I picked up Raw Food: A Complete Guide to Every Meal of the Day by Erica Palmcratz and Irmela Lilja after a few interns and I purchased this book for a co-worker last summer. She was excited about making the bell-peppers that are on the cover of the book. They looked tasty, and the book seemed like a good book for a raw food beginner, so I decided to try it!
This book is a great starter raw food book for newbies. The recipes do not require any of the expensive, complicated materials that are often associated with the preparation of raw food, such as dehydrators. You need a blender, a food processor, and a few other common household kitchen items to get started. Last summer when I originally purchased this book, I made quite a few of the recipes.
The smoothies were great for pre and post-workout “pick me ups.” The recipes such as lettuce wraps that called for the use of avocados were downright delicious and very easy to make. My favorite recipe was the stuffed bell pepper recipe featured on the cover of the book. That recipe called for the use of leaks. This was my first time using leaks. I thought I had to go to Whole Foods to purchase them, but they are carried at many regular grocery stores. I had just been overlooking them for years.
One of the best features of this book is the beginner guides included. Palmcratz gives the raw food newbie a breakdown of common ingredients and tools with an explanation of how to use them and where to find them. She describes how to “progress” from simpler recipes to more complicated ones without feeling overwhelmed. The book also included vivid color photos of the “finished products” so that the reader will know what to expect once the recipe is completed. For raw food veterans, this may not be the best book. Many of the recipes may be too simple. Also, many hard-core raw foodists may not like the fact that the author is not 100% raw. Instead, she advocates well rounded healthy eating and a majority-raw food diet.
The only con to this book is that, although it does not require expensive equipment, it does require time. Like many raw food recipes, the prep work can take hours even though the actual (non) cooking time is fast. The author is Swedish, so it’s hard to find concrete information about her in the US, but you can check out her website here. Google will translate it for you!