Have you heard of Julie Morris? If you haven’t yet, you should make a point of getting to know her. She’s one of the most talented, innovative, and charming personalities in the business, and by “business,” I mean the world of men and women who love to talk about—and to prepare—whole, plant-based, semi-raw food. Julie’s recipes epitomize everything I love about food: they’re healthy, flavorful, and simple. The flavors are vibrant, but light and bright. And they combine an intense interest in health science with an epicurean’s love of the sensual pleasures of eating.
I got to know Julie about a year ago, all via email, and we quickly established that, if we weren’t separated by the US mainland (she’s LA-based) we’d probably be spending a lot of our time together. As it is, she’s one of my funniest and most effusive penpals. When I learned that Julie was at work on a book about superfoods, I was both excited and conflicted. On the one hand, I’d read anything this woman wrote. On the other, I spend a lot of time debunking the idea of an elite and magical class of food labeled as “super.” (See this post for a summary of my thoughts on the idea of a “superfood.”)
Additionally, it’s hard to spend any time in raw circles without growing weary of the obsession with exotic South American berries and mysterious powdered blends of…stuff. Because the term “superfood” is unregulated, it’s hard to know which claims are bogus and which aren’t, how subjective the criteria of food manufacturers are, and whether these foods are really “super” at all. To me, it’s always seemed as though most superfoods are simply food that are on the healthier side, dressed up and priced as if they’re poised to perform miracles.
Julie Morris has singlehandedly changed my mind. Her new book, Superfood Cuisine, is probably the single best resource out there for anyone who’s curious about superfoods, but also allergic, as I am, to unscrupulous scientific claims. She’s researched the benefits of superfoods meticulously, and she writes about them with the enthusiasm of a nutrition nerd (which I’m guessing all of us here at CR are) and the rationality of an educated consumer. Her approach to superfoods, in the end, isn’t the typical raw foodist extremist’s position that, if we reduce our food intake to these foods and these foods only, we’ll live to be 219, but rather that adding superfoods in small quantities to our everyday cooking can only enhance the health benefits of what we make. That’s Superfood Cuisine in a nutshell: use superfoods not as a replacement for regular food, but rather as supplementary parts of an already sumptuous and flavorful diet.
To help you along, Julie has teamed up with Navitas Naturals—my own personal favorite source of cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, lucuma, and cacao powder—to make an entire book’s worth of delicious soups, spreads, grain bowls, salads, desserts, and mouth-watering photos to match. And I’m giving a copy away to one of my readers.
Along with a bag of my favorite Navitas trail mix: goji berries, cacao, and raw cashews:
I’ll go ahead and call this an essential giveaway for anyone who’s curious about the health properties of such things as maca, mesquite, or mulberries, all of which I tried for the first time (and loved!) thanks to Julie:
Am I a little biased here? Sure. I helped to edit the book. But I wouldn’t have helped out with it had not read it and loved it. I don’t change my mind easily about things, and it says a lot about the power of Julie’s voice (and food!) that I have totally reconsidered how I feel about superfood.
In her acknowledgments, Julie says: “To Gena Hamshaw, for all the articulate feedback and premium supply of sass.”
Sass? Moi? Anytime, Julie. Anytime.
To win 1 free copy of Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris, you can:
1) Comment on this post, telling me how you feel about the idea of “superfoods,” and why!
5) Follow me on Twitter
Please leave a comment for each entry (so if you tweet, comment back to say you did; each of these four entries counts separately).
I’ll announce the winner on Friday, August 12th!
In light of this super giveaway, I’ll be posting my first ever self-entitled “superfood recipe” tomorrow!