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Archive for the ‘Raw Book Reviews’ Category

I am thrilled to finally touch this book again. I wanted it years ago (copyright 2003, 2007) and decided it was beyond me for some reason…anyway a little daunting…Charlie Trotter’s restaurant is world famous and Charlie has won prestigious awards and authored 14 cookbooks.

The photos of the gourmet presentations make your heart go pitter patter. They are truly the best photos (and best presentations) in the world of gourmet. There are also extensive wine notes from a lead sommelier. The method descriptions are extensive but not overwhelming. Inspiring. And he has a plethora of simple dishes, sides, desserts, sauces (ie, mayonnaise with pine nuts).

It seems you can’t have too many raw food recipes, everyone is literally doing something so different, it is a very exciting genre of food. This book is sheer foo foo, absolute fun and a useful recipe resource.

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Matt makes “The Box” – a number of raw dishes that is mailed to you in a box. I understood from a G Living.com post he was feeding a Hollywood movie set.

Anyway, his recipe book has a very helpful simple coding system that tells you if you will need a dehydrator, blender, and/or juicer and even if it is a level 1, 2, or 3 in difficulty. Most look pretty easy and do not involve dehydrators or juicers. I just made the seaweed chowder, delicious white chowder made from the seawater of soaking Wakame in Pine nut milk. I also loved the hummus which you get to make without any heavy nut/seed pate or garbonzos – he makes it with zucchini, it was very good, but needed half the salt.

A quote from his short-ish entry (the book is really about the recipes and some great photos): “No single thing affects our lives or the world we live in as much as eating, something that most of us do at least three times every single day. Once the way in which you feed yourself changes or evolves, your entire existence evolves.

When your body and mind are free of pollutants, you become a clear channel for receiving information from the universe. There is no longer anything to prevent it. This demonstrates a direct and authentic intention to the universe.

When you become connected with the inner workings of the universe, you allow yourself the opportunity to tap into a consciousness that you have never known and yet always known. The simplicity of feeding yourself from only the plants of the earth is, paradoxically, one of the most profound things you can do.

Your body is your temple. Once your temple is clean and pure, there is space for divinity, insight, and virtue to reside. A temple so full of waste is unreceptive to the subtleties of the body’s divine wisdom, and is therefore unreceptive to the subtleties of existence itself.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and the control of one’s appetite is a true hallmark of enlightenment and immortality.” (p.14-15)

Again the book is about the recipes and I am happy this book is the most user friendly one I have seen. He bolsters my theory that the best recipes come from chefs who make their living from preparing dishes for people.

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Good size (~350 pgs. 8×5) for travel, easy to kick back on the couch with. Excellent little encyclopedia of our favorite raw veggies/fruits. Tons of lists and indexes for various categories, she clearly had tons of info. she wanted to pack into the book and its great!

It also has a light appealing introduction into raw foods. It is written by a woman one can relate to who really made a career of healing and nutrition for years before going raw in 2001. She actually tried going raw in the 70’s and found very little support, she has tried it all.

The 100+ pages of recipes are like a lot of raw books, here are the four ingredients mix them in a bowl/processor or blender. The ones I have tried have been fine to very good. I love their simplicity and I am looking forward to making many more of them. It is nice to have such a dense readable resource. I am really thrilled with it; it just teaches about raw foods, nutrients, healing, family, topics without intertwining philosophy.

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This book by Elizabeth Schneider is huge, glossy pages, an intense collection of veggie info and recipes (not all raw or even vegan) from food workers of many varieties. It includes direct quotes from famous chefs, lots of photos, and tons of information that to enhance ones knowledge about specific vegetables. It’s focus is practical information about processing and storing vegetables for eating, although it also includes interesting historical and nutritional facts (for example some avocados have more fat than others, some more water…)

This book really is a treasure and is used by professional chefs.

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The Balanced Plate by Renee Loux (2006) WOW! I am thrilled! Her new book has 150 of her brilliant recipes. I have probably made 50+ from her last book Living Cuisine and really enjoyed them. Most of them only require the food processor. The Balanced Plate has a prettier format, is slightly larger and is more inclusive of other veggie diets. She uses a simple icon method to code which recipes are raw-friendly, etc. I still hang on her last book for recipes I didn’t find in the new one, so there, get both, they are an incredible value.

My experience is that RAW recipe books written by professional raw chefs have the best recipes. So far, I continue to think hers is the very best for many reasons. Her dishes are the best tasting I have ever had in my life. They are simple and yet they are combinations I have never thought of before. It is a disappointment to read Raw recipes that I already thought of on my own. Her directions are so clear it is impossible to mess them up. Her books are very well organized and have tons of information in them.

Her books offer a delicious way to be a rawfoodist even without a juicer or dehydrator. If you don’t want recipes that require a dehydrator or a juicer that is fine, those dishes are primarily separated into other chapters. You don’t have to weed them out and the majority of the recipes do not require them. She gives heating gently instructions.

A few recipes from her new book:
Last night I made one of her new nori roll dishes: replace the rice with a jicama, parsnip, pine nut mix; mixed in the food processor – Delicious!! I also made her wasabi sauce and next will be the pickled ginger.

Both books need longer indexes.

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My first suggestion is read as many book reviews as you can and put them on hold at the library or just dive into some bookstores and browse – while browsing it would be a shame in my mind if you missed seeing the following:

The recipe book I have used most so far is Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit
of Raw Foods by Renee Loux Underkoffler. These recipes are brilliant and I have said that too often on this blog. Also I use her second book The Balanced Diet by (this time) Renee Loux. This book is just incredible, it is also inclusive of gentle heating in some recipes. Many are iconed with the all raw icon system she has set up for the book. Again very organized, user friendly book and recipes. The indexes need more work because they are too small.

Good information intense Raw Book are:

Conscious Eating: Second Edition by Gabriel Cousens

David Wolfe has a lot of good info in his Sunfood Diet book (skip the
first 78 pages- annoying blathering about how “anything is possible”; there is dense raw food info afterwards, the guy is really into it and has learned ALOT and put it in this book). You may find you have to take his exhuberance with a grain of salt.

Rawsome by Brigitte Mars (I don’t like the crammed in format. There is alot of information which I like about books in general. Looks great and I have heard the recipes are very good…hopefully I can get to some of them this weekend. This is high on my I can’t wait to pour through it list.

After researching many many raw books I recently have chosen the following and will review more later:

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference: 500 Recipes, 275 Photographs by Elizabeth Schneider (Hardcover – Dec 4, 2001); a resource like this seems invaluable!

A fun recipe book: Raw – the Uncook Book (full of photos-
I will be making my first recipes from it this weekend or maybe
tonight. This book gets great reviews from people.)

Renee (Loux) Underkoffler’s second book: The Balanced Plate: The Essential Elements of Whole Foods and Good Health

And lastly (2 I am less thrilled with):
Hooked on Raw
Living in the Raw

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The Longevity Diet

Click here for more book reviews on this book The Longevity Diet

This book was a disappointment. When you look at the podcasts of these geeky intense scientists with their graphs at the CR conferences you expect more science from this book. I believe this is a field that is still about to take off.

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