The Essential Edible Pharmacy 

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       September 1, 2016


Author  Sophie Manolas

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781925335163
Publisher:         Exile Publishing
Release Date:   September 2016  


This is such an inspirational book for jaded cooks and those who wish to discover the joys of healthy eating. The author discusses the groups of vegetables, seeds and nuts, and fruits, as well as herbs and spices. She then has a chart to show the nutrition in each one. Following that is an easy, but luscious, recipe with ingredients we all have at home. The way this is set out is visually appealing, with many full page photographs and recipes that will appeal to all ages.

 Sophie began her training as a Nutritionist after a long struggle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. A change in her diet provided an effective treatment for her, leading to her passion with food. In this book she looks at food that we find in most shops. She aims to show the nutritional value of each food, and for which conditions they can be helpful. Latest scientific research shows that the food you eat has a huge effect on your gut flora, which affects conditions from mental health to immune responses. We know that vegetables and fruit have a beneficial impact on the body, but Sophie shows how they can also be made into a marvelous meal.

 The first chapter discusses leafy green vegetables, and explains how to choose the freshest, most highly coloured varieties. Sophie also gives a few tips for growing these in your garden. She looks at rocket, describes the benefits that it can bring (such as helping “healthy reproduction, immune function, and cancer protection”.) We learn about the nutrition of rocket, the vitamins and folate it contains among other things.  Then we have a recipe for “Nin’s zesty noodles”, which will begin to make your mouth water. Sophie does advise people to use condiments to their own taste, so you may be flexible with parts of the recipe.  The combination of zucchini noodles, garlic, oil, lemon juice, chilli, parmesan and rocket, sound easy, but also seriously delicious.

 The next food group to be looked at is the Brassica family. The recipe for using broccoli contains meat, and a simple stir fry recipe is shared. This is so appetizing to look at from the photo, that it will definitely be one to share.  Brussel sprouts and cauliflower are described, and several of these recipes would be suitable for those on a Paleo diet, as well as those on a gluten free diet.

 Root vegetables are dealt with next, and there is a wonderful recipe for “Fish Tacos with radish salad”.  This is followed by a section on legumes, again with superb recipes, and an outline of the benefits of these foods. Other vegetables, such as tomatoes (really a fruit), mushrooms, sprouts and zucchinis are discussed, with recipes given for using them. Probably one of the most unusual dishes is a chocolate avocado mousse……

 Fruits, nuts and seeds are chosen as the next topic; for example, how to grow your own sprouts and pineapple, and how to make gluten free bread. Sophie’s passion for health and food and cooking has combined to make this a visual feast as well as a desirable kitchen accessory.