1. The Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw
Wow, you know that the raw-food diet has hit the mainstream when they release the “Idiot’s guide”. This book was prepared by Mark Reinfeld, Bo Rinaldi and Jennifer Murray, these authors have also brought us Vegan World Fusion and the amazing food of the Blossoming Lotus Restaurants (in Kuai and Portland). The authors provide a four week menu-plan to support those interested in suggestions for creative food combinations as they transition into a raw food lifestyle.
The fabulous recipes are complimented by lots of information about sprouting, traveling while raw, detox and cleansing and a nutritional breakdown for each recipe (something you rarely see in cookbooks). The book contains recipes for everything from beverages, to soups, entrees, sprouted grain breads, crackers and of course lots of amazing desserts. The ingredients and techniques are quite simple in comparison to those offered in Vegan World Fusion. The best recipe I have tried so far in this collection, is the Apple-Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola. It is really addictive and would be a great pantry staple for those cold winter mornings. I find myself snacking on until it disappears-who needs almond milk when the granola is this good?
2. Everyday raw
Matthew Kenney, now the proprietor of JivamukTEA in NYC, having left Pure Food and Wine, was the coauthor of the much lauded “Raw Food, Real World”. Matthew is a renowned chef, his expertise is apparent in the complexity and originality of the recipes in this book.
Unlike the other two I have included in this list-Everyday raw provides the most unique and challenging preparations. Matthew has a clear love for young thai coconuts-not the most affordable or ‘local’ ingredient here in Toronto, but, there are lots of ways to replace this ingredient with other combinations of nuts and water-so don’t despair there are options. Many of the recipes have multiple parts and long list of ingredients but the results are seriously impressive. He provides recipes for raw ice cream cones, a raw tofu preparation (a cashew and coconut combination), and raw mac n’ cheese. This man knows how to create almost anything out of raw, unprocessed ingredients.
So, if you’re the kind of person that loves to tackle a recipe involving days of preparation then buy this book, enjoy experimenting and the sounds of ooohs and ahhhs eminating from all those who partake in the results. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great quick and easy recipes as well-after picking strawberries at a local field in Ontario I was inspired by Matthew’s recipes for strawberry sorbet-it lists only three ingredients, and takes minutes to prepare!
3. The Raw Revolution Diet
This is the book that I have been waiting for. Cherie Soria, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina collaborated to bring us a collection of fantastic raw recipes, with all the nutritional information and research one would need to feel confident about embarking upon a healthy raw-food lifestyle. That’s right, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, who brought us the incredible reference books, Becoming Vegan and Becoming Vegetarian, have used their expertise as registered dieticians to provide raw foodist with the up-to-date facts needed to ensure their diet meets all of their nutritional requirements.
Cherie Soria is one of the best known raw food chefs, she has led chef training programs from the Living Light Culinary Institute for years. Her extensive experience is clear, as the recipes in this book are truly delicious! The book provides a one week menu plan and lots of details about the nutritional power of each recipe.
Out of the three, this is the book I have used the most. The date and walnut scones have been a great breakfast treat on those mornings when I needed more than a big bowl fruit. The green goddess dressing is a raw adaptation of the liquid gold dressing recipe in Becoming Vegan-a great way to meet a myriad of nutritional needs. Beyond the recipes, this book is a great reference to turn to when you need to reassure yourself or others that you can meet your body’s calcium, iron, protein and caloric needs with a diet rich in living foods.
2 oranges, coarsely chopped
½ cup purified water
¼-1/3 cup sunflower seeds
4 cups kale leaves, firmly packed
½ apple, chopped
½ green onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp tamari
½ clove garlic, crushed
pinch of cayenne pepper
½ cup diced ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Combine the oranges, water, and sunflower seeds in a blender and process until completely smooth.
Add the kale, apple, green onion, tamari, garlic and cayenne and process until thick and creamy.
Pour into soup bowls and garnish each serving with some tomatoes and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.