Cookbook Review – Super Natural Every Day. Win A Copy!

by | Jan 24, 2012 | 23 comments

Super Natural Every Day Cookbook Review
 
Super Natural Every Day is not a cookbook. Heidi Swanson’s latest offering is a private journal of a person who embraces food in its truest form, smattered with photos that make you want to experience and recipes that make you want to cook. I first leafed through a copy at a local bookstore last year. A couple of flicks down the line, I had mentally bookmarked at least 10 recipes I wanted to cook straight away. That, for me was an indication that the book would go on my bookshelf. So I bought it and got inspired. I cooked from it a couple of times and loved the fresh surge of inspiration it brought to my cooking. Months later, I was sent a review copy by Hardie Grant Publishers. Because this cookbook (well, it is a cookbook even though my opening line said otherwise) had inspired so many recipes of my own, I decided to cook from it for a whole month and explore it to the fullest.
 
Bookmarking Recipes To Try
 
 
Heidi Swanson has revelled food enthusiasts and connoisseurs for years through her blog 101 Cookbooks. It was one of the first food blogs I came across way back in 2003 when I was working on a recipe database. And I am as inspired by her love of good wholesome, less processed and nutrient rich food today as I was then.Everything about Heidi’s style is muted and washed in a soft milky light. From the photographs of fog kissed rolling hills to modern typographic swirls marking the pages and excerpts, Super Natural Every Day is Heidi’s engaging commentary interspersed with recipes, handy hints, tricks and ideas. The book is conveniently divided into breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, treats and accompaniments. The recipes are ones you would invent from things in the pantry or fridge. They feel personal and not made up. They are also shot that way. Au Naturale. The feeling that Heidi cooked and ate everyday and recorded her experiments and put them in a book as an after thought is very strong. These recipes came first and not the book. I also like that the recipes are an extension of what she talks about on her blog. The connection is there and it works well.
 
Super Natural Every Day Cookbook review
 
 
Most of the recipes in the book can be adapted and made your own without any dramas. Heidi has a running dialogue before each recipe and after some of them. The wealth of information in the form of serving ideas, possible variations and her own experience while cooking it at different times is a delight to read. She manages to make everything look approachable and easy. And it is. You realise that once you start cooking from it.
 
Membrillo Cake
 
During my month long exploration of Super Natural Every Day, I learnt to Cook Quinoa the right way. I then used that quinoa to make some beautiful Garlic And Thyme Quinoa Patties for dinner. I baked a Sugarplum Buttermilk Cake with sugar plums fresh off a farm in Dural. I thoroughly enjoyed munching through a box of Carnival Cookies that had popped corn in them. And these were just some of the recipes I wrote about. A few nights ago we had the Spinach Strata. Earlier today inspired by the book, I baked a batch of Citrus Quinoa Muffins. My dog eared copy has little post-it bookmarks for the Yogurt Biscuits I am attempting next, followed by Membrillo Cake, Broccoli Gribiche, Wild Rice Casserole, Chanterelle Tacos and Macaroon Tart. When each recipe takes you on a journey and introduces you to ingredients that nourish your body and soul, how can you resist not cooking?
 
Note – All photos for the review were shot on my iPhone 4S. Some with my left hand, which was not a piece of cake, I tell you!
 
 
Recipes I cooked from Super Natural Every Day
 
 
Super Natural Every Day is published by Hardie Grant Publishers in Australia. They are also kindly giving away one copy of this beautiful book to one very lucky reader of Cook Republic. If you would like to be in the running to win a copy, here is what you need to do.
 

Super Natural Every Day Giveaway

 
1. Make sure you have an Australia mailing address for when you win. This giveaway is for Australian residents only.
 
2. Leave me a comment below and tell me "What is the healthiest food habit/ingredient/resolution you have adapted most recently?"
 

The giveaway will close on January 31, 2012 and ONE winner will be picked by me based on the answer to the above question.  Good luck!

 

********** | WINNER ANNOUNCED | **********

Congratulations Bea!! You have won yourself a copy of Heidi’s Super Natural Every Day, courtesy of Hardie Grant.

You will be contacted for your prize shortly. Thanks everyone for your lovely answers!

 

 

 

January 2012 Spotlight – Heidi Swanson

Every month on Cook Republic a food hero will be featured. It could be a celebrity chef, food blogger, cookbook author, a cuisine, an ingredient or a trend. In January 2012 the spotlight is on food blogger and writer Heidi Swanson of the 101 Cookbooks fame. With one of the oldest and most original voices in the ever burgeoning world of food blogs and photography, Heidi is a much celebrated cookbook author. Join me as I explore Heidi’s food philosophy to the fullest and cook from her most recent offering, Super Natural Every Day which is published by Hardie Grant in Australia.

 

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SNEH

I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!

COMMENTS

23 Comments
  1. Erin

    In our household we are trying to adopt not only a healthier, but more sustainable lifestyle. We recently bought a 1/4 acre block with an already established orchard, which due to lack of experience and a bit too much rain this season, is not being as productive as we’d like it (damn those fruit fly) – we are learning slowly but surely. So in the meantime I go to my dad’s farm and pinch all of his fruit fly free produce. I’ve been making home made lemon, lime and orange cordials (ok, not all that healthy, but sustainable in using the produce freely available to me), home made sauces, chutneys and relishes, preserving tomatoes for use in soups and pasta sauces in winter, etc. I’ve been enjoying it and looking forward to producing more variety in my own garden, as well as pinching that from my dad’s 🙂

    Reply
  2. Briohny Conroy

    Lately, I have been paying close attention to the amount of sugar that is in all of the everyday foods that we eat. Even going to the drastic measure of physically measuring out just how much sugar was in some of those foods. I have three young children and I made 2 major decisions. No more pre packaged fruit juice and I have cut the amount of sugar in the sweets that we bake by more than half. I now use freshly grated apple in place of sugar and I add a twist if lemon, lime or orange ( or a combination of all three ) for a sweet twist. We also now make our own icypoles out of watered down fresh squeezed juices.

    The difference in behavior and concentration has been amazing.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Tan

    I try to bake cakes, biscuits and cookies myself instead of buying them in shops. That way I know all the ingredients that go in and can reduce sugar or butter where possible. I loved the Carnival Cookies recipe and how that does not have either of those ingredients but still taste good!

    Reply
  4. Gina

    Over our school holiday break I found a moment or two to relect on what I & almost every other mother at school often complained about – lack of time & lack of motivation to find ideas for healthier food for our children! We all get so caught up in ‘life’ & all that comes with providing for a family that sometimes we lose sight of the basics. I have chosen (with the help of my husband & children Miss 8, Master 5 & Little Miss 2) that we are all going to make better choices of the food we put into our mouths – even when we are in a hurry! The kids are now making healthier choices for their school lunchboxes, my husband has even been eating a healthy lunch each day (which is quite amazing as he would skip lunch most days normally) & I have been stocking the household with homebaking & healthy snack choices for everyone! It’s sometimes the simplest of choices & decisions that create the best and most healthiest results!

    Reply
  5. Sonia

    Who does not love 101 cookbooks? I should say I encountered many NEW and UNKNOWN ingredients from Heidi’s awesome recipes. Farro, the Farro is the thing I come across via Heidi’s blog and already bought it and going to incorporate in our diet.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    I have adopted three new healthy food habits actually. I am excited about them all!
    1. Joined a local organic vegetable co-op
    2. Trialing vegan
    3. Canceling out sugar

    Reply
  7. Kylie

    Hi Sneh, loving your blog. Having lost 25+kg in the last 2 yrs, my biggest resolution is teaching my children to try different foods (success is varied!), eat healthy most of the time and enjoy indulgences in moderation but a food is never banned (except for coke!). I was brought up to believe certain foods were ‘bad or ‘good’ and i had an opinion that good ones were boring! I probably watched my mother eat cottage cheese and crackers too often…i want my family to love food and have a balanced view of food as fuel and food as pure enjoyment. I love cooking and love to try new foods…just bought some organic white quinoa from Orange Grove markets after reading your blog and can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  8. Angela

    Hi I would love to win a copy of Heidi Swanson’a cookbook – Super Natural Every Day as I am trying to eliminate processed foods which contain preservatives, food colouring and other unecessary additives. I have gone back to cooking from raw ingredients and Heidi’s book will be wonderful inspiration to try new recipies. I want to reduce take away and convienince foods and get back to basics. I am very interested in food flavours and interesting ingredients to get the ultimate in taste, flavour and texture. I am exploring the “fifth” taste, Umami. I want to maximise flavour with natural ingredients and I belive Heidi’s cookbook will assist me in my culinary adventures.

    Reply
  9. Petra

    I am trying to incorporate into our diet less wheat (ideally also corn, rice & soya which are far too prevalent in our everyday food) and experiment more with other staples to incorporate more food variety into our diet like Buckwheat, Quinoa, Sorghum, millet and a lot more vegetables – will let you know how it goes 🙂

    Reply
  10. Petra

    PS – love your summer banner!

    Reply
  11. Mel

    I have a few new healthy food habits, with the main one being to eat more fruit and veg and less meat (ideally to have 3-4 vegetarian meals a week), and to try new foods and cook with ingredients that are new to me.

    I also plan to help with the health of our local food producers by eating more locally grown and produced food, supporting more local small food biz and visiting more markets and different types of food shops.

    I have Heidi’s first book which I LOVE – this one has been on my list for a while!

    Reply
  12. Janine

    My resolution for this beautiful new year is to cut out all junk food. I’ve been baking my own treats but things like chocolate and lollies no longer have a place in my life!

    Twenty five days in and I feel so clean on the inside!

    Reply
  13. Le Man and Wife

    I am a sugar FIEND.

    I literally can’t stop eating it. My obsession started getting seriously out of hand as of late; I realized it one day when I was eating double-chocolate brownies for breakfast.

    So I gave up refined sugars at the beginning of 2012. Not all breads, although I tried for awhile, but all processed sugars found in cookies, cakes, candy, etc. I’ve switched over to pure sugar sources now (a cookie accidently appeared in my hand the other day, ending my sugarless streak), and I would like to keep it that way for as long as possible. I realized I have more energy and am less hungry without refined sugar, so it seems like the right step to take.

    All of that said–I’m not from Australia. Hah. So don’t give me the book. BUT! I think Heidi Swanson is my food angel nonetheless. She and I are meant to be; her book is meant to teach me the good ways. 🙂 I obviously need to go out and get it so I can try recipes that will support my new (and hopefully long-term) lifestyle.

    Thank you for posting this great review!

    Reply
  14. thelittleloaf

    Oh if only I lived in Australia! I would love a copy of this book – it’s currently sitting in my Amazon basket. Ah well, will have to bite the bullet and buy it instead 🙂

    Reply
  15. Bea

    I’ve started sprouting seeds and using them in all sorts of ways!! My favourites are mung beans sunflower and buckwheat!! I sprinkle them over soups and salads!! Or on dark bread with avocado and/or sour cream and sliced radishes!! Yummy snack too!! Healthy and natural can be so simple and wonderfully tasty!! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Anita Menon

    I would love the copy of this book and am a big fan of Heidi Swanson’s blog.
    This New year without any specific New Year resolutions, I embarked on a journey to live my life in a more wholesome manner. I believe that in order to feel healthy and to be happy you ought make changes not only in the way you eat but also the way you live.
    1. I took up the onus of homeschooling my toddler on my own as I feel I know and understand her better than anybody and I would love to be a part of her growth process in every possible way.

    2. I am stay at home mum on the look out for a job for over a year and now I feel I do not have to look out because I feel I have met my calling which is writing full time and being there for my daughter and being at home.

    3. I have decided to eat wholegrains and cut out processed foods as much as I can. I am phasing out the staples like processed cheese etc. It is tough but I am at it because it means so much to me that my family eats healthy and feels healthy.

    4. I have introduced new foods like pearl barley, millet flours and whole lot of greens into our diet which feels refreshing. I can feel the difference in my body and my over all being.

    5. I have started to work out regularly which means I am running a lot and running makes me happy.
    Phew!! A long list but that pretty much sums up my life for now.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  17. Vintage Macaroon

    I already have Heidi’s book but I just wanted to comment anyway. I love Heidi’s book and I have enjoyed exploring new foods, such as tempeh and quinoa. She has become my first stop for healthy interesting food.

    Reply
  18. nags

    To be very honest, I find some photos in 101cookbooks too gloomy but her recipes, ohh, now they work, and work so well. I’ve been waiting to try quinoa myself and have been trying to get my hands on this book at the library for the past few weeks.

    The one healthy thing I’ve started to do from this year is using brown rice for my dosa batter. It’s not as fluffy as white rice and tastes more nutty but it’s a great compromise considering how much dosa we eat!

    Reply
  19. Eha

    I have food blogged for about two years and have never seen such length, depth and number in the number of replies in a competition! Sneh, you are ‘doing’ something awfully right!

    You were the one who introduced me/us to the wonder of Heidi, whose latest blog I have just joyfully read. Thank you!

    Have personally recently made a number of decisions/changes in my ‘food programme’. Perchance the most important is that in relation to persistence in keeping to my discipline in having at least, at the very least, five raw or cooked vegetables every day. Personally I am not interested in a totally vegetarian/vegan diet, but recognize the importance of having my plate half-full of raw, steamed, stirfried or baked colourful members of the clan! There are so many interesting ways to approach them: wish more people would try and find joy 😀 !

    Reply
  20. paula

    I love heidi’s blog and recipes and I also love quinoa !! this year I’m going to reduce sugar !! evil sugar !! 🙂

    Reply
  21. Liz

    My favourite healthy addition to my diet is the use of nuts as snacks! I prefer unsalted, and my favourites are walnuts and almonds. Whenever I get hungry, I never reach for a chip packet anymore… but nuts, which are so much better for me 🙂

    Reply
  22. Kate

    I started this year adapting a more “hunter-gatherer” approach to eating.

    I eat a high protein diet with lots of fresh, organic meat and vegetables. I aim to eat at least 5 small meals a day and include protein in every meal.

    At first it was difficult eating meat for my first meal of the day but I now am really enjoying trying to come up with different recipes and ways to have my meals.

    I am also working hard to elimiate gluten and sugar, and reduce my dairy intake. Since starting this eating plan, I am feeling fantastic – I have sustained energy levels all day long and can notice the difference in my body.

    I just need to continue to research new recipes and ways to incorporate protein into every meal.

    Reply
  23. S

    I have started including chia seeds in my cooking. These are easily disguised in cakes, smoothies and cookies – the kids have no idea they are in there!

    Those Carnival Cooies are next on my cooking list. Look so delicious

    Reply

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