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Cookbook review: The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz


Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Cook and eat for your health!

Food that's good for you can taste amazing. It might taste even better when you know why it's good for you. Rebecca Katz's latest cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen, is a great place to start.
The Longevity Kitchen

Purchase The Longevity Kitchen >>

We know that good taste and good nutrition are important to eating well, but now, wellness authority Rebecca Katz also has science to confirm her way of eating. In her cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods, Rebecca, with Mat Edelson, covers the healing power of foods and incorporates them into 125 full-flavored, healthy recipes.

Make a change, but why?

At one point or another, most of us have been told (or we recognize ourselves) that we should make a change to our diet or eating habits for the benefit of our health. It's one thing to be told to do something and another to really understand why doing it will help. Rebecca's cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen, takes us on a tour of how food can help us live long and healthy lives.

Rebecca relied on her cooking experiences as well as help from top physicians, nutritionists and researchers to develop her recipes to positively impact a person's health. You'll find the "Super 16" foods in her recipes (foods that provide the highest levels of antioxidants, are great sources of omega-3 fats, probiotics and other "body-boosting phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals"); helpful information like a digestible (no pun intended) overview of how the body's different systems work; and a long list of what she calls the "culinary pharmacy" — foods and their health benefits.

Encourage change... for good

Fortunately, Rebecca provides cooking tips and tricks to those new to the kitchen as well as more advanced information for those who know their way around a chopping block. She helps and encourages people to "cook for longevity," so cooking and eating to improve health become a long-lasting experience.

This cookbook is easy to read, and Rebecca's approach helps readers understand the science behind nutrition in a way that is encouraging rather than menacing. Beautiful photos are included with most recipes, along with overviews for each recipe, filled with personal anecdotes, instruction and serving suggestions. You'll find recipes built around grains, vegetables, protein and more. Don't worry. She includes delicious (and healthy) desserts, too!

Try a recipe from The Longevity Kitchen:

Yogurt-berry brulee with 
maple almond brittle

You may think that making creme brulee requires blowtorches, welder's glasses and asbestos gloves. But I've come up with an alternative method that doesn't involve having to whip out the torch. Instead, a sweet, crunchy brittle is made in the oven, with only one requirement: Keeping a very close eye on it as it cooks. The brittle is perched atop a delectable bowl of berry-studded sweetened Greek yogurt, which is just as creamy as the egg-, dairy- and sugar-laden custard typical in creme brulee, and it also brings a host of health benefits to the table.

Yogurt-Berry Brûlée with 
Maple Almond Brittle

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the brittle

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  •  1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the maple-scented yogurt

  • 2 cups organic plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh berries, any type
  • 1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup

Directions:

For the brittle

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and turn the oven light on. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the oil on the parchment paper with a paper towel or brush, covering the parchment with a thin, even film of oil.
  3. Combine the maple syrup, almonds and cardamom in a small bowl. Pour the mixture onto the oiled parchment paper, then tilt the pan to spread it evenly.
  4. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, staying close to the oven. The syrup will first become bubbly, then, after another 2 or 3 minutes, the almonds will take on a nice golden color and the syrup will have a deep amber color.
  5. At this point, remove the brittle from the oven and let cool to room temperature. To make it easier to break into pieces, you can pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, lift the hardened brittle and break it into randomly sized pieces.
  6. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.

For the yogurt mixture

  1. Put the yogurt, 1 cup of the berries and the maple syrup in a bowl and stir gently to combine.
  2. Just before serving, spoon the yogurt mixture onto dessert dishes, top with the brittle and scatter the remaining 1/2 cup berries around the edges.

Variation: Elevate this recipe by incorporating roasted strawberries (page 214 of the cookbook) and their juices as a layer.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson (Ten Speed Press, 2013). Photo Credit: Leo Gong.

About the Authors

Rebecca Katz, MS

Rebecca Katz is an accomplished chef and national speaker who has worked with the country's top wellness physicians, including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Michael Lerner, Jim Gordon and Dean Ornish. She is the author of the award-winning Cancer-Fighting Kitchen and One Bite at a Time, as well as director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal and executive chef of the annual Food as Medicine training program sponsored by the Center for Mind Body Medicine at Georgetown Medical School. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Oprah.com, The Atlantic, Better Homes and Gardens, Associated Press, and other national media. Rebecca lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit RebeccaKatz.com for more information.

Mat Edelson

Mat Edelson is an award-winning science, health and sports writer. He is the former anchor/director of the Johns Hopkins Health Newsfeed, a nationally syndicated daily radio program. This is the third book he has co-authored with Rebecca Katz. Edelson lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

More cookbooks to try

The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte
Small Changes, Big Results by Ellie Krieger
It's All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow

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