Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.9 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #316,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #84 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Whole Foods #530 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Vegetarian & Vegan > Non-Vegan Vegetarian #627 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Natural Foods
There are plenty of new products coming out to meet the demand of folks now eager to try the natural food movement, but it's hard to know how to use them well. Amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice syrup? Simply trying to substitute them into your favorite recipes rarely works--you need to know how to use them to their own best advantage, and that takes time, effort, and plenty of practice to work out.Luckily, Heidi Swanson decided to start that process for us."Super Natural Cooking" is packed with information on how to best store, handle, and use all of the wonderful ingredients you'll find. You'll find out which all-natural sweeteners have a surprisingly low glycemic index, making them appropriate for diabetics and those worried about their blood sugar or carbohydrate intake. You'll learn how much of those exotic flours you can substitute, which recipe-types they work best in, and how to make sure their different characteristics don't cause your recipes to fail.The recipes from this book more than prove Ms. Swanson's skill in the creative kitchen. One of the surest signs I've found of a brilliant cook over the years is the ability to take a few, often mild ingredients and turn them into something that is more than the sum of its parts--a wholly new and complex flavor. This she does easily with such recipes as a luscious fig spread that includes a bit of honey, lemon juice and black pepper. Then there's a curry noodle pot that yields new tastes in every delicious bite. I feared the seed-topped amaranth biscuits would be unduly heavy after feeling the texture of the dough, but they came out tender and wonderful, with an elusively delicious flavor I can only attribute to the amaranth flour.
"Super Natural Cooking" is an exciting and tasty introduction the world of whole foods. The book has an unusual arrangement. Rather than lumping appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, and desserts into sections - the book is rather arranged like a course on natural foods cooking. The book begins with instructions for building a natural foods pantry - what foods to include and what to avoid, including flours, oils, sweeteners, spices and seasonings.Then she moves on to whole grains, beginning first with information about the different types of grains (helpful because many may be unfamiliar), she then moves on to recipes. There are baked goods like Seed-Crusted Amaranth Biscuits and Espresso Banana Muffins; soups like Toasted Wheat Germ Soup and Creamy Wild Rice Soup. The Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice made with fresh asparagus and snap peas has been a regular for us on Fridays when I get my box of produce from the local CSA. We also loved the Risotto-Style Barley made with crème fraiche and lemon zest.Next, Swanson encourages us to "Cook by Color." This section is all about fruits and vegetables - brimming with essential phytonutrients (don't worry if you're not sure what they are, it's explained in the book.) Recipes include Baked Purple Hedgehog Potatoes (your kids will love these), Red Indian Carrot Soup, Curried Tofu Scramble, and Crema de Guacamole with Crunch Topopos.If those foods weren't healthy enough, the next section teaches you to "Know Your Superfoods:" alliums, cruciferous vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, sprouts, tea, and yogurt. Dishes include Beluga Lentil Crostini, Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers, and Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts. My family absolutely loved the Creamy Cauliflower Soup.
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