Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raw for Dessert

I would say my diet is about 50 percent raw, and during the summer it was quite a bit higher than that. I thought maybe I was enjoying more raw foods because I was tired of cooking, but thankfully that’s not the case. Actually, raw food is just good food. Fresh, unprocessed, naturally delicious food.

I was delighted to be asked to review Jennifer Cornbleet’s newest cookbook, Raw for Dessert. As much as I would have loved to have made any of the delicious looking pies or ice creams, I was limited to desserts that didn’t require the use of a blender. (By the way, I appreciate all of your input regarding my broken blender. I finally decided to contact KitchenAid, and it turns out the part that needs replacing only costs $6. It just arrived in the mail today!)

While browsing through the Raw for Dessert recipes, I noticed that several of them used maple syrup and agave nectar as ingredients. We all know that both of these products are processed, and I think it’s generally thought that even agave nectar labeled as raw cannot truly be regarded as raw. Raw for Dessert addresses the use of maple syrup in the introduction, and I also asked the chef at my favorite raw food cafĂ©, Beets, for her take on the use of these ingredients, as I remembered eating a delicious maple ice cream on my first visit to the cafe. I flat out asked the chef if she considered maple syrup and agave nectar as raw and she answered No. I asked her for her philosophy on using these ingredients and her answer delighted me: If you’re going to indulge in a decadent dessert, a bit of something not 100% raw is okay to be part of the indulgence. For those of you 100% raw, I would say most of the recipes in Raw for Dessert would satisfy you.

So… I made my very first raw cookies! I chose Lemon Cranberry Pistachio Cookies. The recipe was quick and easy to make in the food processor. I let the cookies set up in the fridge for a while.



The cookies are beautiful and so delicious.


I also made my very first raw Brownies. Oh… my… goodness. These are heavenly. Good for me for making a half batch because this chocolate fiend could eat a whole big bunch of these! The recipe called for dried cherries, but since my lemon cookies had dried cranberries, I left them out of the brownies. I used the optional cacao nibs to maximize the chocolate experience. My brownies were not too sweet and bursting with chocolate flavor – just like I like them. This was also a very quick and easy recipe to make in the food processor.


Both of these recipes use dates as the sweetener. The verdict - a big thumbs up so far for Raw for Dessert.

22 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

So glad that the blender part arrived in the mail!!

Oh my, the inside look at those cookies is SO enticing - yum!!

Vegyogini said...

Ooh, I've had my eye on this book! I just whipped up some raw desserts, too, but from Ani Phyo's raw desserts book. Quick, easy, and good!

I'm so glad your blender issue wasn't as expensive as you thought it would be. KitchenAid rocks!

Andrea said...

You've reminded me that I got a part to fix my kitchenAid, too but there was a problem installing it. Can't remember exactly what it was but I ended up taking it to a repair place that fixed it at no or low charge. He said this part often causes a problem.

Those desserts look scrumptious. And they didn't need a dehydrator? (Mine is lent to a friend back in Wisconsin.)

Jes said...

50% raw--way to go! Those cookies look delicious, something I never thought I'd say about a raw cookie!

aimee said...

Thanks for the review. I have her first raw foods book and have been debating getting this one. I think I may have to check it out!

jessy said...

i buy the "raw" agave nectar and always thought that because it said raw that it was really raw. thanks for the heads up, Diann.

i've gotta get Raw for Dessert - those lemon cranberry pistachio cookies & those BROWNIES are amazing! i'll buy the book just so i can make those two & indulge a little myself! mmmmmmmmmmmm!

nora said...

i love the pretty colors in the cookies!!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Wow! Those look delicious! I love eating a lot of raw foods and I would definitely like to eat those beautiful brownies.

Judy said...

Sounds like a great recipe book, thanks for the review and the photos.

I use maple syrup in my raw desserts, even though it's not technically raw. My philosophy is that no sweetener is 'good for you', some are just better than others. Refined sugars are the worst because they tax the body because they are 'empty', but maple syrup and agave both have minerals which makes them easier for the body to use. Sure, their enzyme levels will be nowhere near that of raw spinach or sprouts, but the point of dessert is not to nourish, but to enjoy!

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Jenn said...

Mmmm. Those cookies look yummy!

Mihl said...

I also reviewed the book today. I like it a lot. I didn't even think about agave nectar not being raw.Of course you are right, but I also love the authour's philosophy. This book showed me that I can make the most delicious desserts with easily acessible ingredients.

Charlotte said...

Cool! Those look great. I, like may others I'm sure, am a little intimidated by "cooking" raw. I keep meaning to get a good cookbook so I can start slowly making things at my leisure...

miss v said...

dates are such an unsung hero! when i try to really stick to a high raw diet, i love the dates, b/c who can say no to a scrumptious raw dessert? they're the best!

Oraphan said...

What a fantastic job! Those desserts look so delicious, Mmmmmm! Can't wait to buy this book, you inspired me to try raw dessert, thank you! :)

Hannah said...

I was also tempted to try the brownies... They look just as good as they sounding on the page!

I too noticed that this book wasn't 100% raw, but didn't want to start complaining since I feel like an outsider to this movement, and it doesn't matter too much either way to me. Glad it caught your eye, too.

Ricki said...

This sounds like something I'd love. . . another cookbook I must buy!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Those cookies look good!!!

taleoftwovegans said...

Those cookies look so yummy! And I LOVE the inside shot, beauties too. The cookbook is sounding pretty enticing to me right now! ;)
-K

copper canyon grill boca raton said...

Definitely my kind of dessert!

Serving Tray said...

I wonder where can I possibly get this book!?

James Reno said...

Thanks for the book review and showing us how some of the recipes came out. Keep up the good work!

James Reno
Raw-Food-Repair.com