back to butter

By Contributor Lisa Corriveau

Are you getting tired of all the trendy diets that are out there? Maybe you’re confused because what’s considered healthy food seems to change every few years? I know I could say yes to both questions. I just gave up trying to keep up with it all. Ever since I watched Julia Child’s cooking show videos, her voice comes into my head when I’m cooking or baking: “Let’s just add a little more butter in there”. I’ve long ignored the diet advice to cut back on fats, especially animal fats, because I like the taste of them better. It just makes sense to me to stay away from “fake butter” and use the real stuff like my great grandmothers did. That’s the reason I was so excited to review “Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook – Nourishing Recipes Inspired by Our Ancestors“. This book advocates a return to eating the way our great grandparents did, before our diets became so full of highly processed things that our ancestors might not have recognized as edible.

“Back to Butter” isn’t just a cookbook, it’s thoroughly researched offering tips and simple preparations, not just to get the best flavour, but to get the most nutrients out of your ingredients. There’s an enormous amount of nutritional information in the book, as well as a history of many foods. I like the focus on the quality of the ingredients and the easy to follow recipes. Even for someone who’s not much of a cook, I’ve found the recipes clearly detailed with all the steps, tips and variations.

When you read through “Back to Butter” you notice a lot of techniques which are different from what you might be used to (such as cooking stock for 12 to 24 hours or a different way of soaking beans). The recipes aren’t necessarily great for whipping up a quick dinner after you get home from work. However, the author not explains and justifies them (they help make the food more nourishing and easier to digest) but you’ll find it makes the food you cook taste even more delicious.

“Back to Butter” is chock full of beautiful photographs and a delight for the tastebuds. There’s a brilliant part in the book where the authors sum up nicely why food is so important: “Even when we seem so different–politics, race, religion, and so on–we all share the need to be fed. Through food, we bridge gaps. Simple nourishment gives us a source of conversation, a way to share, and a way to learn about each other’s wants and needs.” It’s not just about calories, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and so on. Food is about connecting with other people and creating community.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this cookbook to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own. 

Lisa Corriveau lives in East Vancouver with her husband, son & daughter in a 1940s bungalow. Spokesmama chronicles their life with two little kids, living car-free, getting around on bikes, walking, transit & with the occasional car share vehicle. Lisa also blogs about green living, parenting, DIY projects & she loves to share what’s going on in her neighbourhood.