Food Pharmacy: A Guide to Gut Bacteria, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Eating for Health
by Lina Nertby Aurell & Mia Clase
Publisher Skyhorse Publishing, 2018 // $24.99
No doubt this is the most chatty and interactive book I’ve picked up on anti-inflammatory cooking. Aurell and Clase banter back and forth over grasping the concepts behind the effect of inflammatory foods, balancing their diet and “eating for health.”
They seem to be over-burdened by anxieties of illness and raising children in a world of processed foods, but I’m opting to believe they’ve over played this hand in the name of humor … or perhaps healthful eating really has kept them up nights. I think, rather, they’ve done their research and toasted to their self-change with a well-deserved glass or two of wine.
This isn’t really a cookbook, as I thought it would be, but rather an introduction to what happens in our bodies when we’ve lost the balance in a fight to eat healthier foods and replace the junk. I was hoping for less science and body chat and more recipes, but it’s not that sort of book.
Not to discount it completely, Food Pharmacy is the perfect book for someone who’s just beginning to realize how much their diet may be making them ill, less able and sluggish. There are so many diet books out there that provide similar insight, but Food Pharmacy keeps it rather light — in attitude and recipe content.
Aurell and Clase don’t outline the precise details of a specific diet, but rather urge you in the right direction of health with information and friendly encouragement. “You’re a grown up,” they seem to say, “or at least working hard to be.” Their approach assumes you can decide for yourself how to make your meals and snacks less inflammatory and better for your overall well being. Their guidelines are friendly and dosed with reality.
If I was a star-giving reviewer, I’d say 3 out of 4-5 … It’s a sweet and pretty book, but even with the heavy dose of science, still lacks depth, especially in a field of cookbook competition that is already hazardously weighing down the shelves. I’ll give them this, they don’t adopt those common scare tactics of “dirty” food and claim you must adhere to some sort of “clean eating” religion, or must purchase specific brands to the detriment of your health if you choose otherwise. Instead, Food Pharmacy just works to wake you up to the benefits of changing certain food habits with a taste of the science behind it.
I just wish they’d provided more recipes to do so.
** Food Pharmacy is also a blog written by Lina Aurell and Mia Clase. This book is a product of the blog, where you can find more recipes and more tongue in cheek. They describe themselves: Lina Nertby Aurell and Mia Clase are two positive hypochondriacs who try to figure out how to eat to stay healthy, with guidance from Professor Emeritus Stig Bengmark. Come join us on our pilgrimage towards a healthier life!
. . .
Professor Stig’s Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie — Makes 1 pitcher
You can see by the penciled notes over the recipe in the picture above that I tweaked things in some of the trials. I juiced the lemon, to avoid the bitter pith, but realized I should include the pith, since that’s got flavonoids and is a key anti-inflammatory component. I’ve had issues with avocado amounts in other European cookbooks. These are not 2 large California Hass avocados here, but those sweet petite ones that you can get in a bag at the grocery store. You could use 1 whole Hass or 1/2 a Hass as I did, since I tend to prefer my smoothies with less avocado. It’s a personal choice. Don’t discount going for the “rookie” move, a little apple helps this along nicely.
10 1/2 oz (300g) kale — 2-3 handfulls
1 quart (1 liter) water
2 avocados — see note above
4/5 cup rolled oats — I just used 3/4 cup
1 half lemon, peeled
3/4-inch (2 cm) nub fresh ginger, peeled
We enjoy this smoothie almost every day. It’s full of antioxidants that fight free radicals. And it contains beneficial fibers. And good fats. And lots of hot ginger.
Mix. Pour into glass. Drink up.
ROOKIE STYLE FOR YOU: If the smoothie is too “green” for your taste, try adding in an apple.
Luke Skywalker’s Granola — (sorry, it only makes one baking sheet full)
If this is what it takes to be a Jedi … check and check!
Please excuse all my measurement notes. :/
4/5 cup (200 ml) buckwheat groats — just use a cup. lol
2/5 cup (100 ml) pumpkin seeds — it doesn’t have to be exact, use 1/2 cup. IS there even a 1/5 cup?
1/5 cup (50 ml) crushed flaxseeds — … I guess there is. Just use 1/4 cup.
1/5 cup (50 ml) white sesame seeds — I used 1/4 cup
1/5 cup (50 ml) grated coconut flakes — I used 1/4 cup
2/5 cup (100 ml) sweet almonds, chopped — you can use 1/2 cup
2/5 cup (100 ml) walnuts, chopped — you can use 1/2 cup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened — on account of the minimal increase in measurements above, adding a tad more oil may be necessary
We always lower the oven’s temperature when we make granola. It takes a bit of time to cook, but it’s infinitely kinder on the raw ingredients and intestinal flora.
Soak the buckwheat groats for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 160°F (70°C). Mix the ingredients and spread them over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it bake for a few hours in the oven, stirring the contents from time to time. Remove the baking sheet from the oven when the granola feels dry and the whole kitchen smells of cinnamon.
. . .
Copyright © Mia Clase and Lina Nertby Aurell. English Translation © 2017 Skyhorse Publishing. Recipes reprinted with permission from Skyhorse Publishing from Food Pharmacy by Mia Clase and Lina Nertby Aurell.