First, what are whole foods? According to Sue Gregg,
"A whole food is the complete food of its edible parts: whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, dairy and meats. . . The whole is more effective than the parts alone."
This 75 page book introduces you to the basics of whole foods. Sue Gregg has complete line of cookbooks available but this book is a new 2009 release and is not included in the set of Sue Gregg Cookbooks.
This book includes: (my run down of each section and some thoughts)
- Identifying Quality Foods & Ingredients (whole foods, real foods, raw foods, organic foods, fermented and cultured foods)
- Balancing Dietary Patterns in Transition (carbs vs. protein vs. fats ~ how much?)
- A Food Pyramid (a scripturally based, simplified, modified version of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid)
- What Do Foods Provide? (a nutrition lesson)
- Whole Grains & Breads (a discussion of the universal staple and how to maximize grain nutrition, including an introduction to the two-stage process)
- A Kernel of Truth (a cross section of a whole wheat kernel and what you are missing if parts are removed during processing)
- Legumes ~Dry Beans & Peas (the formula for complete protein and how to choose the right legumes)
- Cooking Legumes (how to soak and why soak your beans, and how to cook them)
- Nuts & Seeds (discussion on nutrition, purchasing, storing and preparation)
- Vegetables (have you ever heard of phytochemicals? And more good stuff on veggies like the best way to buy and prepare them)
- Fruits (discussion on nutrition, form and preparation)
- Vegetable Oils (best choices, what to avoid, purchasing and storing)
- Butter is Better! (a discussion on why butter is better than margarine and suggestions on how to use butter)
- Animal Foods ~Dairy, Eggs, Meat, Fish, Poultry (recommendations for each category as well as biblical recommendations, including a reference to Leviticus 11 and the dietary laws that God created for our health, even biblical references pertaining to the preparation of meats ~ I really appreciated this!)
- Beverages (best choices and what to avoid)
- Sugars & Sweets (very interesting and convicting lesson on what to use, what to avoid and why ~ convicting enough that we went off all white sugar!)
- Salt, Seasonings & Flavorings (quality salts, herbs and spices, flavoring, including an eye opener on soy sauce ~ my favorite brand even)
- Allergy Alternatives (cultured milk choices, non-dairy alternatives, grain alternatives and more)
- Food in the Bible (very cool list by topic and more than just food)
- How Hot is Hot? (by temperature, how it feels and how it looks)
Recipes and Menus
- 26 detailed recipes
- step by step instructions
- serving suggestions
- nutrition information
- suggested menus
Serving and Connecting
- The Main Menu (what's on the "main menu" ~ hint it is not food!)
- Praying Authentically at the Table (conversations with God and how it can change your prayer time ~ eye opening)
- Inviting Jesus to the Table (very cool way to look at this!)
- Bringing Song to the Table (I really want to do this!)
- Bringing Beauty to the Table
- Bringing Books to the Table
- Teaching and Training
This is a section of the book that contains the six concerns of whole foods cooking:
- Comfort ~ Taste Appeal
- Content ~ Nutritional Value
- Cost Control ~ Budgeting
- Convenience ~ Time Savers
- Calorie Control ~ Menus
- Christ Centered ~ Food to Faith (This is a student Bible study guide that includes a map of Palestine 30 A.D. and covers topics in the Bible such as wine, water, bread, fish, Mary and Martha, and more).
I think she does a great job with the main concerns of whole food cooking.
This book comes with a powerpoint CD that includes music (I think anyways ~ it will not open up on my Mac) and step by step photo illustrations of recipes, and even one on how to make homemade almond milk. (The power point presentations will open up in Keynote, but without the sound files).
You can view a 38 page preview of the book to see more.
As you can see, this is meant to be a whole foods curriculum, rather than just a "cookbook." From shopping for the right foods, meal planning, meal preparation, to serving (how to make it look appealing to setting a nice table)~ for "health and hospitality." And while I do not agree with her stance on mushrooms (I have a different take than the argument she presents) and I was a little surprised that she uses canned beans in some recipes (rather than dried beans), I really appreciated that the recipes omit the use of unclean animals. And I think this is a great resource and perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about whole foods cooking.
I have been cooking whole foods since we began buying in bulk several years ago. It actually saves money in the long run to buy in bulk, store, prepare and eat whole foods. I try to keep the basics ingredients needed for the recipes in stock, and I love pulling this book out for inspiration when I don't know what to cook. Since eating whole foods, I am amazed at the difference it is making, how great we feel, how well we are adapting to healthier options and how much we save in the long run. It is does require a commitment, but if you have the desire to eat healthier, this is a great book to help you get there, step by step and I highly recommend it!
Several Crew mates also reviewed this book and you can read their reviews to see what their experience was.
I received this product for the purpose of this review and no further compensation was received. I offer my honest opinion. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.