Sunday, August 9, 2009

Book Review: Ani's Raw Food Kitchen/Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo

Ani Phyo, author of Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, has come out with a new book: Ani's Raw Food Desserts. Before we get to that, let's talk about her first book. If you are new to raw foods, this is a good primer. In fact, I think it's a great book for anyone interested in health period, even if you don't want to become a raw foodist. Raw food books can be intimidating, this one is not.

I eat raw food every single day (in the form of salads, smoothies, and fruit) though I don't consume a raw food diet completely. I still love raw food cookbooks, I love the luscious photos, and I love reveling in my favorite foods--vegetables and fruit. If you already enjoy a raw food diet, great! But if not, don't feel you have to be committed to a raw lifestyle to appreciate and benefit from raw food books. I think sometimes people miss out on wonderful things because they don't think they apply to them--vegan and raw food for instance.

Ani's Raw Food Kitchen reads a little bit like a magazine. It's full of nuggets and side bars and is easy on the eye and fun to read. There are both black and white and color photos of some recipes. This book is eco-friendly and filled with educational material for a green lifestyle.

Another thing I like about this book is that it doesn't make you feel like you have to go out and get a $200 Excalibur food dehydrator to prepare complicated and time consuming recipes. Not that there's anything wrong with complicated and time consuming, it's just not practical for most people. I have a raw food cookbook that is spectacular, the photos are breath taking, but I've never made a single thing because it's just way too daunting. I am not ready for a three day recipe and I'm not sure I ever will be. Ani's recipes are accessible.

My favorite section is the salad section. I love salads as a daily main course and I'm always on the prowl for new ideas. Arugula with golden beets and walnuts in orange miso dressing is the kind of thing you find here--YUM.

Coconut breakfast cakes (with an emphasis on brain healthy flax meal) would make an excellent quick breakfast for kids to get those motor neurons going before school. There are also some easy to make nutritious bars that would be perfect to slip into backpacks or lunches.

Summertime is the perfect time to delve into raw food--it doesn't heat up the house and the variety of fruit and vegetables at the Farmers' Market is wonderful. It's a great time to try this book, you can get a copy HERE.

And now for dessert. Ani's Raw Food Desserts is a smaller book, loaded with delicious color photos. The layout is attractive and helpful--at the top of each recipe are little icons of what equipment is needed to prepare it--nice touch! Pecan Pie Cookies, Chocolate Crunch Cupcakes with Molten Mint Frosting and Oatmeal Raisin cookies are some of what you will find inside. All made with ingredients like dates and raisins and fruit. This is the kind of treat I'm happy to give my son. And believe me--he's happy to have it. Recipes are gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and cruelty free. What a great way to indulge while still consuming healthy foods! You can find a copy HERE .

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