71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Ani Phyo is getting more and more popular by the day, and in large part that's due to the fact that she, more than any other raw foodist, is making raw food easily and readily accessible. Yes, she does use the dreaded dehydrator, but not for nearly as long as some of her peers. Her food looks and tastes good, but it isn't nearly as fussy and "gourmet" as some of the other stuff out there.
This book goes even further towards accessibility than her last book. Whereas before her recipes for ice "kream" required the use of young Thai coconuts- wonderful, but not always easy to access- here she gives a recipe using easy to find shredded coconut and an alternative preparation with raw coconut. Also, while on her websites she gives recipes for (really wonderful) chocolate using very hard to find raw cacao butter, here she provides a method with coconut oil and then, again, gives tips to use the harder to find ingredient. Yeah- now it's even that much easier to enjoy these (healthier) desserts.
She provides recipes for chocolates, ice creams, fudge, cupcakes, cobblers, pies and even cheesecake- yum! However, she's a little short on recipes for cakes- not entirely sure why, and I'm disappointed because I was hoping to see more of those (she had a few in her last book). Also, the cupcake recipes seem more like mini cobblers. She doesn't give any instructions on how to eat- with a fork? by hand- so I'm not sure what the texture is like. Still, it feels like a worthy experiment to undertake :-)
I'm exciting about trying pretty much every recipe in this book.
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Ani is a master--no, a PhD!--of desserts! And with these guilt-free tantalizers, DESSERT no longer means DESERTing your diet!
As the author of a raw food book myself, I have over 20 raw food recipe books and I must say, I am very impressed with this one!
By far the best part of the book (next to the recipes) are the mouthwatering photos which inspire us to hurry up and make the food so we can eat it! (And hurry we can, because most of the recipes include only 4-6 ingredients, making them simple and fast.) These stunning colored photos of her masterpieces are enough to lure any eater of standard Amercian diet (SAD) into raw cuisine! As I looked at the glamorous photos, I caught myself thinking, "These look just like REAL versions of the recipes! This looks like a real peach cobbler, real fudge cake, real chocolate truffles, etc." Then I smiled as I reminded myself, raw natural food is the real deal, and the processed, refined, chemical stuff we grew up on is the fake, cheap imitation stuff.
Susan Schenck, author of The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet
Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn't Work
Raw cakes leave cooked cakes in the dust, and make them taste like dust. Everyone raves if a cooked cake has a hint of moisture, maybe a tiny bit of pudding inside, but raw cakes are pure moisture! And Ani gives us not one, but 3 recipes for raw cheese cakes! I have a weakness for carrot cake, and her recipes for that with the cream cheese frosting are the simplest carrot cake & frosting recipes I have seen in any raw food books.
Are you tired of paying for overpriced raw chocolate bars? Ani teaches you how to make a liquid chocolate that you can form into molds. You can do all sorts of things with that, including a chocolate-covered frozen banana (which sold for [...] at the Raw Spirit Festival!), truffles, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. I am embarrassed to say I have some white raw chocolate (known as cacao butter) sitting in my freezer for years now. I had no clue what to do with it until I read p. 74 of her book, which shows that you can make your chocolates withstand the heat like a processed cooked chocolate bar can, if you use this instead of coconut oil in the liquid chocolate recipe.
The book covers a whole host of dessert lines, not only cakes and chocolates. There are separate chapters for the following categories: frozen treats, crisps & cobblers, cookies, puddings & parfaits, fruit, sun-baked treats, sauces & creams, and even sparkling desserts with wine & champagne. Yes, folks, wine and champagne are raw, and (if organic), they can be enjoyed in moderation on a healthful diet.
This book is not just about recipes, but informs the reader of a raw food diet, its importance in ecology and health, and includes definitions of many unique raw ingredients such as goji berries, maca powder and mesquite powder. The equipment and tools are defined and illustrated as well. The book is interspersed with side bars and short articles such as info on natural cleansers , the power of certain foods such as acai berry, how refined carbs accelerate aging, how to "green" your frig, etc.
I think the book could be improved in only one way: give us lower glycemic options of using stevia instead of agave. This comes in handy for those with candida, weight loss or blood sugar issues, while also reducing the calories--making the recipes even more guilt-free!
This is the premium raw gourmet recipe book. Any chef worth her Himalayan salt would be proud to use this book as her main dessert uncook book!
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2009
This is another great raw food book from Ani Phyo. I have her first, which has some great recipes, but I was hoping for more raw food treats and this new book completely fits the bill. I love her raw recipes more than any other raw chefs, because they are usually pretty simple, she gives you options for substitutions, and they always turn out tasting great!
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of sweets in this book - ice kreams, ices, cookies, cakes, puddings, cheesecakes, scones, and more. And I liked how she separated the dehydrator recipes into their own chapter, and kept them to a minimum (I'm not big on dehydrating just due to the time factor).
If you are into raw foods, or just looking for a healthy alternative to traditional sweets, you will not be disappointed in this book!
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2009
Half the fun of this book is reading it. It's a happy, upbeat, attractive little book. One of the three recipes I've tried so far needed a lot of adjustment: The Key Lime Kream Bars. It burned out the motor on my powerful Vita-Mix blender -- not permanently, but I did have to wait about an hour for the motor to cool off so it would work again, and that's with putting it in the refrigerator for awhile. The amount of liquid was just too little for the amount of cashew nuts, which are very sticky when blended.
I increased the amount of water substantially and adjusted the seasonings to compensate. I was actually trying to make Ice Kream Sandwiches, which is the Kream Bars sandwiched between two carob "cookies." Well the cookie recipe crumbled into bits and the Kream ended up as key lime pudding. So what I ended up with was Key lime pudding with a carob cookie crumble topping.
But it was one of the best tasting desserts I've ever had, despite the fact that I live in New York City and am no stranger to really good restaurants. It changed the expression of everyone I gave it to from sad or neutral to happy, and they made that "MMMMMM..." sound. They all said it was amazing. None of the people I shared it with were raw-food vegetarians, or even vegetarians.
The trouble is, because of the adjustments I had to make, I'm not sure I could duplicate it (I don't have the instincts of a real chef), but I sure am going to try!
The other two recipes I've tried so far are the Carob Walnut Cookies and the Raspberry (mine was strawberry) Ganache Fudge Cake. Both needed to be a little more sweet for my taste (not the frosting -- that was perfect), but that is a fairly easy adjustment to make.
I don't regret buying this book at all, especially at Amazon's price, because the basic recipes provide good guidance, have seriously high "yummy potential" and I wouldn't think them up on my own. But, at least for me, it is definitely a learning process to use it, and I will probably end up making lots of notes in the margins.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2009
Out of all the recepie books I have accumulated over the years, I would say this book is by far the most used. I have not completely transitioned over to raw, but I hope to in the near future. I do not think I could have attempted the transition without this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2009
Ani creates beautifully simple, easy to make raw recipes. They require minimal time to prepare and the ones I have made are excellent. I love the chocolate covered bananas.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2009
I was diagnosed as being gluten and casein intolerant about four months ago and am finding that raw food dessert recipes work great for me to satisfy the craving for a decadent tasting dessert every now and then. I just received this cookbook today and tried the Strawberry Kreme Cheezecake. If that ends up being the only thing I ever make from this book it will have been worth purchasing it. It was easy to make and tasted great! My husband thought it tasted like regular cheesecake. I'm sure this won't be the only thing I'll try from this book. So many of the recipes sound great. Thank you Ani!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2009
I'm truly enjoying my new cookbook. What I really like most about it is it's versatility. I can replace any ingredient and make it my own creation. Everything is delicious and only a few ingredients. I just love her books! It have ever dessert I can think of--even banana nut bread "biscuits". The only ingredient that I can't find is lecithin powder for the cheesecake, it's not an absolutely necessary ingredient (a little oil will do the trick).
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2009
Great things come in small packages. Ani's Raw Food Desserts is a smaller book, loaded with delicious photos and healthful delicacies. The layout is pleasing to the eye and helpful--at the top of each recipe are little icons of what equipment is needed to prepare it--nice touch! Pecan Pie Cookies, Chocolate Crunch Cupcakes with Molten Mint Frosting and Oatmeal Raisin cookies are some of what you will find inside. All made with ingredients like dates and raisins and fruit. This is the kind of treat I'm happy to give my son. And believe me--he's happy to have it. Recipes are gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and cruelty free. What a great way to indulge while still consuming healthy foods!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
I am eating Ani's Mayan Crunch Truffle Balls right now and they are so good!!! Holy raw goodness! I own about 15 raw food books and I use Ani's the most...by far. I have also found that her recipes are great for introducing newbies to raw food. Her dessert book is so cute, cleanly laid out and compact! Thank you, Ani!!!