Whole Food was born out of our desire to cook vibrant and accessible cuisine. A need to explore new flavours drew us to the less familiar topic of whole food. While promoting the consumption of an unprocessed organic diet, we have observed firsthand how people feel and look better if they eat healthier and more nutritious meals.
The Whole Food idea is to entice you to plan your menu, stock your cupboard, and remove any doubts you might have about using complete and unrefined ingredients. By extending your diet you will learn to appreciate more enjoyable and satisfying meals.
What is whole food?
Whole food ingredients are as close as possible to their natural state. None of their basic constituents have been taken away, and nothing else has been added by way of chemicals, colourings, or preservatives. They are nutrient-rich, easily absorbed by the body, and have undergone little or no basic food processing.
However, a whole food diet should never be boring. Many flavours and techniques give authenticity and depth to eating good food the natural way, but it’s important that you find it easy to put together these dishes. This book uses basic whole food ingredients, such as poultry, seafood, pulses, nuts and seeds, sprouted seeds and beans, vegetables, fresh fruit, dried fruit, and whole grains. Few recipes contain dairy products such as eggs or yoghurt, and few contain soy products such as tamari. We hope this will make it a balanced book that is also suitable for gluten and lactose intolerant eaters.
Although perhaps a bit out of the ordinary, the ingredients below add flavour and detail, and can be easily found in your local supermarket or health food shop.
Ingredient / Description
• Asafoetida powder - Light onion-flavoured spice used as a garlic and onion substitute. Also used to aid digestion.
• Bee pollen - Consists of honey and pollens. Also called bee bread.
• Bragg liquid aminos - Vegetable protein made from soybeans but not heated, fermented, or salted. Also used as a substitute for tamari or soy sauce.
• Buckwheat - Gluten-free, triangular-shaped fruit seed.
• Ghee - Lactose-free clarified butter and flavour enhancer. Used as a substitute for butter or oil.
• Jaggery - Unrefined sugar made from sugarcane or date palm sap. Used as a substitute for sugar.
• Quinoa - Gluten-free, amino acid rich seed.
• Rapadura - Unrefined sugar made from sugarcane. Used as a substitute for sugar.
• Tamari - Wheat-free soy sauce.
• Turmeric - Indian spice with an earthy, peppery flavour.
Several recipes rely on raw food principles. These techniques include soaking nuts and grains, juicing, blending, and dehydrating, to give dishes the taste and texture of cooked food. Preparing some of the more time-intensive recipes will be easier if you have access to a quality juicer and food processor.
What is refined food?
Refined or processed food has a high concentration of starch and calories. Convenience food containing white flour or white sugar may have a longer shelf life, but loses many of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need throughout our lives.
What’s more, as the Western diet has become softer, sweeter, and richer in fats, there is emerging evidence that a better balance of nutrients could be linked to reducing the risk of obesity and chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, degenerative eye diseases, conditions like Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline, diabetes, or insulin sensitivity.
Different types of food contain different nutrients, so eating well-balanced meals increases the likelihood of obtaining every essential nutrient. Aim to eat a mixed whole food diet and you’ll be more satisfied for longer, and have the added benefit of extra vitamins, minerals, and energy.
We hope you enjoy this book.
Gavin Pitt and Rachael Thomson