Cookbook Review: ‘Nourished’ by Tanya Alekseeva

Long-time readers will know that I have tried and failed when it comes to raw foods. The idea of living on a completely raw diet sounds like the height of hipster to me — but it’s just not me. I like traditional bread and baked porridge and a good, moist cake. But I like raw foods, too; I loved having a raw burger or superfood salad at InSpiral Café in Camden Town, London.

So when someone offers me a simple way to try raw foods at home, I am not one to say no. Reading through Tanya Alekseeva’s e-book, Nourished, I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I can do that!’ and ‘This actually looks tasty.’ I couldn’t wait to get home and try out some of her recipes.
A word of warning: many of the recipes in this book require a dehydrator. Now there are ways to create impressive raw dishes without a dehydrator, but I’m not rich enough to leave my oven on for 4.5 hours at a time, so I just skip those recipes or adapt them to make them semi-raw.
This is where I tell you that you must not buy into the hipster hype that any given diet is the be-all, end-all. Just because you don’t like raw foods or can’t afford a dehydrator doesn’t make you a pariah, ok? You are allowed to eat cake and enjoy it. Tanya’s book is approachable and helpful, and not at all patronising or condescending, which I truly appreciate.
Besides the recipes Tanya includes a handy guide to seasonal vegetables (for the UK; there are bound to be some overlaps with other countries, but that’s something you’d have to see for yourself) as well as a list of the necessary tools you’ll need (not many: a food processor, grater, knife and such — and the ultimate raw kitchen tool, a strong high-speed blender). All in all, it’s a fairly comprehensive book with tools and recipes that I can see myself making quite regularly over the winter months.
I’ve tried some of the recipes from the book in the last few weeks:

I loved the apple & ginger shots. So simple to make — I didn’t even have to chop the apples, they fit right into my juicer — and they absolutely delivered. I made them in hopes to cure a nasty cold I had recently during a particularly stressful week, and wouldn’t you know, within a couple of days I felt so much better. I must point out the typo in the ingredients list, though: it’s 1″, not 10″ of fresh ginger root you should be using. (Don’t use 10″, I beg you. You’ll burn your throat.)

I was very curious about the chia seed breakfast pudding. I tweaked the recipe to use up ingredients in my fridge: I added a peeled clementine to the apple and milk blend, and topped the pudding with sliced banana, spices, seeds and a dollop of peanut butter. The PB turned out to be necessary to cover the slighty bitterness of the clementine; next time I’ll leave it out. Otherwise, it was good, and I look forward to trying chia puddings more often. I expect it’s divine with a blend of bananas or other tropical fruit.

I loved the raw ‘hot’ chocolate! You know me, chocolate is always a winner. It hit the right spot and felt quite warming and cosy, even in wintry Scottish temperatures. (WINTER IS COMING, LADS.) One tip Tanya shares to beat the cold is to add spices to your food. A pinch of cayenne in your ‘hot’ chocolate does just the trick. (No picture, sorry.)


All in all, I think this a comprehensive e-book, and I know I’ll be taking lots of information from it. I look forward to trying more of Tanya’s recipes in the future. Someday, when I have a fulltime job, I will invest in a dehydrator, because I do think for a reluctant raw vegan like myself, they make the job easier. I’d be able to make raw vegetables crisps and other good things. But it’s not an essential tool, and if you don’t have one you can still enjoy this book.

For more information on Tanya Aleskeeva, visit her website betterraw.com.
Her e-book is available from her website.



Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review, however all opinions are my own and 100% truthful.

 

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