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Book Review: Green Market Baking Book by Laura C. Martin

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The Green Market Baking Book includes over 100 recipes that will seriously tempt even the most experienced baker to try something new. The author is a huge proponent of eating locally but was faced with the challenge of making delicious baked goods without using refined sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners that most recipes call for. The recipes in this book focus on using organic, seasonal ingredients and natural sweeteners instead.

There are a variety of sweeteners used in this book, including honey and maple syrup. You’ll also find sweeteners like brown rice syrup which, while not local, are much healthier for you than traditional sweeteners. This is a great cookbook for someone who is new to the localvore movement. You’ll learn the answers to why local, why seasonal, why organic, why no sugar and why natural. There is also a section with handy definitions to refer to if you’re not familiar with this type of cooking. The book discusses produce, natural sweeteners, grains and flours, butter and oils and dairy along with helpful tips on how to stock your pantry with basic ingredients. There is also a guide to substitutions for refined sugar, flour, and substituting to lower fats and reduce calories.

The Green Market Baking Book is broken down by season. Each season includes a guide to choosing produce and recipes that feature produce generally available in that season. There is also a great section on preserving your harvest (freezing, canning, drying) and growing your own produce. The Appendix allows you to search for recipes by theme (things kids like, vegetarian dinners, casual family dinners, vegan dishes, fancy desserts and wheat free dishes). There is also a traditional index of recipes and ingredients.

The recipes themselves are well written with detailed ingredient lists and easy to follow, step by step instructions. Recipes are marked when they meet certain dietary guidelines like dairy free or wheat free. Many of the recipes include helpful tips with substitutions or preparation suggestions.

The recipes range from traditional well known recipes like Applesauce Walnut Bread to dishes that are a bit more unique like Orange Scented Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Coconut Date Rolls. While most of the recipes are for sweet baked goods and desserts, there are quite a few that are savory as well like the Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart or the Rosemary Olive Bread. This one is definitely a keeper and will be referred to regularly.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.