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194 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting edge and destined to become a raw food classic
I have been over 10 years raw and over 10 years macrobiotic before that. During this time I have viewed countless cook books. Ani's Raw Food Essentials is one of the best. By design, it's an impressive book. It has a beautiful layout along with the strength and feel of a high quality text book. It provides detailed instruction for basic raw food staples (salads,...
Published on May 12, 2010 by Kurt

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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Food is ALIVE!!!!
"Raw Food Essentials" is the latest from raw food entrepreneur/eco-powerhouse Ani Phyo. Her book lays out the basics for those who have started the raw food vegan diet.. and she draws on her own Korean heritage with the Korean raw fermented cabbage essential, kimchi. The recipes are user friendly (such as her Pad Thai made with kelp noodles) Kelp noodles are delicious and...
Published on June 24, 2010 by Amaranth


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194 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting edge and destined to become a raw food classic, May 12, 2010
By 
Kurt (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
I have been over 10 years raw and over 10 years macrobiotic before that. During this time I have viewed countless cook books. Ani's Raw Food Essentials is one of the best. By design, it's an impressive book. It has a beautiful layout along with the strength and feel of a high quality text book. It provides detailed instruction for basic raw food staples (salads, soups, smoothies, cereal, wraps, sandwiches, and rolls), comfort food favorites (pizzas, pasta, cheezes, scrambles, pancakes, pies, cakes, cookies, and ice kream), and innovative creations that will leave you and your friend's heads shaking in amazement (tortilla soup with jalapeno-lime kream, Korean dumplings, vanilla and lemon Kream crepes, and scones!!). Whether you are a beginner or advanced student, you will find that it does all these things, and it does them all very, very well. A couple distinguishing factors make her book stand out from all the rest. First, instead of limiting itself to a series of recipes, it provides the theory and concepts behind each of them to a far greater extent than I've seen before. Whether it's the basics of salad dressings, cheezes, soups, pizzas, smoothies, wraps, or deserts, Ani provides detailed instruction that will give you the power to develop your own creations. Second, she incorporates a broader range of ingredients and by doing so lessens the reliance upon high fat seeds and nuts that some people may be concerned about with raw food. You will learn how to utilize fruits, veggies and sprouted grains in places where you may have previously used seeds or nuts. By way of example, her mock tuna salad is made with carrots instead of sunflower seeds, and her onion ring batter is made with a buckwheat base. Of course seeds and nuts are still used in good proportion throughout as they provide essential oils and protein, but you will be pleasantly surprised to learn how to utilize more fruits, veggies and grains in your courses. Finally, there is a most charming 2 page chapter on how to incorporate raw food for our canine friends. In the beginning pages, Ani discusses how this is her version of "Raw Foods 2.0." She is being modest. Her book reaches the next level beyond that.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ani's Best Book Yet--Classic!, September 12, 2010
I like all of Ani Phyo's books, but her latest effort is the best yet. Ani's RAW FOOD ESSENTIALS is a hard bound raw food cookbook sure to be a classic tome on every healthy kitchen shelf.

ARFE is well organized and fun to read. Ani's tone is upbeat, conversational, and you can see how passionate she is about this lifestyle. It's an all encompassing lifestyle, embracing chemical free living, reducing our carbon footprint, in addition to eating a healthy organic (as local as possible) diet.

I really appreciate the little icons at the beginning of each recipie so you can see what you need for food prep during a pre-dinner thumb-through. There are shadowboxes throughout with various tips and information, and several tanalizing color photos in the center of the book, with black and white photos throughout.

Ani's recipes are known for being accessible. What I like is that she still manages to keep the flavors interesting and complex while keeping the work to a minimum. The noodle dishes are a great example. I can whip up a raw noodle dish with complex Thai undertones in a matter of a few minutes.

Being a big fan of the noodle bowl, I was excited to see several raw noodle recipes as I'm always interested in interesting variations. Carrot Angel Hair With Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cheddar Cheeze Sauce is a great example--I would have never thought of making carrot noodles and combining them with sun dried tomatoes, arugula, and a cheeze sauce---Yum.

I also love the way she gives you the basics and then lets you run with it--basic salad dressing, basic cake, etc. You get a solid foundation and then are encouraged to come up with your own variations.

You do need the basics--high speed blender, food processor, and dehydrator. Ani recommends the Excalibur, but I suggest the TSM dehydrator instead if you have a little extra to spend. This may seem like a big expense to some, but I use my equipment daily and consider it an investment in my health and well being. There are enough recipes here that do not require the dehydrator, but the first two items are really essential.

This is a perfect book for people just starting out with raw foods, people who have been at it for a while, and just for anyone looking to amp up their nutritional value and taste of their meals and snacks. There are a ton of wonderful recipes for pretty much every occasion. It's a classic, highly recommended.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ani Does it Again!, October 19, 2010
By 
I. Rodriguez (ORLANDO, FLORIDA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I was recently diagnosed, but have been suffering with Lupus and M.S. sympotmatic. As a health guru and Personal Trainer I am big on not taking any over the counter medication or prescribed meds. Unfortunately my situation was so bad I gave in to taking what my Doctor perscribed me, which made me gain incredible weight despite the fact that I was a vegan. I decided to go raw once again. I tried in the past years ago when there just wasnt enough info out there and the food was...well, gross.
I knew of Ani Phyo, but I thought it would be a great expense to buy all the products and machines. I have to be honest, there is an upfront cost for this lifestyle, but it is so worth it.
Ani Phyo's books are an easy read and very informative. The ingredients may be stuff you have in your home and if not, there is a small cost up front, but they last a while. If you have a Costco or Bj's close by, I suggest you go there and buy in bulk if you plan to make this your everyday lifestyle. Food goes fast especially when feeding a family.
Since purchasing this book, I have lost 10lbs in a week, I am more clear minded, I feel so lite weight, my inflamation has calmed down, and my husband loves the food and has lost 8lbs. We eat all day long and we are losing weight. It's incredible.
I buy lots of books and items from Amazon and never really bother to write a review, but this book is so fantastic that if my review can help get someone else on the road to health and delicious food through Ani phyo's books, then I had to write a review.
Buy this book! you wont regret it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Backing away from extremes, heading more towards every day, September 21, 2010
By 
Deb Nam-Krane "dnkboston" (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
In her first book, Phyo came off a bit preachy. All organic, all raw, all the time. To her credit, she wasn't as hostile as many other raw food chefs, but it was still a little off-putting from an otherwise really well done cookbook. Her attitude seemed to have softened in her dessert cookbook- isn't everything better with sweetener?- but here she has come full circle.

She speaks candidly about her journey from "practical" raw foodist to unhealthy young adult to gourmet, "extreme" raw foodist to someone who is mostly raw. When it's cold, she has some soup, and it's okay. It also sounds like she's open to boiling water for a cup of tea... and it hasn't affected her ability to craft raw food. In several places, she offers suggestions to incorporate her recipes and techniques into an existing "cooked foods" diet.

There is much that will be familiar to readers of her other books. However, she includes many new recipes. Kombucha, kefir, sun tea, rejuvelac, green smoothies, fermented vegetables (pickles), frozen banana ice cream and multiple recipes for pizza crust are in this book (as they are in many other raw vegan cookbooks). But her versions of quiche, korean chap chae (jap chae), veggie burgers, flourless cakes (I bit my lip when I read her recipe for Strawberry Shortcake), coconut bacon, crepes, pancakes and scones are harder to find and genuinely add something to the raw food lexicon.

Others have noted the poor paper quality- guess that was a trade off for the hard cover! That doesn't bother me, but I was disappointed that the "eco-style" photographs of her first books have been replaced by the standard white plate, white background used in so many other gourmet cookbooks. The food was good enough to stand up to color!

Phyo also offers some basic tips on how to lower our carbon footprint. Most are common sense, but she also includes some useful websites.

This is a very good book for raw and "cooked" alike. If you're vegan, you'll find much you can use (although, as she notes, if you have a nut allergy, it's not going to be as useful).
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, May 26, 2010
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I have read and enjoyed all of Ani's book and this one is no different. It does have some black and white photos, and some recipes that seem similar to the ones in her first book - but I have already made 5 recipes in the first week I bought it! I would recommend this to anyone venturing into the raw food world and the recipes are simple and easy to understand.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my kitchen staples as well as bedtime reading, March 18, 2011
By 
Roogs "Strongerthandirt" (Somewhere Down the Crazy River) - See all my reviews
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After being a vegetarian for 10+ years starting back in the early 70s, with Diet for a Small Planet and Cooking for a Small Planet as 2 of my daily go to books, I then graduated to macrobiotics, but slowly, over the course of 5 years (due to laziness and stress) went back to the Standard American Diet. As someone who is gluten, lactose and soy intolerant, the S.A.D. took a gradual, negative toll on my health, helped pack on excess pounds, aggravated my fibromyalgia and made it almost impossible to get over a simple head cold.

I went back to a dairy free high protein diet and began to feel better, but reached a point where I could not even think of meat, never mind cook it for 2-3 meals a day. I started investigating veganism and raw food and spent several hundred dollars and hours researching books.

Of everything I've read, this is one of my top 3 favorite books for theory, usuability, and good tasting recipes. I love Ms. Phyo's flexibility about eating warm foods when the need is appropriate, making substitutions and taking a lot of the mumbo jumbo out of eating raw. She expands the horizons so one is not just looking down a long dull future of nuts, salads, and smoothies.

While I am still eating some cooked foods, I am looking forward to being at least 95% raw by the end of this summer and I feel very confident that this book (along with 3 of her others) will aid me in achieving that goal.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Food is ALIVE!!!!, June 24, 2010
By 
"Raw Food Essentials" is the latest from raw food entrepreneur/eco-powerhouse Ani Phyo. Her book lays out the basics for those who have started the raw food vegan diet.. and she draws on her own Korean heritage with the Korean raw fermented cabbage essential, kimchi. The recipes are user friendly (such as her Pad Thai made with kelp noodles) Kelp noodles are delicious and nutritious for those living the raw food lifestyle Kelp Noodles 2.5 servings (100% Raw Food)

The book, however, doesn't have as good a layout as her previous books:
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes
Ani's Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats
Her previous books are colorful, with plenty of pictures. This book, on the other hand, has the colors of green, black and white. With the exception of some dishes in the middle, the pictures are in black and white.

"Raw Food Essentials" is delicious&nutritious!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good purchase, but there are some things I wish I knew..., February 18, 2011
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I really enjoy the content in this book, and Ani provides lots of extra "eco" tips and advice. Two things I wish I knew in advance however are 1) all of the pictures (with the exception of 8 pages in the middle of the book) are in black and white. Props for being green and not using the chemicals included with glossy page finishes, but the pictures seem dark and unappetizing - not very helpful when trying to see how the recipes look as a finished product. And 2) I wish this book had come with a disclosure that warns you of the kitchen tools needed to prepare the recipes. For example, it appears that over half the recipes call for a food dehydrator - and I don't just happen to have that laying around my kitchen. Overall, I like the content of this book, just not as my first raw food recipe book. I recommend it to anyone already familiar with eating vegan/raw and looking to add new recipes to their diet.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very creative, August 10, 2010
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I have research as much about raw vegan food as the internet will put forth. The recipes are sometimes questionable and sometime do not turn out well. I like to see a recipe books before I buy them. This time I took a chance on Ani's Raw Food Essential and bought it. I'm glad I did. The recipes are simple and easy to follow. Ani is very creative and makes it easy to adjust to doing this diet. (Amazon made the price right for me to take the chance to buy it.) I'm glad I bought it. My raw food friends like the recipes that I have made from it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best for someone who cannot, November 27, 2010
I am not a chef or even okay in the kitchen. She breaks down what you should buy in very simple steps. She also has very simple recipes. I used to look at raw recipes and see as much as 15 ingredients. phew! Thank goodness she has simplified and organized this book to where a person deficient in cooking can understand (a raw food for dummies if you will).
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Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food
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