I've been brewing my own kombucha for a bit over a year now. I'm excited to see all these new books coming out on the topic as when I started I mostly...moreI've been brewing my own kombucha for a bit over a year now. I'm excited to see all these new books coming out on the topic as when I started I mostly had to dig stuff up in general fermentation books or the Internet. Kombucha Revolution has a good introduction on equipment, safety precautions and method of brewing your own fermented tea. Where the book stands out is in its recipes.
Given my own experience, I found the chapters on mixing Kombucha into smoothies and juices and the the one on using it as a mixer in alcoholic drinks the most interesting. I've messed with flavoring my brew on my own a fair amount and know what I like and I am also well versed in subbing aged booch for vinegar which was more or less what the cooking recipes consisted of. If you are not adventurous in the kitchen those chapters will likely also serve you quite well and could spark your imagination.
If you are new to Kombucha brewing this book will likely be a great place to start. If brewing is old hat to you, but you are tiring of just drinking your brew straight it could be a great catalyst for other ways to incorporate this probiotic drink into your diet.
I received an ARC of this title through NetGalley. The opinions expressed above are my own.(less)
I found this book quite inspiring. I'm not brand new to fermenting things. In our house, between my husband and myself we've made many kinds of cheese...moreI found this book quite inspiring. I'm not brand new to fermenting things. In our house, between my husband and myself we've made many kinds of cheeses, yogurt, beer, mead, ginger beer, and kombucha. We have both of Sandor Katz's books on the topic. At the same time, I found this book quite inspiring and it made me want to throw together an unseemly number of ferments RIGHT NOW. A bit of the introductory material could have been a bit more in-depth. For example, why do some things call for jars with airlocks and others just to be covered with butter muslin? What is the advantage of an airlock over a butter muslin?
I haven't yet tried any as it isn't quite the season for many of them so I can't speak to the accuracy or outcome of the recipes, but from my experience they looked good. I appreciate the header of info for the recipe that includes yield and the various times of the different stages required before consuming the product. I would have appreciated the type of fermentation vessel required (air lock or butter muslin top etc.) be in that as well as a total time from start to finish as tallying up some of the more involved recipes, while not difficult slows down the process of determining if there is enough time to complete something for a party or gift giving occasion. But those are really small, little niggling things that would be icing on an otherwise wonderful fermented cake.
If you are brand new to fermenting foods I recommend this book, with the caveat that you also consult another book or two for introductory information. But the photography and the recipes themselves are very inspiring!(less)
This cookbook was not what I was expecting. Firstly, I had thought recipes would be organized by season given the subtitle. While non-traditional, I e...moreThis cookbook was not what I was expecting. Firstly, I had thought recipes would be organized by season given the subtitle. While non-traditional, I enjoy cookbooks that are focused on real food and sustainable eating to be organized that way. It makes it easier to meal plan for in-season cooking. I was also surprised by the large number of the recipes that called for really specialized ingredients. Some may be available in specialty grocery stores in middle America, but I’m pretty certain many of them I would have to mail order. To me, mail ordered ingredients are not a sustainable ingredient. There were also many more meat dishes than I had expected. Since we are a mixed household I tend to prefer mostly vegetarian cookbooks and then just add meat as a side for additional protein.
I tried only one recipe that I could easily get the ingredients for, the raw kale salad. It was okay, but not something I would crave. I also kicked it up a bit with some nutritional yeast which did help. I did find that it was indeed better the next day.
That said, I did not see this cookbook as one we need in our collection.(less)
This book covers a lot of fermented foods in very little space, plus has many detailed photographs. As such, it is a great starter reference book for...moreThis book covers a lot of fermented foods in very little space, plus has many detailed photographs. As such, it is a great starter reference book for those new to fermenting their own foods and beverages. This is especially true if you are not sure if you are just looking to dabble. After some usual introductory information about equipment and choosing your ingredients this book covers sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables; fermented dairy like cultured butter and yoghurt; fermented fruit condiments like chutney; fermented beverages like kombucha, water kefir, hard cider, vinegar, ginger ale and kvass; fermented meats like corned beef. There are sidebars on other fermented foods that are more involved and often have whole books dedicated to making them at home such as beer and wine.
Unlike other, more in depth books out there on fermentation at home, this one does have photographs which I think is a fantastic reference. How do you know if your fermentation is progressing properly if you've never watched someone else do it or at least seen photographs of a healthy SCOBY or batch of sauerkraut? If you've already been experimenting in fermentation at home or have worked your way through this book it will likely be time to add one of Sandor Katz's books or other, more in-depth fermentation references to your library.(less)
My experience in reading the MILF diet is conflicting. In recent years my eating and fitness have slowly undergone what is now a drastic change. I’ve...moreMy experience in reading the MILF diet is conflicting. In recent years my eating and fitness have slowly undergone what is now a drastic change. I’ve nearly removed processed foods, focusing instead on whole foods – whole grains, more vegetables, more fruits, a wider variety and everything eaten in moderation. Most recently I started paying more attention to what is in season and how far it has traveled to reach my plate. All these things are at the heart of Porter’s MILF diet. So in that regard, I am very much on board with her eating philosophy.
Having suffered with chronic pain issues for over a decade I have also explored my fair share of alternative medicines – acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, healing touch, craniosacral work etc. I also practice yoga and meditation. Porter’s mention of yin and yang energy in foods and in our bodies was not new to me given my prior explorations. However, I have not bought into that philosophy nearly as deeply as Porter and found myself turned off during her frequent diatribes on energy flow in ourselves and with our sexual partners.
Sadly, much more of the book was dedicated to energy discussions than on truly helping one adapt to her MILF diet. The recipes that were in the book sound promising, though many rely on ingredients you might find difficult to source unless you are in a major metropolitan area. While she does give some hints on winning your family over into the MILF way of eating I think some sample menu plans would have been a great addition to aid in converting the family. More recipes would have been welcomed as well.
If you are new to the idea of eating more whole foods and want to learn more about why you should from an energy point of view this book is a good place to start. If you are turned off by discussions of yin and yang energy in your body and in your food or if you are already eating a mostly whole foods diet you may find this book a bit tedious. As one already practiced in eating whole foods I don’t think this book will be pulled from the shelf very frequently when meal planning.
I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley.com. My thoughts on this title are my own and I was not paid or persuaded in my review.(less)
Quinoa is a hip little super grain (or really seed) that has been gaining more and more attention recently due to the fact that it is a compl...more3.5 stars
Quinoa is a hip little super grain (or really seed) that has been gaining more and more attention recently due to the fact that it is a complete protein grain, is high in fiber and is naturally gluten free. When it crossed my radar a few years ago I knew little about how to cook it or use it in my meals. Mostly I used it as a rice substitute when cooking Asian foods at home.
This cookbook is a nice introduction to the many other ways quinoa can be used in your meals. The author has a few chapters of background information about the seed's nutrition and history as well as the basics of preparing it in a few different ways - cooked, toasted, germinated and as flour. Then there is a chapter each dedicated to breakfast, lunch and dinner, dessert and global cuisine. My Kindle edition also includes a bonus chapter of American favorites remade with quinoa and a few sample menus.
I have not yet made any of the recipes out of the cookbook, but the basic preparation instructions mesh with my experience. On reading through the recipes they all appeared clear with the exception of a few instances where the ingredients called for water and the instruction called for stock, but in those cases it was obvious which was correct so with a little common sense I suspect they will all cook up well. I went through and marked a dozen or so recipes to add to our menu planning at some point and I look forward to trying them.
If you are cooking gluten free, do be aware that not all the recipes contained in the cookbook are gluten-free. Many call for flour. But if you are experienced in gluten-free cooking and baking I suspect you could adjust the recipes to meet your needs without too much difficulty.
Overall, I'm quite pleased to have this cookbook on my Kindle shelf.(less)
If you are unfamiliar with the process of cold brewing coffee, this book may be helpful. Other than that I wasn't horribly inspired by it. Also, be aw...moreIf you are unfamiliar with the process of cold brewing coffee, this book may be helpful. Other than that I wasn't horribly inspired by it. Also, be aware that the author sells the popular double-walled acrylic cups with reusable straws that are popular for iced coffee drinks and definitely does a fair bit of self-promotion in the book. For free, it was okay. It is fairly short so I didn't invest a ton of time in reading it, but I am glad I got it while it was free.(less)
For a weight loss cookbook it wasn't too bad. They focused heavily on real, nutritional foods rather than chemically laden ones with little calories b...moreFor a weight loss cookbook it wasn't too bad. They focused heavily on real, nutritional foods rather than chemically laden ones with little calories but also little nutrition. I appreciated that since I've run into other weight loss cookbook series that focus too heavily on ultra-low and no-calorie items. For an "International" cookbook, the recipes seemed to be quite easy and not require too many specialty ingredients which is nice. But I also found them relatively standard fare. I'm okay I got it for less than $3, but I wouldn't be happy if I paid the full print version price.(less)
It is not often that I read a cookbook from cover to cover, but I did with this one. The book was not quite what I was expecting, based on the title....moreIt is not often that I read a cookbook from cover to cover, but I did with this one. The book was not quite what I was expecting, based on the title. I am not diabetic or have pre-diabetes. I am at risk and I have also discovered that my body requires a very high fiber diet so I thought this cookbook might be helpful to me in upping my natural fiber consumption.
After sampling some of the introductory information and reading that they recommend 50 g of fiber per day (in proportion to calorie intake - though they never addressed how to figure that out) I was expecting fiber powerhouse recipes. That was not the case. In fact, the 4 weeks of meal plans offered don't really come close to 50 g of fiber per day either, though if you made the meal plan vegetarian by subbing in tofu, seitan and tempeh in place of the meats you may well hit that mark. There are a surprising number of recipes that have no fiber and very few that have 10 of more grams per serving.
The book did have guidelines that differ from much of what I've read and they seem a bit more attainable, especially since I live with a vegetarian who does not care for me to cook meat products in the home. The big one for me was having 55-65% of your calories to come from carbohydrates - though they should be complex carbs, not processed sugars and the like. I will no longer berate myself when my carbs are up around 50% or so once I achieve my 30+ g of fiber for the day. But getting the high fiber I required and trying to stay near 40% carbs was quite the challenge and was actually causing me to intentionally up my fat intake to bring down my percentage from carbs.
I haven't cooked any of the recipes yet, but I've marked about 30 or so that I'm excited to try. The refreshing thing I found with the recipes in this cookbook is the lack of artificial sweetener. It seems so many diabetic and low carb cookbooks rely on them and I'd rather cut back on those as well.
I am disappointed in the Kindle formatting of this book, however. I needed the Kindle format so my mom could use the cookbook (she's blind so the text-to-speech capabilities make it accessible to her), but if you are waffling between the print and the Kindle I'd recommend the print version. The table of contents is fully clickable, but for some reason many (no, not all of them though) of the chapters are simply title by number and have no name telling you the type of recipes in that chapter and I find the never ending list of recipes in each chapter kind of difficult to skim because of how it is formatted - all caps, with text flow having the first line indented but the second one not. The index is not clickable so you can't easily just look up an ingredient you want to work with and see those recipes. Yes, you can search in the book, but that doesn't always turn up the name of the recipe so it can mean lots of clicking back and forth. Definitely not the most usable Kindle cookbook I've read.(less)
I really found this book quite interesting and helpful in cutting back my dog and our family's exposure to chemicals. Not only did the book include so...moreI really found this book quite interesting and helpful in cutting back my dog and our family's exposure to chemicals. Not only did the book include some great recipes for dog food and treats, but there were tons of DIY projects and recipes for things like flea powder, shampoo and other dog essentials. It is definitely going on my wish list!(less)
This book was not of use to me. The author was very preachy about dog diets and how they should not be vegetarian. But if I'm making treats, not food,...moreThis book was not of use to me. The author was very preachy about dog diets and how they should not be vegetarian. But if I'm making treats, not food, I do not agree. A treat is a treat and does not need to meet all of my dogs nutritional needs. Also due to this author's position on dog nutrition many of the recipes called for hard to source ingredients such as desiccated liver. I'm very glad I checked it out from the library rather than purchasing it.(less)