Eat Right: The Complete Guide to Traditional Foods, with 130 Nourishing Recipes and Techniques
By Nick Barnard
I do not even know where to begin with this book; how may I adequately describe its beauty, its completeness and its incredible attention to detail? Eat Right is simply magnificent in every way! From his apt description of a food system gone awry, to his beautifully worded details pertaining to how to go back and why, Nick Barnard crafts a glorious book, full of gorgeous photographs and inspiring formulas and recipes. Barnard pays constant homage to the foods of our ancestors for their simplicity, flavors and quality of nutrients, providing a superb image of what food should and can be, and reflecting all that we espouse at the Weston A. Price Foundation. I salivate at the mere opening of its pages!
And besides all of this, the book is thorough. Barnard covers everything needed for a truly healthful, delicious diet that excites the palate and nourishes the body and soul. This includes making butter and yogurt from raw milk and cream; preparing well-made condiments; fermenting; rendering fats; salting fish; sprouting grains; making sourdoughs; simmering beautiful broths (including feet and heads!); and creating desserts that are not loaded with sugar.
Barnard provides us with a thorough yet readable explanation of the importance of every food group and traditional preparation method. For instance, in the “techniques” section—following eight pages of illustrated instructions for making raw-milk kefir and yogurt—he writes eloquently about the virtues of raw milk, cream, butter and buttermilk. This is followed by clear instructions (again, with gorgeous photos) for making butter, soured milk, curds and whey, including uses for the whey.
In the fermented condiments section are many recipes we are familiar with, along with variations and comments on the benefits of consuming condiments in fermented form and an informative page about salt. There are recipes for everything from apple cider vinegar and fermented lemons to shio koji (a porridgy marinade often used for meat, poultry and seafood) and a delicious fermented ketchup.
When it comes to animal foods, Barnard details the benefits of using the entire animal, explains how to render many types of fats and again, describes the benefits. There is a recipe for chicken livers or sweetbreads, which I have not yet tried. I would have liked to see a greater emphasis on organ meats, giving more recipes and ideas for their use.
Eat Right features workable instructions and mouth-watering pictures of sourdough and sprouted breads, whether made with traditional glutenous grains such as spelt or with gluten-free buckwheat. Recipes cover anything you might wish to make, including sprouted pizza dough, bagels, cornbread and more.
In the dessert section, Barnard provides a thorough explanation of different types of sugars, including both benefits and cautionary details about each. His desserts are beautiful and not too heavy on sugar; the emphasis is on flavor, not sweetness.
Perhaps my favorite part of this book is the drinks section, which includes beet kvass, kombucha and ginger beers (with variations), but also several surprises such as amazake (a traditional Japanese drink made from fermented rice), water kefir sodas (lots of ideas!) and others. Barnard also includes a really useful page describing wine, including how wine-making has changed over the years and what wine may contain. This interesting page changed how I now look at a bottle of wine.
I cannot say enough about the value and usefulness of this book. It is my preferred recipe and technique book next to Nourishing Traditions, and it occupies the table beside my favorite chair—the most esteemed location for any book in my home. This is because I love picking it up and being inspired every time I open its pages. This book receives a resounding thumbs up!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2021🖨️ Print post