Book Review – Clean Paleo Family Cookbook by Ashley McCrary.

2 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Fair Winds Press for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I’m auto-approved with them, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

For those of you keep track of when I read something, vs when I post the review – I’ve just finished reading this book today!

I’m going to start out with some honesty… I’m not exactly a fan of the whole paleo diet craze. I do try and avoid reading and reviewing books of this ilk because of it and I’m honestly wondering how it ended up in my TBR pile. But, as it did, I felt I best give it a go.

There is nothing, I feel, actually WRONG with ‘Clean Paleo Family Cookbook’… it’s just it really wasn’t the book for me. But, those who follow my reviews know that cook books can really be hit and miss for me due to all my dull, boring, and extensive food intolerances and allergies. I feel this is one of the reasons Paleo isn’t my thing… as it often contains a lot of foods I just can’t eat. I mean, it’s great that it is also grain and dairy free (which I also can’t eat) but I really do find “paleo” can be so hit and miss as to good whole food eating vs fanatical foodism belief… it’s hard to find a good paleo cook book that I could cook from.

Thankfully, I can happily say that ‘Clean Paleo Family Cookbook’ isn’t one of those fanatical foodism religion lifestyle type books. Phew! In fact, it’s just an open and honest mum trying to eat well and raise her family on some good, wholesome, foods that are minimally processed.

For the faithful followers of paleo eating, I do feel this book would be a step in the right direction to helping you eat your chosen way. Even better is the book acknowledges there are different types of “paleo” and tries to cater for the three main types known to the author. So, to me, that shows a good flexible approach to paleo eating. To me food is all about local, in season, whole foods cooked from scratch with minimal fuss, no nasty additives, etc. So I can relate to the paleo food choices made in this book… just a lot of them clash with my sensitive food issues.

Book nerd time, the main reason I marked this book so low was because I really didn’t like the layout and formatting. Those who read my reviews know that formatting and layout – especially in cook books and similar non-fiction pieces – is something very important to me. If your book is trying to teach a new skill to someone, the format and layout needs to be easy to read, follow, look up, etc. And I didn’t find that in this book. The ingredients for a recipe are all bunched up like a header at the top. The recipe steps aren’t much easier to read, and all in all I found it a bit jarring to read. Sorry.

Would I recommend this book to others?

I’m torn… as yes it seems appropriate to those who want to follow a paleo eating lifestyle… but as I’m not a total fan of this style of eating, who is to say I am the best person to be recommending it? The recipes look right to me. They’re whole food, healthy, and versatile. But I’m NOT an expert in the paleo diet, so might not be the best person to say this is a GOOD paleo cook book… if that makes sense?

Also, I don’t know if everyone is going to like the layout and format. It might just be me who found it a little too different to be useful, maybe others will too.

Would I buy this book for myself?

As you can guess, no I wouldn’t. I want to stress that this decision is totally down to me and is not a judgement on the book. I mean, yes I AM being judgy… but I’m really not the best person to have read it. Cook books are hit and miss for me as it is – thank you food intolerances and allergies – and I really don’t know why I would have added it to my reading list. But I did, I’ve done my best to be open and honest about reading it, but do not see it as a book for me. The fault lies totally with me, not the book or the author.

In summary: A paleo cook book that might suit those seeking to eat a healthier, cleaner, whole food diet.

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