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Raw for Dessert

Posted Sep 29 2009 10:09pm
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 café, 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.
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