Reading Sarah Britton’s cookbook “My New Roots” makes me feel virtuous. Thanks to the nutritionist’s evocative writing, suddenly I’m imagining an alternative life, in which I work at an organic farm and brew my own kombucha. While my real life couldn’t be more different, Britton’s straightforward approach to cooking makes a healthy lifestyle seem attainable.
Named for the popular blog of the same name, “My New Roots” is primarily a vegan, gluten-free cookbook, but Britton doesn’t lecture about the importance of any particular diet. Rather, the blogger calls her effort an “all-inclusive” cookbook that has recipes everyone. In the cookbook’s introduction, Britton explains how she first connected to food, after eating a tomato she picked on an organic farm in Arizona.
“I realized with that tomato that food matters, and that we are connected to what we eat. That the beauty of the world can be experienced through the taste, smell, and texture of a single fruit.”
While I’m not as intimate with my tomatoes, I see the appeal of appreciating simple food. I didn’t harvest any of the food in these recipes, I did have to scour Tampa for ingredients. The Rhubarb Carrot Muffins were moist and flavourful. My skepticism about the oat flour was unfounded; the muffins didn’t taste like typical dry, crumbly gluten-free fare. Also, unlike typical spice cake-type recipes which usually include a hint of nutmeg and possibly cloves, Britton’s spice combination is original. While Britton calls the muffins a breakfast recipe, this could easily pass for dessert.
When you’re flipping through “My New Roots”, it would be easy to ignore Thai-style Coconut Soup recipe, simply because of the long ingredient list. However, once you have hunted down the kaffir lime leaves, the lemongrass stalks and the galangal root, the instructions are straightforward. The finished soup is under-stated; the flavours timidly revealing themselves as you dig into the bowl. Next time I make this recipe, I will likely throw in more veggies to make the dish more hearty.
Overall, Britton’s cookbook is revelatory. Though her recipes are healthy, they don’t compromise on flavour. My New Roots will soon join my reliable stable of gluten-free friendly, mostly-vegan cookbooks, alongside classics like “Veganomicon“, “Oh She Glows” and “It’s All Good“.
Head to Fat Girl Food Squad for recipes from Sarah Britton’s “My New Roots.”