Healthy Vegan The Cookbook: Vegan Cooking Meets Nutrition Science by Niko Rittenau and Sebastian Copien
|Healthy Vegan The Cookbook: Vegan Cooking Meets Nutrition Science by Niko Rittenau and Sebastian Copien|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The science behind nutrition for vegans, complete with a sytem which makes getting the nutrients you need simple and it's all accompanied by delicious recipes.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: July 2021|
Emotionally, I am a vegan. Mentally, I am a vegan. I read How to Love Animals in a Human-Shaped World by Henry Mance and was appalled by the way in which we treat animals in our search for (preferably cheap) food. Practically, I am not a vegan. It worked for a while apart from the odd blip with regard to cheese but then a perfect storm of those events which you hope don't occur too often in your lifetime tempted me back to animal-based protein. It wasn't the taste - I know that I can get plant-based food that tastes just as good as anything plundered from the animal kingdom - it was the ease of being able to get sufficient protein when meals were often snatched in a few spare moments.
The building blocks of veganism are animal rights, the environment and health issues. I was fully convinced about the animal rights argument and the environmental position seems obvious to me but I needed more information about the health aspects as well as ways to be sure that we were getting sufficient protein in our diets. Healthy Vegan The Cookbook: Vegan Cooking Meets Nutrition Science seemed to be exactly what I needed as it concentrates primarily on the health aspects of veganism.
We begin by understanding the nutrition aspects of veganism and this is delivered by Niko Rittenau. I did occasionally wonder if he wasn't used to explaining the facts to non-professionals: I sometimes had to read a section several times to be sure that I understood the points being made. Persevere - you are going to get to grips with the science (rather than hopeful beliefs) behind the nutrition. Then you're going to find out about the 'building blocks' of meals. Ideally, there are five in each main meal - whole grains, vegetables, leafy vegetables, pulses and a topping - although you make a decent meal with just three blocks. It's a system that ensures that you get the nutrients you need.
This looks like a chunky book at 256 pages, but about a quarter is endnotes, etc. It's a book where statements made are properly supported. There are 'over ninety' recipes from chef Sebastian Copien and whilst this might not sound like many, you're using the building blocks system which means that there is an infinite variety in the food which you can produce - you simply have to follow certain principles. You will have to develop new habits: some grains and pulses need to be soaked and other grains are pre-cooked and kept in the fridge. I'm not entirely certain about the practicality of this - but I think that once the habit is established it could become part of our normal routines.
I did particularly like that it is stressed that there are no unhealthy foods - or even healthy foods. It's all about moderation. There are no rigid rules to follow. There is no need for restraint:
A great benefit of wholesome vegan food is that you can eat until you are full without having to count calories.
Here at Bookbag, we've looked at other books on veganism and not been completely impressed. This time I really felt that I had the help I needed to move to the food we really want to eat. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to us.
If only there was decent vegan cheese...
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