Review written & photographed by Jordan A.R.
Terry Walters’s book Clean Food (published by Sterling Epicure, $30 USD) is more than just a pile of recipes: it’s a guide for developing a healthy lifestyle based around eating food close to its source in order to maximize the nutritional benefits. Clean food means real, minimally processed, seasonal food.
The nutritional information that jump starts this book for the first thirty-five pages opened my eyes not only to how depleted my regular diet is, but how easy it can be to make small changes that amp up the value of what I eat. For example, adding a small piece of kombu (a type of kelp) during the cooking process of whatever meal you make will infuse the dish with important minerals, improve digestibility, and (possibly) reduce gas. Another helpful tip was that since grains contain phytic acid, which interferes with the absorption of essential minerals, they should be soaked for a minimum of one hour, then rinsed, so that the water soluble acid vanishes and leaves you with a new and improved complex carbohydrate. Simple and effective!
Divided into the four seasons along with an “anytime” chapter, the 200 + recipes in Clean Food offer a variety of simple, healthful dishes to guide you throughout the year. My one concern with this book was that it uses a lot of ingredients I don’t normally stock in the pantry, and so the grocery bills can add up pretty quickly if, like me, you’re somewhat new to this style of eating. But once you’re stocked you’re good to go and, based on all of the information at the start of the book, it’s worth the extra money in the beginning. My only other complaint is that there are no photos. But I checked her website and it seems that a revised edition of Clean Food is forthcoming that will be gluten-free friendly with new recipes, a snack section, and photographs!