Raw Foodist Freshman – Part 2: Required Reading
At first I thought that I’d fit everything that I wanted to say about Raw Food in one article. Not even close. Duh. (Part 1, HERE) Too long and, as readers and writers, we all prefer digestible nuggets (pun kinda intended). So, the next logical item to tackle in this quest to learn more about raw foodism is to recommend some reading material. This will provide more background about the raw food eating mode and the books will present recipes typical of the raw food diet. As mentioned last time, I’m also a relative neophyte in the raw food life style mode, so I prefer to defer to the experts. The ones that write the books… So here then are some of my favorite books and websites on the subject:
RAW FOOD BIBLE - This book needs a lot of help on editorial styling, but it’s excellent on the informational side. It covers everything you would want to know about enzymes, vitamins, proteins, fibers, etc… and how all of this relates to raw food. It’s a wee bit fanatical and granola (do not use microwaves, cell phones, certain personal care products…) but I trust its information. Lots of great recipes from many sources. I’ve tried many of them successfully. Only thing is that that there is no table of content or index, which makes finding recipes and information a little hard. I have successfully prepared the beet pâté and the pancakes from recipes in this book. The pancakes are breakfast favorites.
ANI’S RAW FOOD KITCHEN - Ani Phyo is a chef, author and co-founder of smartmonkeyfoods.com. Her book is mostly recipes, interspersed with thoughts and recommendations on living the raw food lifestyle. I’ve tried many recipes successfully but have been disappointed by a handful of them (like the black sesame seed bread which tasted like sand, until I figured out that the recipe missed out on the instructions to soak the flax seed). Still, it’s a favorite on Amazon.com.
RAW FOOD REAL WORLD by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis, also owners of Pure Food and Wine restaurant in NYC. This couple definitely makes raw food sexy. But, many of the recipes are too involved for me and some of the recommended exotic ingredients can’t even be found at Whole Foods and need to be ordered. Their recipes seem like something that would be served in their restaurant but that’s just not practical in a “real world” kitchen. That’s a little ironic given the title of the book. Indeed, trying to extract young coconut meat from its shell with a cleaver and a crowbar is just not something that I want to do to achieve dinner on a Monday night…. Still their raw granola recipe is simple enough and is one of our favorites. All the recipes that we’ve tried came out beautifully and deliciously. I also love that the authors consider wine (and sake) allowable as it is a fermented drink. I’m considering that carved in stone. I recommend this book if you like to putz around with fancy dishes or for the valid motivational reason that you aspire to look like (or look at) Sarma.
COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO EATING RAW – This is my favorite book on the subject. It is the most practical as it explains raw food basics such as pantry essentials, techniques, tools… It is the best explained sprouting chapter that I’ve seen thus far and is the method that I will follow when I’m ready to try it. Most practical also because it lays out soaking time, prep time and nutritional information to allow for better planning. There is also a four week program that is a good guideline. One reproach: while there are a good number of recipes, I would love to have had more! Definitely a great intro to raw food.
You can find these books as well as other essential tools in the Gourmet and Raw Food Amazon.com widget in the right sidebar of this blog. As you may guess, my list of books on Raw and Living Foods is by no means exhaustive. It is simply the list of the books that I presently own on the subject. I use each one of them every single week.
Also, here are some of the blogs that I have bookmarked. Each blog links to more resources and other blogs so that you can lose and immerse yourself in the raw food world if you are so inclined to do so:
- WeLikeitRaw.com: podcasts, news, recipes and inspiring before & after shots
- RawFoodistguide.com: covers basic raw food talking points
- TheSunnyRawKitchen: yummy recipes that make you want to convert immediately. I’m getting that eBook.
- TheRawChefBlog: the chef in question is Russell James. I wish he were on this continent so that I could attend his class. Will have to travel I guess. Sigh. Getting his book as well.
I’ll get into essential tools for raw food prep in a future post, but in the meanwhile, why don’t you give this quick and delicious recipe a whirl and see how it agrees with you. It is very representative of how easy much of the preparation of raw food can be. And great tasting too. Even your least suspecting guest will love it.
Red Pepper and Walnut Pâté
2 cups raw walnuts
2 stalks celery
1 large red pepper
1 large scallion
Celtic or sea salt to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers or with cut veggies if you want to keep it raw. I often bring this to the office for lunch with cucumbers, celery and a few raw flax seed crackers (recipe in later post). Love it.
Let me know what you think!