I have read (or tried to read) many a health food cookbook and some of them are a struggle. Lots of the food rests in that part of the colour spectrum that ranges all the way from beige to magnolia. Those ingredients that are promoted are often a bit too chewy (perhaps the action of masticating burns calories), with strange earthy or grassy flavours. The Healthiest Meals on Earth has helped restore my faith in healthy eating.
Jonny Bowden is the bestselling author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth (read my review here) and The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth. He is also a life coach so he probably understands what it takes to persuade people to make healthy choices.
It’s about Polymeals. “What’s that?” I hear you ask. It stems from a suggestion from the medical community that there might be a polypill, consisting of 6 main medicines, that would be the panacea of all ills. Oscar Franco, a scientist at Columbia University took that idea and translated it into meals that are built around 7 or so key elements. Those elements are fish, garlic, almonds, fruit, vegetables, dark chocolate and a glass of red wine.
Johnny has presented meals that come as close as possible to Oscar Franco’s “perfect” meal. The idea is to maximise anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, fibre, good fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals like cacao in chocolate. All the meals here were selected on three criteria: maximum nutritional impact, taste, ease of preparation.
The Healthiest Meals on Earth has three sections: Four-course Polymeals, One-pot Polymeals with Simple Sides, and Delicious Drinks – The Liquid Polymeal. Each section has a selection of recipes that meet the aforementioned criteria and there are plenty of notes and lists to help you understand the value of various foods.
The recipes here are, without exception, lovely… ummm, well, OK, there is one exception which is brown rice which falls into the beige and chewy category, but that’s my only reservation. A nutrition book that suggests you might like Sweet Almond Butter Apricot Cookies has got my vote. Persian-style Chicken with Walnut, Onion and Pomegranate Sauce is said to be a disease-fighter and is anti-aging. I’ll be making that one often!
The Healthiest Meals on Earth is both impressive and informative. The food is appealing and likely to encourage you to eat meals that will do you good. You get a lot of book for your money.
The Healthiest Meals on Earth
Author: Jonny Bowden
Published by: Fair Winds Press
Price: £14.99 – $24.95US
ISBN 13: 978-1-59233-318-9
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018