1000 Juices, Green Drinks & Smoothies by Deborah Gray
I’ve been a green smoothie devotee for some time, and maintain that since I started the habit several years ago I have not had a cold, granted I have had sniffles for the odd day or so, but by and large I can feel the health benefits.
Green smoothies can be delicious, but for the inexperienced, and for that matter the more experienced, it can be very easy to get it wrong and end up with a drink which feels more of a penance than the pleasure that it should be.
This comprehensive book by Deborah Gray should get you into the swing of delicious smoothies and juices and set you on the way to producing your own delicious drinks. The introduction guides you through the basics with nutritional notes and tips for both juicing and blending for a comprehensive list of fruit and vegetables as well as advice on the different types of blenders and juicers.
The promised 1000 recipes is presented as base recipes each with 6 or so variations, which is enough to keep it interesting or adapt to the ingredients you have. Chapters include breakfast blends, cleansing drinks, super energy boosters, milkshakes and frozen drinks and mocktails.
If you are planning on exploring juicing and smoothie making and have a juicer or blender on your wish this list this Christmas then a juicing and smoothie book is an essential accompaniment, and this book fits the bill nicely and has earned its spot on my bookshelf.
1000 Juices, Green Drinks and Smoothies by Deborah Gray is published by Apple Press, cover price £12.99
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
There is no doubt in my mid that I feel far better on a largely plant based diet, and this eagerly anticipated debut cookbook by Angela Liddon of the popular vegan blog Oh She Glows is brimming with delicious, appetising and importantly appealing plant based dishes.
With an honest and intensely personal introduction Angela tells her story from eating disorder to health by switching to a whole foods plant based diet, and her eventual healing and changes of attitudes along the journey. There is a comprehensive introduction to Angela’s pantry and ingredients and equipment used thought the book.
The book contains over 100 clearly written recipes, the majority illustrated with full colour photos. Chapters cover breakfast, smothies juice & tea, appetisers, salads, soups, mains, sides, snacks, desserts and staples. I like that to book celebrates plant based food, its taste, flavours and colours – there are no meat analogues – I am enticed to want to make the protein power goddess bowl a rainbow salad with lentils, grains and a lemon tahini dressing, the enlightened miso power bowl sounds perfect for days when my to do list seems to be endless. Cauliflower mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy will get me through those first dark dismal evenings after the clocks change, and if all else fails I can take comfort in a batch of crispy almond butter chocolate chip cookies.
All in all the book show how comforting a plant based diet can be, and how you can cherish yourself with the dishes within.
This is an American book, and measurements are given in American cups which have, slightly bizarrely, been converted into volumes rather than weights – so 1 1/2 cups of oats becomes 375ml rather than the actual weight. There are, however, plenty of websites with conversions so it is not a deal breaker, and most British kitchens now have a set of measuring cups.
Perfect for those who want to eat more healthily or learn more about vegan or plant based cooking.
Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon is published by Penguin Random House cover price £18.99
Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith
In her latest book veteran cookery writer and avid preserver Lindy Wildsmith turns her attention to drinks, both alcoholic and non alcoholic. My drinks making repertoire consists of elderflower cordial, sloe or damson gin, flavoured vodkas and syrups and having looked through the book I am feeling rather inspired.
There are over 100 recipes to choose from, from cordial, syrups and soft drinks, alcohol free sparkling drinks, beers, ciders and perry, wine, liqueurs and some recipes for punches and party drinks as well as mocktails and cocktails. Instructions are detailed, with important notes on safety – sterilization and pasteurization. I am feeling inspired to try some new cordials when the season comes around once more, and my own cherry brandy. Realistically I am never going to brew beer and ferment wine, although there are some delicious sounding ideas and the book provides a good starting ground. I do rather like the idea of making my own cocktails with at least one ingredient made by me however.
The book is beautifully photographed throughout by Kevin Summers, with images for nearly every drink.
I suspect for me it is more of an aspirational book, but it is the perfect gift for an avid preserver who wishes to expand their repertoire, and importantly has the space to store their homemade drinks.
Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith is published by Jacqui Small, cover price £25
Many thanks to the publishers for review copies received. All opinions are our own