Strip down with ‘The Naked Cookbook’

naked“The Naked Cookbook.” By Tess Ward (Ten Speed Press, $24.99).

 Pure. Raw. Stripped. Bare. Nude.

These are some of the sexy and provocative chapter titles of “The Naked Cookbook,” from British blogger, chef and recipe developer Tess Ward.

Traveling in India at age 18, Ward writes that she “picked up a parasite” that caused her to rethink her approach to eating. (Ultimately, she says she was cured by a clinical nutritionist.)

According to the lofty promise on the book’s inside cover, the 60 recipes offered here, from broths to cocktails, “will give you more energy, help you lose weight, and purify your body.”

And yet as Ward points out, the recipes are not gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan (though many could be adapted as such). Rather, they are low in carbs, free of processed food and contain no refined sugar.

So how does this look on the plate?

The Yoga Bowl is a coconut curry of red lentils and sweet potatoes, served with brown rice and a splash of Ward’s easy, Greek-yogurt-based coconut salsa. Her favorite salad is a beautiful, summery mélange of tomatoes, capers, smoked almonds and herbs that I intend to try. Her idea of a sweet treat is Energizing Lemon + Honey Granita, a Spiced Banana + Pecan Shake, or a seriously fiber-filled bar of oats, pine nuts, almonds and chia seeds.

Anyone looking for healthful juices, smoothies, milks and lattes will find plenty of inspiration herein. I am however bewildered by the recipe for dill pickles (page 39) that instructs you to seal the jars, then tap gently on the counter to remove all the air bubbles.

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