Susan Anderson-Coons demonstrates the power of positive eating through a recipe collection sprinkled with folksy wisdom about healthy cooking and diet.
These 30 recipes, which feature gluten-free flours, organic produce, and sugar substitutes, are the culmination of the author’s search for a diet to quell allergies, pain and promote better “intercellular communication.” Her culinary “sleuthing” resulted in her shifting her own family’s diet to one high in whole (“raw”) foods and gluten-free dishes. In her adaptations, she refashions pies, cookies, breads, soups and salads into high protein or low-to-no-sugar versions, which she feels lead to better health, body and soul.
For Anderson-Coons, food and spirituality are intertwined. A strong Christian element permeates the book and appears, often unexpectedly, in the middle of recipes that are accented with inspirational poems, biblical quotations, and appreciation of God’s bounty.
Anderson-Coons clearly advocates clean and healthy eating along with a reduced sugar intake and believes sugar substitutes do not endanger health when compared with the problems of consuming too much sugar. Unfortunately, her understanding of food science is limited. She provides, for example, an over-simplified explanation of “glycobiology” and how the body metabolizes sugars. In addition, while she offers a wide choice of sugar substitutes in recipes, she commonly fails to distinguish between their forms (liquid, powder, spoonable, etc.) in her quantity directives, which is likely to lead to recipe failures.
Anderson-Coons also encourages a focus on organic foods, including high protein substitutes such as soy, but in a section entitled “Diet Tips,” she recommends “no soy.” Her definition of “natural” food as being “always vegetarian fed” is inaccurate (there is no legal definition nor policing of “natural” foods.) Recipes lack standard formatting, categorization, and are awkward to follow.
In sum, readers will encounter a crazy quilt of recipes, food philosophy, and more in this book. Rather than the product of a skilled chef, it’s one homemaker’s take on a healthy, spiritually balanced approach to food.