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A good book for a specialized audience

  • Jan 15, 2009
  • by
If you believe that raw foods are better for your health and want more variety than the typical cookbook offers you, this could be a very important book for your shelf.

There are savory dishes, sweets, drinks, marinated and pickled foods, and a special section on wild edibles. Attractive photographs show how to prepare dragonfruit and durian as well as more familiar fruits like mango and pomegranete, and also how to identify some edible wild foods.

I was not already a raw food devotee, and this book didn't convince me to become one. I had expected new ideas for salads or fruit dishes, and there were some, but most of the recipes involve soaking unlikely things, whirling them in a blender or food processor, and dehydrating them. These dried slurries are then euphemistically named "cookies" or "crackers" or "piroshkis." Sometimes you don't dehydrate the things, but merely roll them into balls, at which point you call them "truffles" or "turkey." Otherwise ordinary salads of tomato or avocado or lettuce are enlivened with nutritional yeast or beet powder and surprising amounts of salt, but otherwise the recipes for raw fruits and vegetables seem straightforward. There are multiple recipes for "jam" each involving dried fruit and water put through a blender, and recipes for condiments that are essentially the traditional ones prepared without cooking. A dish of lentils is soaked rather than cooked, as is oatmeal.

In fact, if you are not philosophically opposed to cooking, your reaction to this book may be that these sound like nice ordinary vegetarian recipes which would be greatly improved by cooking.

However, this book is for those who are philosophically opposed to cooking. There is an introductory section detailing the author's experiences with raw food and claiming that the eating of exclusively raw foods drastically improves health, clarity of mind, and human relationships. Data on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are extrapolated to support the conclusion that food should not be cooked. The most useful elements of the introduction are the suggestions for overcoming obstacles to adopting a raw foods diet if that is your goal.

In conclusion, I'd say that this book is not the one you need if raw fruits and vegetables are merely part of your food supply, but exactly the one you need if you choose not to cook at all and want to replicate to some extent the cooked-food experiences you have given up.

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review by . January 14, 2009
This is a difficult book to rate. There are aspects which are very good but others that are quite weak.    Pros:    The first 53 pages are full of background, great commentary and information. Unfortunately much of the discussion of the health benefits of eating fresh foods is "preaching to the choir" as I imagine most people that buy this book are already aware of just how important eating good healthy food is.    The few photos in the …
review by . January 14, 2009
In the last several years there has been quite a bit of talk about the Raw Food diet. It by no means is a new idea, but had recently become popular through celebrities and TV. In getting Fresh: The Ultimate Live-Food Cookbook I hoped to learn more about the history of raw food eating and to also find some new recipes to incorporate healthier foods into my familys meal time.     The first chapter gives background and concepts behind raw food eating. Touching on things like the …
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Rebecca Haden ()
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I'm a full time web content writer, working for companies and organizations from a goat farm in Oklahoma to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. My specialty is writing for both search engines and … more
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About this book


“Raw food makes us healthy, reverses aging, and improves our appearance, and now you are holding in your hands the proof of raw food's value in rearing exemplary youth. On every page of this book, the authors will surprise and delight you with fresh insights and deep understanding into the child-parent relationship. Their intelligence is vivid, their wisdom is astute, and their love for others is stupendous. Whether you are a parent or child, you will gain insight from this book.”
—Tonya Zavasta, author ofYour Right to Be BeautifulandQuantum Eating

“Sergei and Valya share much wisdom and wit with sound nutritional guidance. They have been well taught and have a unique ability to share with others their perspective on the path to ultimate health.”
—Brigitte Mars, author ofRawsome!, Beauty by Nature, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine,andAddiction Free—Naturally

“Valya's and Sergei's new book inspires and encourages people to explore, persevere, and also to be courageous and imaginative with their new way of eating. They offer helpful and practical guidance and recipes that provide a foundation for success and enjoyment on a raw vegan diet.”
—Vance M. Logan, MD

“Not only do Sergei and Valya prepare the most delicious raw foods, which is talent enough, but the clarity, wisdom, and insights they share about food and health are breathtaking. This book is a must-read for any aspiring health seeker-no question. What they ...
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ISBN-10: 1556437080
ISBN-13: 978-1556437083
Author: Sergei Boutenko
Publisher: North Atlantic Books

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