BOOKS

Cleanse, Nurture, Restore

Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea is the third book from Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs Tea.

Seventy recipes are divided into eight distinct chapters –Cleanse & Detox, Nourish & Digest,  Energise & Rejuvenate, Peace & Harmony, Joy & Happiness, Defend & Protect, Man, Woman & Child, Beyond Tea – with introductory sections focused on the best ways in which to blend and brew perfect cups of tea.

The author is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda and Western Herbalism which is evident throughout the book. A small glossary appears alongside each recipe, detailing the effects, medicinal benefits and possibly contraindications of every ingredient in easy-to-understand terms. There is also an extended appendix at the back of the book which outlines the tenets of Ayurveda and the impact of elements on one's constitution. 

Beautifully illustrated with photographs taken by Kim Lightbody, the text is clearly laid out and tightly edited. Most of the ingredients will need to be sourced online – there is a helpful list of UK and US suppliers on p.232 – and I suspect the initial outlay for some of the herbs might be on the high side. However, pre-made tea bags can be quite expensive, too, and there is something quite lovely about knowing you have blended the tea yourself. I've been drinking Pukka Tea every day for as long as I can remember and I'm so glad that they've finally released a book. A must-have compendium for tea lovers.

208 pages | 90 mins | bookdepository.com

Review copy kindly provided by Frances Lincoln Books.


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EDITOR'S PICKS

If you are cold,
tea will warm you.
If you are heated,
tea will cool you.
— WILLIAM GLADSTONE

INSTAGRAM

Crossroads | Tal Ronnen

Crossroads is the first book from the team behind the acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant of the same name.

Chefs Tal Ronnen, Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen have created a collection of 125 plant-based recipes, each inspired by Mediterranean tradition.

Divided into nine chapters – Snacks + Spreads, Salads, Flatbreads, Soups, Small Plates, Pasta, Desserts, Cocktails, Basics – Crossroads is unlike any other vegan cookbook I've ever seen. Ronnen et al have mixed the comfortingly familiar – Tortellini + Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Ricotta (p.195), Summer Berry Galette (p.229) – with the unashamedly elegant – Artichoke Oysters + Tomato Béarnaise and Kelp Caviar (p.131), Roasted Fennel + Clementine Beurre Blanc and Toasted Buckwheat (p.147). Yet never do the dishes seem pretentious.

The methods are lengthy but easy to follow, with measurements given in pounds, ounces, spoons and cups. It's worth noting that about a quarter of the recipes contain ingredients that can't be sourced outside of the USA. 

Perhaps there are equivalents, but UK residents in particular will struggle to find products that are comparable in quality to those available in America (e.g. Gardein meat alternatives, Earth Balance butter, Kite Hill cheese, and some fruits and vegetables). In most instances the quantities used are so negligible that you could get away with forgoing it entirely, but some of the recipes will be impossible to faithfully replicate.

That is but a minor complaint. Everything about this book, from the tightly edited text to the beautiful illustrations, is exemplary. It is peerless and has a set a new standard for all future recipe books, one that very few will be able to meet.

304 pages | 120 mins | bookdepository.com

Review copy kindly provided by Artisan Books.


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EDITOR'S PICKS

If you keep good
food in your fridge, you
will eat good food.
— Errick McAdams

INSTAGRAM

Superfoods Superfast

Superfoods Superfast is the third book from food writer Julie Montagu.

Set out over seven chapters – Sunrise, Snacks, Salads, Soups, Square Meals, Suppers, Sweets – Julie's latest work is a collection of nutrient-dense, plant-based recipes that can be made in twenty minutes or less.

The food is very much of the moment – think Amaranth, Olive and Fig Salad, Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower Rice, Matcha Chia Protein Squares – and the tone is friendly yet informative, with almost all of the dishes accompanied by a photo.

Avocado Gazpacho | © Yuki Sugiura

 Coconut Quinoa Curry | © Yuki Sugiura

Coconut Quinoa Curry | © Yuki Sugiura

Perhaps because the recipes have been developed to ensure efficiency there is nothing particularly sophisticated to be found. What this means, however, is that each dish is accessible to every skill level, ingredients can be easily sourced and only basic kitchen equipment is required. 

My feeling is that this is a book for those who already eat a predominantly plant-based diet – Tofu Kale Scramble isn't going to convert anyone... – but I really like how Julie shows that meals made with fresh plants and superfood ingredients can be unfussy, and that even the busiest people can still eat well.

176 pages | 60 mins | bookdepository.com

Review copy kindly provided by Quadrille.


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Eat Pretty

Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out is the first book from beauty editor and certified holistic health coach Jolene Hart.

I don't know about you but I hold in my head a list of foods that I know will make my skin flare up. And it's not just the obvious ones (looking at you, potato chips); chocolate, cheese and tomato seeds are the worst offenders. In her book, Jolene calls these foods 'beauty betrayers'.

It stands to reason, though, that if certain foods can make you break out, others can make your skin glow. It's on these that the focus lays in Eat Pretty

With an emphasis on mindful, seasonal eating, Jolene guides readers through the labyrinthine supermarket aisles, concisely explaining the benefits and effects of each ingredient. You want stronger hair and nails? Add some chard to your smoothie. If it's smoother skin you're after, eat a handful of apricots. You want to maintain your skin's elasticity and stop wrinkle formation? Blueberries and garlic (maybe not at the same time...)

The ramifications of consistently eating a nutrient-depleted diet are far wider reaching than just a few spots and dark circles under your eyes, however. In an accessible, non-preachy way, Jolene deftly examines how dysfunctional digestion, hormonal imbalance and stress all play a part in undermining one's best efforts by accelerating ageing and damaging the body at a cellular level. The book contains real world advice on how to counteract these effects, alongside thoughtful recipes and an exhaustive list of everything you'll need to fill your kitchen with healthy, beautifying foods. A must-read.

208 pages | 300 minutes | bookdepository.com

Review copy kindly provided by Chronicle Books.


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EDITOR'S PICKS

The greatest wealth
is health.
— VIRGIL

INSTAGRAM

Laura Miller

© Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a chef, food writer, and the creator of Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.

I found Laura's series on Tastemade about a year ago and was instantly impressed by her fresh, non-dogmatic approach to plant-based cooking (or not cooking, as the case may be...) and the inventive, playful way in which she educates those new to vegan food.

Laura's first book of recipes will be released in a couple weeks, so we caught up to talk food philosophies, fail-safe smoothies, farmers markets, health and happiness.


FIND LAURA ON TWITTER, FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM AND YOUTUBE


Q&A


WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?

Pay attention to the foods that make you feel good! Eat more of them.

WHAT DO YOU EAT ON A TYPICAL DAY?

My schedule varies a lot, which means my eating habits do too, but at the end of any given day, I've made sure to get in a handful or two of leafy greens, a bunch of berries, and an avocado (or two).

HOW HAS WORKING IN RESTAURANT KITCHENS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU COOK AT HOME?

I love this question! I loved working in a kitchen because I was constantly learning from everyone around me. It taught me to be more efficient in my work and to keep my messes contained (although I still struggle with that one...)

© Laura Miller

© Laura Miller

TEN MUST-HAVE FRIDGE/LARDER ITEMS:

Frozen berries, spinach, avocados, lemons, buckwheat groats, kimchi, coconut oil, chia seeds, almond milk, and fresh ginger root.

YOUR GO-TO FAIL-SAFE JUICE OR SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

Spinach, frozen berries, grapefruit, fresh ginger and green apple, blended with ice.

FAVOURITE PLACES TO BUY FOOD IN LOS ANGELES:

I've only lived in LA for a year now, so I'm still in awe of how incredible the farmers markets are here! The amount of fresh produce is unreal.

FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT OUT IN LOS ANGELES:

It's pretty easy to find a vegan option at almost any restaurant in LA – I've been eating lots of veg tacos!

© Laura Miller

© Laura Miller

THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD:

I filmed a foraging episode of my show in which pro foragers Mia and Pascal made a meal of all foraged ingredients! Acorn burgers with juniper pickled beets and wild native seeds topped with chickweed, mugwort beer, and wild pears infused with a 'forest floor' herb blend. I ate it cold and on a picnic table in a state park and I swear it tasted better than anything I've ever eaten (and it was all vegan and gluten-free!)

IN YOUR BOOK YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – WHAT MADE YOU FEEL THAT YOU WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS PART OF YOUR LIFE SO OPENLY?

To be honest, it was actually a bit scary to put that out in the world, but I didn't feel I could honestly talk about well-being without also discussing mental health. I'm so glad I included it, though – the response I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.

ASIDE FROM EATING WELL, WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?

I do my best to get some form of exercise (the sweatier the better) in order to keep my brain from spiralling out. I've also come to realise that I'm at my best when I am focused on learning – whether that be a new skill, a new subject or simply how to take better care of myself. My brain and my body are happiest when they are getting used.


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