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Cookbook review: 'Sugar-Free Mom' is an excellent resource for healthful recipes
Sugar Free Lemon Bars from "Sugar-Free Mom" by Brenda Bennett. - photo by Demaree Hill
"SUGAR-FREE MOM: Naturally Sweet and Sugar-Free Recipes for the Whole Family," by Brenda Bennett, Front Table Books, $19.99, 206 pages

Rhode Island blogger at and home-schooling mother of three Brenda Bennett has assembled a comprehensive collection of sugar-free recipes for cooks of all abilities. As a bonus, all recipes are gluten-free as well.

Bennett's cookbook Sugar-Free Mom shares information and guidance for starting and maintaining a diet free of processed sugars and refined flours. In addition to recipes, there are detailed descriptions of natural sugars and sugar-free alternatives, all of which are used throughout the book.

Bennett opens her introduction with her reasons for becoming sugar-free, noting her battle with an eating disorder as a teen and her lifelong struggle with an addiction to sugar. This open and honest reflection draws the reader into her world of food-consciousness and self-improvement. What follows is a summary of products, most of which are widely available for a reasonable price, and tips on reducing personal sugar consumption and curbing sugar cravings.

This cookbook is divided into the following categories: breakfast; light bites, salads, sides, and more; main dishes; condiments; beverages; and sweet treats. There are large, vivid photographs and personalized notes along with each of the more than 100 recipes. While most will likely gravitate to the last section of the book and look for favorite desserts (it is the largest section with more than 30 recipes), the condiments section should not be ignored. With recipes for sweetened condensed milk and mayo-free ranch dressing, these gems are an important part of eating sugar-free.

Brenda Bennett has assembled a unique and wonderful collection of healthful, natural recipes. While this isnt a diet book of low-calorie or even low-fat recipes, the content can help any reader on the way to eating a more balanced diet.


Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are a traditional favorite for all. I've made these with a few variations, but the final result is one I'm super happy with. Not too much crust and a good creamy filling. You can make this entirely with stevia if you prefer, forgoing the erythritol in the crust and increasing the liquid stevia to a teaspoon. You can also add 2 tablespoons of stevia to the filling to substitute out the erythritol used there. My hubby and children love these bars as they are.


1 cup gluten-free flour

cup erythritol

teaspoon xanthan gum

teaspoon salt

teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia

6 tablespoons butter, melted


4 eggs

2 egg yolks

zest and juice of 2 washed and dried lemons, (about cup each)

cup erythritol

1 teaspoon lemon liquid stevia

cup arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8 baking dish with two sheets of parchment paper with ends hanging over the edges of the pan. To make crust, add all crust ingredients into a food processor and process until dough forms.

2. Spread out dough with fingers onto parchment paper and prick holes into crust with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and yolks. Add remaining filling ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour filling over crust and bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

"Sugar-Free Mom," by Brenda Bennett
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