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Book Reviews

AUSTRALIAN BUSH SUPERFOODS: PLANT-BASED RECIPES AT HOME

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by Lily Alice and Thomas O’Quinn (Hardie Grant 2017)

Review by Samantha Allemann

This beautifully designed book highlights 40 Australian native bushfoods and incorporates them into vegan dishes.

For those with a sweet tooth, there are anise myrtle yoyo bickies, strawberry gum jam drops and passionberry granola to try, to name just a few. For more substantial meals, whip up some jackfruit tacos with muntry coleslaw, seablite rice paper rolls or kutjera pasta.

As with all recipe books worth their salt (bush), the photos and illustrations are superb, making it a treat to simply flick through.

There is also a guide to sourcing fresh, frozen and dried bushfoods; handy as you’ll be sure to want to try many of these delicious sounding recipes.

FERMENT: A GUIDE TO THE ANCIENT ART OF CULTURING FOODS

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by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books 2017)

Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt

This is by far the best recipe book that has come across my desk in recent years. It is a complete and indepth guide to everything you need to know about fermenting. Not only is it informative, but it’s beautiful presented with stunning photos and elegant design.

Holly Davis has been teaching about and making ferments for over 40 years. She goes through a whole range of fermenting processes: from activate, capture, steep, infuse, leaven, incubate and cure. She covers the whole gamut from sourdough to krauts, kefirs, kombucha, pickles, miso and more. She not only shares the basics but also gives a range of variations to explore, such as her saffron, maple and vanilla kefir milk fizz and sourdough sea salt crisp breads. Whether you are a newbie to fermenting or a seasoned pro, this book has loads to explore.

PRACTICAL SELF SUFFIENCY: AN AUSTRALIAN GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE LIVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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by Dick and James Strawbridge (DK 2017)

Review by Samantha Allemann

A brand-new edition of Practical Self Suffiency teams author Dick Strawbridge with his son James to cover many aspects of sustainable living.

There’s input from Australian experts to localise the content, writing on such topics as natural remedies, keeping bees and making cheese and bread. And of course, there’s lots of information on growing your own vegies, fruit and nuts, with a small section specifically on permaculture. With such a breadth of topics, not all will be relevant, but there’s lots to delve into while planning your self-sufficient life.

SUNLIGHT AND SEAWEED: AN ARGUMENT FOR HOW TO FEED, POWER AND CLEAN UP THE WORLD

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by Tim Flannery (Text Publishing 2017)

Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt

Professor Tim Flannery is a scientist and one of Australia’s leading thinkers and writers, having written about climate change for 20 years. In his latest book he presents a range of positive actions that have the potential to address some of the biggest environmental challenges we’re currently facing.

The book outlines in a clear and concise way the current global environmental situation and the most pressing problems we are facing today. He then explores available technologies and approaches which can help combat them. He offers practical and achievable solutions to the issues of climate change, food production and pollution, finishing off with a vision for how the world could operate in 2050 if we start taking action now.

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