors - if you have been a dedicated collector of recipes from the Cooking Light magazine over the years, as I have, then you may recognize a few favorites.
Bottom-line: I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in healthier lower-fat baked goods. Definitely try the recipes for: Butterscotch Blondies, Sticky Date and Coconut Cake, Anise Tea Crescents, Coconut cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting and Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies!
As the editors explain, "Cooking Light Way to Bake is a celebration of the joy of baking and the pleasure healthier baked treats can bring. Light baking has its own set of techniques, and this book is filled with more than 600 full-color photos showing you exactly how to prepare a wide variety of delectable baked goods, so you get perfect results every time you bake."
This book is perfect for anyone wanting to learn to bake in a lighter and healthier way, without sacrificing flavor and texture, which is what Cooking Light is all about.
Lighter baking can be tricky so technique is important. The book teaches the secrets to light baking success and includes hundreds of tips, as well as, nutrition information.
Chapters Include, Way to Bake; Muffins & Quick Breads; Biscuits & Scones; Waffles, Pancakes & Crepes; Cookies & Biscotti, Bars & Squares; Cakes & Cupcakes; Pies, Tarts, Cobblers & Pastries; Custard, Puddings & Souffles; and Yeast Breads
Here's what I especially love about Cooking Light Way to Bake:
Chapter 1 - "Way to bake" which provides loads of helpful information on ingredients, techniques and equipment.
Photos - This book is filled with gorgeous photos and lots of step-by-step photo demonstrations of various techniques from baking a batch of biscuits to whipping up a souffle.
Easy Great Tasting Recipes - The recipes in this book are doable even for beginners. The instructions are clear and the steps are straightforward. And more importantly, the results taste great.
Nutritional Information - Now that I'm back with Weight Watchers, this is important for me to be able to calculate the PointsPlus values of what I am baking and eating.
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in making healthier lower-fat baked goods that deliver delicious results.
On the one hand, everything in it is absolutely delicious-looking; there are gorgeous photos; and it provides some really cool explanations/"tips & tricks" on various types of ingredients and how what their roles are in baking (this is probably my favorite feature of this book!).
On the other hand, I bought this book not because I needed another baking recipe book with lovely pictures and delicious recipes...but because I wanted a book that provided this with the addition of a "healthy/light" facet. I feel as though I am a fairly diligent Amazon.com shopper, and did my due diligence in reading the reviews, comparing with other products, and taking a "virtual tour" of the book via Amazon's "Look Inside" feature. When looking through the book online, it seemed as though the example recipes given were reasonably "light" compared to their traditional counterparts. But upon receiving the book and going through all of the recipes, it seemed like the calorie content was...well, normal, not "light". Many recipes' calorie content was at 300 calories or above per serving. I guess I just expected these to be a bit lower.
That all being said, one of the reasons I chose this book was because I loved the fact that it didn't just substitute out sugar for splenda, and things of that nature. The recipes still use "real" ingredients, and maybe I shouldn't have had such high expectations with regard to the calorie content because of this.... But, I did, and so I do feel a bit disappointed on that front.
All in all, I do like the book, but won't really be going to it for "light" recipes, but will rather use it as a traditional baking recipe book. I think I'll continue my search for the perfect low-cal bake-book.