Book Review: Whole, by Bronwyn Kan


Available in selected bookshops nationwide.

Whole is a collection of recipes assembled to showcase wholefoods, and how growing, preparing and cooking foods in their most natural state, processed and refined as little as possible can lead you to a better state of health and well-being.

The women who have donated groups of recipes to the Whole cookbook are (mainly Auckland-based) leaders in the wholefood and wellness movement. They are popular bloggers, adept at social media and many own their own successful cafes and food related businesses.

The recipes shine when you view them from the idea that you are cooking from scratch, using foods that you recognise the sources of – it helps you understand what you are eating, and the knowledge that better and fresher foods will yield a tastier result. However, Whole is not the kind of cookbook that is likely to form the staple of your cookbook collection. The recipe ingredients are not always what you’d have handy (Almond milk, coconut nectar, cacao butter, rice malt syrup to name a few), so following the recipes from this book requires a kind of dedication to wanting to explore the idea and culture behind the book, as much as the desire to make yourself something nice to eat.

A few of the Whole recipes nod to the paleo diet and using healthier fats, but the liberal use of coconut oil makes a lot of the cakes and treats in the book seem like things you should approach only occasionally or you’d find yourself on the wrong side of your bathroom scales.

The book is beautifully produced, with bite size recipe sections for each of our inspirational women, loads of pictures to show off their style and the beautifully presented food. It’s a treat to sit down with this book on the couch on a rainy Sunday afternoon and dream of the Mango & Turmeric Cheesecake or the Beetroot & Blackberry Chocolate Cakes that you could whip up to impress your friends and family.

Whole is a nice exploration into the possibilities of food, and helps you to consider how you might change the way you think about food and where it comes from, giving you new ways of approaching how you cook. For the average person who isn’t excited by fancy recipes in general, you might still take away a few ideas about how to think of foods differently, using alternatives to processed food, and being mindful about what you eat. If not, well then – it’s still a beautiful book to look at.

By Amie Lightbourne

Compiled by Bronwyn Kan
Contributions from Mondays Wholefoods, Heal Thyself , Monique Satherley, Sophie Carew, Buffy Gill, Kelly Gibney, Hannah Horton, Danijela Unkovich, Olivia Scott and Jordan Rondel
Published by Beatnik Publishing
ISBN 9780992264864