Review: The Naked Foods Cookbook

I recently downloaded the ARC/galley of The Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd and James Barry from NetGalley. (Published in early May 2012 by New Harbinger Publications)

tl;dr Not the right book for me, but definitely the right book for someone else!

I so wanted to love this cookbook. I’m a big believer in natural/whole foods (even if I don’t always succeed in eating them all the time). And I do love to cook from scratch. (Have you heard my Shanghai soup dumpling story yet? no? oh, you will.) But honestly, I found the whole thing very meh.

The recipes ranged from incredibly easy (roasted vegetables with just a fat, plus salt and pepper) to much more involved recipes like vegetable tempeh chili. I didn’t see anything that would be particularly hard to make, but I also didn’t see anything that excited me. The recipes reminded me of the samples you’d see at your local food co-op. (NOTE: This is not a bad thing. I shop at a local hippie organic store almost every week. Some of their recipes are absolutely amazing. It’s just not my style of cooking.)

Even though this isn’t the right cookbook for me, I could definitely see recommending it to others. It would be amazing for someone who is just exploring clean eating or natural foods and wants to learn how to make things from scratch. I would also recommend this to anyone who is struggling to learn how to cook (and eat) on a diet that avoids food sensitivities. All of the recipes are gluten free and there is even a recipe for an egg replacement (which only works in baking, but hey! still awesome). That being said, I would warn them that they would need a local organic/health food shop to get the most out of the book. A number of the recipes assume access to slightly unusual ingredients (e.g. asian pear, B or C grade maple syrup, coconut sugar, and bee pollen), which could be disappointing for those of us who live outside the big coastal cities.

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