Book Report: Hot New Cookbook Alert - SPICE HEALTH HEROES

Once in a while, along comes a cookbook that will find itself equally at home in your kitchen or on your coffee table. Not only that, SPICE HEALTH HEROES available worldwide on October 20, 2016, might also make you healthier.

Interested in buying the book? Click here.

Study into the health and nutritional benefits of spices has been slow to make its way to the western world, but this beautiful and thought provoking new collection of recipes is a perfect (and tasty) way to catch up...sometimes on centuries of knowledge.

The author, and ballerina-turned chef, Natasha MacAller has done an astonishing job on combining cutting-edge medical research, recipes from 22 other internationally acclaimed chefs and a slew more from her own kitchen. It's her passion for health and food that makes the book a unique, must-have... a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one this holiday season.

The book is filled with inspirations and is handily divided into sections for spices that are geared to improve your immune system, help you cleanse, give you energy, warm you on cold winter nights, restore your system when needed and to calm you. Basically, it's what we all need to survive the last few weeks of Presidential Election season. The gorgeously designed hardcover features contributions from both notable chefs and doctors. It's a perfect match if you're looking to charge up your health habits and food flavour profiles all at once.

Did you know that lemongrass is the soothing spice, that mint will help you chill-out and that saffron is great for seduction? I knew practically none of this when I opened the cookbook, but once you dive in, there's no going back. It's filled with to die for recipes from bold-faced chef names like a pan-roasted monkfish with thyme-oil roasted tomatoes, toasted barley and leeks from Lidia Bastianich and a Chicken Adobo with cinnamon and bay leafs from April Bloomfield, which were both instant hits. Either dish can be finished off with a Sarah Johnson pear and barley tart topped with a ginger milk sherbert. Surely a perfect capper to any night!

These recipes not only will excite your palate, they provide nutritional and health values far beyond the taste buds. In fact, the knowledge gleaned from the book will likely be far reaching on how you plan meals for years to come. Many people think of a dish and then plan their spices around it. The talented MacAller guides the reader with expert hands that will inspire you to do the opposite, planning foods around these great and health affective spice combos.

Other favorite recipes range from diver scallops (with sweet potato puree and a preserved citrus peel in a savory mix using honey, cinanamon, curry powder, thai chili, cardamom, thyme and more), a slow-roasted lamb shoulder with (quince, cumin and coriander that's warning - mouth wateringly delicious), a turkish lamb stew (with smokey and minty flavors via an overnight marinade with yogurt, pepper paste and spices).

Two more highlights that'll fit on the side of any plate are cornish saffron popovers with a sweet saffron butter (that are fast and easy to make and perfect with dinner or tea) and sour cherry, thyme and cheddar scones - which are just the right level of sweetness. Further good news to think about while you're devouring them - they include antiaging thyme leaves and high-anthocynin brain-food cherries.

While the book indeed fits anywhere, there is one problem - you're going to need a bigger spice rack. Click here for more information.

Plus, More on the Book

In SPICE HEALTH HEROES, Natasha MacAller explores the culinary, nutritional and medicinal uses of more than 30 spices found in one's kitchen cupboard, from the everyday to the more exotic. She takes each of her spice heroes, groups them into six chapters; from immune and cleansing, to energy and warming, to restorative and calming and details the flair of flavour and the wealth of medicinal benefits each spice contains, supported by quotes from an expert team of 8 international medical doctors and nutritional experts. Practical advice on the storage, preparation and uses of all the featured spices is also given.

Each of the spices star in over 100 mouth-watering recipes. There is her 'California Girl Prawn Curry' (a childhood memory of her Mum's Californian take on curry) together with many other original sweet and savoury recipes including: 'Floating Spice Islands With Lime, Raspberry and Coconut Jam'; 'Tropical Turmeric Smoothie'; 'Heirloom Apple And Walnut Galette'; 'Doves Bay Bouillabaisse' inspired by her visits to New Zealand; 'Tonga Chili-Lime Chicken'; 'Cornish Saffron Popovers' and 'Lemongrass Pork Pearls'. Together with Natasha's recipes there are recipes contributed from some 22 internationally acclaimed chefs, including Jose Andres, Lidia Bastianich, April Bloomfield, Suzanne Goin, Peter Gordon, Mette Helbak, Judy Joo, Michael Kempf, Christine Manfield, Anne-Sophie Pic and Cyrus Todiwala, whose spice stories and recipes began from their very first taste of a spice then developing over years of cooking, creating and tasting into their own individual spice signature.

At a time when culinary medicine, the exciting link between food and medicine (and food as medicine), has become one of the hottest health topics, SPICE HEALTH HEROES will stimulate all your senses and show you how to create dishes that not only taste fantastic but may help you feel fantastic too. As Natasha writes in her introduction, 'These two professions, culinary and medical, have come together and are working as a team to bring attention to the simple fact that good food equals good health. Culinary medicine is not about following a diet, nor is it about removing entire food groups from your life, but rather it consists in eating fresh food that is free from a long list of artificial ingredients: just simple, wholesome, fresh food, full of flavour, health-giving properties - and spice'.

Natasha MacAller ( spent 30 years as a professional ballerina performing with New York's prestigious Joffrey Ballet and Boston Ballet, finishing her exhilarating career in the Broadway and Los Angeles productions of "The Phantom of The Opera." Turning her artistic spirit to the kitchen, she now channels the same passion, diligence and precision that made her a successful dancer into her love of creative cooking. She divides her time between Los Angeles, London and New Zealand, where she teaches cookery courses and writes. She's also a highly sought-after restaurant consultant.

SPICE HEALTH HEROES blossomed from her passion for the distinctive, varied spices she cooks with while traveling and consulting. Her first book, VANILLA TABLE: THE ESSENCE OF EXQUISITE COOKING FROM THE WORLD'S BEST CHEFS (Jacqui Small, UK), was published in 2015. Some 33 widely applauded international chefs contributed recipes. The book attracted great acclaim, resulting in television appearances and excellent reviews everywhere, from blogs and newspapers to magazines.

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From This Author Robert Diamond

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