Cut the Sugar, You’re Sweet Enough: Cookbook – Ella Leche – Andrews McMeel Publishing – Published 5 January 2016
Cut the Sugar, You’re Sweet Enough is a practical, real-life approach to reducing sugar the healthy way so you don’t feel deprived. This is not a sugar-detox book but an inspiring cookbook and guide to change your relationship with the foods you love and address your cravings properly. There are over 100 delicious and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and yes, even dessert!
Ella Leché, the voice behind the popular food blog Pure Ella, used to consider herself a healthful eater. She ate salads; she drank water. But like so many of us, she also looked forward to her daily sweet treats. It wasn’t until her health fell apart due to a rare illness that she began to make the food-health connection.
A bright and summery cookbook, Cut the Sugar, You’re Sweet Enough offers beautiful pictures and diverse recipes. Cut the Sugar does not set out to promote removing sugar completely from your life. Instead it helps readers find sugar alternatives, creating sweet food that is nutritious and replacing the bad sugary things with healthy and enjoyable sweets.
I have watched the quit-sugar craze arrive and seen how colleagues and friends have cut sugar completely from their diets. Many have stuck with it, others succumb to cravings, while others simply can’t manage the restrictions a sugar-free diet imposes. I, on the hand, have continued to eat my regular, balanced, mainly healthy but defiantly not sugar-free diet. I haven’t read the quit sugar books that sit on our library shelf nor have I watched any sugar-is-killing-us documentaries. I would rather enjoy my sweets in naive bliss. But when I heard about this book, a book about reducing sugar but still enjoying the sweet side of life, I was very intrigued. I was not disappointed. While Ella Leche’s level of diet restriction is well out of my range of dedication, it does offer some practical tips for reducing bad sugar intake and replacing it with healthy and nutritious sugar intake.
The Violet Bakery Cookbook – Claire Ptak – Square Peg
Violet is a bijou cake shop and café in Hackney, east London. The baking is done with simple ingredients including wholegrain flours, less refined sugars and the natural sweetness and muted colours of seasonal fruits. Everything is made in an open kitchen for people to see. Famed for its exquisite baked goods, Violet has become a destination.
Owner Claire Ptak uses her Californian sensibility to devise recipes that are both nourishing and indulgent. With real thought about taste and using the purest ingredients, she has created the most flavoursome iterations of classic cakes, as well as new treats for modern palates. Over 100 recipes include nourishing breakfasts, midday snacks,teatime treats, puddings to share, pantry preserves, and stylish celebration cakes.
I found this to be an interesting cookbook. It felt like a mix between healthy and indulgent, artistic and homey and basic.
The recipes are divided into morning, midday, afternoon, evening and party. Each section is then divided again into subgroups, such as cookies and bars, tea and loaf cakes and tart in the afternoon section. Most of the recipes are sweets or baked goods, but there are also a nice collection of quiches in the midday section.
Mastering Pasta – Marc Vetri with David Joachim – Ten Speed Press – Published 17 March 2015
Opening with a brief tour of pasta-making in Italy, then moving on to the details of making pasta at home, Mastering Pasta explains exactly how to build doughs from scratch, craft a variety of pasta shapes, then pair them with the ideal sauces and condiments for spectacular finished dishes. This comprehensive guide from a recognized expert is packed with special features, including opinionated sidebars on frequently asked questions (Should pasta always be cooked al dente? To cheese or not to cheese?) as well as advanced preparation and storage notes. Covering all the pasta basics along with risotto, gnocchi, and crespelle, Vetri delves deep into food science and revels the secrets of the very best pasta. For cooks who want to take their pasta-making to the next level, this complete handbook is destined to become a must-have resource.
There is not much I love to eat more than pasta.
Making it is a little more daunting, however. But if you are thinking about taking that first scary step towards strands (or curls or twists or folds) of homemade pasta goodness or merely need some inspiration for your journey, then this is the book for you.