A few months ago I was sent a lovely e-mail asking if I'd like to review a book, when I looked into it more closely I realised that it actually ticked a lot of boxes in my own investigations.
This is the book- 'Nourished' Comforting Raw Foods For Winter. by Tanya Alekseeva. Tanya is the founder of betterraw.com and is a wellness coach, chef, author, Reiki do Satori master healer, and a renowned raw food and detox expert. I think you'll agree a lady right on my wave length! :-)
Raw foods have always been intriguing to me particularly since we'd recently covered those areas as part of my Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching course and I was keen to get stuck in with experimenting further. However with the winter months fast closing in (yes, this was late autumn when the e-mail originally came through), I was worried that eating raw foods in winter would just leave me feeling cold inside. For many, raw foods often come to mind in the form of 'summer salads' and i'll admit that was what my subconscious mind was still thinking, so it was great to see a book that specifically catered for raw foods in Winter to challenge my view!.
I've had a couple of months now to have a play with the recipes, and there is a lovely wide variety, many of which do not require any special equipment. I do have a dehydrator and so was keen to try some of these recipes out too, but whenever I try a dehydrator recipe, where practical I also try and replicate it using a standard oven on the lowest temperature. The recipe taken from the book that I am showcasing below does exactly that and it worked perfectly! Note: the oven will not preserve the nutritional value of the ingredients to the same degree as the dehydrator (but it's just as tasty!)
The book has a few intro pages on ingredients, tools and how to approach raw food recipes to get you going. This is really useful if raw foods are new to you but not so detailed as to be overwhelming. Then it progresses to lots of recipes... around 45 in total covering Drinks & Breakfasts, Snacks & Sides, Meals and Desserts.
Since i'm more familiar with raw desserts I decided to focus my experiments on the savoury recipes. This was my favourite- 'Tanya's Onions Bread- perfect for an open sandwich, as a raw pizza base, with soups or dips etc. Complete versatility! Yes it does take a while to make but most of that time is 'waiting' time not working time- it is not labour intensive at all (you know how much i like things to be quick and easy!). You could also easily make a double batch.
For pretty much the first time my life I actually followed the recipe exactly! Here it is below, courtesy of Better Raw.
Recipe: Tanya's Onion Bread
- 1 cup ground flaxseeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water overnight
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
- 1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
- 2 tsp caraway seeds, soaked overnight
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- cup raisins
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp dried coriander/cilantro
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
Put the sunflower seeds, walnuts, celery, raisins and onion in a food processer and mix until well combined.
Add the soaked flaxseeds and the remaining ingredients, process until smooth.
Divide the mixture into two parts and spread each part to a 1 cm thickness over teflex sheets.
Dehydrate at 110 degrees F for 10 hours, turn over and place onto mesh sheets and return to the dehydrator for another 6-10 hours.
Cut into any desired slices and make yummy sandwiches or serve with soup.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Jo's note: I followed Tanya's instruction above but I also made a second batch and spread it out on a lined baking sheet at 'baked' it for approximately two hours on my lowest oven temperature (approx. 80ºC). I covered it loosely with foil after 1 hour to ensure the most even cook. Just keep an eye of it and use your intuition as to when it's ready.
Note- I was provided with the ebook to review, but all of the opinions and photographs are my own.
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