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The Nourished Kitchen Cookbook Review

When we were running the family catering business, we often repeated the phrase, “The eyes eat first” – meaning that our food had to look good as well as taste good. “The Nourished Kitchen:  Farm-to-Table recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle” is a feast for the eyes as well as an inspiration to savor traditional recipes with a modern twist. I have the pleasure of receiving a review copy as we head into the perfect time to experiment with these farm to table options.

nourished kitchen book

The Nourished Kitchen cookbook is written by Jennifer McGruther of, an award winning traditional foods website. Her years of managing a farmers market and teaching traditional food preparation shine through in this beautiful new book.

What's in the book?

The book is divided into eight chapters with 160 recipes, plus a glossary, resources, a listing of food advocacy groups and measurement conversion charts. The chapters include:

  1. From the garden, featuring salads and seasonal vegetables
  2. From the pasture, featuring milk, cream and eggs
  3. From the range, featuring pasture-raised chicken and poultry, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised pork, offal and bones
  4. From the water, featuring “finfish” – including roe, and shellfish
  5. From the fields, featuring flours, grains and beans
  6. From the wild, featuring wild fare from greens and mushrooms to pheasant and venison
  7. From the orchard, featuring fruit, nuts and honey
  8. From the larder, featuring fermentation and preserving in oil and vinegar

Recipes focus on seasonal cooking of locally available foods, and are based on the Weston A. Price traditional foods diet. You won't find pre-packaged products assembled into “recipes”. This cooking starts with real food. Jenny offers detailed cooking instructions, and also provides insight into why and how the recipes were created. There are charts and gorgeous full colored photos sprinkled throughout the text.

nourished kitchen interior

At times “The Nourished Kitchen” reminds me of the work of Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life) in the way it examines the history and the ethics of food. It is more than just a recipe book – it tells a compelling story that makes you want to be a part of it. If you just want to cook great food from your garden or farm market finds, you can use it for that, too, but you'll be missing out. πŸ™‚

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  1. I LOOOVE preserved lemons! I am loving my experiences with natural fermentation, brines, and salted lemons yum. I’d be so lucky to get a copy! Love all the ideas! Thanks!

  2. I wish I had the life of cooking you have! I’m a single mom teaching my small person the value of healthy, natural eating. Thank you for a beautiful cookbook and wonderful blog.

  3. I’m really curious about this cookbook. I love the recipes on the Nourished Kitchen website and am hoping that most of the recipes and information in this cookbook are different enough from those in Nourishing Traditions.

  4. I have been trying to get my hands on this fabulous book for weeks now, but every time I get a minute to log in to Amazon it’s already sold out! As the mother of type one diabetic child, cutting out the processed junk is so important to us and I just know the recipes in this book will be so helpful and a great boost to my slowly growing collection of whole / real food recipes.

  5. This would make a wonderful addition to our kitchen. As a momma of 5 kids I try my hardest to make nourishing meals and alway try to make wise food choices!!

  6. Jenny’s blog is one of my most favorite and her recipes are tops. So glad she has a book out now.

  7. how have you found out about good reliable local farms to you besides word of mouth?? we’re moving and i have no idea where to start with finding local food!

  8. I love to eat real food. But i have an VERY busy 18 month old. I swear I just don’t have the time to cut veggies! We manage plenty of fruits, but I have a hard time with veggies. Do you have any time saving tips? Thanks!

  9. This book looks fabulous! I have been reading the nourished kitchen blog for a few months, but this book is lovely!

  10. My husband and I have been converting to “real food” cooking for most of the last year. This cookbook looks beautiful and filled with recipes that I can’t wait to try.

  11. I can’t think of a question but I’m always looking for new ideas & recipes to cook seasonally =). Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. I really appreciate a review that tells me something other reviews haven’t done: how the book is structured. I already knew that I wanted this book, but this review gives me a better idea of what’s in the book. This is the way I cook, and is already one of my mainstay recipe sources. Brava, brava all around!

  13. Eeekkkk!!! This would be so great! I wish you had a “love” button for this πŸ™‚

    And nice to find your awesome blog too!

  14. this book looks awesome, would love to add it to my ever growing collection of ‘good cooking’ cookbooks

  15. I love all the nourished kitchen recipes posted on facebook! Im a new vegan & id love for this to be my first vegan cookbook!

  16. We’re trying to incorporate local fresh foods into our diet but we’re having so much trouble making it work on our budget. I know in the long run with less sickness and being healthier its cheaper but when you seriously dont have it to spend you just dont. What’s the most important thing to make sure is local organic if you cant be sure you can do it all?

  17. can’t wait to get a copy of this book. tried to buy it on amazon today, but only paperback was available. i want the hard copy so i can pass it down to my daughter some day!

  18. I try to frequent farmer’s markets as much as possible. Many are not certified organic farmers due to costs, but then from talking with them, I worry about what I am actually buying from them. I do find some of them seem to not really understand my questions or that they are mislabeling and mis-communicating facts about their foods. I am wondering if anyone has tips on getting the most honest and direct answers to my questions…such as: are your animals pastured or fed corn or soy, are the grains gmo, is this dairy or beef grass fed or grass finished, how do the pesticides you use on your vegetables differ from those in a grocery store (these are just examples of questions to which I seem get unclear answers). I feel like I am direct and clear, but maybe I am confusing and need to simplify my questions.

    1. Keep asking until you find someone who understands what you’re asking. In my experience, a typical vendor won’t even understand your concerns, but those who grow organically/sustainably will.

  19. Would LOVE to have a copy of this cookbook!!! I’m slowly but surely venturing out there and trying to find new recipes to incorporate our homegrown, ORGANIC veggies and meats we raise and process ourselves!

  20. I already made a recipe (spinach and potato soup) from this book, so I would love to win a copy!

  21. I am a SAHM of 4 kids, ages 3, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, and 11. We make EVERYTHING at home because of some pretty major food allergies / sensitivities, and I am always looking for more new things to make and new recipes to try. I am teaching our children about the importance of food as nourishment for our bodies and that the preparation is just as important as the ingredients. Cook with love!

  22. I would love to have this book! I am a mother of three, and I’m working really hard to learn how to cook real food… This would be so wonderful!

  23. What are the fruits/veggies to look for around this time of year? Would like to try making jam for the first time from produce from the farmers market – could use some tips on what is “in season” right now.

  24. I enjoy reading all about your ideas and creations. There is a whole world out there waiting to be a better idea. Thanks for your input.

  25. Thank you and The Nourished Kitchen for doing this giveaway! My library already has a copy and it’s a great book!

  26. I have a large garden this year and am looking for recipes to make healthy and great tasting meals for my family. I would love to win this book!

  27. I would love this. I am hoping to work more seasonal meals into our menu this summer and I feel this would be a great start.

  28. I would really like to do more foraging but I’m a little nervous about actually eating the plants.

    1. Your local cooperative extension office should have staff that can help you make a positive ID. There are also a growing number of foraging groups around the US.

  29. Would love to have this book to help us get the ways of the great generation my grandparents were a part of .

  30. Like a previous post I find it hard to find local food like meat and dairy that is affordable. I grow my own veggies and some fruit and we do raise some animals for meat.

  31. I’ve got the nourishing part down but i think my family would appreciate it if I got the beautiful part going to.

  32. We are trying to use more local produce both from our own yard and gardens and foraging and from others as we find more links and resources. I’d love to have a book like this!

  33. Local eating is so hard in the mountains of Colorado. We can’t grow much in the garden. I’m a vegetarian, but I get farm fresh eggs as protein. How do you eat local and in season in such cold areas? We start our summer gardening at the beginning of June and we’ll lose everything by September due to very windy frosts. My cold weather crops were in the ground last fall and still aren’t ready for harvesting. The lettuce and spinach I can pick a few leaves from in a week or two, but produce is hard to grow here most of the year.

  34. Being Diabetic, one is always looking for recipes that are not involving processed foods, the more natural, the better. I would love to try some of these recipes. Virgina May 17th 10:40 pm

  35. Also, how do I find and purchase good raw milk in a state where that is deemed illegal? I can occasionally obtain goat’s milk when I travel to a friend’s place a few towns away, but have never been able to find raw cow’s milk . . . and I really would like it for making raw kefir and cheeses.

    1. Sometimes if you inquire in local real food circles, you can find someone who knows someone… “Incidental” sales are not typically prosecuted, it’s just when people make public what they are doing, the government hunts them down and punishes them. Sad, but true. Sometimes you can legally buy “milk for use by pets” or a cow share. The Real Mil Finder may be of help, but it didn’t do much for me –

  36. I want to know how to grow Cilantro so that I can continually harvest it daily for seasoning, salads etc.? The problem here in the desert is that it bolts (goes to seed) so quickly that we never have enough for our needs. Any ideas?

    1. I know it doesn’t like the heat at all – wondering about shade cloth to block some sun, or creating a microclimate with other plants nearby to provide shade and extra water in the topsoil. I was just reading in “The Lost Language of Plants” about how various trees create whole ecosystems in the desert, creating oases of life where there was none. Maybe some of Geoff Lawton’s work would help? He has a site that discusses how he turned an area from desert to oasis in 4 years.

  37. That looks like a very beautiful cookbook! I so love recipes with photos that really inspire you to make the food.

  38. It would be a wonderful addition to our lifestyle to have this book!! I have soooo many food allergies – this would be a great help. Thank you for the opportunity!!!

  39. Fingers crossed on winning this! We’ve been working on incorporating more whole foods, fermented foods, and high-nutritional value meals for our family as we’ve seen great benefits to our son who is autistic. So thankful for resources like this!

  40. This looks like something I would enjoy. I love to ferment and make the best use of things around me.

  41. Eating “real” food now, this book would be a great help to me. I would love to have this book!

  42. In my quest for local eating I have found 2 dilemmas:
    1. The availability of locally grown grains
    2. The affordability of locally raised meat products.

    Produce -not a problem- but the other two present a challenge!

    1. I hear you! After nearly 8 years here I have finally tracked down local sources for most of our meat, but wow – the prices do make me cringe a little. I make sure we get multiple meals and use every part of the critter.

    1. I really want to try the braised short ribs with sun dried tomatoes and herbs, because my current rib recipe is just so-so. I also *need* to try the different liver recipes, as we have a ton of liver in the freezer because we bought half a cow.

  43. I would love to win this book. I’m trying to incorporate more foods and more education would be a big hep.