Book Review – Cultured Food for Health by Donna Schwenk.

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Hay House for a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

What an incredibly interesting book! As I am keen to learn more about gut health, gut flora and good bacteria these days I found ‘Cultured Food for Health’ a fantastic book to read.

I really enjoyed the first part of the book where it talks about ‘The Trilogy’ and how to make them, what they’re good for, etc. I actually got a head cold while reviewing it and, like I have started doing lately, went out and grabbed me some locally made organic kombucha drink – cleared up that cold in a couple of days. I just found the coincidence amusing and, look at that, the kombucha helped kill my cold! I would have been stuck with it for longer without that gut goodness help.

The main reason I’ve not scored this book higher than I have is, well, I sort of lost interest when we got to the recipes section. I was far more interested in learning about the trilogy than using them as ingredients in other dishes. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a brilliant way to get people into using them! I just don’t think I’m that ready or keen just yet and so wasn’t as interested in the recipe section as I thought I would be. I do happily have kefir, kombucha and fermented veggies – not as often as I should I know – so maybe that’s why this part of the book wasn’t for me? The fault was totally with the reader!

Formatting wise, the recipe section was great – short, sharp and shiny the way a good recipe should be. They were easy to read, easy to follow and – if I was at the point of making such things – something I would have enjoyed toying with.

Another, very mild, issue I had was there were a lot of claims about what the trilogy does for our health – and trust me, I believe in a lot of it! However, I didn’t feel these claims weren’t referenced enough to come across as credible statements more than wishful thinking. I know that sounds harsh and it’s probably because I’m currently studying all about academic and professional communication and the necessity to back your claims up with good citations and referenced material… there was some, but not a heck of a lot. And, as much as I do believe in a lot of what was said, more factual evidence to back up the claims would have been nice.

I’m sure I’m just being a tad too picky.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Possibly. A lot of my friends know and use the trilogy (or at least parts of it) already and so I might suggest it as ways they could mix up using these beneficial foods in their lives… But then again I might not. It’s hard to say. I really liked this book, but I just got a deep sense of something being missing and until I pinpoint what that was I’m not too sure I would recommend it.

Would I buy this book for myself?

No right now I wouldn’t. I’m still fairly new and taking the baby steps of getting the trilogy into my, and my family’s, diet on a daily basis. Once that has been achieved then yes, I MIGHT seek this book out, I might not.

In summary: A really interesting book and a helpful guide to learning more about the importance of good gut health and how to get and maintain it. There was just something lacking though – and I wish I know what – that stopped me from loving this book as much as I had hoped I would.

Until next time,


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