Review summary: A gorgeous family-minded organic cookbook with enough recipe choices to please picky eaters and more adventurous souls alike. This book is from the same author who brought us Organically Raised and Ice Pop Joy.
The Organic Family Cookbook by Anni Daulter; published by Sellers Publishing Inc. (September 21, 2011)
From the publisher:
“This inspiring cookbook answers the call for healthy recipes for family-friendly organic meals — snacks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and extras. Sidebars and tips throughout promote green living — organic child- and family-specific gardening ideas and inspiration for community building and sustainable living. Recipes use easily obtainable ingredients from standard grocers, green markets, or the small family garden plot. Recipes are both wholesome and kid- and family-tested approved! Bonus recipes for favorite, everyday basics and delicious, seasonal treats. Tips and anecdotes throughout the book offer simple gardening, green living, and community-building ideas.”
What’s covered in The Organic Family Cookbook
The Organic Family Cookbook is packed with recipes, broken down into the following chapters:
- Tasty breakfasts
- Simple snacks
- Wholesome lunches
- Family favorite dinners
- Savory sides
- Refreshing desserts
- Homespun extras
Most chapters are self-explanatory, but the homespun extra section includes homemade jams, sauces, salsa, sweeteners and more. There are meal choices for vegetarians and meat eaters plus even a few vegan-friendly picks. The emphasis is on organic and fresh in-season ingredients.
Types of recipes
Something Daulter understands very well is that families aren’t made up of people who all like to eat the same thing. With this in mind, Daulter offers recipes for picky eaters, folks (like me and my son) who like simple dishes, people willing to experiment a little and she’s got meal ideas for folks who love crazy unique dishes. Although cooking for multiple tastes, Daulter manages to keep most of these recipes very healthy and always full of wholesome ingredients.
Some recipes included in the book:
Parmesan sesame seed twists, persimmon and pomegranate salad, garlic beet chips, fig jam with garlic cheese tarts, mushroom and onion tart or pepper and sweet potato flatbread, honey bread, ham and cheese panini with grapes, spicy Parmesan crisps, stone soup, raw vegan apple pie and much more.
There are plenty of kid-friendly recipes and the snack section was especially appealing to my son. We’ve tried a bunch of the recipes in this book already and so far have only been displeased with one of them (the granola bars – but honestly, we’re looking for rice bars so…). If you’d like to try a recipe from this book, check out Homemade Organic Cran-Strawberry Roll-Ups.
As always, Daulter has given special consideration to recipe presentation and all the book’s photographs by Alexandra DeFurio are utterly amazing. If these images can’t win you over to healthy cooking, I’m not sure what will.
One of the best things about this cookbook is that it’s not JUST a cookbook. Green living tips and sweet little family projects are peppered throughout the book including…
- How to green your kitchen
- How to make homemade cleaners
- Re-purposing old items
- Advice about u-pick farms
- Choosing healthy seeds
- School garden tips
- Homemade baby food ideas
- Finding the freshest food
- Salt dough charms
- Veggie dyed eggs
My favorite aspect of this cookbook – and actually of all of Daulter’s books, is that she shares her family with you (the reader) without becoming an overly obnoxious pain in the neck. For example, I got a cookbook (that shall remain unnamed) recently and although it looked as if it had great vegetarian recipes, I can’t read it, because the author is 100% annoying. Every single page is like, “Look at my adorable kids” and “See how perfect we are all the time – weeeeee!” I like to know who I’m reading, but if you’ve got nine million pictures of your so-called perfect flipping kids in your book, I’m going to get annoyed.
Daulter doesn’t do this at all. She gives you a peek at her family so you can see where she’s coming from,which helps you relate due to her family’s various food likes and dislikes, but she stays in check. She strikes an absolute perfect balance between sharing personal stuff while really staying focusing on healthy food, fresh recipes and green living.
Daulter’s books, this one included, tend to include some harder to find, more expensive ingredients. Some of these ingredients are used so minimally, that it’s hard for me to say the cost is justified for a green family on a budget. In fact, one recipe in here called for something that was pretty costly, yet you only needed a little, and I couldn’t find it in a small amount. I ended up just excluding it, which was fine, and something you can do too.
Many of the recipes in this book call for more than a dozen ingredients, and if you’re new to healthy cooking, this might overwhelm you.
This cookbook is made with FSC certified mixed sources paper but not totally recycled and as of yet, there’s no digital version available.
Daulter treats kids as if they can and should be culinary explorers and recommends not hiding foods from kids (like hiding veggies). I 100% agree with her. However, fair warning, if you haven’t been raising your kids in such a way that they will experiment with food, they may not like many of the recipes in this book. My son is picky, but still he ate a lot of the dishes in this book, because one, he’s been raised on veggies and fruits galore and two, knows he has to try stuff (no pressure if he hates it).
If you’ve got older kids who have been raised on less healthy fare, this may not be the best starter cookbook for your family. Or then again, it might. Who knows. As noted, my son is picky and he’s not a real enthusiastic cook. Even so, he had a good time flipping through this book, choosing recipes to make.
4.5 out of 5 little trees!
Other than some expensive ingredients, it’s hard to find fault with this book. The pictures are a dreamy delight, the recipes are yummy and easy to follow, plus all the special green tips really add to the experience. I liked this book as much as Ice-Pop Joy (and I really loved that book). I think if you give it a whirl at the library, you’ll end up wanting to purchase this useful cookbook for your permanent collection.
Who the book may not be for:
I’m a vegetarian and I still really enjoyed the book, but note that if you’re a die-hard vegetarian, that there are meat dishes included. Also, if your family is gluten-free this book may not be for you. Lastly, I don’t recommend this cookbook if you happen to have seriously picky kids (as in they eat only cereal and mac n’ cheese) and you’re not looking to change their habits. See other green cookbook choices.
Learn more about The Organic Family Cookbook:
- Buy the book – The Organic Family Cookbook
- Join Organic Family Cookbook on Facebook
- Visit the author’s website Conscious Family Living
[ALL IMAGES: Courtesy of ©Anni Daulter & Sellers Publishing Inc. Not to be used without permission.]