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Whole Foods Companion

Whole Foods Companion
A Guide For Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers, and Lovers of Natural Foods
by Dianne Onstad
Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004.

This popular resource, first published in 1996, has been revised and expanded in a new edition that builds on its reputation as a definitive holistic foods reference. 

Divided into six sections -- Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds and Oils, Herbs and Spices and Other Foods -- the book profiles hundreds of food items with background on their history, varieties, culinary uses, health benefits, and tips on buying, cooking and storing,

Both a guide for health-conscious consumers and a directory of natural foods, this book is used by chefs, shoppers and growers alike.

Each food item entry provides information on the plant's botanical name and its history as a foodstuff, along with folklore and nutritional data.

"This book is the culmination of my effort to discover the relationship between the foods we eat, the health of our bodies, and the clarity of our minds," explains the author, nutrition educator Dianne Onstad. "It was not my intention to promote one manner of eating over another, and thus there is no recommendation for any particular diet."

All of the entries in this reference are plant-based foods, however. No meats, eggs or dairy products are inclouded.

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Whole Foods Companion

Culinary Uses

Pecan nutmeats have a sweet, pulpy texture. They are great in fruit salads and, if roasted slightly, are a delicious topping for cooked grains or steamed green vegetables. The nuts are particularly enjoyed in the infamous pecan pie, butter pecan ice cream, and the praline -- a brown sugar candy of French origin. In most recipes pecans can be substituted directly for walnuts. Try mixing chopped pecans into your favorite nut loaf or bean burgers, or hide a few in sandwiches for a crunchy surprise. Pecans are best purchased in the shell, for their high oil content predisposes them to turn rancid quickly after shelling.

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