Berries by Stephanie Pederson

Berries is a book with a very surprising selection of recipes. When first browsing, I was continually stopping to check closely at the wide array of breakfasts, dinners, sauces, and side dishes. Combinations I had never though to put together kept intriguing with their variety. After making several, I have to say that they actually work, as well. Tips, variations, background and nutritional information are also included.

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The book breaks down as follows: Chapter 1: Getting friendly with berries; Chapter 2: All about the berries; Chapter 3: Drink your berries; Chapter 4: Berries for breakfast; Chapter 5: berries for lunch; Chapter 6: Berry snacks; Chapter 7: Berries for dinner; Chapter 8: Berries for dessert; Chapter 9: Berry condiments; Chapter 10: Frequently asked questions; Resources, Index.

Now, keep in mind that this is from a holistic nutritionist and not a chef or medical doctor. So there is plenty of information throughout the recipes about the health benefits of the ingredients. Not just the berries but other ingredients such as quinoa and kale. Each of the recipes have a definitive health focus and not just an excuse to throw berries into everything. Indeed, a chunk of the book is background information on all the berries (nutrition profile, calories, vitamins, fiber, etc.).

Recipes are diverse: granola cookies, berry breakfast quinoa, red currant cocoa stew, cucumber and gooseberry soup, goji strawberry vinaigrette dressing, pulled pork surprise wrap, strawberry and almond fruit roll ups, slow cooker berry-bean sloppy joes, chicken with berry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes with berries, blueberry breakfast cookies, berry slump, berry granita, and more.

Each recipes starts out with serving size, has a small introduction, ingredients in italics, and then short numbered step directions. There are very few images – just a couple of the 75 recipes in the book. So there is a bit of guesswork about how to serve some of the items. And I was more successful in some of the recipes than in others. Fortunately, the directions are fairly easy to follow and don’t typically have too many ingredients.

It’s rare to come across a cookbook with this many new and modern recipes – but with Berries there really is an intriguing selection. More photographs would have elevated the book but as is, there are some very original recipes in here. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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