WAIT! Don’t go!
I know you have dozens of other tweets and posts and pins waiting to be looked at, and you glanced at this one and thought “Not vegan. Not a raw foodie. Not interested.”
But you’re so wrong!
No matter what your everyday diet looks like, this cookbook is for everyone with a sweet tooth in August. Because even though the word “baking” is in the title, you never have to turn on your oven. And what’s not to love about treats that also keep us cool in the kitchen? Cakes, puddings, and brownies without breaking a sweat? Yes, please!
Maybe you don’t recognize Emily von Euw’s name (I didn’t), but you’ve probably heard of her blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life. I’ve been snagging recipes from her site for years. Because, while I’m not vegan and I’m not a raw foodie, I do care about eating good food. And Emily’s food is so good in so many ways.
Don’t let the title fool you. Rawsome Vegan Baking* is not just for raw foodies, nor vegans, nor is there any “baking” involved. This book is packed with natural and delicious recipes for cakes, puddings, cookies, bars, and ice creams of all kinds. All of them are gluten-free. Nearly all of them are grain-free. And all of them are sweetened with a natural sweetener (typically dates or maple syrup).
If you’ve done a fair amount of gluten-free, grain-free, or refined-sugar-free cooking, you probably have all the ingredients you need in your pantry. And if your diet isn’t anything-free, don’t worry. There are no weird ingredients to track down. If you can locate some nuts, dates, cocoa powder, and berries at your local grocery store you’ve got the basics covered.
These Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Squares for example, are almost entirely made from almonds, dates, and cocoa powder. Would you believe it?
Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to pull a fast one over your gluten-consuming, sugar-addicted co-workers. You’re not going to fool anyone into thinking you’ve baked a batch of traditional cookie bars, or picked up an ice cream cake from DQ. But who needs tricks? These desserts are so delicious that they can stand on their own. And if your co-workers still aren’t convinced, who cares?? More for you!!
You’ll need, at least, a food-processor for most of the recipes. It’ll help you grind the nuts and the dates into crusts and fillings. A high-speed blender is very helpful for the recipes where a silky smooth consistency is the goal. Our Vitamix got a workout making the three “ice creams” for this Triple Layer Ice Cream Cake. I could have done it in the food processor, but it wouldn’t have turned out nearly as smooth and creamy.
This cake recipe looks super-fancy and impressed the whole family at dessert time. But it only took about 20 minutes to mix together the ice creams. After that I just kept the pan in the freezer and added a new layer whenever I thought about it, every hour or so. So easy!
While it seems to be the trend these days to fill cookbooks with a bunch of anecdotes and chit chat, I love that this one is straight to the point. Table of contents, 2-page introduction and then–Badda-bing! Recipes! And even the recipes are simple. No, I’m serious! One recipe’s instructions simply say “Blend. Drink. Smile.” and there’s an ice cream recipe with only one ingredient, “3 bananas”. If you can’t make the Heavenly Banana Date Shake or the Banana Ice Cream, you probably shouldn’t have a blender.
If I’m forced to identify a criticism, it’s that Emily doesn’t give a lot of hand-holding. These techniques and ingredients are very familiar to me, so I had no trouble with any of the recipes or the ingredients. But for someone accustomed to traditional flour-baking and traditional sugar, it might feel a little like learning to swim in the deep end of a pool. But the great thing about recipes like these is it’s hard to mess them up. No matter what happens, you will always end up with something edible.
* Review posts are my opinions on items that were sent to me free of charge. The items were given to me, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not provide reviews of every item sent to me and only review items that I find to be truly worthy of recommendation.