Our winter was really harsh and cold. I still have over 3 feet of snow in my yard. But, it’s great to see the snow starting to melt as we usher in Spring. Spring is a time for new beginnings and that can include new clothes, new accessories and new foods, new drinks, and new recipes. Grocery stores start bringing in a variety of fruits and veggies we’ve missed all winter and they inspire us to create fresh healthy meals for our family. Also to hit the market are an array of spring inspired cookbooks that use fresh ingredients to make scrumptious recipes we’re anxious to try. Here are a few recently released cookbooks that will have you incorporating nutrient-rich offerings of the new season.
Sticky Fingers, Green Thumb
Sticky Fingers has a healthy twist to its recipes. The author has deliberately included wholesome, soulful ingredients and unconventional flavors in her recipes so you can taste nature in every bite. From floral edibles to savory herbs to fresh vegetables, you’ll find a recipe that calls to you. There are five chapters, Vegetables, Herbs and Edible Flowers, Real Baking, Cake Walk and Sweet Snacks. Each section is filled with tips, techniques and trade secrets.
Some of the flavor notes included in this cookbook are eggplant, fennel, mushrooms, and parsnip. I confess I have never used these ingredients for baking. I’ve also never used fresh flowers like elderflower, honeysuckle, calendula, marigold and voila, yet they are deliciously welcomed in some recipes for their flavor, appearance and perfume. Recipes included are Sweet Parsnip and Blossom Cake, Viola Syrup, Honeysuckle Brioche Pie, and Porcini Caramel and many more.
Cake is probably not something most of us eat every week. Our conscious has convinced us that it’s not healthy for us. Granted, store made cakes are filled with high fat, high sugar and gluten ingredients that confirms our decision to avoid cake at all costs. The Nourish Cake cookbook is about not depriving yourself of the joys in life and that includes eating cake. The author has cleverly come up with 50 recipes that include fresh wholesome ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and more without sacrificing flavor. “Cake is still cake, and you don’t want to eat it at every meal, but you can bake better, smarter and more inventively.”
Most of us have family or friends that have special food intolerances so baking can be tricky. The recipes in this cookbook allow you to bake for everyone in your circle, no matter what their allergies or intolerances are. Each recipe is coded to reflect if they are wheat free (WF), gluten-free (GF), dairy-free (DF), and vegan (VG). A quick glimpse at the recipe and you’ll know if it’s right for the occasion or the guests your serving. Chapters include Baking Basics, Light & Zesty, Vibrant & Fruity, Warm & Nutty, Dark & Spicy, and Basic Recipes.
Some recipes included are Rhubarb Strawberry & Parsnip Roulade, Pecan-studded Sweet Potato Brownies, Spiced Blood Orange & Clementine Cake and many more. I found the recipes to be so creative and yet down to earth. All ingredients can be picked up at your local grocery store. The included photos are gorgeous; they make you want to get into the kitchen and start baking.
The Cocktail Garden
Social gatherings with friends, family and acquaintances are about chilling out and sharing a cocktail or two. Cocktails are gettings so creative and innovative with the variety of ingredients used. Many bars have a signature drink or two concocted so they stand out. The Cocktail Garden has gone even a step further with using the fragrant essence of flower blossoms and fruit. The recipes featured in this book feature common and unheard of fruits, vegetables, flower and herbs. Pineapple sage, lemon myrtle and red-veined sorrel are among them.
There are refreshing drinks for hot summer garden parties; wine spritzers for cooling off, champagne cocktails for celebrations, several nightcaps for frosty nights by the fireside and many more.