This brightly illustrated, eclectic compilation of vegan recipes urges readers to find joy by changing unhealthful culinary habits.
Jayne’s debut reflects her wide exposure to international food methods and philosophies as well as the mental and physical benefits of yoga and meditation. The Australian author has traveled the globe, including during stints on cruise ships as a performing artist. Now she’s a naturopath, an advocate for Ayurvedic medicine, a yoga instructor, and an avid blogger. Here, she’s assembled a helpful introduction to the raw-food world. Without being doctrinaire, she urges her readers to craft personal diets based on food that’s “closest to its pure form, without adulteration,” in order to “work with, not against, the body’s natural intelligence.” This belief inspires her vegan recipe collection, which gives an effective overview of raw-food possibilities. Although some ingredients may not be easy to find in neighborhood groceries, many of them, including fresh coconuts, kelp noodles, lemongrass stalks, and hemp nuts, can be ordered online. She offers instructions for creating nut milks, butters, yogurt, and sauerkrauts, as well as recipes for smoothies, soups, salads, snacks, and main dishes that play on old favorites such as nachos (using creamed corn chips) and ravioli (made from thinly sliced beets mixed with red-pepper pesto). The dessert section is the most thrilling of all, as it makes indulging in sweets both healthy and guilt-free. It combines ingredients such as apples, nuts, coconut sugar, figs, and cacao powder to create delicious, nutritional treats, including fudge, chocolate baklava, custards, doughnuts, and a “5 Minute Chocolate Brownie” (a tempting nuts, raisins, and cacao powder combo). Newbies may want to start in this section. However, other aspects of the book may deter some readers, including its lack of a comprehensive index; light-colored, hard-to-read text; the repetition of the cutesy term “joyful preparation”; and its dependence on dehydrators and very strong blenders.
An often engaging book that offers original ways to bring variety to daily meal preparation—even for readers who aren’t ready to commit to a raw-food, vegan lifestyle.