An Introduction to Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make
Author Amber Shea Crawley, the self-professed “Almost Vegan Chef”, welcomes people of all dietary lifestyles, from omnivore to raw vegan, to learn how to create healthful raw food at their own pace and comfort level. Practically Raw is a colorful cookbook that offers a compilation of delicious raw recipes to help readers add more fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet without compromising taste and fulfilment. The book offers many variations on cooked recipes, and can be adjusted for allergies and food sensitivities.
Crawley’s philosophy is to accept people for their own beliefs, while presenting clear insight into raw foodism for those who are curious, but have not been ready to try it. Just two years after graduating from the Matthew Kenney Academy with her Chef Certification, Crawley has written a book packed with helpful tips, nutritional information, and handy pantry guides. She describes the basics of a raw vegan diet, though she in no way promotes it as the only “right” way of eating.
Practically Rawseeks to dispel the myths that raw food cannot be gourmet or pleasurable. “As a raw food chef and nutritionist, my objective was twofold: to delight readers’ taste buds and nourish
their bodies with some of the most healthful and delicious foods on the planet—raw and living foods. My job was a little more complicated than that, though, because in fulfilling those goals I also kept in mind a number of other factors, such as preparation time, budget, experience level, ingredient availability, access to specialized equipment, and more,” explains Crawley, who believes that raw food should be kept flexible and fun.
Asked by Global Looking Glass what she would like people to take away from trying the recipes in Practically Raw, Crawley says that she wanted to show that “raw food doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or time-consuming to prepare. There’s also no reason why you can’t incorporate raw foods into your diet in small pieces, or prepare raw recipes using non-raw ingredients or cooking techniques when warranted.” Some of the author’s favorite recipes in the book include Pizza Kale Chips, Balsamic-Fig Pistachio Cheese, Vegetable Korma Masala, and of course her Famous Five-Minute Blondies.
Considering the fact that there are other raw food cookbooks available on the market today, Crawley believes her book has much to offer, such as “guidance and easy-to-digest information to the intimidated raw food newbie, inspiration and flexible meal ideas to those just beginning to dabble in the raw world, shortcuts and substitutions to the hurried home cook on a budget, nutrition information and lifestyle tips to the calorie counter or health nut, and exciting, brand new recipes and creative ideas to seasoned raw foodists. Best of all, it offers nutritious, filling, delicious food to everyone!” The author also explains that “no other raw book suggests non-raw ingredient substitution options for hard-to-find or expensive items, includes directions on how to make each recipe without pricey or specialized equipment, or describes how to cook or bake each dish if desired”.
After the success of Practically Raw, Crawley is already working on her second book. “For the time being, mum’s the word on the details…but I will say, I think it’s going to be an even bigger smash hit than Practically Raw!”