Gena Hamshaw, who blogs at Choosing Raw, has a gorgeous book out to introduce you gently to adding raw foods to everyday options. Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat
What I like about this book is that it gradually introduces you to raw options. The book is not about eating entirely raw all the time. It makes it easy to add the raw and regular plant based meals to everyday options and allows you to choose your way of healthy eating. There are chapters that take you through “Tried and tested” recipes with everyday cooked food mixed with some raw, the next level introduces you to “something new” and then takes you to the “Brave new world” of raw food.
The book has chapters on nutrition and Myths and misconception which cover information on protein, questions about soy, fats, oils and more. There is a dizzying amount of information on the web and extreme ideas about some of these topics. I was very happy to see a balanced perspective on the topics in the book. I transitioned to a plant based diet because of ethical reasons and the health and nutrition information came with it. All the extreme stands and confusion just end up making plant based eating more difficult when it isn’t so.
I have followed Gena’s blog for a long while now and have been continuously impressed with the knowledge she has to share. Her posts are insightful, food simple and delicious and the blog humble and welcoming.
I made a couple of recipes from the book and have book marked a bunch more to try this summer like Mesquite glazed Tempeh, Raw Carrot Falafels, a couple of the dressings.
The decadent Blueberry cheesecake was made into personal tarts so I could keep some for hubbs later. (pictured above) Quinoa Meatless balls served with zucchini badly made into wide pasta. I don’t have a spiralizer or julienne peeler :). The meatballs come together very easily and can be added to anything.
Caesar dressing from the Dinosaur Kale and Bean Salad. Tossed in some chickpeas and peppers and made Rainbow Chard wraps.
Gena is a nutritionist and everything in the book comes from research and not claims. She also tells you her story through her eating disorder, fully raw to the mixed raw diet which is written very honestly and the story is very engaging. There are 125 recipes, 21 meal plans, and absolutely beautiful photography in the book by Hannah Kaminsky. There is so much more to Raw food than smoothies, all desserts and 24 hour dehydration recipes. :)
Gena and the Publisher are kindly giving away a copy of her book to one of the blog readers! Please enter the giveaway at the end of the post.
Raw, Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
If you think authentic cheesecake flavor is impossible without the cheese, think again. Raw cheesecake happens to be one of the most authentic tasting raw desserts, thanks to the magical combination of cashews and coconut oil. The cheesecake is easier to prepare in a high-speed blender than a food processor, but the processor can work if that’s what you have. Just be sure to soak your cashews overnight! If you don’t have cashews, macadamia nuts are a perfect substitute.
Makes 1 9-inch Round Cake, or 8-10 Servings
1 1⁄2 cups almonds
Pinch sea salt
2 cups pitted Medjool dates
3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
2⁄3 cup melted coconut oil
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 cup agave nectar
2 cups blueberries
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1. Place the almonds and sea salt in a food processor and grind roughly. Add the dates and process until the mixture is well processed and sticks together when you squeeze a bit in the palm of your hand. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Use a high-speed blender or food processor (high-speed blender is preferable, but a food processor will work as well) to process all the filling ingredients thoroughly, until they are silky smooth. If you’re working with a processor, you may need to stop often to scrape it down. Pour the mixture over the layer of crust and use an inverted knife to smooth it over. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for an hour, then transfer it to the fridge and let it set overnight.
3. When the cheesecake has set, blend 1 cup of blueberries, the lemon, and the agave nectar in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining whole blueberries. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake (or you can spoon it over individual slices). Serve.
Cover and store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 10. If you freeze the cake, defrost the slices in the fridge for several hours before serving.
From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014.
Enter the Giveaway below. Open to US residents.