January 4, 2012

'Medicinal Cookery' by Dale Pinnock - The Real Scoop on Super Foods

Lately I have been frustrated with how all the supposed ‘Super Foods’ are quite expensive and seem to have to be flown half way around the world so we can eat them. My sister and I had been debating this fact and wondering what ever happened to ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and the benefit of our old faithfuls because if you are like us, you spend enough money on substituting for your food allergies to be adding the price of goji berries and the likes on top...let alone our environmental concerns and carbon footprints!

Before I went home for the Christmas I picked up a new book in my local library, ‘Medicinal Cookery' by Dale Pinnock (copyright 2011) for some holiday reading and it turned out to be a treasure trove of all the information that I had been curious about of late, namely: The Real Super Foods. Medicinal Cookery isn’t really directed at the topic of ‘Super Foods’ as we know it but that is exactly what it is... It goes through the body system by system (Skin, Digestion, Heart & Circulatory System, Immune System, Joints and Nervous System) and discusses how each system works, what we need to maintain it, what foods to avoid, what foods to consume and a few helpful (and seriously tasty sounding) recipes to aid each area.

The real goldrush, for me, however, is the later half which is an A-Z guide “to the most powerful, common, medicinal foods on the planet”, namely, what grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, culinary herbs, spices and vegetables give the most bang for their buck. Dale also gives helpful directions on the best way to prepare and eat each of the foods without loosing their value such as:
Cabbage - "Steamed sautéed, or raw. Boiled cabbage is of no great use to man or beast, unless of course creating noxious odours in your kitchen serves a practical use. Boiling this precious vegetable will make it devoid of any of the good stuff"
Thyme - "Use either fresh or dried. The secret is to add it to dishes at a fairly late stage where possible. This will deliver flavour without damaging too much of the active chemistry"
Celery - "Eaten raw or juiced. Cooked celery is completely useless as even the slightest heat exposure can break down its active constituents, leaving it with not much else to offer."

Dale Pinnock has an honest, and agreeable style of writing, as though a real person, who eats real food were writing the book and he speaks openly about his own challenge with skin in youth and how it changed his diet and consequently his life.

For anyone who is trying to eat healthier, heal problem areas or just wants to know how to get value out of your shopping cart and cooking methods, I seriously can’t recommend this book enough.


Dale Pinnock said...

Hi. I am the author of this book and I just found this review. Thank you SO SO much for writing such a lovely review. Im so thrilled that you enjoyed the book. Ill be over in lovely Dublin on the 23rd for a couple of RTE appearances. Thank you once again for such a nice review. Warm wishes. Dale

Aurea@Survival Guide said...

Hi Dale! Thanks so much for writing the book! It's such a wonderful resource. I think everyone in my family wants a copy after my non-stop quoting throughout the holidays! I'll remember to keep an eye out for you on RTE. Best of luck