{review} “Practically Raw” recipe book

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in Review

Practically Raw Uncookbook CoverI’m not really sure, but I do believe that because I’ve loved {Amber’s work and play} for years now and invited her to {be a contributor to uncooking 101} there must be some level of bias when I review this book.

So keep that in mind. Of course since I already adore Amber, and so do our readers, that has some effect. Actually, I think my existing adoration of Amber’s work makes the bar already really high; she had a lot to live up to when I finally had my hands on this book! In any case, it did live up to my high expectations.

HIGHLIGHTS

As far as I know this is the first and only book of its kind… The recipes are raw, but the following are the highlights of almost all recipes in the book:

  • Variations + substitutions to change up the recipe (Love this!)
  • The recipes themselves are pretty simple to make and mostly with easy-to-find ingredients
  • Calories and nutritional values
  • Yield + servings
  • Time to make
  • Where applicable: cooked alternatives to the raw recipe

Most importantly, every recipe I actually took the time to make and taste test, came out absolutely delicious. You know that Amber must have taken a lot of time testing and making sure all the details were spot on. This helps to prevent the not-so-fun experience of making a recipe that totally bombs because there was a mistyped or missing ingredient. Or one that’s just Not That Good.

Amber’s recipes are SOLID; she knows her stuff and shares it effectively!

I have to point out that a number of Amber’s recipes are on our website, and {the 5-minute blondies} get more positive reviews than almost any other recipe on the site. She includes variations to it in the book, which is pretty exciting for those {5-minute blondie} obsessives!

CHALLENGES

There were a few for me personally that I cannot omit and give a fair review.

Non-raw ingredients were used throughout the book (such as maple syrup, nutritional yeast, tamari) and often without mention that they are cooked ingredients. It’s only about 20% of the recipes, so for someone (like myself) who does not use those ingredients and is experienced with making substitutions, this is no big thing.

NOTE: To be fair, there is info about these ingredients in the introduction to the book, but I wouldn’t think to cross reference it when making a recipe. And for readers out there: know that you can replace tamari with Coconut Secret’s coconut aminos and maple syrup with Coconut Secret’s coconut nectar. Just if you want to keep it all raw because you’re healing big time or are sensitive to cooked ingredients!

My main concern in mentioning this is for a newbie who THINKS he/she is eating all raw to heal their body when in fact is NOT, this can be a slightly bigger challenge. Tamari and maple syrup, for example, wreak havoc on my own health, personally. I remember the first time I used maple syrup from a raw recipe I found (the freezer fudge in Raw Food Real World), I found myself finishing off an entire dessert recipe far quicker than usual. And then found my old blood sugar issues return. I only found out when asking some raw friends about why I’d suddenly had old issues creep back in, that it may have been the maple syrup. I felt duped! :-)

I also would have liked to see the photos for a few recipes (like flax crackers), but generally there were great photos throughout so this was no big thing.

SURPRISES

The use of base recipes. Now, when you’re making a recipe that calls for a base recipe PLUS that recipe, it can take some getting used to… BUT looking at it another way… THAT is great for someone who’s looking to become more habitually raw!! When you already have several bases that are easy to transform, that is like GOLD!

WHO WILL LOVE THIS BOOK

For someone who eats a lot of cooked food, this is a great book to dabble in raw food without jumping all the way in. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to anyone looking to add more fresh foods into their lifestyle!

But you know what? Folks who have been eating raw for only a year or two would surely find some fun new recipes to try too. As a long-term raw foodie I found several new recipes for myself, too. :-)

THIS BOOK *MAY* NOT BE IDEAL FOR THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE

Raw foodies who follow “true” “simple raw” (such as 80/10/10 or low-fat raw vegan), very few of the recipes used would work well. Those folks may like this book for an occasional recipe, but most don’t fit in with that diet.

WHERE TO FIND THIS BOOK

I’m not sure if you can find it in other bookstores (although you could order it to support your local booksellers if they aren’t carrying it already!), but I know you can find it nationwide at Barnes & Noble booksellers and {here on Amazon.com}. I haven’t read the reviews but just had a peek, and there are 31, 5-star reviews there with NONE less than that. That’s nothing to sneeze at! People are LOVING this book!!


 
Review by Eva Rawposa


 
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