By Marcia Krahn
“Grow it. Preserve it. Prepare it” is the slogan that defines Joyce Kaping and Colleen Anderson’s book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World. More than the typical cookbook, Eating Pure overflows with their “fresh is best” philosophy of food and provides information on 39 fruits and vegetables, from raising them in the garden to serving them on the table.
Farm girls Joyce and Colleen are friends “on a mission” to encourage others, especially the younger generations, to “get back to eating real whole food before they experience a health crisis.” The idea for their book grew from the success of teaching a pilot group of young mothers to cook as their grandmothers cooked—without processed food containing artificial additives and preservatives.
The result is Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World™, a treasury of practical advice in an engaging format. Colleen and Joyce have listed produce alphabetically from apples to zucchini in their 286-page book. Beautiful photographs throughout create mouthwatering appeal and give visual descriptions.
Introductory pages are devoted to detailed lists of what they have found to be helpful, and explaining the “why” behind “fresh is best.” Definitions of common gardening terms and recommendations for gardening tools are included for those who wish to raise their own produce.
Joyce and Colleen know that to prepare “better food for a better you” easily, necessary ingredients must be on hand. For that purpose, they suggest what to keep stocked in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. They also list useful kitchen tools and define basic cooking terms, as well as provide a synopsis of canning, dehydrating, freezing, and steaming procedures.
Each produce selection begins with a full-page photograph of the subject. On the second page, “How does your garden grow?” features a guide to planting, tending, and harvesting that particular plant. “Dig into this!” is a column of interesting facts and nutritional information. A Scripture verse ends the page for some spiritual nutrition.
Next come methods for preserving and preparing that fruit or vegetable. Helpful Hints, indicated by an apron icon, give tips for measuring that item for recipes, such as 1½ pounds of strawberries equals 4 cups and is about 48 medium strawberries. Every selection ends with a wealth of recipes, many of which do not call for gluten, dairy, or nuts in their ingredients.
Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World™ contains subjects as varied as making produce wash, catching fruit flies, growing asparagus in the backyard, and pickling jalapeño peppers. Kid friendly recipes for easy snacks as well as fish sticks and chicken tenders are sure to please. Included are recipes to satisfy a craving for comfort foods like beef stew, baked beans, and tomato soup in addition to more unique taste treats like apple salsa, bacon and leek pizza, or roasted sweet potato chips. And when that special occasion arrives, the caramel coconut frosted carrot cake or raspberry lemon pie is a purely delicious topping to the celebration.
Joyce Kaping and Colleen Anderson are farm girls committed to a lifestyle of “eating pure” as part of the abundant life God gives. They end their book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World™, with the challenge they took upon themselves—to not only eat pure foods, but also to “go, equip, and bless the next generation.”