As I mentioned on Monday when I shared Kim’s hemp seed hummus recipe, I know her and have watched the development of this book as she has progressed. It’s always exciting to congratulate a friend on all their hard work and the accomplishment of getting a book out. And this is a great addition to vegan and vegetarian cookbook shelves, as well as for families dealing with allergies. Kim’s a mom of a child with allergies, which she talks about in the book. Her first book, Welcoming Kitchen, featured 200 recipes that are vegan, gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and kid-tested. Super Seeds: The Complete Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Chia, Quinoa, Flax, Hemp & Amaranth (Superfood Series) provides another 75 recipes for your arsenal, and Kim’s informative style gives you lots of reasons to include these super foods in your diet: chia, quinoa, flax, hemp, and amaranth. All these seeds are also okay for the migraine diet (although not all the recipes are gluten-free or migraine-friendly), so it’s a good reference point if you are familiar with those diets and can avoid your triggers.
Layout and design:
The cover is beautiful, and I love the raised texture of the “seeds”, which was a nice design touch. The book begins with nutritional information about each super seed, then chapters cover basic recipes and preparations, breakfasts, soups & salads, entrées, baked boods, desserts. She includes some extras in the back, along with conversion charts, FAQs (very helpful), resources, and two indexes: one by seed, and one general. This is great because if you happen to buy amaranth, it’s nice to be able to look it up in the back and see all the options for using it. The design uses tans and browns to emulate the seeds, with sidebars highlighted. It’s easy to read, using a clean serif font.
Ten recipes are beautifully photographed in color, included in the center of the book, by photographer Bill Milne.
Recipes include carrot sweet potato yogurt smoothie, black bean and sweet potato chili, amaranth polenta with sautéed mushrooms, strawberry chocolate chunk mini muffins, chocolate brownies, and blackberry chia jam. Other recipes include:
Amaranth-stuffed acorn squash (review on Spabettie)
Blueberry coffee cake (review on Plant-Powered Kitchen)
Creamy golden corn soup (review on Go Dairy Free)
Granola cookies on Go Dairy Free
Hemp seed hummus
Lemon-basil quinoa salad (review on The Blender Girl)
Massaged kale salad (review on Mama Balance)
Pesto veggie burgers (review on Cooking Quinoa)
Quinoa lentil soup (review on Ricki Heller)
What I liked about the book:
Easy to read, lots of options for family-friendly recipes. In-depth nutrition information. I learned a lot, like why sunflower seed flour turns green when baking (it reacts with alkaline substances like baking soda).
I wasn’t so keen on:
While the book is vegan and allergen-free, gluten-free recipes were not coded; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
vegans, vegetarians, families with multiple allergies
Not recommended for:
Migraine or low-sodium diets; celiacs only if you are clear on ingredients
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.