The first vegan cookbook I got was jae steele’s Get It Ripe and it is, hands-down, my favourite cookbook in the house! Everything I’ve made from it has turned out to be a delight.

The first half on vegan nutrition, spanning everything from protein sources to B12 to the marvel of sea vegetables, is so comprehensive and helpful I find myself returning to it often. How long to cook various grains, how to sprout from your kitchen and why organic, local and non-gmo are important considerations are all covered in plain, friendly language that feels more like it’s coming from a trusted friend than a certified holistic nutritionist. jae also discusses her own journey to veganism which only completes the ‘friendly conversational’ feel of the book.

If Get It Ripe stopped after the first half, I would still recommend it heartily but alas, the cookbook portion is equally marvellous. This is a whole-foods-based cookbook with lots of soy-free and gluten-free options so it’s a very good choice for people who are looking to eat healthier and focus their meals on lots of vegetables, legumes, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains. I also liked that there were not a lot of ‘weird’ ingredients and that most recipes had things you’d already have in your pantry, or could easily get from your local grocery store. The recipes are simple, tasty, hearty and healthful.

Tofu scramble with homemade ketchup

Tofu scramble with homemade ketchup

She includes breakfasts, (try the blueberry polenta pancakes and tofu scramble with homemade ketchup), and soups, hearty main dishes, (try the luscious lasagna, good sheppards pie, and tourtière) and delicious dips, (try the red lentil hummus for a new spin on an old favourite). The deserts are unparalleled in terms of ease, (her maple flax cookies boast 6 ingredients and whip up in a jiffy), and a few of her muffin recipes have fast become household standards.

Whether you’re a new vegan or an old vegan or a veg-curious omnivore, I highly recommend picking up Get It Ripe. My bets are you’ll love it as much as I do.

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