Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Shoppers, Curious Cooks, and Lovers of Natural Foods - Revised and Expanded
by Dianne Onstad
Review by Cathe Olson
If you are confused about the world of whole foods and want more information, the new revised and expanded Whole Foods Companion is a great place to start. The book is organized like an encyclopedia and lists information for more than 400 different plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, oils, herbs, spices, and more.
Each entry in the book includes information about the plant's origin, buying tips, culinary uses, and health benefits. Sidebars scattered throughout the book offer lore, legends, and other fun facts. For example, The Egyptians served lentils liberally to children because it was believed that they enlightened their minds, opened their hearts, and made them cheerful. The Greeks and Romans used asparagus to relieve the pain of toothaches and to prevent bee stings.
Of course, there's more relevant information as well, like "Raw broccoli contains almost as much calcium as whole milk and is linked to lowering the risk of cancer" and "Exceedingly nutritious, it [millet] contains an abundance of minerals and vitamins, and the most complete protein of any of the true cereal grains."
Even if you are not a newcomer to whole foods, this book can be useful as well as interesting. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about whole foods but I still refer to this book often and have learned from it. This is a great reference and would be a helpful addition to the whole foods kitchen.
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