Nourishing Traditions By Sally Fallon
Book Review

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon (New Trends, 2001), 674 pp.

Two books in one: a cookbook for making many kinds of traditional homemade food, and a handbook of cutting-edge nutrition.

Basic Nutrition

This is the single best book available concerning basic nutrition. The 78-page section about nutrition (188 references) ranges from Weston Price's studies of traditional diets to the latest research on the unique benefits of animal fats. (It's the defense of natural saturated fats that makes acookbook so politically incorrect—and public health agencies are starting to catch up to this research.)

  • The problems with "politically correct" nutrition
  • The contributions that saturated fats make to good health
  • The true causes of heart disease
  • Which fats are healthy and which are unhealthy
  • Which meats are healthy and which are unhealthy
  • The importance of high-vitamin animal products
  • When individuals are intolerant to grains or milk and when they need to avoid meat
  • The benefits of cultured milk products
  • The problems with pasteurization and homogenization
  • Which vitamins are more abundant in traditional diets

There's information about fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes; explanations of the problems with refined sugar, trans fats, processed meat, white flour, processed foods; kitchen tips; budget tips; superfoods; and a Guide to Food Selection. Throughout the book are hundreds of nutrition notes and hints in the margins.


There are more than 700 recipes, focused on traditional European cooking and artisanal food crafting, including how to make fermented foods such as traditionally made sauerkraut and kefir. The cookbook includes the why and how of: soaking whole grains before cooking; raw milk; the value of butter and other natural fats; and homemade foods of every kind. The recipes are fairly complex.

  • How to make cultured dairy products, such as kefir
  • How to make lactofermented vegetables and fruit, such as sauerkraut
  • Traditional breads and porridges
  • Homemade soups, dressings, sauces
  • Gourmet appetizers
  • Sprouting grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Traditional raw meat dishes and organ meats
  • How to prepare vegetables and beans of all kinds
  • Fish, poultry, organ meats, game, beef, lamb, eggs
  • Baby formulas and foods
  • Desserts, including pies and cakes, without refined sugar
  • Snacks
  • How to make healthy fermented beverages, such as kombucha and kvass

Nourishing Traditions is an education as well as a cookbook. It also has the potential to turn your health around. Highly recommended.

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