Happy New Year to all! Do you make resolutions for the New Year? Many of us are vowing all sorts of self-improvement this month—from increasing our exercise time to decreasing food intake; keeping a neater living space, changing a “bad” habit, maybe just walking the dog farther or more often. Increasing your dietary fiber intake is always a good idea, regardless of the season, but somehow high-fiber, whole-grain foods just seem to go hand in hand with chilly winter days and nights.
Our January book special is Uprisings: The Whole Grain Baker’s Book by the Cooperative Whole Grain Educational Association.
This book was first published in 1983, and revised in 1990, but the recipes are just as tasty and nutritious as ever. They were contributed by collectively-owned natural bakeries from across the country, including Madison’s own Nature’s Bakery, and all are chock-full of whole grains. We all know that those grains will increase our fiber intake, but they are also packed with other goodies—vitamins, minerals, protein and complex carbs. Good fuel for wintery days. Recipes run the gamut from basic breads to muffins, pizza, scones, and cookies-even Lemon Wedding Cake. Many of the recipes are vegan and some are also wheat-free. Fire up your oven and enjoy some home baked fiber soon!
The Winter Vegetarian by Darra Goldstein can help you increase your intake of tasty fiber too-though many of her suggestions are vegetable in nature! This book is a compilation of recipes from cold-climate cultures across the globe and takes advantage of those long-storing root vegetables that can start to feel a little too familiar by mid-winter. There are lots of warming soups and stews, beans, grains and breads and desserts too. An entire subsection is devoted to the homely rutabaga—there is sure to be something there you’ll enjoy! Also enjoyable is the chapter devoted to winter celebrations of light. There is history here from all cultures and times—many of these celebrations revolve around the Solstice of course, but there are also festivities tied to New Year’s, Twelfth Night, Candlemas, Imbolc and more. Of course, each festival has its special foods to help lighten the spirit and Goldstein includes many of these recipes as well. Most of us can use an excuse to celebrate light this month!
A new title I’d like to share with you is Prescription for Natural Cures by James Balch, M.D. You may be familiar with the other “Prescription” titles Balch has authored. This latest again discusses many common conditions that can be prevented or treated with diet and supplements, but he also covers other forms of treatment such as bodywork, acupressure, exercise and more. The format is very clean and readable and this looks to be a useful home reference tool.