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Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat Paperback – July 1, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738216879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738216874
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Gena's inspiring collection of fresh, uncomplicated, and mouth-watering vegan recipes prove that a healthy diet doesn't have to be intimidating or time-consuming."—Angela Liddon, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Oh She Glows Cookbook and creator of

"I'm one of those people who will eat healthy as long as it's easy; Gena's book has made that possible! The recipes herein are infinitely do-able, and tasty, and they're wholesome to boot."—Kathy Freston, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Lean

"Warmly written and packed with recipes that are both simple and spectacular, Choosing Raw makes healthy eating fun, delicious and completely accessible. Gena's easy-to-digest nutrition information and foolproof food preparation techniques will let you explore the world of vegan and raw foods with complete confidence."—Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, author of Vegan for Her and Never Too Late to Go Vegan

"As an integrative gastroenterologist, I can't think of a better resource than Choosing Raw for anyone interested in healing their digestive tract, or improving their overall health."—Dr. Robynne Chutkan, author of Gutbliss: A 10-Day Plan to Ban Bloat, Flush Toxins, and Dump Your Digestive Baggage

"I've been a fan of Gena since I first started reading her blog in 2009. Her approach is logical, and her recipes are easy to make, functional and delicious. Choosing Raw is an excellent book."—Brendan Brazier, author of Thrive and Thrive Energy Cookbook

"A breath of fresh air—and whiff of fresh cuisine—Choosing Raw is a delightful take on food as is should be: colorful, beautiful, delicious. The recipes are a joy (they work!) and the informational portions of the book are Gena Hamshaw at her smart and friendly best, replacing the confusion that so often surrounds nutrition with good sense and great food."—Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan and director, Main Street Vegan Academy

"With menus that make meal-planning a breeze and recipes that fit easily into a busy schedule, Choosing Raw is the go-to cookbook and guide for anyone interested in incorporating more raw and vegan meals into their daily routine."
—Kathy Patalsky, author of 365 Vegan Smoothies and creator of, 7/8/14
“Will come in handy on all of those days when you don’t want to acknowledge your stove’s existence.”, 7/1/14
“Fantastic for beginners and healthy food veterans alike.”

Spirit and Destiny, August 2014
“Looking for ways to make your diet healthier but feel raw food is a step too far?...A flick through this book could change your mind.”, 7/22/14
“Raw food blogger and author Gena Hamshaw has us swearing up and down to add more raw foods to our diet after reading her new release, Choosing Raw…Her approach feels easy and refreshing, instead of intimidating.”

Portland Oregonian, 7/22/14
“Following a raw vegan diet is widely perceived as difficult, intimidating and time-consuming, which is ironic when you think about it, since the idea of uncooked dishes seems like it ought to be easy. But nutritionist Gena Hamshaw shows that it can be uncomplicated and creative, going way beyond basic salads and green smoothies…[she] strives to hit the right balance between cooked and uncooked ingredients, a commonsense approach that's more accessible than the extreme all-raw focus some books advocate.”

InfoDad, 7/24/14
“Sensible…for people already thinking about eating more raw foods—for whatever reason—Choosing Raw can be a reasonable place to get more information on how, if not why, to move into the raw-food arena.”

Hudson Valley News, 7/30/14
“This book answers the questions, ‘Can you get the nutrition you need from a plant-based diet?’ and ‘can those raw and vegan foods still taste satisfying and delicious?’…And unlike many books of all kinds…this one has an introduction that is truly a joy to read.”

Library Journal, 9/15/14
“Among vegan cookbooks, this volume will appeal most to those who are interested in better understanding a vegan diet and curious about raw foods.”

Midwest Book Review, September 2014
“Packed with details on how to embrace raw foods while on a budget, and discusses everything from getting enough nutrition from a plant-based diet to making the most of raw-based meals…The result is a fine survey highly recommended for any interested in the basics of adopting a raw diet plan.”

T.O.F.U. Magazine, 10/15/14
“As informative as it is delicious.”

Portland Press Herald, 11/5/14
“Blogger and nutritionist Hamshaw pulls together 125 of her mostly raw but also cooked vegan recipes that will guide raw-interested readers away from the world of detox diets and juice fasts and toward healthy, hearty food. The book is loaded with answers to common questions, myth-busting information about raw foods and details about ingredients and kitchen tools.”

The Chalkboard Magazine
“Gena’s writing is impeccable—for those who love reading cookbooks as much as they do cooking from them, this book is a win-win.”

Named one of The 20 Must-Read Fitness, Health, and Happiness Books of 2014 by

About the Author

Gena Hamshaw is a certified clinical nutritionist and author of the popular blog Choosing Raw. Her work has been published in O Magazine, VegNews Magazine, Food52,and Whole Living Daily. A former book editor, Gena is currently a pre-medical, post-baccalaureate student. She hopes to bring an integrated and evidence-based approach to a career in health care.

Customer Reviews

Awesome recipes, easy & quick.
Catlin Wellness & Nutrition
I recommend Choosing Raw to anyone who is interested in or new to raw food.
Janhavi Martha Star
The book is well written and easy to follow.
Robin Bascara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By MRP on June 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
1. Crystal clear writing (from a chef!): Most cooks just aren't great writers, and that's not their fault. Hamshaw is though (bio mentions her literary background, IVY league pedigree, and the daily food writing she's done for years). Why do I care? Because this means her directions about these recipes are perfectly clear and concise. No reader has to guess at any point in making these recipes or in reading her notes on the underlying science.

2. Recipes that work for guys, too. I've only made 7 of the dishes so far, but what I've made has been hearty enough that I didn't feel like I had to double the recipe or order chinese takeout after. My overachieving best friend is training for his third triathalon and this is one of two books he's cooking from all summer. (It's not just a salad party, in other words).

3. Science---The author is a nutritionist who doesn't go along for the ride on faux claims for certain foods. She doesn't do quack science, and she's a great explainer at the health benefits of what IS known to be good. Also , she isn't promoting her own product line, so there's no secondary agenda. It's just straightforward, honest ideas, writing, and recipes.

4. Clearly wasn't ghost-written: I understand why some leading health experts writing cookbooks hire ghost authors, but I'd prefer to read books that were entirely written by the name on the cover.

Of the 40 veggie cookbooks I now own, this one is the clearest and hype-free. The recipes are unlike others I've seen, and 99% of what I've made from this book was delicious. The one that was just a B was because I had some spoiled sprouts which is hardly the recipe's fault!

Anyway, if there were any corners cut in putting this book together I can't find them. Highly recommend.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By janet on June 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
It is my pleasure to review Gena Hamshaw's cookbook, Choosing Raw. Named after her widely popular food blog, her simple, bright and healthy recipes shine through onto paper. Full disclosure, I have loved Gena's recipes ever since I discovered her blog (and her infamous banana soft serve recipe). I was thrilled when Gena asked me to be a tester for her cookbook. The best part of being her tester? She actually cared about my feedback beyond recipe bloopers, making this a truly phenomenal cookbook.

Just as her blog attests, the recipes are fresh and flavourful. All vegan, some raw, some cooked, some mixed, some with options for either raw or cooked. You might think you recognize some of the recipes from her blog, but they have all been reworked and rewritten based on reader feedback. With 125 recipes, spanning essential foundation recipes (including cashew cheese, chocomole, banana soft serve, lemon turmeric vinaigrette, ginger miso dressing and hemp parmesan) and breakfasts, meals and desserts separated based on the degree of raw components and familiarity to traditional meals. She includes a primer on making meal-sized salads, including a Dinosaur Kale and White Bean Caesar Salad and a Raw Cobb Salad with Eggplant Bacon.

Gena's level 1 or introductory recipes are truly tried-and-true. Breakfasts options include the (delicious!) Raw Vegan Bircher Muesli, and (even more delicious!!) chickpea tofu tahini scramble. Gena has suggestions for both lunch and dinner (for me, lunch is always dinner in leftover form) and I can highly recommend both her Curried Chickpea and Carrot Salad and Easy Red Lentil Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry.

Slowly, Gena encourages you to branch out from the familiar with a hybrid of new and old.
Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robin Bascara on July 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Combining a raw plant based diet with a vegan (cooked) program is working for me, thanks Ms. Gena! In just a week I've lost 4 lbs (of sludge) and have gained so much energy. This has been so easy. I've tried to embrace the raw food program but I was really ready for comfort food and not certain how to do it, this book solves my problem. I pre ordered this book because I had been reading her blog and following her on FB. She offers recipes on her web page (not in this book) if you want to give it a try. I love that she is classically trained as a chef and put her knowledge to this forum. The book is well written and easy to follow. From simple recipes to complex; offering descriptions to super foods that will be used to sample meal planning menus. Love it! I plan to make every recipe in this book and maybe when I'm done….there will be a book II.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hannah J. Siegmund on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several years ago, when struggling with digestive issues, anxiety about my eating, and a sense of hopelessness, I stumbled across Gena's blog ChoosingRaw. My doctor had told me to try cutting out dairy to see if it helped my IBS, and I was at a complete loss for what to eat. I felt sick daily and was constantly exhausted, so I was willing to try anything. However, I didn't know how to cook (other than boiling water for spaghetti and making grilled cheese). Gena's wonderful blog posts helped me gain confidence that I could choose a vegan lifestyle, and the featured Green Recovery stories gave me such hope for the future. Her simple and delicious recipes were a lifesaver for me - otherwise I might have starved to death!

I was very excited when I learned Gena had written a book and immediately pre-ordered it. I got my copy in the mail yesterday and I have been poring over it since. Gena's story is beautifully written, and the information on the raw-food lifestyle is clear and engaging.

The recipes look delicious and most seem to be new or at least variations from what is posted on the blog. There are a few staple recipes at the beginning that are good to always have prepared on hand. If you are curious about making raw foods a larger part of your diet, looking for an entry into the vegan lifestyle, or just looking for delicious recipes, this book is for you. I can never thank Gena enough for her blog and now this wonderful book.
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