Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles through MamaBuzz. I was excited to receive this book in the mail because simplifying my families' diet has been something I have been interested in for quite a while. It wasn't until recently though that I began taking steps to reduce preservatives, processing, and unhealthy cooking methods in our daily diet. A few changes in our diet includes no more goldfish, no more fruit snacks, and no more store bought fruit juice; just to name a few. I have been wanting to cook and eat more "raw" foods for a while but I wasn't quite sure where and how to start. Everything I read on raw eating seemed overwhelming and complicated. So essentially I eliminated most processed foods and stopped there; not quite sure on the next step to take in preparing and cooking simpler for my family. Then came the request to review Raw Energy, yeah!

As soon as that book arrived in the mail I sat down and started reading. Not only is this book filled with tasty and easy to prepare recipes, it is chalked full of helpful and easy to understand advice and education on eating raw. Tourles has simplified a once complicated concept into an easy to use and follow way of eating and living. As I quickly came to understand from reading this book, raw eating is truly easier than the way I was accustomed to preparing and cooking meals. While raw eating is a minimalist approach to cooking, it does not sacrifice taste in the least. In fact, my family and I have come to realize that raw eating is actually more flavorful. Not only does raw eating retain the natural flavors of foods it also keeps all the vitamins and minerals that nature intended in our foods. 

In Raw Energy Stephanie Tourles educates the reader about the fundamentals of raw eating as well as 4 chapters of tasty recipes for raw snacks, smoothies, soups, and energy bars. In addition to the wonderful recipes accompanied with beautiful and tasty looking pictures I particularly enjoyed the chapter in which Tourles outlines essential gadgets in the kitchen for raw cooking. Contrary to my first impressions, raw cooking does not require expensive appliances or items that I would use on a very limited basis. In fact, I have everything in my house already except for a food dehydrator; which I have been considering purchasing for a while. Stephanie makes recommendations for each of the gadgets necessary for raw cooking; she includes recommendations in a variety of price ranges to fit every budget.

Anxious to try a few of the recipes in this book I made Juicy Apple Muesli and Pecan Raisin Balls. I chose these two recipes because I had the ingredients on hand and they did not require a dehydrator. Both recipes were incredibly easy and quick to make. Oh and the taste, wow! My family and I quickly devoured both goodies. I felt so good having my children eat these wholesome and nutrient packed treats. They had no idea that what they were eating was good for them! Once I get a dehydrator I am looking forward to trying many more of the snack, bar, and soup recipes in this book. One thing I would really love to see in another of Stephanie's book is raw recipes for main dishes.

While I normally give away copies of books I review, such will not be the case for Raw Energy. I do not want to give up my only copy, this wonderful book will be a permanent addition to my recipe books. But I do want to encourage each of you to pick up your own copy if you have ever considered simplifying your families eating while retaining all the vitamins and minerals that nature intended in your foods.

From the publisher:
Raw snacks are nature’s original fast foods—delicious, easy to prepare, and bursting with the ingredients you need to stay healthy and energized on even the busiest days. Stephanie Tourles offers 125 simple recipes for mouthwatering parfaits, trail mixes, smoothies, energy bars, juice blends, soups, vegetable chips, dips, candies, cookies, and more. Made from unprocessed whole foods—such as nuts, seeds, dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, carob, cocoa, and fresh juices—these snacks have fewer than 250 calories and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes.

Raw Energy
By: Stephanie Tourles
Retail Value: $16.95
Disclaimer: Mama Buzz and reviewers received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

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