Book Review – Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee; Anisha Patel.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Workman Publishing Company for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I required their approval, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

I had high hopes for ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ covering one cooking bug bear of mine, and I wasn’t disappointed. Sugar is sugar. Be it raw honey, maple syrup, refined caster sugar or an apple… Sugar is sugar. And was happy that the introduction clearly covered this and explained in a way I hope any level of foodie would understand. I mean… there were a few sections in the introduction I would have liked statements backed up with cited references, but that could just be me and my love of cited references to back up strong statements.

But I did really enjoy the open honesty in the introduction of ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ when it came to sugar… as a pet peeve of mine are cook books and recipes that call themselves “sugar free” while containing honey, maple syrup, etc. Because of this honesty, I was keen to read the recipes. However, I highly recommend everyone read the introduction before skipping straight to the recipes. A lot of time and good information went into it, and I feel the book is nowhere near as good if you don’t read it.

And here’s a moment for my own honesty… I didn’t get around to reading all of ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ until it was about to expire. Totally my fault. But it does mean I only skimmed through the recipes and looked more at the measurements, formatting, ingredients, etc than I did the actual recipes. I mean, they LOOKED good, but with all my other food intolerances and issues, I’d still have to modify most of the ones I saw.  Saying that, though, I did love how it wasn’t just a baking cook book. There are hidden sugars in any meal, sweet or savoury, and it was good to see a wide range of them covered in ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’. It is a book full of recipes that ensure you do not go over your DAILY recommended sugar intake, not just recipes on how to cut down sugar per dish or meal.

As to formatting and layout… I can’t say I was a fan. It did seem a little all over the place as to where the ingredients were listed – sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right. But the instructions were clear and precise; the pictures were beautiful and detailed. Plus the recipes weren’t in that annoying “step by step” spoon fed manner some books seem to prefer. Plus there are some good conversion tables to ensure ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ is both metric and imperial friendly.

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Would I recommend this book to others?

You know, I think I would. Yes – as with most cook books – there was a limited amount of recipes I would personally try, but that is just me and all my stupid food issues. We all need to look at what we eat and take more control over the amount of sugar we consume… and honestly, ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ appears to be a great book to help people to do this. No fads, no gimmicks, no “out there” misinformation. Just the facts… and some tasty recipes for the whole family.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I am very tempted to. Yes I am restricted on my recipe choices thanks to all the things I CAN’T eat… but I know how to adapt and there was enough in ‘Half the Sugar, All the Love’ to make me want to at least get a longer, better look before I give a solid yes or no to wanting to own it. I do admit that I will be looking both authors up online to see if there is a corresponding website or blog to follow more of the recipes and sugar cutting advice. So, to me, that means they’re recipes that are worth my time, and maybe even money (if I decide to buy my own copy). 😉

In summary: A cook book that is well worth a read. Not a fake “no sugar” book, one that honestly is here to help us enjoy tasty foods with less sugar.

Until next time,
Janis.

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