Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Nourishing Traditions – a book review. August 7, 2009

Filed under: Fight Back Fridays — realfoodmama @ 8:38 am
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Nourishing Traditions

Nourishing Traditions

Technically I have not finished this book, but as it is a cook book and I have finished the intro I feel qualified to write a review none the less!

This book is a veritable tome of information. The introduction is a detailed and relatively well researched explanation of current nutrition doctrine and why it is flawed. Obviously the author has an agenda, but in this case I don’t see it as a bad thing. The only lament I have about the introduction section of this text is that I wondered on a few occasions where she got her sources, as there are several things which are not referenced. That being said, so much of her information does have a footnote reference, I can’t help but taking her at her word for those things which are not referenced. This is due as much to my faith in her as it is to my unwillingness to do reference checks on my own.

There are several things about this book that I really loved. First, she provides basic recipes for things which are at the foundation of home cooking – how to make buttermilk and how to sprout your own grains are examples of this. I also enjoyed her focus on Asian cooking methods – like how to make fish sauce. And lastly, my favorite part of the whole book, are the insets containing information on each page – such as the “Name this product” game wherein you are provided a list of scary ingredients (such as cellulose gel and sodium hexametaphosphate) and asked to guess which processed food product the list represents; answers are in the index in the back.

Of all of her advice, the only thing I take issue with is her absolute condemnation of all things caffeinnated. As a hardened tea drinker, a beverage which, I might add, has been consumed for thousands of years, I am inclined to believe that it is a traditional food…and even a real food. And in my humble opinion, this argument could also be made for coffee, however this is merely me being contrary and certainly has no bearing on the validity of the rest of her points.

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the portion of this book which I have completed, and can’t wait to try some of the recipes. I highly suggest that if you have not read this book that you give it a try. For those of you who already have, I suggest you dust it off and take a second look. Who knows what you might learn!

This review has been included in Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday’s blog carnival. Happy Eating!


4 Responses to “Nourishing Traditions – a book review.”

  1. FoodRenegade Says:

    I also tend to think caffeine isn’t such a bad thing. Straight caffeine, for example, works wonders purging the liver.

    I do think, though, that it’s dangerous the way we use it as a drug — to keep us going when we should rest, etc. Plus, most caffeinated beverages are laden with fake food nastiness like HFCS, refined sugar, soy products, etc. So, it helps to tell people to avoid caffeine b/c in most people’s minds caffeine = soda pop or a soy mocha latte. And, when consumed like that, caffeine is actually quite hard on our livers and exhausts our adrenals.

    Thanks for sharing this in today’s Fight Back Fridays carnival.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

    • realfoodmama Says:

      I agree that our dependence on caffeine is problematic…it is a symptom of a larger cultural problem and quality of life issue. And when combined with conventional soy milk, chocolate sauce and high fructose corn syrup it is definitely a toxic substance.

      On the other hand, a nice cup of organic black tea with some fresh raw milk and a bit of honey makes me happier than a clam 🙂

      – RFM

  2. Pogonia Says:

    I LOVE this book and it has been the catalyst to a most wonderful journey into real foods. (And meeting you all. :)) But I would caution that her recipes sometimes leave something to be desired. Many times, if you think that’s not much seasoning…it isn’t. Add what feels right for your taste.

    And I’ve learned to make fermented foods w/o whey. They are crisper.

    But again, I LOVE this book. I feel my health (although severely compromised from years of SAD) has benefited greatly from all her wonderful information.

  3. I heart this book! I use it everyday :o) Please check out my blog… I share recipes using the nourishing traditions methods.

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