I read cookbooks like novels and absolutely devoured The Art of Raw Food. The information provided within the book is so eloquent and the photography is so simple and striking. I have always loved the Danish design aesthetic of clean uncluttered lines and it really comes through in the styling of this book.
I fear that I neglected my husband for a few night as I read this book cover to cover. Usually after we put the kids to bed it is “our” time to watch a little TV (House Hunters International is high on the list) and hang-out together, but I totally blew him off (sorry honey!) as I escaped into the world of raw food created by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert.
I appreciate the fact that this book is not just a cookbook (though we all know I love cookbooks in any form). The first 39 pages of The Art of Raw Food are dedicated to educating the reader about raw food by explaining what raw is and why it is important to consume raw food. In the Preface Jens mentions, “When writing this book, I reverted to a very basic question, a question that has lingered in the back of my mind at various stages of my life: Does it enrich me?” It is clear that the recipes in the book are meant to enrich, satisfy, and energize our bodies naturally. I think we often forget that while food is a HUGE source of enjoyment for us, it is primarily meant to sustain us by providing our bodies with the nutrients it requires to function. Jens and Vibeke have written a book and recipes which show us that enjoyment and nutrition can go hand-in-hand.
There were so many recipes I wanted to try while reading through the book. The breakfast porridge and muesli recipes called to me strongly and did not disappoint. I am now a big fan of making oatmeal the raw food way. It is a simple as soaking oatmeal in water for 1-3 days and mixing it with dates, cinnamon, raisins, and a pinch of salt. I learned in the cookbook that “soaking the oatmeal makes it easier for your body to digest the porridge and thus absorb the nutrients.” For those of you interested in the recipe specifics:
YUMMY OAT PORRIDGE
2 cups (5 dls) oatmeal, soaked for 1-3 days (change water and rinse at least once a day)
1/2 cup (1 dl) dates, pitted
1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup (2 dls) raisins
Drain oatmealand pour into a food processor, add dates and cinnamon, and blend to the desired consistency. Season with salt and mix in the raisins.
Serve as is or add extra fruit such as slices kiwis or strawberries.
If the dates are too dry, it is a good idea to soak them for a few hours before use. (you can keep the soak water to use as a sweetener in a smoothie.)
You can vary the taste by adding almonds (soaked overnight) or coconut flour.
The lunch/dinner recipes, soups, smoothies, and dessert recipes tickled my taste buds too. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate the plethora of veggies from my garden into new recipes. Along those lines…
My tomato plants are taking over the world and I have been making all sorts of plans for consuming the gazillion tomatoes I will be harvesting. When I came across the recipe within the book for Stuffed Tomato Hors D’oeuvres I was thrilled because I had never really thought of stuffing my tomatoes with pates and left-overs and it is something that works for so many different sizes of tomatoes. I now have visions of beautiful cherry tomatoes stuffed with olive tapenade, pesto, egg-less salad, quinoa salad (click here for my recipe), etc. The possibilities are endless!
This un-cookbook has definitely earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf.