I’m delighted to have a copy of The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White to review! I already had a copy of her first cookbook – The Extra Virgin Kitchen and love the simple recipes with sometimes unusual (but always healthy) ingredients. Any of the recipes I’ve tried have tasted good and oozed with health benefits. I am a big fan of Susan Jane’s writing, it’s always laced with a good dose of humour and her new book The Virtuous Tart is no different. I especially love the new book as it is full of sweet treats! The tagline says it all: Sinful but Saintly Recipes for Sweets, Treats and Snacks.
As with her first book, there is a good down to Earth explanation of how Susan Jane came to give up wheat dairy and sugar in her diet, and how this solved many of her health issues. She explains in a humorous, never preachy way, how we can open our eyes to many ingredients chock a block with health benefits if we cease our love affair with the wheat-dairy-sugar laden food we eat so often. The basic message is clean eating, raw, healthy foods, but that we definitely don’t need to miss out on taste if we go down this road. I am delighted with the pointers towards clean eating as one of my goals for 2016 is for the whole family to eat less processed foods. As my huge downfall is sugar, learning to make sweet treats with sugar alternatives is a great start.
The most wonderful thing about this book is that all the recipes are dairy free. This is a huge plus in our house and it’s so nice to have a recipe book where I don’t have to adapt the recipes myself, I just go with what’s listed! The recipes are also gluten free and refined sugar free. And healthy, did I mention healthy?
As is my custom with cookbooks, I’ve placed mini post its on all the recipes I’d like to make – American Peanut Butter cookies, Amazonian Truffles and the intriguingly titled Secret Agent Gingerbread are all future projects in my kitchen!
I’ve tried the Pomegranate Halva, which I had to adapt slightly as I couldn’t find pomegranate seeds locally. I substituted dried cranberries. I am dying to try it with the pomegranate seed though! The halva is absolutely divine. I love it. It is very filling and rich so you don’t need much. One or possibly two with a cup of tea. The boys loved it too.
I am trying to get the whole family eating cleaner, less sugar, less processed stuff etc. and the recipes in here for alternate treats are just perfect to help with this. Scoffing a couple of halva pieces with a cuppa instead of a bar of chocolate makes for a sweet treat with none of the guilt. I’m hoping to educate the kids more about the difference healthier ingredients can make and educate our palettes with new (to us) ingredients. Watch this space!
I would recommend this book to anyone on a clean eating mission, anyone dairy free, gluten-free or sugar-free and anyone open to trying fab new ingredients. You never know until you try them!