Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Review: Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

Everyday Raw may not seem so every day for everyone at first glance. Some of us are a little intimidated by dehydrators and cracking open coconuts on the kitchen counter. Kenney addresses this right off the bat, "Everyday raw food does not necessarily translate to simple," he says, "...raw food will never be as easy as opening a can or popping something in the microwave. But there are ways to streamline the challenge, and that is what this book is about--preparing restarurant quality flavors in less time." I think he nails it.

I like Kenney's less-is-more approach to ingredients and his commitment to seasonal, local organic produce. Matthew Kenney is a traditional-turned-raw foods chef who has had his own restaruants and written other cookbooks. His passion for food is found on every page--this is a serious foodie who understands the chemistry of food and aims to save readers time by having already gone through the process of experimentation to come up with just the right flavors. That doesn't mean he wants us to be locked into a recipe--he encourages further exploration.

It may seem a little complicated at first for beginners, but I'm a beginner too, and I just find it exciting. I don't mind unusual ingredients like Maca or Goji Berries--the only thing I wasn't familiar with is Tocotrienols (a powder supplement). For people used to preparing more elaborate raw foods, the book probably will seem more like every day fare.

If you do want something nourishing fast, the smoothie recipes are magnificent. There are also salads, soups, salsas and things that don't need dehydrating. The ingredients in his recipes are carefully chosen while textural dimension creates interest and depth. There are many beautiful photos--one for almost each recipe which I find hugely helpful and enticing.

The desserts are gorgeous. I think I will try the Pumpkin Pie this year for Thanksgiving. The Key Lime Tartlets, Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Hazelnut Tart will have your stomach growling, so make sure you don't look at this book hungry. There's a chapter on breads and crackers, spreads and sauces, and main dishes.

Kenney says raw food is "so simple and obvious that we have made it complicated in order to find its core again." I think this is very true. This book is a great contribution to the raw food world and I recommend it. You can go to Kenney's website to learn more.


Kristen's Raw said...

I love the pictures in his book... mouthwatering. :)


Eco Mama said...

I know! Very artful an yummy. Going to try a new recipe today.
Eco Mama

The EcoDiva said...

I JUST bought this book and it's AMAZING! I SO need a dehydrator.


La Mama Naturale' said...

Need to get this book- ASAP- have heard so many great things about it! :) Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Great book I can assure you! We made the Eggplant Bacon with a big eggplant from our garden. The Raw BLT was amazing! It did taste more "real" the next day with actual lettuce instead of sprouts. We also had some Bacon Zoom Burgers using Cherie Soria's book Raw Revolution. Give Matthew's book a try! (and the bacon ;)

Great suggestion Eco Mama!

Sheena LaShay said...

I'll have to look into this book. I purchased Raw: The UnCook Book a few years back and love it. I thin this book will be a great addition.

Eco Mama said...

Thanks everybody, for all the positive input!
Eco Mama