Book Review: Raw Food for Everyone

Raw Food for Everyone by Alissa Cohen serves as both an introduction to raw food for beginners and a more advanced cookbook for experienced raw foodies.

The raw food movement eschews animal products for an abundant variety of plant-based foods. The plants (in the form of leaves, roots, and stem, as well as oils, vinegars, and so forth) must be eaten as close to the raw state as possible. Heat breaks down many vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients. Raw, living foods have these nutrients intact and available for the human body.

Author Alissa Cohen owns the Grezzo restaurants, which are gourmet raw foods restaurants. They cater to both the dedicated raw foodist and to people who just want to see what raw foods are about. Her cookbook, Raw Food for Everyone, continues this tradition with a wide range of recipes, some simple, some complex.

Alissa Cohen provides a lengthy list of foods that are acceptable in a raw food diet. Many processed foods, for instance, use heat in their production. Soy sauce is one of those foods and balsamic vinegar is another, so she lists particular brands that qualify as raw and also online resources for finding raw processed foods.

Another place where the book excels is in the details of how to sprout seeds and nuts. She lists the amount of a particular seed to sprout and how long to sprout them. Also, how much the sprouts will serve – so that we find that three tablespoons of radish seeds will sprout into four cups of radish sprouts. She explains which seeds need to be rinsed as they sprout, or go into the refrigerator or on the windowsill, and so forth.

The variety of recipe styles is a major strength of the book, but also a weakness. Where many raw food cookbooks seem to concentrate of salads, soups, and smoothies, Cohen’s book covers more complex recipes. She has sliders, lobster mushrooms benedict, gnocchi carbonara, pizza, and many more. Some of the recipes take several days to make. And there is the drawback. Several of these recipes cannot be made by someone who works outside the home five days a week.

Even so, I recommend Raw Food for Everyone for anyone who wants to see what raw food is about. The variety of recipes alone should provide something for everyone.

    1. Heather Carr

      Ha! Good point.

      Many recipes use dehydration to concentrate flavors, but nothing over 112 degrees F. Maybe that counts as cooking?

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