Top critical review
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Wanted to really love this book, but......
on August 20, 2013
Let me first say this is by far the most beautiful Paleo cookbook I've ever seen. I own several and this one has not only gorgeous photography, but beautiful script print throughout the book. Certainly a delight for the eyes. And Danielle's blog is just as pretty so I'm not surprised by this.
I also don't want to disrespect Danielle's journey to wellness by this slightly less than stellar review. I think it's wonderful that she has improved her health and well-being using the recipes in this book. I cannot imagine how much time she must have put forth doing so.
My biggest issue with the book is the heavy usage of nuts/nut flours. I'm not really sensitive to nuts, but those in the Paleo world know that heavy nut consumption is a bad idea due in part to the omega 6 content of most nuts. I won't go into the other problems with nuts since most people buying this book probably have a good working knowledge of Paleo and therefore already know that info. But even if you're willing to properly soak and dehydrate nuts, that doesn't solve the omega 6 problem. And I know that there are many nut-free recipes in the book, but when you have to count out the ones that DO use nuts, it just tends to make the entire book less valuable.
The second issue would be degree of difficulty for many of the recipes. I was actually surprised by this given that Danielle has a toddler! I have one myself, and I know that there would be no way at dinner time that I could devote the attention and concentration that many of these recipes demand with my 2 1/2 year old anywhere in the vicinity. And letting your children "help" you prepare dinner is great in theory but in actual application, it isn't exactly practical on a daily basis.
I cannot remember the name of the Paleo blogger who once went on a "rant" about how people need to just embrace Paleo for what it is (meats, veggies, fruits, few nuts, etc.) rather than trying to "Paleofy" every dish. I feel like many of the recipes in this book are kind of like that. Making "cheese" out of cashews seems to be a bit of a stretch to me.
I'm not saying there aren't good recipes in this book. Judging by the reviews, many people find it to be the perfect addition to their Paleo cookbook collection. For me, however, this could never be a cookbook I reach for on a regular basis, but certainly one I might turn to for a special occasion when I have extra time to prepare these types of recipes. Until then, I will reach for three of the best I have found out there: "Practical Paleo," "Make it Paleo," and "Primal Cravings." The first two, especially, take the essence of Paleo (meat and veggies) and beautifully craft them into simple and practical meals.