While the spring is near we can still enjoy some garden free time to peruse beautiful books that can inspire us in our gardening, foraging, food preparation activities. In case you are hungry for new interesting information here you are.

Here is a fresh batch of plant related books. All available at the Toronto Public Library branches.

You can revise your knowledge of herbs and their Latin names as well as many tips on how to grow, their uses for health benefits and enjoy many colourful recipes in the two books on herbs.

Healing Mushrooms
A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health by Tero Isokauppila

I am a huge fan of mushrooms and this book is simply wonderful. Introduces the reader to the many properties of mushrooms and their uses. Did you know that shiitake can be beneficial to your skin, liver, lower your cholesterol and improve acne? The book is full of useful information presented in very easy to read format and contains many flavourful recipes.

There are many books out there on foraging as it is gaining popularity. You will find a lot of useful information in these two books on how to start, what tools to use, the bigger implications of legality and sustainability for urban foragers as well as interesting and surprising recipes such as Day Lily Salad, Nettle and Pea Risotto with Mint, Sumac Vodka, Dandelion Crown Pad Thai, Milkweed Flower Cordial..

If you were not sure about okra, it is a vegetable with mixed reputation, these 2 books are sure to encourage you to try it. Both present many interesting facts about okra and are very enthusiastic in praising many okra properties. In the introduction to The Whole Okra Chris Smith quotes the following: “In short, okra represents true nobility. The next time you hear people say it is herbaceous, hairy and spineless, I urge you to punch them right in the nose.” — Dick West “In Defence of Okra”, 1961.

Are Kale and Onions friends? Find out. Both books present many great recipes along with the information on kale, arugula, garlic, chives, onions, cilantro, lovage, parsley, sage and how to grow them and use them in your food. The recipes are modern and innovative to assure you of health benefits. You can learn how to make Thai Kale with Turmeric or Warm Lentil Salad with Kale or Kale with Buckwheat Noodles and Roasted Beets.

Vegans rejoice. Here are 2 very nice books for you. If you have heard of the Keto Diet and how effective it is in helping you to loose wait, but did not want to eat all the meat and fat, here is your vegan keto book. It contains many amazing recipes from Roasted Vegetables to Jackfruit Pulled Pork and Mushroom Tacos. From simple to more sophisticated Vegan Keto is sure to please your palate.
Sushi Modoki is quite a sophisticated book at first glance, but rest assured it does introduce all the basics including all the utensils you might need along with all the typical ingredients and techniques of sushi preparation. Once the mystery is lifted it is a great book to follow and try the many different and delicious recipes for nigiri, chiroshi, inari, oshi and sushi rolls. Read the book to find out what they all are.

— Dorota Rajewska