The China Study Cookbook: Review and Giveaway plus No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars Recipe!

Peanut Butter Bars Square

I had all ready watched and was blown away by Forks Over Knives before I read The China Study. When I read the book, the evidence and data presented there by T. Colin Campbell, PHD and his son Thomas M. Campbell, was simply irrefutable. I felt my convictions about plant-based eating deepen even more. Certainly, the book confirmed all that I wanted to know and learn about eating for health (indeed nearly every single health issue you can imagine can be improved through a whole foods plant-based diet).

So, I gave the book to my sister-in-law, she read it cover to cover on a flight home to Switzerland. She and my brother and their family went plant-based almost immediately. The book then got passed around amongst her friends and family. Some of those people went plant-based. I’m sure those people shared the book with their loved ones. That’s what we do when we find something phenomenal that can change lives. We share it with those that are precious to us so that they can understand the real data behind the whole foods movement and experience the joy of good health.

French Toast

Dr. Campbell mentions in the intro to this cookbook that people always ask him what he eats, and that undoubtedly he would give people a limited answer that would disappoint those wanting to make real lifestyle changes. Now you can discover for yourself the real “China Study Diet” His daughter, Leanne Campbell is the author of the cookbook. I love that they’ve truly kept it in the family to show how the Campbell family does healthy vegan.

Broccoli Salad

On quick review of the cookbook I was delighted to see that the recipes used simple ingredients, that the meals would be easy and quick to prepare AND that they would indeed be flavorful, despite the fact that none of the recipes contain oil, very little of them use sweeteners (and when they do, they use natural sweeteners) and all of the recipes are low in sodium. Also, Nearly every recipe has a lovely photo (a huge plus in my book, I like to see what the food I’m preparing is supposed to look like).

Chocolate Cake

I especially enjoyed Leanne’s explanation about feeding a whole foods plant-based diet to children. Not only do they thrive, but indeed their diets are likely nutritionally superior to all of their peers. (My own children do very well on a plant-based diet).

Ceviche Beans

Now, lets talk about the food. My husband, who’s not much of a treat guy, thoroughly enjoyed both salads I tested out of the book and asked for seconds of each. My daughter loved the Coconut Curry Rice so much that she begged for the last of it on the second day. As for the desserts, well I was happily surprised that the Vegan Chocolate Cake was moist and tender, even without the addition of oil, oh and the frosting tastes like a delicious chocolate pudding. My pickiest and youngest eater ate 6 slices of the Favorite French Toast in one day. He wanted it for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (by then I had to make another batch). I couldn’t blame him, it was truly delicious.

Coconut Curry Rice

As for the No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, well, we’ll just let the photos and the recipe do the talking. Enjoy.

Peanut Butter Bar Portrait

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These bars are rich, creamy, sweet and satisfying–everything a dessert should be! (recipe used with permission, of course).

  • 1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons rice or almond milk

1- Crush graham crackers in food processor. In a separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut and peanut butter. Stir in the crushed graham crackers.

2- Slowly add milk and mix. If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all the ingredients stick together. However, don’t make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.

3- Spread mixture evenly into a 9×9 non-stick baking dish.

4- In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.

5- Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tip: These make a great holiday treat and should be used sparingly.

Peanut Butter Bars Top View

Buy The China Study Cookbook here. Get the Kindle Edition here.

Buy it on the Publisher’s Site, BenBella Books here

China Study Cookbook

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 26th of July to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 29th of July. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



    1. Both Sweet and Sara and Nabisco (original in the red box) make vegan graham crackers. I’m not aware of a low-fat graham cracker that’s 100% vegan (some have honey, some have dairy)/

    1. Absolutely! BTW, I loved your recent blog post. We are responsible for our own diseases. Gotta love Jamie Oliver, now, if he would go veg, that would be pivotal. xx

    1. Robyn, it’s a game changer. Forks Over Knives made me switch to a plant based diet. The China Study is what made me fully committed. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the diet that if everyone on earth followed, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and much more would be almost completely eradicated.

  1. I started eating plant based 10 months ago and would love to read this book then pass it along to my family. I’ve never felt better and want so much for them to change their fast-food way of eating!

    1. You can do so much to win people over with good food. I think people are afraid that plant based means it will taste weird or be full of tofu. Nope, deeeeelicious 🙂

  2. The China Study is where it all started for me, as recommended reading by my physician. I feel blessed that she sent me down this road.

    1. Wow, lucky girl, If only all physicians would recommend this book instead of prescribing more meds, we would have a very different outcomes, that’s for sure.

  3. My motivation is my health – I feel better, I sleep better, I have more energy. Plus, it is great for the planet and I love animals!

  4. My motivation for eating 100% plant-based is animal welfare. The health benefits are just a bonus to me. But hey, if people tell me how great I look it starts the dialogue and that’s what counts 😉

    1. Absolutely, unfortunately it’s very possible to be an unhealthy vegan, so I’m grateful for books like this to show people how it can be done the right way 🙂

  5. I eat plant based with the goal of living a long, healthy, mostly disease free and medicine free life!

    1. Glad you entered! Good luck, yes Forks Over Knives was absolutely amazing. I’m sure it’s helped millions of people change their lives. Incredible.

  6. As you shared about your sharing “The China Study” it was given to us by my husband’s daughter. After reading it, we made whole plant food our lifestyle. My husbands cholesterol dropped from 255 to 55 in 6 weeks. That in itself made us believers. Being that we are in our. 60’s, changing the way I prepare and cook our meals has changed. I hunt out recipes on the internet and have purchased several cookbooks.

    I’m excited about this cookbook because it comes from “the horses mouth”! And as you shared with us “uses simple ingredients that cook up fast.” My kind of cookbook!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    1. Wow, Gwen, that’s incredible. So crazy that many physicians believe high cholesterol requires statins for reduction. My own cholesterol is 135 right now. I have no idea what it was before I went vegan, but I’m sure it was much higher as I was eating meat and dairy on a daily basis. And yes, this cookbook is exactly from the horses mouth! You’ll enjoy it!

  7. Many great things about eating plant-based but my two main motivators are health and being unwilling to contribute to the suffering of other sentient creatures. Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Ditto. Thanks so much for sharing. The whole reason I blog is to help educated people about a plant based diet. It is so rewarding to see people make positive changes and reap the benefits.

  8. Lots of great reasons to eat plant-based but my two main motivators are my health and my unwillingness to cause suffering for other sentient creatures. Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Lucky duck 🙂 It’s a good one. Thanks for the kudos on the photography, I’ve been doing some outdoor stuff lately on the front porch (out of necessity because it gets too dark in my kitchen) l’m liking the results, but that will end as soon as the cold weather hits… Photographing food in snow?

  9. This cookbook would make an amazing addition to my collection and get tons of use! I’m drooling over your pics, lol! 🙂

    1. Hehe! Clean up that drool 😉 I think this well get well thumbed and loved in my kitchen was well. A good mark of how much I love a certain cookbook is measured by how dirty it gets. My most well loved are the ones that get food all over them (inadvertent spills from making recipes)!

  10. Health is my main reason for being plant based, but also social justice issues–we could feed SO many more people with grains vs meat.


    1. Exactly, I think it’s crazy that more people aren’t aware of the issue and even crazier that some people are aware and just don’t care enough to do anything about it.

    1. It’s a good one for sure! Here’s a hint, their recipe actually used cranberries, but I had raisins on hand so that’s what I used 🙂

  11. My motivation behind plant-based eating is the nutrition. The China Study proves this is the healthiest way of eating, and I plan to live a long healthy life!

  12. My health chek up has been a timely wake up call for me..!My family is vegetarian since I presumed we were healthy..We know no other way of eating..
    All my levels are in danger zone..I am starting a new way of life..and the cook book wud be a guiding light…Hope for the best always!

    1. Oh wow, scary! I’m glad you got the testing that you needed and that you are making changes. Don’t wait to make positive changes however, many recipes are available through the Forks Over Knives Site: The engine 2 diet: and more. I went completely cold tofurky (on meat and dairy) I think not having anything that is bad for you in the house really helps with the transition. Best of luck!

  13. I love plant-based eating. It makes me feel light and content. My husband and kids are very open to my recipes too, which is great. It would be great to have another book to refer to.

  14. What a cool contest i didn’t even know they had a cookbook! I love the china study though. The food looks amazing esp the chocolate peanut butter bars, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter 😉

    1. I have to laugh, admission: my husband detests peanut butter and chocolate together, though he is an Australian and that combo isn’t really available there so I have to forgive him.

  15. My main motivation for going vegan is for health. I was vegetarian since 99′ then saw forks over knives when it came out and then and there hubby and I decided to go vegan. Now I was not too up for it at first my hubby put his foot down lol. I’m glad he did though because we have both lost weight, hubby hardly gets migraines and my headaches and complexion is much better. I love saving animals too 🙂

    1. I love that your husband helped push you a long a little bit, usually it’s the other way around. I’m so glad that you are doing better, and saving animals and realizing that you don’t have to leave as massive of a carbon footprint just makes you feel better all around. Leanne (the author) talks about both of those factors in the introduction to the book. Powerful stuff.

    1. That’s a good reason, evidence shows that vegans are thinner on average then their SAD (standard american diet) counterparts 🙂 I think those of us who hop on board for health reasons find that there is so much more to it. I certainly did as well. xx

  16. I’m already a vegan but have not seen Forks over Knives. I’d love to read this China Study so I can get in on the great recipes that I’d love to have.

    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck to all entrants.

    Have a beautiful day/night. Peace.

    1. Ruby! What are you waiting for? Forks Over Knives is not just about veganism (though that’s a start) It’s free on Netflix right now or here:

      The China Study is a book about why a plant based diet results in the best health, least disease and is more sustainable than any other diet on the planet. The book in the giveaway is it’s companion book, a cookbook for those who want to eat by the same standards. Best! xx

  17. The photos look great and the book sounds promising! I’ve been vegetarian all my life but turned vegan initially for the health benefits, but I really committed to it only right after I had my baby 2 years back, and I made the connection between nursing human mothers being just like nursing cows/goats/sheep – we all make milk meant ONLY for our young. I couldn’t imagine someone tearing my baby away from me just to get the milk my body made. It’s been 1.5 years now, and I feel great – physically and mentally! And vegan food blogs like yours give me so much inspiration – both culinary and moral – to keep making tasty food and believe in my convictions!

    1. It’s a funny realization isn’t it. I couldn’t imagine ever drinking or cooking with dairy milk now, and I used to love it. So glad you made the connection 🙂

  18. I went from vegetarian to vegan because it didn’t make sense to me anymore to avoid meat, but still eat other animal products. The more I learn about all the benefits of a plant-based diet, like all the health ones outlined in The China Study, the more I confirm that I can’t ever see eating another way again. I love the China Study and this cookbook sounds awesome!

    1. Congratulations. I always say vegetarianism is just a step towards veganism. At some point the light bulb comes on. Good luck in the contest 🙂

  19. There are several different reasons why I follow a plant-based diet, but the most influential is my family. I want to be an example of someone who is fit and healthy because I want them to be healthy. I want my parents to be disease free, my daughter to grow up eating nutritious food and knowing how to make the right food choices. I have heard so much about the China Study but have yet to read it! I know it has to be a great book loaded with valuable and life changing information.

    1. I think that’s the best possible reason. With the way that obesity and disease are going, I don’t think it’s possible to give our loved ones a more precious gift than the gift of knowledge about good health and how to achieve it. Oh, read the China Study. Borrow it from the library if you have to. It’s amazing.

  20. Watched the video 11/2years ago been vegan since then feel much better, still trying to get the hubby to do it, he will eat a lot of the dinners I make but that is all.

    1. I feel for you. I have to say, I think it’s wonderful that your husband will eat the dinners you prepare, I know many who are in a worse boat then you are. I have a post coming up in two weeks on Ellen Jaffe Jones’ new book, A Kitchen Divided. It discusses exactly what you are going through. I think it would be a good book for you to have so make sure to stay tuned. Keep up the good work. xx

  21. The book sounds fabulous. I love that you let your youngest have french toast for all 3 meals. What an awesome Mom!! Appreciate all the wonderful recipes and advice you post.

  22. I had done a ton of reading on the ethics of veganism and knew the basics of healthy eating, but The China Study was the first book I’d read on in depth health effects of plant based vs meat eating. It was really reaffirming and eye opening! I’ve never wanted to push my views on others but this really got me talking to my family about their eating habits out of genuine concern.
    I love those PB bars! Not only because I could live off of PB for the rest of my life, but because it’s so simple and I imagine the rest are also delicous yet simple ones too to make it really accessible to new vegans!

  23. My motivations for eating a plant based (vegan) diet are the animals, my health and the environment!

  24. Ooh, they look delicious and so great to hear your munchkins loved it too.
    And I’m with you – all cookbooks should have a picture for every recipe! The pictures are half the fun! 🙂

  25. I also watched forks over knives and have there companion book to the documentary! The recipes look delicious!

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