Category Eating Local

California Farm Cookbook

California Farm Cookbook
by Kitty Morse
Pelican Books
Retail Price $26.95
Amazon Price: $22.56

Book Description: 

Here’s a sure-fire plan for successful dining. Take California’s bountiful food producers and ask for the best recipes for their favorite crops. Combine them with brilliant photos and interesting stories of the farms and their owners, and you have a masterpiece of fresh and wholesome foods. We call this recipe The California Farm Cookbook. This harvest of great foods utilizes the flavorful vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, and other specialty crops of the Golden State.

This cookbook offers refreshing ways to prepare old favorites like carrot cake, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, cheesecake, smoked duck, barbecued oysters, and potato soup. Recipes include special adaptations and family secrets that have been passed on for generations. The dishes also feature less traditional ingredients like persimmons, tilapia, quail eggs, Brie, cherimoyas, jujubes, sturgeon, and sapotes as well.

Each recipe comes from the growers themselves, who offer serving tips and little-known histories of the farms and their crops. This book also offers a section of recipes from California’s finest chefs and a chapter devoted to foods and recipes from Baja California, Mexico. An appendix lists California farms and grocers who ship fresh to your door.

This book is a real treasure.  More than just a cookbook, this book shares the history of the farms all over California, sharing the state’s role in feeding people around the globe. The author shares stories from many different perspectives and we get a look at their rich heritage.  Included in this book are delicious recipes and fascinating photographs.  It is a real gem.

~Reviewed by Rosie B.

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    Garden to Table

    Garden to Table
    By Katherine Hengel
    Scarletta Press
    Retail Price $15.95
    Amazon Price: $11.48

    Book Description: 

    Fill your plate with fresh, self-sustained produce that comes straight from your garden. Step-by-step planting, care and harvesting tips give the beginning gardener a good basic understanding of the growing process. Over 30 delicious recipes made with basil, carrots, green beans, leaf lettuce, potatoes, and tomatoes, complete with step-by-step photos, bring your homegrown foods to the table to share with others. Incorporating unique flavors and easy-to-grow veggies, these simple recipes will have you asking for seconds!



    From containers of lettuce and rosemary to rows of broccoli and tomatoes, there’s nothing quite like growing produce in the backyard.  This book encourages kids to take up a trowel and get digging and to pick from the harvest to create easy, delicious meals.  While the book is for older kids and young teenagers, it is written in a professional way that meets them where they are without talking down to them. There are step-by-step instructions along with great photos to keep them on task. The recipes included in the book are very appealing.  If you are looking to involve your kids in producing and preparing your own food, then this is a great place to start!

    ~Reviewed by Rosie B.


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      The Health Benefits Of Eating Raw Food

      What is a raw food diet?

      You have probably heard about the Raw Food Diet. There are a lot of different variations on the Raw Food Diet depending upon the person advocating it.

      The basic and common feature of most raw food diets is that they all advocate eating food in their natural state – that is, uncooked, unprocessed, organic and unexposed to herbicides and pesticides.

      What does a raw food diet include?Rawfoodpyramid

      All raw food diets include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
      Some include unprocessed nuts and uncooked grains.
      Some raw food diets are a variation on veganism which shuns all animal-based food.
      Other raw food diets include eggs, milk, cheese and raw fish (sushi and sashimi).
      Then there is just the simple action of eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables to retain all their nutrients. One example of this is the juicing lifestyle, where fresh homemade juices are made from both vegetables and fruits are the mainstay of one’s daily intake.

      Reasons To Fill Your Diet With Raw Food

      Weight Loss

      The main purpose of most people who shift to a raw food diet is for weight loss.  It is true – eating raw food will facilitate weight loss because eating raw food will mean that you won’t consume as much fat and calories as with a regular diet.

      Disease Prevention

      Another main purpose of most people who shift to a raw food diet is to fight what is referred to as lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases include hypertension, coronary artery disease and diabetes.  These lifestyle diseases are often caused by eating food that is too high on fat, sugar and cholesterol.

      Chemical Free Eating

      Some who go on a raw food diet do so because they want to avoid the accumulation of harmful chemicals in their bodies from food that is exposed to pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones.

      Fruits and vegetables grown in commercial farms are usually treated with pesticides and herbicides to keep insects from feasting on the fruits and vegetables.

      Livestock, pork and chicken grown commercially are treated with hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease and ensure optimal growth. Seedless fruit are sprayed with hormones as well.

      Anti-Aging And Increasing Immunity

      Still some people who opt for a raw food diet emphasize a healthy lifestyle that will keep them looking young.
      They believe that fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and grains boost the immune system which keeps infectious diseases at bay and it improves the body’s circulation and systemic functioning which gives them clear skin and radiant hair.

      Is It Easy To Maintain A Diet Of Raw Food?

      As with all diets, you must consult your doctor to see if you may shift to a raw food diet. And if you do shift to a raw food diet, perhaps it is best to do it gradually.

      Start with juicing an assortment of fruits and vegetables to replace colas and desserts.  Replace your regular cooked meals gradually with a wide assortment of salads and grains and nuts.

      The most difficult thing about going on a raw food diet is sourcing raw, unprocessed and chemical-free food.
      If you like going out to eat, you will find it difficult to find restaurants that serve only raw food.

      The next difficult thing is in preparing the food—it is time consuming.  It is easy enough to simply peel a banana or eat an apple for a snack but if you have to subsist on fruits and veggies, you will have to carry fresh fruits and vegetables with you throughout the day.

      Another problem most people encounter with the raw food diet is that food grown organically is more expensive.
      Also there is a real danger of malnutrition as there are nutrients and minerals which you cannot get from uncooked fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You will have to take a vitamin or food supplement for this.

      You will have to eat fruits and vegetables that are unfamiliar to you. The texture of uncooked food may be difficult to get used to at first.

      For those who advocate eating raw fish, eggs, milk and milk products, you might need to conquer your gag reflex first. There is also a real danger of food poisoning from food that is unpasteurized such as milk and milk products, so one needs to take care, though these days it is not as problematic since the there are many quality controls in place.

      Final Thoughts

      Shifting to a raw food diet requires a lifestyle change as well as a change in mindset. It will not work for everyone and some people can follow a raw food diet but not strictly. Ask your physician first.

      There are so many benefits to eating raw food and one thing to keep in mind is that it need not be exclusive of other food, you can simply add more fresh, and raw fruits and vegetables to your diet on a daily basis and cut out processed foods. That alone is a huge step to improving your health, preventing disease and curtailing the effects of aging.

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        Blessing the Hands that Feed Us

        Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on EarthBlessing The Hand That Feed Us – Audiobook
        By Vicki Robin
        Retail Price $26.95
        Amazon Price: $20.31

        Book Description:

        The bestselling coauthor of Your Money or Your Life chronicles her quest to eat food produced within 10 miles of her home. Taking the locavore movement to heart, bestselling author and social innovator Vicki Robin pledged for one month to eat only food sourced within a 10-mile radius of her home on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, Washington. Her sustainable diet not only brings to light society’s unhealthy dependency on mass-produced, prepackaged foods but also helps her reconnect with her body and her environment.

        Like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the bestselling books of Michael Pollan, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is part personal narrative and part global manifesto. By challenging herself to eat and buy local, Robin exposes the cause and effect of the food business, from the processed goods laden with sugar, fat, and preservatives to the trucks burning through fuel to bring them to a shelf near you.

        Robin’s journey is also one of community as she befriends all the neighboring farmers who epitomize the sustainable lifestyle. Among them are Tricia, the prolific market gardener who issued Robin’s 10-mile challenge; Britt and Eric, two young, enthusiastic farmers living their dream of self-sufficiency; and Vicky, a former corporate executive turned milk producer.

        Featuring recipes throughout, along with practical tips on adopting your own locally sourced diet, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is an inspirational guide and testimonial to the locavore movement and a healthy food future.



        The author has learned by experience how to eat locally, and how to do it as efficiently and easily as possible. Her argument about the value of eating foods in season was particularly interesting to me — I’ve gotten used to eating whatever I want whenever I want it, but there is something really compelling about connecting to what the earth wants to offer in a more intimate way. This is an essential read for anyone who is interested in the locavore movement — whether you’re a novice or hard core. She has super tips for shopping and storing food and recipes that are actually affordable and easy to make. Before this book, I wouldn’t have thought it possible to enjoy eating local in the city. Her examples are helpful and motivating. A great book.

        ~Reviewed by Brandi K.

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