The traditional foods movement is a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense, real food, and values quality, environment, and community over the convenience of processed, additive-laden products that are the norm on grocery store shelves.
Based on the research of Weston A. Price, who studied the diets of indigenous peoples to understand the relationship between nutrition and health, a traditional foods diet avoids processed ingredients, but allows meat, animal fat, and grains. It embraces cultured dairy, such as kefir and yogurt, that contain beneficial bacteria; fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kombucha, that are rich in probiotics; and organ meats that are packed with vitamins and minerals. It also celebrates locally grown foods. By choosing ingredients from nearby sources, you create a stronger connection to your food, and have a better understanding what you’re eating and how it was produced.
In The Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther guides you through her traditional foods kitchen and offers more than 160 recipes inspired by the seasons, land, and waters around her. In the morning, fuel up with Eggs Poached in Fiery Tomato Sauce. On a hot summer day, Cucumber Salad with Dill and Kefir is a cooling side dish, and on a chilly fall evening, Barley in Broth with Bacon and Kale offers comfort and warmth. Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf with Gravy makes a hearty family meal, while Chicken in Riesling with Peas can be the centerpiece of an elegant supper. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Maple-Roasted Pears, and quench your thirst with naturally fermented Vanilla Mint Soda. With the benefit of Jennifer’s experience, you can craft a loaf of Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough Bread and stock your kitchen with Spiced Sour Pickles with Garlic.
The Nourished Kitchen not only teaches how to prepare wholesome, nourishing foods, but also encourages a mindful approach cooking and a celebration of old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for millennia. Whether you’re already a practitioner of the traditional foods lifestyle or simply trying to incorporate more natural, highly nutritious foods into your routine, you will find plenty to savor in The Nourished Kitchen.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"Everyone had a garden back then; you just couldn’t get by without it. We fried our dinner in lard, and sauerkraut got us through the winter,” Trudy explained, answering a question about how the old-timers survived in the rough-and-tumble Colorado mining community of Crested Butte long before the roads were paved and imported, packaged foods traveled up the winding mountain passes in eighteen-wheel trucks to line the shelves of our grocery store.
Trudy, you see, is an old-timer. She grew up when convenience foods and long-traveled fruit and vegetables simply couldn’t be found. That time lingered in the isolated town of Crested Butte, where I make my home, longer than it did in most American communities. Here, seasonal vegetables straight from the garden filled the dinner table, along with whole milk and butter from the local creamery, and locally produced meat and lard. In the fall, plenty of sauerkraut was put up to last until late spring lest bellies go hungry.
These foods—meat loaf and liver, whole raw milk and just-gathered eggs, sourdough bread and soaked oatmeal porridge—nourished generation after generation of healthy people the world over until the global food supply began to change slowly but dramatically at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century and again after the Green Revolution of the mid-twentieth century.
A Traditional Foods Movement
Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers—the foods of gardens and of farms. They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits.
There is a movement afoot to restore this way of eating. The movement honors the connection between the foods that we eat, how we prepare these foods, and where they come from. In this way, the traditional foods movement celebrates the connection between the farm that produces the food, the cook who prepares it, and the individuals who eat it. Traditional foods is a system of connection, emphasizing support for time-honored ways in farming, cooking, and eating, and finding a place for fat and lean, animal and vegetable, raw and cooked.
Barley in Broth with Bacon and Kale
Cooked barley and ribbons of kale swirl together in this thick broth-based soup. Barley brings its earthy flavor and pleasant, chewy texture to a broth punctuated by bacon, carrots, celery, and garlic. Serves 4 to 6
1 cup hulled barley
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces bacon, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups Chicken Bone Broth
1 small bunch Lacinato kale (about 8 ounces)
Finely ground unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss the barley into a mixing bowl and cover with warm water by 2 inches. Stir in the vinegar, cover the bowl, and allow the grains to soak at room temperature for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
Drain the barley and rinse it well.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and toss in the bacon. Allow the bacon to cook until crispy, about 6 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are fragrant and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the soaked barley and the wine and stir continuously until the wine has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low, then stir in the chicken broth, cover, and simmer until the barley is cooked through, about 40 minutes.
While the barley cooks, prepare the kale by trimming away any tough stems or veins. Stack the leaves one on top of another and roll them into a cigar. Slice the leaves crosswise into ribbons about 1/8 inch thick.
Once the barley is tender, turn off the heat. Stir in the kale and cover the pot. Allow the kale to wilt in the residual heat of the broth for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Chapter 1. From the garden
Chapter 2. From the pasture
Chapter 3. From the range
Chapter 4. From the waters
Chapter 5. From the fields
Chapter 6. From the wild
Chapter 7. From the orchard
Chapter 8. From the larder
Real Food Advocacy Groups
Measurement Conversion Charts
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book takes me back to my very loved Grandfather. Chicken foot soup anyone? Coming from a farming and ranching family in northern New Mexico we only went to town once a month for supplies. Everything else but flour, beans and sugar was handmade. We butchered all of our own meat and hunted in the cool months. My mother milked and made cheese and butter. Not to even forget our huge garden and homade pink kraut. This book is heaven and makes it seam that I'm not alone. This makes things doable for city folk and people who want to get back to REAL things.
I was excited to find The Nourished Kitchen delivered to my gate last week as it’s book I was looking forward to browsing. What I liked: The author is a food educator so it’s no surprise that she goes into great detail about ingredients, nutrition and preparation. The detailed explanations are one of the things I liked about the book besides the gorgeous photography. The sections regarding sustainability and cooking from our gardens was good but would be put to more practical use if you lived on a farm. Great layout – The Nourished Kitchen is divided into 8 chapters – From the Garden, Pasture, Range, Waters, Fields, Wild, Orchard and Larder. What I didn’t like: There are many recipes devoted to foods I personally won’t eat. There is zero appeal for pickled tongue or broiled kidneys. Some recipes list ingredients which I don’t have access to: elk backstrap (yes, there is actually a recipe using elk meat), pheasant, goose liver and raw milk. I understand the premise of the book is about sustainability. We would do what we needed to do to survive if society breaks down and we are dependent on our farm and garden for survival. But I don’t have elk or pheasants to hunt or purchase. Learning what to do with raw milk would be helpful if I had cows or goats but not so practical for those of us not living on a farm. A lovely book but not a practical one for me. There were some good salad and side dish recipes that would work for me.
A beautifully written and engaging cookbook - to treasure for a lifetime. It's the rare cookbook that reads like a life's journey, but The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther reflects the farm-to-table approach to cooking that many of us adhere to. I wasn't sure what to expect when I requested this book for review. Would the recipes be ones I'd read, reflect on, try, and adopt or would this be more of a fad-type cookbook. I was thrown, frankly, by the fact that it was a best-seller in the Raw Food category. Yes, I was a vegetarian for many years, a vegan for some of those, and did try out a raw food diet, but found those strictures not as health as I had anticipated. So, I opened this gorgeous cover with a bit of trepidation, but my reservations were washed away by Jennifer McGruther's beautiful introduction and explanation of the philosophy behind the Nourished Kitchen - the traditional foods movement. I'll admit, the thought of cooking with lard is not one that fills me with joy. I'm probably going to skip that, but already cook with butter, extra virgin olive oil, and bacon drippings. (Ever since my high school chemistry teacher explained and demonstrated that if you heat margarine up to a certain degree it turns into plastic, that's been off my shopping list.) Am I slightly hypocritical to avoid lard? Probably. But finding a reliable source at a cost I can afford is slightly impossible. Some of these recipes would be easier if it was not only a movement in the kitchen, but also in life. But I'll admit that when I kept chickens, I could never bring myself to cull one for the stewpot. Instead, they were pets and provided fabulous eggs. It would be useless for me to consider adding pigs, cows, lambs, goats, and fowl to this homestead of I were to consider slaughtering them. But, excepting the pigs, the others might be useful additions for milk, cheese, eggs, and wool. However, I do think my neighbors might raise an eyebrow or two. As I journey toward the goal of truly respecting the environment and the wonders around us, I continue to search out foods that McGruther recommends. However, I'll need to be honest. Some of these will be selected from the grocery store or local farm market. Not all will be sourced from the immediate surroundings. I wish they could. Many of them will be. But just as she recommends moderation in diet, I'll need to adopt moderation in adapting her recipes to what makes sense in the here and now. It's a rare cookbook that I'll look through and say to myself, I'll make that, that, and that. Usually there are recipes that I'll look over and think, no, too complicated, too many steps, sounds delicious, but... The Nourished Kitchen is the opposite of that observation. It's the rare recipe here that I won't be trying. In fact, I'm already plotting her autumn equinox Cider-braised kale with apples and sweet cherries (though I may be trading out the sweet cherries for cranberries). The other recipe that I can't wait to try is the one for Slow-baked cannelloni beans with preserved lemon (pictured on the cover), rosemary, and smoked paprika. This bean dish sounds absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try it. She calls this a "humble" dish and I suppose it is. But there is nothing as satisfying, to me, as a pot of slow-cooked beans flavored with herbs. She includes a wonderful tip about soaking the beans that I'm really grateful for. I'll probably play with the recipe a bit. Perhaps substituting sage for rosemary or a bit of each. Perhaps fresh lemon instead of preserved. But that's the joy in a cookbook like this, as McGruther provides the basis for each of us to make these recipes our own. The book is beautifully illustrated with photos by the author. However if you're looking for each dish to be illustrated, they're not. However, I don't think you need to do that. Especially with these recipes that are as much about the ingredients and preparation as they are about the presentation. One of the basics of any cook's kitchen are the broths that are on hand. McGruther's recipes for beef and chicken bone broth are ideal (however I can't bring myself to make the chicken foot broth, I can't). I'll admit to making a broth frequently, but have never roasted the bones. I'm going to try this as I think it will add significantly to both the taste as well as the nutritional component. The great thing about broth is that you can freeze the excess. I've done this both in an ice cube tray (for when you just want a bit of broth in your dish) or in two cup increments. Wonderful to have on hand and super easy to make too. The dessert section (From the Orchard) is just amazing. I've been collection fruit recipes all summer and pinning them to my Pinterest board, but here is a collection that just is ideal. I can't wait to gather my quince from the bush near the house to try the Quince, Apple, and Pear Gallette. Right now, I'm about to cut some basil for the roasted peaches with basil and yogurt. (I may wait a day or two and see how my homemade yogurt turns out, following the recipe here.) Truly, this is a cookbook that I predict that I'll be referring to constantly. Each section has something to offer and with over 160 recipes there are plenty to choose from. The seasonal quality is enticing and while I don't want to rush into fall and winter, these recipes make the prospect something to look forward to. If you have friends who appreciate cooking, healthful eating, and a searching for a more beneficial lifestyle - this cookbook is the perfect gift. In fact, I'd suggest that this would be one of those books that people would treasure - for years - if given on the occasion of their first apartment, marriage, or other celebrations. If you follow this cookbook and the traditional foods lifestyle, I have a feeling that not only will you feel healthier, but you'll feel better about yourself. Why? Because you'll be reconnecting in a significant way with the natural process of the seasons and the land around you. (I received this book from Blogging for Books and NetGalley for this review.)