Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Raw Food Diary

I like a cookbook that tells a story. You can learn so much from what a person eats everyday or what they prepare for a special occasion, like a birthday party. I like to learn the history behind a dish. Did your grandma make it? Where were you when you first tried the dish? How has this dish impacted your life?

Annelie Whitfield's new un-cookbook, Annelie's Raw Food Power, isn't just a collection of wholesome, mostly vegan recipes (she uses honey in a few dishes), it's a diary about raising her family in the lush jungles of Costa Rica.

Yep, Annelie, her husband, and their two kids sold their London home, moved to the jungle, and lived on a diet of raw, native plant foods. Throughout the book are journal entries and photos from their time there. She writes about the jungle shack they called home, dealing with a teething baby in the jungle, what she packs in her kid's lunch, and how kids eat at jungle birthday parties.

Of course, most of the book is composed of recipes! Wholesome stuff with gorgeous photos on every page — Raw Healthy Pizza (macadamia nut cheese and raw marinara on a buckwheat sunflower seed crust), Quick Raw Tomato Soup, Raw Cauliflower Rice with Stir-Fry Vegetables (don't worry, the veggies are "fried" through dehydrating), Dairy-Free Fruit Yogurt, Mango Lassi Mousse with Berries, Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Coconut Cream Pie.

She even includes natural home remedies like her Onion & Thyme Cough Syrup, Cocobiotic Drink (probiotic coconut water), and her Indian Goddess Syrup (good for warding off colds).

After much deliberation, I chose two recipes. Since I bought a butt-load of fresh pickling cucumbers at the farmer's market last Saturday, I picked this Cucumber & Mint Summer Soup.

This is a blended raw soup made from romaine, cucumbers, mint, garlic, and avocado. It's served chilled, perfect for the 90-degree temps we've been having here. I enjoyed the creaminess from the avocado and the clean taste of mint.

I also made the Salty Corn Chips with Adi's Amazing Raw Zucchini Hummus.

These "corn chips" were dehydrated flax crackers with fresh corn, olive oil, garlic, and salt. I've long been a fan of flax crackers, but these were even better than other raw cracker recipes I've made. There's a ton of fresh, cut-off-the-cob corn in these, and they actually taste like corn chips without all the salt and fat. Now I love salt and fat, but I girl has to eat healthily sometimes, right?

I dipped the chips into the zucchini hummus. I've tried zucchini hummus from a couple other raw books, but it's been awhile. It always amazes me how processed zucchini gives hummus that same creamy quality that chickpeas do. It also contains avocado, which definitely ups the creamy factor. The recipe called for a whole cup of tahini. But I lessened it down to a half-cup because one cup seemed like too much. I used all the other ingredients in the amounts called for, and it still came out perfectly.

Annelie's Raw Food Power is a great summer read. Plus, these healthy, no-cook recipes are definitely meant to be enjoyed at the height of the hot summer.


Cadry's Kitchen said...

The book sounds really fascinating! I agree, I'm always so much more interested in recipes that come with a story attached. I've heard people complain in the past about blogs that add a story and that they'd much rather have the recipe and nothing else, but I couldn't disagree more. I read blogs and cookbooks for the story, and the recipe is enhanced by it. When I eat a dish that has an interesting history, it makes the experience come alive.

Lesley Eats said...

Oh! I just reviewed thsi book for The Scene. Does this mean you have all that fancy gear? Okay, I'm assuming a dehydrator is fancy gear...mostly, I just don't have room for another appliance. :)