Naturally Nourished is the latest cookbook by Sarah Britton, nutritionist and creator of the stunning vegetarian blog, My New Roots. It’s filled with 100 colourful, simple, plant-based recipes that will convince you that you can get into the kitchen each week!
Simple, healthy and wholesome. They’re the three words I’d choose if I had to quickly describe Sarah Britton’s latest book, Naturally Nourished. A book I was delighted to find an advance copy of in the mail just a few weeks back, thanks to my wonderful friends at Quarto publishing!*
The second by the My New Roots blogger, Sarah created this cookbook in response to requests from her readers for simple recipes that you don’t need special ingredients for. This premise is really maintained throughout the book. Many recipes only need a handful of ingredients, and they’re supermarket ingredients mostly. Fruit, vegetables, grains, and simple seasonings are key; these recipes are the kind you can make on a regular basis.
Sarah begins Naturally Nourished with a few pages explaining how you can get the most out of the recipes in there – as in, get as many meal combinations from them, with as little time in the kitchen as possible. Something I’m sure we can all appreciate, even if you love cooking like I do! It’s always satisfying when you can spend just a few hours in the kitchen one day, yet reward yourself with effortless meals for days after. I enjoyed reading Sarah’s tips on saving time, and how she bundles together her meal prep.
The cookbook is divided into chapters based around the type of food you feel like munching on. Soups, salads, mains, sides and snacks are each given a chapter. So if you feel like something light, the first few chapters are going to offer you lots of options. Like Broccoli Basil Broth, or Coconut-Quinoa Coleslaw. Further in, you could create a feast of Butternut Squash and Sage Oven Risotto, maybe paired with creamy Baked Feta (I’m seriously salivating over that dish). And of course, the book finishes with sweet treats (there’s a particularly sumptuous looking snack cake in there).
The theme of low-key, ‘cook once eat twice’ really is one Sarah carries consistently throughout Naturally Nourished. Many recipes in the book are accompanied by a ‘rollover’ tip, which suggests how to use extra from one recipe to pair with a second recipe in the same book. This can help you get the most out of your kitchen time, as well as showing you which recipes are going to go well together.
Naturally Nourished is a cookbook aimed at those who are even the most novice of cooks – there aren’t too many complex dishes. For some people who already cook a lot, a criticism might be that some of these dishes are too “simple.” And it’s true, a lot of dishes in there are easy to make. But there’s a really great message in there too – healthy, seasonal eating CAN be simple. My favourite aspect of this book was the reliance on mainly supermarket ingredients. I’ve got lots of ‘special occasion’ cookbooks, but it’s nice to have something for everyday.
Even if you’re more of a pro, I think you’ll still enjoy picking up Sarah’s tips for infusing dishes with flavour and combining grains, fruit & veg. You can always change up the recipes with different produce or grains, too. And if you’re a food blogger or just a keen food photographer, you’re also going to love just flipping the pages to see how she’s styled everything. (That’s one of my favourite things to do with just about any cookbook, but especially one by someone like Sarah, whose style I really admire).
I’m also delighted to be able to share with you an exclusive recipe extracted from Naturally Nourished! Whether you’re somewhere warm right now or not, I think you’ll have to give these Spicy Watermelon Mojito Ice Lollies a go. The kick of cayenne in there is unusual and not too overpowering – just make sure you mix it in thoroughly so you don’t get a big lump of spicy in one ice lolly! I speak from experience – I tested the recipe out a couple times! Here’s my version just below (and there’s a picture from the book a little further down).
Inspired by the popular cocktail, I’ve taken the classic lime-and-mint combination to the next level. The coolness of the frozen watermelon and mint with a spicy wink of cayenne is surprising and delicious. If you are making these for kids, you can certainly reduce or omit the cayenne, but the adults in your life will undoubtedly appreciate the sophisticated kick in these beauties – like eating fire and ice at the same time!
- 1 kg seedless watermelon flesh
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 pinches of cayenne, as liked
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey, plus extra for the moulds
- 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, plus extra for the moulds
Makes 10 ice lollies
- Cut the watermelon into chunks, remove the rind and place the flesh in a blender. Blend on medium-low speed until the mixture is liquefied. Strain the juice through a sieve into a jug with a spout and press the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp.
- Return the juice to the blender and add the lime juice, cayenne, maple syrup and mint leaves. Blend just enough to chop the mint – do not go too far or you’ll change the colour of the juice. Leave the mixture to steep for 10 minutes to infuse the juice with the mint. You should end up with at least 750 ml of liquid.
- Brush a little maple syrup on one side of the remaining mint leaves and press them to the insides of the ice lolly moulds – it helps to use a chopstick. Use 2 or 3 leaves per mould. (This is purely for aesthetics, so if you’re pressed for time, skip this step.)
- Carefully pour a portion of the watermelon juice mixture into each mould, insert the wooden sticks and set the moulds in the freezer for at least 3 hours. To remove the lollies from the moulds, run the moulds under warm water for a few seconds until the lollies release.
Rollover: The juice alone from this recipe is totally incredible. Leave out the cayenne and add a touch of sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink.
Recipe extracted from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton. Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.
Here’s a link to the cookbooks page on My New Roots which has links where you can buy Naturally Nourished from various retailers.
*DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of Naturally Nourished from Quarto. I was not required to produce any particular content. All opinions expressed are my own.