Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook: Whole Foods to Nourish Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women - and their Families

Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook: Whole Foods to Nourish Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women - and their Families

by Olson

The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook contains more than 300 delicious whole foods recipes designed to nourish mothers and their families throughout pregnancy and lactation. The easy-to-prepare dishes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to help both mother and baby thrive. Entr�es include many "quick fix" meals and freezable dishes…  See more details below


The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook contains more than 300 delicious whole foods recipes designed to nourish mothers and their families throughout pregnancy and lactation. The easy-to-prepare dishes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to help both mother and baby thrive. Entr�es include many "quick fix" meals and freezable dishes - perfect for the busy parent. Many of the recipes in the book are vegan, and almost all of the recipes provide vegan options. For those with allergies, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and egg-free dishes are also included. There are even teas and tonics to help ease common pregnancy discomforts.

In addition to recipes, the book provides up-to-date nutritional information with recommended dietary intakes, complete guide to ingredients, suggested shopping list, and tips for saving time and minimizing work in the kitchen. This book is a comprehensive eating guide for vegetarians and non-vegetarians who want to include more whole foods in their diets. Although there is specific information about eating for pregnancy and lactation, the recipes in this book can be enjoyed at any time of your life.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Finally, a vegetarian cookbook for pregnant women that takes into account not only good nutrition but also ease of use. Olson (Simply Natural Baby Food) offers meals designed for each trimester of pregnancy and every lactation period of breastfeeding; these dishes are based on her family's favorites, with ingredients that are never exotic or hard to find in the local grocery or health food store. Many are vegan, and all are simple to prepare and delicious (e.g., Shepherd's Pie and Mushroom Stroganoff). Breakfasts, quick lunches, main dishes, snacks, desserts, beverages, and more are covered. Complete nutritional information, with key nutrients highlighted, is provided for each recipe. Including an excellent index, this innovative book is heartily recommended for public libraries.-Marija Sanderling, Lane Memorial Lib., Hampton, NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

GOCO Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

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Super Mommy Foods

Following are foods that are especially beneficial during pregnancy and lactation.

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are good sources of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, thiamine, and niacin. They are a crucial part of a vegetarian diet. Make a big batch of beans when you have time and freeze them in small containers (see the Bean and Legume Cooking Chart). Canned beans are available also. They are just slightly lower in nutrients than home cooked due to the high heat processing. Canned beans usually contain high amounts of sodium, however. Draining and rinsing away the canning liquid will remove a lot of the sodium. 

            Soybeans provide more protein than any other bean or legume, making them a staple of many vegetarian diets. Soybeans are rich in many nutrients, including calcium and iron. Fermented soy products like tempeh or miso are especially beneficial because they contain healthy bacteria and enzymes that aid digestion, and the phytic acid is neutralized by the culturing process.

Avoid fabricated soy foods (e.g., fake meats, protein powders) made with soy protein isolates or textured vegetable protein, which are created using a highly chemical process and usually have MSG or artificial flavors added. Also, keep in mind that although soy is a great protein source, it is not the only one. Moderation and variety are important in a vegetarian diet and you shouldn't rely on any one food for nutrients.

Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses contains high amounts of calcium and iron, plus magnesium, potassium, copper, and chromium. Buy organic, unsulphured molasses and use it to sweeten porridge, smoothies, and baked goods.


Cultured and Fermented Foods

Naturally cultured and fermented foods contain enzymes and bacteria that help digest food and eliminate wastes. They also help build up friendly bacteria in the intestines, which is especially important after taking antibiotics. (Most hospitals give women antibiotics during labor.) Eat plenty of fermented foods during pregnancy when your digestive system may be sluggish. They can help prevent constipation and other digestive problems, and are useful in preventing and treating yeast infections.

Cultured and fermented foods include natural, unpasteurized miso, naturally fermented vegetable pickles and sauerkraut, yogurt, and Rejuvelac. (See Ingredient Guide for more information on specific foods and look for recipes in this book.) Never boil these foods as high temperatures will destroy the beneficial bacteria.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables and Cabbage Family Vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, watercress, etc.) are especially important while pregnant or lactating because they supply so many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Dark leafy green vegetables also are rich in phytochemicals like beta carotein and lutein which protect against many forms of cancer. Certain greens like spinach and Swiss chard are high in oxalic acid, which inhibit the absorption of much of the calcium and iron. Cooking helps to neutralize some of the oxalic acid.

Vegetables from the cabbage family (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.) are exceptional sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. They are also rich in phytochemicals that have anticancer properties.

Dark green leafy vegetables and cabbage family vegetables provide important nutrients that help to promote a plentiful milk supply for your baby. Buy fresh, organic vegetables whenever possible and eat at least one serving every day.


Eggs contain highly useable protein as well as almost every essential vitamin (except vitamin C) and mineral needed by humans. Eggs are very nutrient dense, which means they supply a great deal of nutrition for a small number of calories. Experts used to warn against eating too many eggs because of their high cholesterol content, but research has shown that dietary cholesterol doesn't significantly raise blood cholesterol. Look for organic eggs from hens who are allowed to roam. Omega-3 enriched eggs (which come from hens whose feed is supplemented with flaxseeds) and high-DHA omega-3 eggs (which come from vegetarian hens whole feed is supplemented with algae) are excellent choices.

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is an exceptional source of almost all B complex vitamins as well as being high in protein. Look for nutritional yeast flakes enriched with vitamin B12 like Red Star� Vegetarian Support Formula. Nutritional yeast flakes can be added to soups, sauces, eggs, cereals, smoothies, and other foods.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are good sources of fiber, protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Be sure to eat flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and/or walnuts to get omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for baby's brain and nervous system development as well as your own health. Nuts and seeds can be eaten raw or toasted. Small seeds like sesame and flax must be ground in a coffee grinder, seed grinder, or blender in order for nutrients to be utilized. Nut and seed butters are delicious on crackers or toast or used as a dip or sauce.

Note: Peanut Allergies

Allergies to peanut products affect approximately 1% of the U.S. population. Although there hasn't been extensive research on fetal sensitization, recent studies suggest that when a pregnant woman consumes peanut products, the fetus may be exposed to peanut allergens. If there is a predisposition to allergies, the infant could develop a peanut allergy. Therefore, parents with food allergies and/or family histories of nut allergies may want to avoid peanuts while pregnant or breastfeeding. Almond butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter, or tahini (sesame seed butter) can replace peanut butter in any of the recipes in this book.

Whole Grains

Whole grains supply fiber, minerals, B complex vitamins, and protein. Buy the least processed grain types you can find. Many commercially prepared grains have the germ and bran removed to increase shelf life and shorten preparation time. Even if they are "enriched," this does not replace the nutrition that was lost in the processing.

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What People are saying about this

Peggy O'Mara
" Cathe Olson's book is a welcome, comprehensive and trustworthy resource for vegetarian families."
publisher and editor of Mothering
Dean Raffelock
"Cathe Olson gives both vegetarian and non-vegetarian mothers hundreds of great vegetarian recipes for healthy, delicious meals. She is to be congratulated "
D.C., Dipl. Ac., CCN, author of A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health
Erin Pavlina
"This book contains a treasure trove of delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes that will make eating during your vegetarian pregnancy simply a snap!"
editor of, and author of Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World

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