I recently received a copy of Practically Raw to review. If you haven't already heard of it, you better hop aboard and order yours today. Practically Raw is a great UNcookbook by fellow blogger Amber Shea Crawley of Almost Vegan. Upon arrival I excitedly went through the book scoping out recipes I wanted to try. I bookmarked many things but settled on four delicious recipes to start with. What recipes have you tried from her book?
Here are some of the great things about Practically Raw:
- Great for a beginner! Amber does a great job at breaking down all the info of the book into a way that someone new to raw food can easily take in.
-There's a wide array of recipes.
-Lots of color photos.
-There are cooked options. Amber encourages people to be flexible when it comes to food prep. You may not have all the required hours to takes to dehydrate, or don't have all ingredients on hand. Instead can easily incorporate some cooked shortcuts. That's a new concept in the world of raw recipe books and something that I think is more realistic for many people instead of trying to be perfectly raw and getting overwhelmed which can turn to eating easy junk foods.
-Great intro explaining equipment, ingredients, tools, etc.
-Substitutions and variations for every recipe. Don't have a particular nut on hand? No problemo. Use what you DO have!
-The recipes are easy and many are quick to prepare.
Since J and I have been kale chip monsters lately, I settled on making the pizza kale chips, nacho kale chips, and mediterranean flax crackers first....
... Then we sat in front of the dehydrator digging into the chips and soon as they were finished! We munched and crunched and oooh and ahhed.
The verdict on our favourite? The pizza kale chips win the prize. Crunchy, flavorful - they taste exactly like PIZZA!!! We love the other chips and crackers too.
Pizza Kale Chips
From Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley, (c) 2012. Used with permission.
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup hempseeds
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped (6 to 8 cups)
Combine all ingredients except the kale in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed to blend.
In a large bowl, combine the kale and the pizza sauce. Use your hands to massage the sauce all over the kale, making sure it’s coated completely.
Make It Raw: Arrange the kale in a single layer on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8 hours or overnight, until crisp.
Make It Baked: Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fork or spatula to carefully flip the kale chips over (it’s ok if you miss a few). Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, watching carefully to make sure the kale doesn’t burn, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Hempseeds: additional sunflower seeds or cashews
Red bell pepper: 1 medium ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
Mediterranean Flax Crackers
- they don't look like much (flax crax never do!), but the flax is spectacular and flax crackers are always good when you want a crunch. I made a simple tomato, bell pepper, and jalapeno salsa to go with them.
After those goodies, I made the Peaches N Creamsicle Smoothie. Feeling inspired from Amber's recommendation to try variations, I used apricots instead of peaches since I had a big bag of them and omitted the dates in favor of a few drops of stevia. So delicious!
Congratulations to Rawtella winner, Molly! Her answer: "I definitely want to try the Coffee Rawtella. Even though I'm trying to be high raw, coffee is the one thing I don't want to give up."