Saturday, 3 April 2010

Book Review - Becoming Raw

Becoming Raw
The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets
Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD
with Rynn Berry
352 pages

This book is a powerhouse of information on learning about, and adapting to, a raw vegan diet. Written by two dietitians, it is chock-full of every sort of nutritional information that you could ask for - a breakdown of vitamins, minerals, acids and enzymes are given for every raw vegan food imaginable. Even if you were, like me, only interested in adopting certain aspects of the diet to your own life - the authors have presented a wonderful reference guide.
The writing is clear and convincing, backed up by copious references.

I know, you are wondering - Natashya, are you giving up hamburgers and chicken souvlaki? Not on your life. I am not planning on taking the plunge to raw veganism, although the authors do paint a convincing picture, I am interested in the health benefits of adding aspects of the raw vegan lifestyle to our own lives. I love the idea of soaking grains, and of eating large amounts of fresh, seasonal produce with minimal preparation. These are the kinds of foods that make you feel good when you eat them and the authors show you how to balance fresh fruits and vegetables with soaked and sprouted grains and nuts for protein.

There is a chapter on nutritional guidelines and menus, with lots of exciting and fresh recipes to try and advice on how to combine them in your day. As a demonstration, I made the Ruby Red Salad this weekend. It is delightfully sweet and hearty and healthy, designed to help flush your system and fill you with vibrant energy.

If you are contemplating the raw vegan lifestyle, even on a part-time basis like us, Becoming Raw has got to be the most comprehensive guide out there.

Ruby Red Salad
adapted from Becoming Raw

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups grated beets
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp sliced fresh chives
Salad dressing of your choice (I used olive oil and raspberry vinegar to taste)
Coarse salt
Ground black pepper
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

Combine the carrots, beets, parsley, cranberries, walnuts, and chives in a large bowl. Add the salad dressing to taste and stir until the vegetables are thoroughly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the pomegranate seeds.

This Ruby Red Salad is linked to Souper Sundays with Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.

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