Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sue Gregg Intro to Whole Foods Cooking

I have heard of Sue Gregg's cookbooks for years.  As long as I've been visiting homeschooling websites (12 years) I've been hearing about Sue Gregg's whole foods recipes.  But I hadn't ever read one, or tried any of her recipes before.  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was able to review one of her cookbooks this year.

In the past, I've tried to include more whole food recipes in our family's diet.  I've tried to cook more vegetarian meals, as well.  Most of the new recipes I tried flopped with the kids ... and some of them flopped with my husband.  If it had beans in it, he'd say it would be okay to eat it occasionally ... but not every week.  I didn't usually stick with the changes for very long.  I'd get frustrated and just return to my usual cooking methods, the ones my Mom and Steve's Mom had used. 

When I shared that with Sue Gregg before the review began, she sent me a copy of Introducing Whole Foods Cooking For Health And Hospitality.  I needed to start at the beginning and understand the importance of good nutrition and whole foods cooking.  I already knew what whole foods cooking meant (cooking with foods in their most natural state ... unprocessed), but had struggled to implement it in my own home. 

Sue Gregg's own journey into whole foods cooking began with frustration as well.  Health concerns set her on the journey, but after nine months, she had also served many meals her family rejected.  So she began to experiment with recipes to replace bad ingredients with healthier ingredients.  She worked to create healthy recipes that her family (and other families) would love!  Out of that journey, a whole line of cookbooks was born.

One thing I do know is that changing your family's diet takes time.  It takes patience and creativity.  When a family is accustomed to frozen corn dogs, boxed macaroni and cheese, and hamburger helper ... it takes time for their tastes to change and enjoy healthier foods.  But Sue recommends involving the family in the process.  Let children join in the food preparation process, and let each member vote on each recipe.  How well did they like it?  How often would they want to eat it?

The book:
Introducing Whole Foods Cooking isn't just a cookbook.  While it does include some recipes, the majority of the book is actually a whole foods cooking curriculum.  This can be used by a Mom learning to cook more healthful foods for her family, as one semester of a high school nutrition course, or as a whole foods cooking course for a group of ladies. 

It comes with a CD-rom that demonstrates each recipe step-by-step, provides 6 Bible studies to reprint for your group's use, and includes the leader's guide for one semester of  Whole Foods Menu Planning & Meal Preparation Curriculum.

The cookbook is spiral bound, so it can lay flat in the kitchen, and it has a clear plastic spill-protection cover in front and back.    The book is 135 pages long, and includes 30 recipes in the curriculum, as well as the CD-rom with recipe demonstrations.

Introducing Whole Foods Cooking
has six sections:

  • Nutrition Basics

  • Recipes & Menus

  • Serving & Connecting

  • Next Steps (lessons on applying these changes in your daily life)

  • Menu Plans For Weight Management

  • Food To Faith Bible Studies

In the Next Steps section, Sue walks you through two recipe conversions.  She shows you the original recipe she started with, and the whole foods version she created from it.  This is so helpful in understanding how to do the same thing with your family's favorite recipes.

My opinion:
At first I was disappointed to realize I was receiving a course, rather than a cookbook.  Several of the recipes in Introducing Whole Foods Cooking were already available as samples on her website.  But then I began to think of how I could use this cookbook with my high school students as part of their home economics curriculum.  This book alone provides 1/2 a year's curriculum for my daughter.  If I were to buy the  Introducing Whole Grain Baking cookbook, I'd have a full year's course for $40. 

Introducing Whole Foods Cooking For Health And Hospitality
is an excellent primer on nutrition and whole foods cooking.  Sue explains her beliefs, her methods, why whole foods are healthier, and her two-stage process of grain preparation which releases more nutrients for the body to absorb.    She introduces you to 30 recipes for your family to try, and talks about how to convert recipes yourself.  She covers allergy alternatives, and ways to keep the cost of whole foods cooking low. 

And most of all, she helps you believe that you can make this change for your family.  As she says, it's just "One recipe at a time."  Each successful recipe which your family enjoys can be added to your family's meal-rotation, until you've established a list of healthy meals your family loves. 

The first Sue Gregg recipe I tried was the Blender Batter Waffle/Pancake mix, and it was a complete hit with everyone in the family.  When I  tested her Yogurt Pie recipe, we had a little less success because not all of my children enjoy coconut.   I almost didn't try the Yogurt Pie recipe, because we couldn't find sucanat or rapadura in our town.  But I decided to just do the best I could, and use brown sugar.  It was still a healthier dessert for my family than a package of boxed brownie mix would have provided.  Baby steps to healthier eating.

Purchase Details:
Introducing Whole Foods Cooking can be purchased at Sue Gregg's website for $17.00.  A PDF sample you can download is also available HERE.    If you're interested in learning more about whole foods cooking, you can begin by taking the tour of Sue's website, trying some sample recipes, and viewing the book previews provided for each cookbook.

Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting in Him,

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