Necessary Food: Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook ReviewIf you haven’t yet gotten your hands on a copy of Briana Thomas’ new cookbook, Necessary Food, it’s a must have if you enjoy low glycemic cooking. Briana was kind enough to send me a copy of her cookbook to review, and I am thrilled with what she’s created!

While I can’t really name the *exact* eating plans in this post that the cookbook works with, I’ll give you three guesses, and your last two don’t count. :) But I can give you a hint: The recipes all work with one of MY favorite eating plans. 😉 If you want to know, you can ask me about specific plans in the comments.

All of the recipes are refined sugar free, and free of white flour…most are naturally gluten free. Briana went to great lengths to make the cookbook user friendly and gorgeous. It’s full color, and almost every recipe is pictured.

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

The hardbound covers are spiral bound, which allows you to open the book all the way out flat while using it. I sat and just drooled over her recipes for over an hour the night I got it in the mail. It’s like having a beautiful, bound copy of her entire blog right in your hands!Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

And speaking of recipes, there are LOADS of them in here. Each section is marked with a different color, so you can easily flip to the purple dessert section and land right on it every time. She also includes extensive indexing in the back to make it very simple to find the recipe that you want, even if you can’t remember the exact name.Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

Every section begins with a very helpful index page, so you can easily check out the entire lineup when you land in the breakfast section.Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

I also love that she’s created a landing page right on her website for future book updates or corrections, should the need arise. VERY helpful!

Easy Low Glycemic Fueling

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook ReviewBriana created a labeling system and each and every recipe is marked according to what type of fuel it is. Healthy Fats? Check. Healthy Carbs (lower fat)? Check! WIth five categories of fuel types, she’s got you covered if you are committed to separating fuels in your eating plan. And beyond just clearly labeling EVERY recipe in the book, she’s even included a WHOLE index sorted by fuel type. So you can put together a weekly menu straight from that section if you need inspiration!

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

Variety is the Spice of Life

Briana is from a Mennonite heritage, so she’s got an impressive lineup of really good food. Some of the recipes she shares are directly inspired by favorites within her community. Some of them are things I was not familiar with, but look very appealing…like the Amish Peanut Butter Spread (p.418) that I want to try out. Briana is also a southern girl like me, and obviously enjoys a variety of foods…it definitely shows up in this cookbook. You’ll find everything from the southern classic fried okra, to Thai inspired soups and back again. No matter what your taste, you won’t get bored or run out of ideas!

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

I also love that Necessary Food is at heart a family cookbook, with meals sized for families of 4-6, but she also features many single or double serving treats as well, making it a very versatile cookbook even for single or smaller families.


Notes and Quotes

One of my favorite features of the cookbook was the very helpful  Ingredients and Baking Tips section in the front of the cookbook. Here, you’ll find lots of helpful and succinct tips and charts showing exactly what ingredients and brands Briana used to create her recipes, and many very helpful tips if you’re new to the world of low glycemic baking.Necessary Food Cookbook Review

She also includes tips throughout the cookbook to help you get better results…which I love because I’m a tip junkie! :) I really appreciate that Briana straight up tells you that she likes food on the less sweet side. That’s super helpful in knowing how to tweak when making her recipes fit for my family’s tastes.

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review

Honest Critique

And of course, I always offer my honest opinion of products I review, so I’m including the few things that I would tweak. Briana included a variety of quotes, proverbs, and Bible verses through the text. Some of them are cute, and others seem a little awkward for a cookbook or are in a hard to read font. There are also over a dozen recipes named after Briana, which tickles me…I half expected to find Briana Sausages in the book. As a blogger, I would have liked to have seen more “inspired by” credit given, but that’s just a courtesy preference on my part.

Where to Buy Necessary Food

I tried out Briana’s Blueberry Baked Oatmeal on page 31, and we all loved it. I doubled the recipe for a 9×18 pan, and had easy, heat and eat breakfasts all week long.

Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review


All in all, this is a GORGEOUS cookbook, and one I’m delighted to have in my collection. I’ll be referencing it often, and probably thumbing through it just for fun to enjoy her gorgeous photos. Thank you, Briana! Well done, girl!

You can find Necessary Food on Amazon (my affiliate link)


You can find out more about Necessary Food here, and order a copy of your own from Briana’s site if you don’t already have one. Necessary Food is very reasonably priced and she even offers some international distribution options.

get necessary food hereNecessary food is a great quality cookbook that I’m going to enjoy for years to come! Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review


If you already own a copy, please tell me below what your favorite recipe is…I can’t decide what to try next!

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Necessary Food Low Glycemic Cookbook Review


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  1. Michelelynne says

    I have it and LOVE it! Aside from the fact that the recipes are amazing, it is so well though out — everything you would want in a cookbook. Love the spiral binding and the gorgeous pictures!

  2. Jessidot says

    My favorite so far is definitely the Buttery Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole on p 56! It’s super easy, too, especially if you already have the chicken cooked. I’ve made it several times, and almost everyone eats seconds or thirds. Thanks for the review!

  3. says

    I ordered this book as a birthday gift to me, best birthday gift ever! I agree with you about how well indexed it is, and I love the pictures!

  4. Destiny R. says

    I am dairy free and asked her if the recipes were mostly dairy. She said they were but her next book she would take into account us lactose intolerant people and have more DF meals available. What do you think Gwen? I’m sure the ice creams are dairy, but do you think I would benefit from the meals? I eat very small amounts of cheese. Like 1 or 2 per week. I do eat greek yogurt with no problem. Am I missing out by not getting this book?

      • says

        Ok Gwen….I just got the book.
        Can you help me here
        Healthy fats is an S
        Foundation fats are also?
        Healthy carbs is an E
        Low carb/low fat are fuel pulls
        Healthy carbs/healthy fats are crossovers?
        Or S helpers?
        I love the cookbook and mainly because I need some fresh ideas. So I want to make sure I got these terms down.
        Thanks Gwen!!