Customer Review

178 of 181 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best possible introduction to ultra-natural foods!, May 1, 2007
This review is from: Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking (Paperback)
There are plenty of new products coming out to meet the demand of folks now eager to try the natural food movement, but it's hard to know how to use them well. Amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice syrup? Simply trying to substitute them into your favorite recipes rarely works--you need to know how to use them to their own best advantage, and that takes time, effort, and plenty of practice to work out.

Luckily, Heidi Swanson decided to start that process for us.

"Super Natural Cooking" is packed with information on how to best store, handle, and use all of the wonderful ingredients you'll find. You'll find out which all-natural sweeteners have a surprisingly low glycemic index, making them appropriate for diabetics and those worried about their blood sugar or carbohydrate intake. You'll learn how much of those exotic flours you can substitute, which recipe-types they work best in, and how to make sure their different characteristics don't cause your recipes to fail.

The recipes from this book more than prove Ms. Swanson's skill in the creative kitchen. One of the surest signs I've found of a brilliant cook over the years is the ability to take a few, often mild ingredients and turn them into something that is more than the sum of its parts--a wholly new and complex flavor. This she does easily with such recipes as a luscious fig spread that includes a bit of honey, lemon juice and black pepper. Then there's a curry noodle pot that yields new tastes in every delicious bite. I feared the seed-topped amaranth biscuits would be unduly heavy after feeling the texture of the dough, but they came out tender and wonderful, with an elusively delicious flavor I can only attribute to the amaranth flour. Each recipe came out perfectly without any alteration on our part; the directions were simple, clear, and without error.

The book even makes a beautiful gift, as it's filled with Ms. Swanson's own food photography--and believe me, these photographs will make you hungry!
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