July 31, 2009

A Tasteful Way to Healthier Living

I love to read cookbooks. I often pick them up and read them as if they were novels. Sometimes I make a few recipes from the book but more often then not I fall back on my old family favorites that have been passed down from my mother and grandmothers.

But, there are two books in my collection that I come back to time and time again. My mother's 1972 edition of the Betty Crocker Cook Book and this one "From the Kitchen of Two Sisters." Or around our house simply, "The Sister's Cookbook." I have made almost every recipe in this book. And many of them over and over.

What makes this one so special? Well, the story about how it was written for one. These two sisters, from a family of 8 children, wrote this book on their journey for finding a way to prepare healthier meals for their family.

Second, the pictures are beautiful.

Third, throughout the book are stories of how various recipes came about and stories of why that recipe became special to their family. As you read and prepare the recipes you are also entertained with tales of this lovely Christian family as they grow and live to serve the Lord. Oh, and they all play stringed instruments, too!

Fourth, their recipes are all created around a healthier way of eating. None of them include meat and they are all made with dairy and sugar alternatives. They include as much raw fruit and veggies in the recipes as possible. (A note for meat lovers...it is OK. I have added meat to many of the recipes with no problem, as my husband as a limit on how many meatless meals he will eat in one week.) They do use a lot of "exotic" ingredients. Like flax seed instead of egg (yes, it works and is delicious believe it or not) but they give at least one and sometimes two alternatives for the cook who doesn't want to try new things or hunt down the special ingredients. For example, many of their recipes are made using rice milk. They can successfully be made with soy milk or good old fashioned cows milk if you prefer with no difference in taste or quality.

Fifth, and not least. Every recipe tastes delicious. I did not ever have one thing in this book that I didn't like. My picky eater and dear husband liked them all, too. I know teenage boys who rave about the "Sisters' recipes." And in my book that says a lot.

A word of warning. Because they come from a large family, their recipes seem to be scaled for such. Many of them seem to provide many more servings than what even our family can eat in one sitting. Plan accordingly and if you have a small family cut it back if you don't like a lot of leftovers.

Sixth, the introduction gives a long discussion about the basis for healthy eating and how to improve your diet for a better quality of life.

For ten years I have gone back to this book again and again. If you are looking for a way to improve your eating habits without sacrificing taste I suggest you give it a try to.

You can read more about it and order it here.

Just to give you a sampling I am going to include here my very favorite muffin recipe from the Sisters.

Classic Banana Muffins

3 cups rice milk, apple juice, water, or milk
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1 cup honey
1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup flaxseed mixture or 3 eggs
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups rolled oats, coconut, pecans, raisins, dates, cranberries, nuts, chocolate chips...whatever at long as it equals 3 1/2 cups
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 T. baking soda
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

1. Combine wet ingredients in very large bowl with whisk.
2. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
3. Mix wet and dry together.
4. Pour in greased muffin pans
5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


  1. This is great. I've heard of the Sisters. I think the Duggars recommend the on their site. I would love this book, I might have to just go buy it. :) We are actually starting to eat healthier. We've been making our own bread again lately. Which reminds me, I need to get pictures of those buckets of wheat. Maybe I'll do a post on that soon. I got a new bread machine recently at a yard sale. $10 and it works great! It's different than what we're used to. We have the, I guess you'd call them the "stand-up" loaf. This one I found has a "lay-down" loaf. Does that make sense? Anyway, got to go write my own post of my "nutritious" breakfast this morning. :)

  2. Good Morning Kat!

    Well, you know you have a good thing when you’ve had it for ten years and have made almost every recipe. I’ll have to look into it. Thank you for posting it.

    Well, I am off to read a blog or two since I haven’t read almost any for the last several days.


  3. I love cookbooks also! I will definitely check this one out! The muffins sound wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  4. I have a ton of cookbooks, but never use them. Hmmm maybe I should give them a try. It might make cooking a bit easier. ugh.
    That cookbook does sound neat and that recipe sounds delish. I love muffins!

  5. Thanks for this rec! I am needing to get back to a healthier way of eating for my family. This book looks great!

  6. This sounds like a great cookbook! And if it makes big portions that is great! I usually have to double portions of every other recipe that I find. Thanks for sharing this Kat!

  7. Kat,

    I too love to look at cookbooks and have that 1972 Betty Crocker cookbook. Even though hubby got me the one from last year, I still revert back to some of my old favorites. Gotta love pictures too, so you can at least tell if what you made looks reasonably like what is pictured, if not, taste before serving it to anyone else.

    I will have to try those muffins because I am always looking for new ways to bake old time classics like Banana Muffins!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat (The Other One):P

  8. Love muffins! To be honest, I'm not much of a cook, but something like that might get me motivated! I just found your blog-it's great! I'm following! :)

  9. Thanks for the heads up...I will have to give these a try.