A Book Review - Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Raman Prasad



When Raman Prasad asked me if I would like to review his new book, I was delighted to say yes. Of course I already have it Raman! It's one of my favourites, packed full of interesting recipes and not a whiff of aestheticism or restricted diet about it. I'll tell you why I love it in more detail below.

The Recipes:
The book is structured in a pretty standard way with breakfast at the front (Hazelnut and Vanilla Pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, Raspberry Scones with Cardamom) and dessert at the back (Nonnies Thanksgiving Pie, Mango Ice-cream, Scottish Shortbread, Portuguese Almond Puffs....drool). In between are a range of delicious, ethnic inspired dishes - lots of Indian influences and a little Mexican and Middle Eastern too, making this food tasty and satisfying in a way that would be unthinkable for most books on treating inflammatory bowel disorders.

Raman gives recipes for SCD yogurt - fermented for 24 hours to eliminate most of the lactose. He also provides useful alternatives to sauces and condiments that are not allowed on the diet due to the sugars or starches they contain. The section on snacks will be especially useful for those with children  - who need constant topping up with treats and fuel. It can be daunting to know what to eat when you suddenly feel hungry and don't want to just scarf down another ripe banana!

Explanation of the Diet:
The book gives a beautifully clear explanation of what happens in inflammatory bowel disease and why this diet is appropriate to treat it. You may feel like a little light bulb is flickering to life in your head when you read this section, if you haven't read Elaine Gottishall's work on the subject. We get a little of the history of SCD and its founder Doctor Haas which is also easy to read and assimilate.

Presentation:
Top marks again for the presentation of the book! It looks fresh and modern - the type is easy to read and recipes are given a whole page each with a little explanation of the dish. A visual feast in itself, the photography is luscious and drool worthy. A coffee table SCD cookbook - who would have thought it eh?

The Personal Touch:
We get a brief biog on Raman and little snippets throughout the book, but I wanted more. I wished he had expanded a little on his own journey and given himself the space he allowed Elaine Gottishal and Doctor Haas. The little bits you do get sound so lovely and personalise the recipes in a way that speaks to me. Food is life and a little more of Raman's life would have been the vanilla frosting on this delicious cake.

I also have to celebrate Raman for giving us sweet treats that are not saturated in honey. Many of the SCD recipes books I have read use far too much honey in their recipes. It's my belief that most people with IBD should not eat any honey until their symptoms are in remission and after that it needs to be an occasional treat, not a daily indulgence. We need to wean ourselves off super sweet foods in order to allow the taste buds to wake up and taste the inherent sweetness of fruits and vegetables.

So if you're interested in the SCD diet, or a grain free diet - or if you're a celiac who would like some recipes that are guaranteed to treat your gut with respect, then choose this book and await its arrival with excitement, because you will eat very well indeed once it lands on your doormat.

The book is available from Raman Direct at SCD Recipe.com: Recipes for the SCD

Or buy it on Amazon UK here: Recipes for the SCD

Amazon US here: Recipes for the SCD