The Nourished Kitchen
By Jennifer McGruther
Published by 10 Speed Press

Eating like our ancestors is the basis for this book, what the author calls a traditional foods lifestyle. What does this mean? Eating fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Eating meat from pasture-raised animals or wild game. Making things like bread and yogurt instead of buying the significantly less-healthy processed versions from the grocery store. Basically eating like our grandparents and generations before them did, when there was no such thing as convenience or fast food.

I love this style of cooking. In this book, it’s really more of a lifestyle. The author shows how to make many foods that most people buy from the grocery store from scratch, like bread and yogurt. Recipes include everything from beverages  – water kefir, ginger beer and beet kvass to name a few – to desserts like the Portugal Cake that I can’t wait to try. In between there are simple recipes that will please many people (buttered spinach, braised short ribs and honey custard) and some dishes for more adventurous eaters and cooks (smoked salmon roe, stewed beef heart, and chicken foot broth, to name a few). So the snout to tail philosophy of butchering is also employed in the traditional foods kitchen.

This is an excellent book for cooks who would like to move away from cooking with processed foods. The articles and recipe descriptions give cooks and readers additional information on the foods, from how the author serves a dish to the nutritional benefits in preparing food the old-fashioned way. The recipes are nicely written and many come with accompanying photographs. I have really enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to try more of the recipes.

About the author: JENNIFER MCGRUTHER is a food educator and the author and creator of the award-winning traditional foods website, Nourished Kitchen ( She teaches workshops on traditional foods, fermentation, and food activism. Jennifer lives with her husband and son in the central mountains of Colorado where she and her husband started and managed a farmers market for seven years. Her work emphasizes traditional, from-scratch cooking with a focus on farm-to-table recipes. You can also find out about The Nourished Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads

16 thoughts on “Cookbook Review: The Nourished Kitchen

  1. I like using the veggies I’ve grown in the garden over the summer, but some of these don’t sound like things I would do or try. You have me intrigued with Portugal Cake — I’m curious what that is exactly.

    1. Yes, some of the recipes were a bit “challenging” if you aren’t into the snout to tail sort of eating. 🙂

  2. Ideally, I would love to be able to move entirely away from processed and convenience foods but it’s really a matter of having enough time to cook everything from scratch. This book looks interesting, though, a place to start thinking in the right direction.

    1. Some of the recipes in this book are quite simple and quick to make. Definitely doable if you want to get away from processed foods.

    1. Yes! Real food, not chemicals that taste like some kind of food. 🙂 I’m going to be sad when my farmer’s market closes for the season at the end of this month. It’s a great source for many of the foods talked about in this cookbook.

  3. I love to see books like this. We eat very little processed or convenience foods and try to buy local as much as possible. I’ll have to check this out.

    1. It takes some work to eat like this, but if you are already interested in eating healthy foods this would be a great cookbook to check out.

  4. Though I’m awhile away from making my own yogurt and my budget doesn’t stretch for all pasture raised meat I’m definitely trying to eat less processed ingredients and more real food. This sounds like a book I’d be very interested in trying. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I have a yogurt maker and it’s very simple to use. There are several types of yogurt in this book and I don’t think you even need any special equipment for them. Different starter cultures make different styles of yogurt.

  5. I love the idea of this and try to eat as little processed food as possible, but I think in reality it would be far too time consuming to religiously stay true to this lifestyle. Especially if you have young kids 🙂 I do like eating in season and buying as much as I can from farmer’s markets…and trying to stick to grass fed meat or at least organic. I think I personally draw the line at making my own breads, etc – I’m not much of a baker 🙁

  6. I don’t mind cooking from scratch but it’s not always practical , I try to do so more often than not though

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

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